By Johnpaul Anih, 12/1/2021
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Tuesday, reiterated his administration’s continuous support for development of the state’s rural areas, in keeping with the solemn promise in his inaugural address, in 2015.
Stressing that “the major interest of government should be in the rural areas,” Gov. Ugwuanyi maintained that he purposely captured rural development in his inaugural address to ensure that the dwellers are given a sense of belonging.
Speaking during the inauguration of the 12km Ugwuomu Nike-Godfrey Okoye University road, in the outskirts of Enugu East Local Government Area, the governor stated that the project, which traverses the two communities of Emene and Ugwuomu Nike will not only provide easy access, pleasant commuting experience but will also considerably reduce in travel time.
He also stated the road will stimulate local commerce as well as economic expansion with its associated enhancement of quality of life of the populace “who had never known asphaltic concrete road before this intervention”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi recalled that the construction of the road commenced in 2018 following his administration’s release of funds to Godfrey Okoye University to execute the project on direct labour basis, under the superintendence of the University’s Physical Planning Department.
Stressing that alleviating the suffering of the people of the state, especially in the rural areas, through the provision of critical infrastructure and expansion of economic opportunities has been a major plank of his administration, the governor expressed profound gratitude to God for the enablement afforded the state government to undertake the massive project, among others, in spite of the nation’s economic, security and public health challenges.
He maintained that despite his administration encountering two recessions in five years, God has made it possible for all the state government has achieved so far with the meager resources at its disposal.
His words: “Our administration has executed several landmark projects within the Enugu East Local Government Area, including newly constructed Nike Lake Junction-Harmony Estate-Amorji Nike- Adoration Pilgrimage Centre-Orie Emene Road; Eke Obinagu Junction –Onwunwenabo Akpuoga Nike Road; the rehabilitated National Orthopedic Hospital Junction –Airport Roundabout-Orie Emene –Eke Obinagu Junction (old Enugu –Abakiliki Road); two new Customary Court Buildings and the rehabilitated Abakpa Nike Health Centre.”
He acknowledged the diligent execution of the road by Godfrey Okoye University, under the watch of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Christian Anieke as well as the support and cooperation of the traditional ruler, Town Union leadership and members of the Ugwuomu Nike community towards the project’s success.
Pouring encomiums on Gov. Ugwuanyi for the completion of the road project, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Anieke, who described him as a “loving, caring, deeply religious, indescribably generous, politically sagacious, and unwaveringly focused Governor”, pointed out that “there is more to this road that meets the human eye”.
The Vice Chancellor added that “it is therefore not just a road but life, defined and redefined, shaped and reshaped. And perhaps life transmogrified”, saying: “With this road all levels of human interactions have been smoothened like the beautiful asphalt of the road. With this road the economic life of all the communities will be improved tremendously and blossom incandescently like Flame of the Forest.
“With this road an olive branch of invitation as well as warm embrace has been given by this administration under our beloved Governor to more than 20 European companies that will be domiciled in the GO Uni-European Business Park of Godfrey Okoye University”.
Stating that Gov. Ugwuanyi has written his name in gold and in the hearts of the people of Emene, Nkwubor, Ugwuomu Nike and Godfrey Okoye University, Prof. Anieke said that the governor “has never failed to underscore the importance of a friendly handshake of the private sector and the public sector, a handshake that will be mutually benefited to both”.
According to the Vice Chancellor, “the Enugu State Government stretched its financial hand and invited Godfrey Okoye University to do this road. Godfrey Okoye University, filled with gratitude and encouraged by such deep trust and goodwill on the part of government, embarked on this project that is worth about One billion, five hundred million naira and completed it in December last year.
“Let me thank His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu) and his administration for making the completion of this project possible. I would also like to thank the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu for his support and efforts to ensure that this project is completed.
“I thank the Physical Planning Unit of Godfrey Okoye University, the Enugu State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, the Hon. Commissioner for Works, Engr. Greg Nnaji and his workers, Eketeson, Williangy, Mr. Nnamani Icheku and his team for doing the asphalting of the road and also all those who assisted us in different ways to ensure the completion of this project,” the elated VC said.
Appreciating Gov. Ugwuanyi for the road, the jubilant people of Ugwuomu Nike Community said that the governor has not only wiped their tears but has also given them a sense of belonging as human beings.
Speaking on behalf of the community, the President General of Ugwuomu Nike Town Development Union, Nnanyelugo Felix Nnamani, told Gov. Ugwuanyi that “our people have gone through hell over the years and from time immemorial but you have suddenly brought us joy”.
His words: “You (Ugwuanyi) is on record, the first Executive Governor of Enugu State that stepped his feet on Ugwuomu soil and your light is showing boldly in Ugwuomu. We can’t thank you and the State Executive Council enough for remembering Ugwuomu Nike. We therefore beseech God Almighty to hold you, your family and your government in His bold hands for greater results in service to humanity”.
One of the climaxes of the event was the conferment of a Chieftaincy title of “the Okaa Obulu-Uzo 1 of Mbuluanwuri Nike” on Gov. Ugwuanyi, by the traditional ruler of the autonomous community, HRH Igwe Dr. M.A Ogbuchi, in recognition of the governor’s good works.
Dignitaries at the event, include the member representing Enugu East/Isi-Uzo Federal Constituency, Hon. Prince Cornelius Nnaji, the State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure,Engr. Greg Nnaji, the Chairman of Enugu East LGA, Hon. Alex Ugwu, the Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Gbuji, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Godfrey Okoye University, Prof. Bartho Okolo, and the Management Team of the University, among others.