Governor Ugwuanyi is a good listener and Enugu State is experiencing good governance under him. This legacy should not only continue but be sustained.

Aloysius Emeka Attah

As a student of Comparative Politics, J.C Yohari made me realize that since it is impossible for the people to meet and exercise the functions of government as a collective body in modern times on account of vast size of the state and wide enfranchisement of the people, it becomes imperative for the implementation of some form of representation through which the rulers of a state are given the right to act for those who chose them.

Lord Acton called it “the vital invention of modern times” where somebody or a smaller number of people exercise governmental power on behalf of the majority while Andrew Heywood also described representation as a situation where “an individual or group somehow stands for, or on behalf of a larger collection of people. Political representation, therefore, acknowledges a link between two otherwise separate identities- government and the governed – and implies that through this link, the people’s views are articulated, or their interests are secured. The precise nature of this link is nevertheless, a matter of deep disagreement, as is the capacity of representation ever to ensure democratic government”

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The implication of Heywood’s statement above is the fact that representation being an integral part of democracy can throw up both bad representatives who can mess up whatever democracy stands for or also throw up a good representative who knows that he wields power and authority on behalf of the people and is concerned with their security and welfare which is the primary purpose of government.

The country, Nigeria, has seen the good, the bad and the ugly since independence in 1960. Despots, tyrants, kleptomaniacs among other negative conjectures have at one time or the other being at the helm of affairs in the country.

Iconic writer, the legendary Chinua Achebe wrote years back that the problem of the country lies squarely on leadership. The return of democracy in Nigeria brought in power also many military turncoats, apologists and bourgeoisie class who delighted in lording it over the people and dishing out crumbs from the table for the scramble of the poor masses thereby widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

People of Enugu State of Nigeria have also witnessed different kinds of leadership since 1999 and when the heat became too much owing to some horrible events of the past and era of whitewashed dressings, they prayed silently for a messiah to come.

That prayer unto heaven was answered in 2015 following the election of Hon. Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi as the Executive Governor of Enugu State. It was an election that marked a turning point in the lives of the people of the state, a time to either make it or finally break it but God decided to hearken to the cries of his people and the man popularly known as Gburugburu was elected.

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The Holy Bible is also replete with the actions of certain kings that rose in Israel and made critical decisions either to walk in the path of righteousness by leading the people back to God and obeying His precepts or following the negative footprints of some former wicked rulers in Israel who ruled with iron fist and embraced idolatry of which the people paid dearly for it.

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In Enugu State, Governor Ugwuanyi decided to toe the path of light discarding darkness and that was why he not only rededicated The Lion Building seat of Power in Enugu to God but also handed over the entire state and its people to the everliving creator of the universe.

This action of his for those who could decipher from the spiritual realm can be attributed to so many success stories pouring out from Enugu State under the Ugwuanyi administration hence the slogan “Enugu State is in the hands of God”.

Gburugburu has enkindled hope in governance; he has made the people to believe in their leaders and also made governance to be people centred.

His governance style is pro masses, cuts across all strata of the society and can be described as a true definition of all the attributes of democratic governance.

The people he governs love him so passionately because he listens to them, feels their pulse and is determined to leave an enduring legacy of projects that cuts across different parts of the state.

His administration is devoid of nepotism, favouritism and clannishness and in him one can see a leader poised to work and deliver and not to keep aggrandizing and amassing public wealth which will end up making one a perpetual guest of the anti-graft agencies on leaving office.

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My close encounters and interactions with the people and the administration during the inauguration of various local government chapters of the Gburugburu Movement in the state was another eye opener for me and which concretised my conviction that there is hope for Enugu State under Ugwuanyi.

In one of the public outings, the incumbent President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, despite being barred from holding any political party membership card or banner by virtue of his current position could not control his emotion when he mounted the stage and openly confessed that his one singular vote during the 2019 general election is for Governor Ugwuanyi.

The Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis, while underscoring the importance of having a listening leader as a corollary to good governance once said “Every man , every woman who has to take up the service of government must ask themselves two questions: Do I love my people in order to serve them better? Am I humble and do I listen to everybody, to diverse opinions in order to choose the best path? If you don’t ask those questions, your governance will not be good”

Governor Ugwuanyi is a good listener and Enugu State is experiencing good governance under him. This legacy should not only continue but be sustained.

Attah writes from Aji, Enugu-Ezike, Enugu State via [email protected].