Chief Okey Ani has urged elder statesmen and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts in Enugu State to desist from stampeding Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi into producing his successor.
Ani is a former Enugu State Commissioner for Local Government Matters and a Chieftain of the PDP in Enugu state.
He made this known while speaking with newsmen in Enugu on Thursday at the background of calls on the governor to produce a successor.
He said that Ugwuanyi, as the leader of the party in Enugu State, must be given the liberty to use his wisdom, wide consultation, engagement of stakeholders and due process to produce his successor.
“In the history of the state, previous governors have been given the liberty and chance to chose and present their successors.
“Statesmen and elder political stalwarts should desist in heating up the state’s polity unnecessary; they should stop these newspaper/press engagements. I am sure that Ugwuanyi by his nature is open to engage with them one-on-one if they approach him,” he said.
Ani, who is the Coordinating Chairman of Nsukka Zonal United Forum, noted that Ugwuanyi has brought peace at all levels in the state be it politically, socially, economy, at council, community levels and even wading in into family disputes.
“Today, every type and shade of unions and association have access to the governor and often times the unions’ members march direct and with direct access to the government house to express their grievances on any matter and solution found after seeing the governor,” he said.
He added that “Ugwuanyi has done well in opening up and building hundreds of rural access roads than any other governor in the country presently”.
He said that these rural roads have helped in evacuating farm produce, improving rural economy and made communities at the hinterlands host sign-posts of their names.
Ani said that Ugwuanyi’s administration has made outstanding legacy on health provision and delivery in the state, adding that the state’s Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) are scattered in every community.
“Before this administration, one has to travel from communities in Uzo Uwani council area to Nsukka to access a PHC with maternity facility for child delivery.
“But today, PHCs with capacity to offer such services are scattered within every community and it only take few minutes to access healthcare.
“These PHC centres also offer vital services to the residents especially the rural dwellers, which included immunisation services, treatment of ailments and referral services among others,” he added.
The former commissioner said that Ugwuanyi had managed the resources of the state prudently, adding that he has handled award of contracts, project funding and payment of counterpart funds for joint funded projects with transparency.
“Notwithstanding, the difficult times created by recession, inflation and COVID-19 economic lock down as well as oil price downturn, Ugwuanyi has continued to manage the state’s financial resources very well.
“He borrowed no money for recurrent expenditure, fulfilled the state’s financial obligations and lots more.
“He ensured that the state workers get ‘alert’ of their monthly salaries every 25th of each month and regularly pay pension and gratuity to retired civil servants as much as the scarce financial resources of the state can carry,” Ani said.
He also called on prominent politicians from the Enugu North Senatorial Zone, to rise in defense of an illustrious son of the zone, who have changed the narrative and style of governance for the better.(NAN)
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