Former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has expressed delight at the uncommon leadership style of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, in fostering peace and unity among the political class in the state irrespective of party differences.
Ex-President Jonathan, who described Gov. Ugwunayi as a man of peace said the governor’s disposition in relating with members of the opposition political parties, after winning the election, was commendable and the best approach to governance.
Speaking when the governor treated him to a dinner at the Government House, Enugu, after delivering the Anniversary Lecture at the 10thanniversary celebration and sixth and seventh convocation ceremonies of Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, yesterday, former President Jonathan stressed that Ugwuanyi’s inclusive governance style is a rare feat other leaders should emulate to move their constituencies forward.
“If you are the governor of a state, you must treat all the citizens equally, irrespective of their political persuasions, otherwise you are not a good governor”, Jonathan said.
While urging members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to continue to encourage the governor in his peace initiatives, the former President maintained that “we need peace and unity if we want rapid development”.
The ex-President, who expressed happiness over Ugwuanyi’s unprecedented performance during the last election, stated that the governor scored higher percentage of votes in his second term election than in the first term, thanking God that the PDP made the right choice in 2015.
His words: “In most cases as presidents and governors, their second term election is tougher because when you are coming for the first term, there is so much enthusiasm, so much hope by the people. But it is almost difficult to meet the needs of the people.
“So in your second term election, you may win but with less votes. But he (Ugwuanyi) even won with higher votes than in the first election. Today (yesterday) when we went to the university, the community leader spoke about him as a man of peace and from all the information I have gotten since I came, they are not flattering, they are making the correct statement.
“I am happy when I listened to the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo that in his administration (Ugwuanyi’s) he has seen no difference between APC and PDP or any other party. That is commendable and I always tell people, when you become the President or the governor or the chairman, you are not a governor of your party, you are the governor of your state. So I looked back when we all wanted him and I thank God we made the right choice”.
In their separate remarks, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo and the Chairman, Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu, welcomed the former president to the state and appreciated him for his contributions towards the development of the country as well as his kind disposition to the people of the South East geo political zone when he was in office.
Also present at the event were the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nnoli Nnaji; State Chairman of the PDP, Hon. Augustine Nnamani; Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uche Ugwu; leader of the House, Rt. Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu; other members of the House; members of the State Executive Council (EXCO), Special Advisers and others.