It was a stretched suspension of disbelief to have had the patience of reading through Mr Louis Amoke’s ridiculous chronicle of his subjective rehash of what he considered as achievements of his boss and the immediate past governor of Enugu State, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
As poorly as the PR article was composed, the writer displayed disability in the art of criticism by not finding any fault in a man who superintended the affairs of Enugu State for eight years and was in the House of Representatives for 12 years, but till today cannot stand before any audience to address even a rented crowd without reading through a prepared speech.
Amoke’s amature thesis tried to fault the majority of the good people of Enugu North Senatorial District who rejected Ugwuanyi when he tried to go back to the National Assembly where he roamed for eight years without standing up for one day to make a speech in the green chambers nor attracted any constituency project to the good people of Udenu/Igboeze North Federal Constituency.
What Ifeanyi succeed in was to primitively amass wealth for himself and his family with which he used, according to him, to “buy” the governorship position of Enugu State and which, according to him again, he “sold” to the highest negotiator. This is a man who is obsessed with the acquisition of ill wealth, and gloats as a Christian but is more dangerous than a corked gun.
The present insecurity challenge taking place in Enugu State was compounded by Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who failed to take any decisive action against either the herder kidnappers or the unknown gunmen because if he did, the present administration in the state would not have inherited the heightened insecurity such that primary school children are now being flogged by terrorists, while all roads in the state have become dens of kidnappers.
How can one who claims to be a Governor believe that handing over peanuts as cash is a solution to whatever problem anybody has? But to take Amoke on some of his claims, Enugu State has never been the least recipient of the federal allocation either in oil boom or in bailout eras. Go to nearby Ebonyi State and confirm. Ugwuanyi, therefore, has no excuses for his eight years of abysmal performance. Ugwuanyi refused to implement the proper N30,000 minimum wage structure, while the local government and teachers in the state were left completely out of the minimum wage law, just as he refused to pay pensioners, particularly the ones in the state parastatals and many more.
If there was any governor who tried unsuccessfully to influence the church to pander to his mischievous exploitation, it was Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who also exploited the unfortunate eras of the Covid-19 pandemic and the #EndSARS protest to pillage the state treasury.
There was nothing as national integration in Ugwuanyi’s anti-party activities against the PDP and his obscurity in the confused G5 group where he merely became a Personal Assistant to another governor and in the end failed woefully to deliver Enugu state candidates, including himself, in the PDP.
The rural development that Amoke recalled were achievements whose 90 per cent credit goes to the World Bank that provided the majority of the fund used in the development of those rural roads which Ugwuanyi could not even asphalt and the roads went back to their impassable state such as the Eha-Ndiagu Road, Umualor-Ehamufu Road, just to name but a few.
There was absolutely no infrastructure provision under the Ugwuanyi administration as is visible in the capital city of Enugu, including the roads leading to Amoke’s house in the city. How could Amoke speak glowingly of the T-junction bridge as if that ‘gadder’ has resolved the perennial hold-up being experienced in the Nike Lake area? Ugwuanyi was told severally to expand or dualize the Nike Lake Road and the Nike Road to resolve the impasse there, but he refused and chose to mould a mountain to shield an upcoming hotel that allegedly belongs to him.
Ugwuanyi failed to make water run in Enugu in eight years despite international water funding up to the tune of 50 million dollars. Amoke, where is the money? What the ex-governor specialized in was dispossessing widows of their lands and selling them to others at the cost of N20 million each. Mr Charles Ani is still gnashing his teeth on Ugwuanyi’s dispossession of land he bought from the Amechi community and where he had developed two separate-storey buildings, only for Ugwuanyi to use bulldozers to reduce the storey buildings to rubbles and sold his sweat to others. Such impunity was Ugwuanyi’s stock in trade at the new market where he built a shameful palatial home that he was unable to pack into due to the ghost of the offences in the dispossession of the large expanse of land. He hid inside the Government Lodge until the Enugu State people raised the alarm of his inability to vacate Government House after his inglorious two tenures expire.
