How Governor Ugwuanyi Changed My Idea Of Politics And Power

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How Governor Ugwuanyi Changed My Idea Of Politics And Power

By Ugwuagbo Emmanuel Chizoba

The date was June 7, 2021 and in my usual fashion of punctuality, I had gotten set for the presentation before Enugu State Excos.

It was a cheerful day for me already, because against the belief of my friends and everyone close to me, I had made it to the last 8, out of over 300 people that were shortlisted and took the exams for the position of the General Manager of Enugu State Tech Hub.

Everyone I told that I was gunning for the position had felt strongly that not minding the fact that I was qualified for the position, that I was never going to get an inch close to being shortlisted as the appointment would be done by every other means, except merit.

I wasn’t deterred as I went on to apply, fortunately, I was shortlisted. I wrote the exams, passed and was invited for interview where I passed too and made it to the last 8 who were then to make a one minute presentation before the full Enugu State Excos.

It was the presentation that would take place at 12 noon that day that I was fully dressed for.

The ideal dress code was to be suit but for my dislike for suit, I felt a white Senator could be the next best thing. So I dressed up by 11:30 am and off I went.

At the Exco hall, we were called in to make our presentations individually.

Personally, I had expected that after the presentation, we would be sent home, then the underground politics would be played for someone to be appointed. I believe also that the commissioners and other Exco members were thinking the same. Some of them had already shortlisted candidates they felt should be appointed and were jotting down their points (thanks to my sharp eyes).

However, after the presentation, the governor compared our results from the exams, the interviews and the presentation, there and then he said there’s no need for further ado, the person with the highest point should be appointed. Just like that. To the amazement of everyone in the room.

Unfortunately for me, I was only 3rd on the list, so I wasn’t appointed. Mr. Chidubem Anowor was appointed immediately, having scored the highest number of points. I bet he beat the rest of us with experience, having worked with MTN and other Multinationals, while someone like me at 24 years of age then, just finished my NYSC February that year.

That was the first time in my life that I saw a government bidding that was devoid of corruption, bribery and favouritism. That was the very first time I saw a truly transparent process by a government official with my Koro Koro eyes.

I was still in awe of that singular act when the governor called up my name. He acknowledged my Conduct and presentation and appreciated my efforts. He said that someone like me is needed by the Administration.

There and then, he appointed me as his Technical Assistant. Some of the Exco members suggested that I should be attached to the Tech Hub but he said I had more important things to do with the SSG. For several months, I worked with the SSG on Tech related stuff until he demanded that I work closely with him.

As I left the government house that day to my office at Independent Layout, I couldn’t stop wondering the manner of man this man is.

Because I saw with my own Koro Koro eyes, no one could have changed my mind that this man is an embodiment of good intentions.

My perception of his Administration even got a lot clearer when I started working closely with him started reporting directly to him.

I saw that in all intent and purposes, everything he has ever done as a governor was for the good and wellbeing of the State.

Since I got to know anything about politics, he is the first and only politician I have seen that considers others before himself. Sometimes, he considers others without considering himself at all.

The story of the man who was saving a scorpion and the scorpion was biting him and then he continued saving the scorpion was brought to life in his attitude.

Many people who fought against him were surviving, courtesy of him. A lot of people thought he didn’t know, but he would be the one to narrate all their vicious plans. Yet he would say that there’s no need to fight against them or to stop helping them, simply because they decided to use the help he offered them to fight him.

He would say in simple terms that all positions he got, he got them without fighting, and if it pleases God for him to get another position, it would still be without fighting. Therefore, there’s no need to waste time in fighting against enemies and frenemies.

Before I had that encounter with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, I have always believed that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

However, in Governor Ugwuanyi, I have seen a man whom power couldn’t scratch a piece of his personality. Sometimes, if you are waiting for him in the office, he would come to apologize for wasting your time and never forgets to duly respect those older than him.

Some people felt it was inappropriate for him to accord former governors Chimaroke, Sullivan, Jim Nwobodo and Okwy Nwodo the kind of respect he gives them, but little do they know that he accords same respect to a gateman or primary school teacher whom he perceives to be older than him and deserves such respect.

Being a governor never took away his character and personality as he remained humble, kind, cheerful, easy going, welcoming and respectful. Something I never thought a politician was capable of.

Before I came into this Administration, I had a static view of politics and power, but as I am leaving the Administration, my view of politics and power has changed tremendously; courtesy of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

Now I know that politicians in power can be simple, accessible, humane, humble, gentle, kind, transparent, easy going, loving and well intentioned.

Now I know that anyone who allows power to corrupt him has always been corrupt from birth, and anyone who allows absolute power to corrupt him absolutely has always been absolutely corrupt all his life.

As Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is leaving office, aside the huge stress and sleepless nights, I am sure he is not going to miss being Governor, for he has always been the man he was before, during and after his tenure; a permanent good man.

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