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Ebonyi As A Model For Practical Governance - by Philip Nweze

Ebonyi State
By Philip Nweze

It's another May 29. Expectedly, Ebonyians will be beaming their searchlight on the occupant of the state number one hottest executive seat and by extension, how well the state has fared in her climb forward in the last two years, under his watch.

His ingenuity and determination would be sampled, analyzed and scrutinized by critics and admirers alike to ascertain if he has passed or failed the test of leadership. This is because leadership is a service rather than a status. 

Our governor understands this fact. That's why he leads ahead of others in the crusade of development. Like a specialist doctor, the Governor has administered Ebonyi state as a hospital of sorts, his priority his patients. His patients are youths who needed the bridge of start-up capital to cross from idleness and crime into entrepreneurship. Farmers who needed bags of fertilizer to increase their yield from one hectare.

Villagers that thirst for a source of portable water. The promising child deprived of education due to poverty. The widow stripped of livelihood by death of her breadwinner. He is actually playing the role of a timely interventionist who inherited a state without any tangible critical infrastructures on ground.

No doubt, Ebonyians calculated well when they filed out in 2015 to redraw the political map of the state. They needed a leader who can tap into the special blend of Ebonyi confidence and optimism that has enabled generations before us to meet their toughest challenges. A leader who can help us show ourselves and the world that with ingenuity, creativity and innovative spirit, there are no limits to what is possible in Ebonyi.
Ebonyi State Government
Ebonyi As A Model For Practical Governance
Someone to push behind them the pains and agony of underdevelopment. As it were, Governor David Umahi proved a worthy messenger for this special assignment. First, he survived the onslaught perfected by the opposition to ridicule him and swam to the finish line of victory.

His emergence and decision to run for the exalted position took years of careful analysis, consultation and graphic arrangement in order to deliver superlative performance. The outcome of the election brought a breath of development to the salt of the nation. The man ascended to the oval office with a rich dossier of leadership skills garnered from his stewardship at various levels of public office earlier in life.

Signs that Umahi was going to be a successful governor manifested in certain actions he took  in the early life of his administration. One of such was the appointment of members of the opposition into his executive council, including those who oiled the opposition machine that fought him. He regrouped and offered an olive branch to those who persecuted him at the political Golgotha.

Another move was joint measurements and  tour of abandoned and ongoing projects scattered across the state, with a promise to inherit and complete them. I dare to say that history will judge Governor Umahi fairly in Nigeria for the maturity displayed to his adversaries and for seeing governance as a continuum.
Ebonyi State
Ebonyi As A Model For Practical Governance
Also, Governor Umahi is a performer par excellence. While other governors see their position as an ATM machine for taking money out of the treasury, Umahi sees it as a channel to make a difference. Although Ebonyi state is not where she desired to be, she is certainly not where she used to be before Umahi took over the mantle of leadership.

The obvious impact of the focused and committed leadership has written a new song both in the hearts and on the lips of indigenes of the state. He is doggedly harnessing the opportunity offered by democracy for development. All attempts by the economic recession to deflect his efforts have not been successful so far.

He has kept his promise in building and maintenance of roads and bridges in the state. Signs of development hits a first time visitor to the state first with galaxy of streetlights racing their way into the state capital. Similarly, upon assumption of office, he plunged head on to attack the deplorable and dilapidating conditions of infrastructural facilities in the state, especially roads. There is no single road he inherited from his predecessor that he abandoned. The administration has asphalted over 200 roads and is active on over 20 ongoing road project sites.
Ebonyi State
Ebonyi As A Model For Practical Governance
True riches they say do not hide. Just as the proverbial true riches which is often likened to a goldfish hardly hide it's stature or presence, the current huge construction site and beautification of the entire state and Abakaliki in particular leaves much to be desired. The incredible unfolding beauty in the metropolis bears testimony to the insightful leadership qualities and the performance streak of Chief David Umahi.

The three flyovers in Abakaliki speak eloquently of his ambition to transform Ebonyi with world class infrastructure.  The nearly completed flyovers is not only a beauty to behold but a monument to the pride of our people. But the massive physical infrastructure or his generosity, also known as stomach infrastructure is not the focus of this piece.

It is about the silent evolution in the consciousness of the average Ebonyian. This is gradually reconstructing the mentality of the average Ebonyian that he is not a second class citizen. At all fora, he has marketed the image renaissance he is championing within and outside the state.
Ebonyi State
Ebonyi As A Model For Practical Governance
This is what I call mental infrastructure - the new can-do spirit, pride and self confidence which has facilitated the escape from mental poverty that has imprisoned the capacity of Ebonyi man for several decades.

Whether you like Umahi or not, believe in his achievements or not, you can't deny the fact that he has repositioned Ebonyi in national consciousness and reckoning as a model for others to copy.

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