Ugwuanyi, an insurance broker with only a rickety Volkswagen Beetle, made wealth in the national assembly. As I had stated, his 12 years stint has remained a ghost behind his shadow. The tricycles he acquired from the national assembly are still packed in his Orba large residence eight years after, even as his kinsmen whom he forcefully collected their lands have now returned to take back their inheritance.
Under Ugwuanyi, communities in Enugu State had more land crises than ever; including those who lost their lives in their ancestral land robbed of them and named His Excellency, Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (HELIU) Estate. What he did was to spend millions of naira in media laundering to cover his atrocities; lobbied and bribed to purchase the CON award and other petty awards from schools and mushroom organizations. Now, he is doling out money seeking an elusive ministerial position, but I am certain that President Tinubu has his dossier.
Under Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, insecurity was at its height, to the extent that retired Justice Stanley Nnaji was assassinated like a common criminal in broad daylight by unknown gunmen. Engr. Dons Udeh was the last among the victims of Ugwuanyi’s lack of security interest. He was very conformable with the IPOB sit-at-home and made the civil service productivity suffer. But why wouldn’t he when as a Governor, he appointed a suspected IPOB militant, who has been in military custody, as security adviser? Kudos to the present Chief of Army Staff, Lagbaja, who as the GOC of 82 Div sanitized the criminal hideout at Nkanu East.
Under the watch of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, insecurity situations escalated more because his close aides were characters with questionable histories. Those his aides were responsible for the election violence which General Obasanjo Jnr was able to curtail their nuisances on the election days.
As a Governor, he ensured that in four years, no less than four ministries operated without commissioners such as Water Resources, Information, Transport and Commerce. The Housing Development Corporation became a personal enterprise, the same as the state University, ESUT, which he gave two to his younger brother as his source of wealth expansion. The Housing Corporation was worse because it was never summoned for any board meeting throughout the duration, contrary to the law.
Close to the Michael Okpara Square where the International Conference Center is situated, Ugwuanyi voted N500 million for its completion but little did people know that it was a fluke. Shortly after, some roof was made there he abandoned the project and barricaded the arena in the pretence of insecurity, yet whatever little improvement was done was all stolen in a place that is less than 10 meters from the Government House. Who supervised that theft that the government never complained about till Ugwuanyi left office?
The State Ministry of Lands became the most corrupt institution under Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as Governor with the highest case of land fraud in the EFCC. Most of these cases will come up when his unavoidable arrest by the EFCC takes place. He was the Governor and commissioner of every ministry at the same time. His wicked demolition of JJ Emejulu’s house was in a bid to collect money from the federal government as compensation for the Akanu Ibiam Airport land. For him, everything was transactional which made him create many loopholes for his prosecution once the EFCC does the needful.
The demolition of the old Kenyatta Market was another dirty transaction, even when Ab initio opposed the relocation of the market to Ugwaji. At the Ugwuanyi Market, he went and confiscated the land belonging to the late Prof Nkwo Ngene which ultimately contributed to the man’s death, the same thing he did at New Artisan.
Under Ugwuanyi, Enugu State was the least developed in the country. How can Amoke ascribe Ugwuanyi to national integration when nobody from outside Enugu was in the state for eight years to commission any project? He refused to play national politics unlike his boss in Rivers State, but instead mounted campaigns against all the presidential candidates, including Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar and even Peter Obi. What he did was sponsor somebody from his local government to contest for PDP presidential primary election, yet he lobbied to be made a presidential running mate in the PDP. ‘Confuse’ is another name for Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Under his avarice, Ugwuanyi monetized critical state infrastructures to himself, such as the Presidential Lodge which has made the present Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly homeless. Where does one start or stop the misdemeanours of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi? The only thing I can advise Louis Amoke is to allow the sleeping dog to lie because the people of Enugu are beginning to get over the nightmare called Gburugburu and to recall the name again would mean scratching an injury that we have made to heal.
Disclaimer: This article is the opinion of the writer and not that of our medium, Crystal Express. The public should not.