By Ekene Uzodinma
UPON assumption of duty as the governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi launched what would become the slogan for his administration “Enugu State is in the Hands of God”.
Though the few discerning minds in the state who knew that adapting a rather religious posture might just be a game plan to leverage on our people’s propensity to fall for anything that appears “Godly” still felt the need to allow time to sort things out. Today, it is becoming increasingly clear that indeed, that has been a diversionary concept.
First of all, the Holy Bible tells us that the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. So, the whole universe belongs to God and of course, is in the Hands of God.
Therefore, Enugu State couldn’t have been in the hands of anyone else rather than God’s. Perhaps, what is particularly unfortunate is the way our people swallow every junk served on religious platter hook, line and sinker without taking special care to examine its genuiness, motive, the sensibility or even the implication.
The question many people are yet to ask is; if the leadership of Enugu State is truly in the hands of God? Or, “If the policies and programmes of the present administration are directed by the hands of God?” To get a correct answer, one necessarily needs to understand the nature of God and his ways. The next step would be to compare them with the present state of affairs in Enugu State.
It will require monumental effort to convince anybody who knows how God operates that He has any hand in the running of the state today. A situation where rather than focusing on projects that will in addition to addressing the collective developmental aspirations of Enugu people, can make for a better future for the next generation. At least one of the core of elements of God is the ability to see far, to see even the end from the beginning.
Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration has left no one in doubt that all it thinks about is just today. Infact, just now. This can be evidenced from his penchant for such projects that only pleases the eyes, simple glamour, but in no-way contributing to a better future for the next generation.
One of such anomalous projects is the relocation of the Post Primary School Management Board to the old ESBS FM Radio Complex with hundreds of millions of naira squandered in the name of so-called renovation of the complex which according to the government was to make it befitting.
So, the PPSMB deserves a befitting office but a tour of all the secondary school in Enugu State will leave everyone shocked. The question will be, is the PPSMB doing its job at all? From the once prestigious Queens College, to Nike Grammar School, Saint Patricks Emene or just name it. The situation in all the public secondary schools makes one ask why would a befitting office for the PPSMB take priority over ensuring a manageable maintenance of the facilities in those school. So all the defects ranging from leaking roofs, broken doors and windows, lack of pipe-borne water, functional toilets systems, general poor sanitary condition and to crown it all, gross shortage of qualified teachers in most key subjects. It is even more regrettable that rather than addressing these ills, the Ugwuanyi administration instead has taken up, or sold almost all the available land space in some of these schools to either corporate or private estate developers. A big sign that he does not expect the schools to grow, expand or have more blocks in the future.
This can’t be the Hands of God in action. Another regrettable feature is that since the assumption of office. The Ugwuanyi Administration has failed to even address the problems in the state primary schools system. Most of the public primary schools in both urban and rural areas are grossly under – staffed and the condition of the school’s environment is a story for another day.
It is no gain say that only the most helpless of the poor can send their wards to public school in the state today. This is certainly not the hand of God.
Another obvious signs that God’s hand is no way traceable to the scheme of things in the state include failure of Ugwuanyi Administration to complete not even one of the state’s projects abandoned by any of the previous administrations.
As investigations later revealed, the relocation of the PPSMB was to pave the way for the use of that premises for the construction of a State Banquet Hall, if the project won’t amount to a conduit pipe, why did Governor Ugwuanyi fail to see the importance of completing the International Conference Centre which was started by the Chimaroke Nnamani administration.
What is the benefit of starting a whole new Banquet Hall when the same resources would have been channeled into completing a similar project that has gone far and one that has enormous tourism potential.
That is not all, the Enugu State Broadcasting Service, ESBS Radio and Television which were assigned to a seasoned media consultant by the previous administration for total revamping and upgrade to a 21 century media house and which immediately started making noticeable changes both in class and content and at a point, could compete favourably with the leading media brands in Africa have nose-dived into broadcrashing simply because Governor Ugwuanyi chose to trade what is best for the state’s official organ to parochial sentiments.
Anybody who knew the state of ESBS Radio and TV before the present administration can tell that this is not the hand of God in action. God is progressive. God has taste and loves excellence.
The hands of God will not compel all the new students that just got admission into the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu to pay a compulsory hostel fee as alleged when it knows that the school hasn’t got enough accommodation for those who paid for it and there is no plan to build more hostels anytime soon, as if that is not enough, even those who chose to live off campus were mandated to pay for the hostel accommodation, an act not far from taking undue advantage of seemingly helpless students. There is no sign of hands of God this in action.
A careful analysis of the present state of the agencies will reveal that never in the history of Enugu State have things gotten this bad. Most of the ministries are manned by commissioners who can be best described as square pegs in round holes.
Individuals who are only interested in their own pocket and not in making life better for the people. Enugu State today has a ministry of transport notorious for clamping vehicles wheels and allegation of extortions from drivers. The ministry’s duty ends at making itself and its officials the nightmare of car owners in the state. It has no plan to harness the untapped potential in the sector.
The agricultural sector seem to be the worst hit as it has a man who has never done any kind of farming nor is interested in doing so on saddle. Rather than offer creative solutions to the multiple needs of citizens, the ministries are rather engaging one another in the competition of creating bill boards for Governor Ugwuanyi’s second term campaign and have been compelling their workers and those of the parastatals under them to endorse the so called continuity.
This is definitely not the hands of God in action.
The hand of God will place premium in making life better for the generations to come and not everything just for the next election. Only selfish politicians thin just about the next election. Leaders who are filled with Godly virtues usually think about the next generation.
Today, the city of Enugu is one of the places with the highest house rent in Nigeria. Residents in Enugu pay through their nose for accommodation and the Governor hasn’t seen the need to create new cities, take certain development projects to nearby towns like Amechi, Ugwuaji, Akwuke, Emene, Nike, Ngwo, or Ninth Mile Corner to decongest the city so that accommodation can be easily accessible and affordable.
Instead, Governor Ugwuanyi has focused on selling of all the available land spaces in all the public secondary schools for one estate project or the other. This is not only a sign that the administration has no vision for the future but a total disregard for educational needs of the people of the state, thus leaving no one in doubt that this can’t be the hand of God.
What the people need is not a deceptive slogan. We need an Enugu State that is working. We need an Enugu State that is not just in the Hand of God, but also in the Hand of leaders; who are willing to take responsibility. The people of Enugu want a people and future oriented leadership
The hands of God won’t play with our collective intelligence. The hand of God will offer creative solutions.
EKENE UZODINMA is the GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, ENUGU STATE
UNITED PROGRESSIVE PARTY (UPP)
By Ekene Uzodinma