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Governor of the year: Ugwuanyi’s rural development, bridge-building initiatives inspired us – LEADERSHIP Board

For the second time in five years, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has been adjudged as LEADERSHIP Governor of the Year 2022, by the Nomination and Selection Committee of Leadership Group Limited, publishers of Leadership Newspapers, National Economy and Leadership Hausa.

Similarly, the Management of The Sun Publishing Limited, publishers of Daily Sun, Saturday Sun, Sunday Sun and Sporting Sun also selected Governor Ugwuanyi as The Sun Man of the Year Award for 2022 “after a rigorous selection process by the Board of Editors.”

Presenting the letter of award to Governor Ugwuanyi at the Government House, Enugu, on Friday, the Group Managing Director of LEADERSHIP Group Limited, Muazu Elazeh, disclosed that the Board of Editors chose the governor in recognition of his administration’s rural development policy which he said has deliberately developed parts of the neglected rural areas in the state and brought democracy dividends to the rural dwellers.

Elazeh added that Governor Ugwuanyi’s unprecedented bridge-building initiative across all ethnic groups in Nigeria, his peaceful disposition and remarkable efforts in security which have earned Enugu the enviable status as one of the safest and peaceful states in the country, his economic empowerment programmes and remarkable interventions in the health and education sectors such as the establishment of the State University of Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS), Igbo-Eno, are among the reasons for his selection as LEADERSHIP Governor of the Year 2022.

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“Amid several nominees with excellent credentials, you have been selected for this prestigious award for taking infrastructural development to the hinter-land of Enugu State previously overlooked. The selection board found you most qualified as LEADERSHIP Governor of the Year 2022.

“This, Your Excellency, is an affirmation of your qualities as a bridge-builder and a leader of immense capacity,” he said.

The Group Managing Director who was accompanied by the Head of Leadership Media Group and Conferences, Abraham Nda-Isaiah and the Chairman of the Editorial Board, Christian Ochiama, pointed out that this is the second time Governor Ugwuanyi will be receiving the LEADERSHIP Governor of the Year award, stating that such honour is uncommon and worthy of commendation.

Responding, Governor Ugwuanyi dedicated the award to God who he entrusted Enugu State to His hands, stressing that his administration wouldn’t have recorded all the achievements, amid numerous challenges confronting the nation, if not for God.

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Ugwuanyi who has gone down in history as the only governor of Enugu State to witness two economic recessions in five years of his administration, recounted that his administration receives less than 30% of federal allocations the previous administration received, and suffered the outbreak of the novel COVID-19 pandemic which brought a major setback to the entire world in terms of growth and development as well as the #EndSars protests.

The governor acknowledged the support and cooperation of the people of Enugu State all this while, revealing that his special interest in developing the rural areas is to alleviate the sufferings of the rural dwellers and the long neglected, give them a sense of belonging, engage their youths in meaningful ventures and keep them out of social vices such as hard drugs and criminalities.

Expressing gratitude to LEADERSHIP Group Limited for the recognition, Governor Ugwuanyi disclosed that Leadership is a newspaper that truly reflects what Nigeria stands for.

He maintained that the Leadership newspaper is also a media organisation built on solid foundation and always does things with panache.

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The management of Sun Publishing Limited, led by the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh, had while presenting the nomination letter to Governor Ugwuanyi revealed why the media organisation chose Governor Ugwuanyi as The Sun Man of the Year 2022, saying that “All sectors bear the visible imprint of your turnaround.”

Ukeh added that the governor’s sustained rural development drive vis-à-vis urban renewal programme and several initiatives to promote security, peace, unity, ease of doing business etc have made Enugu State a preferred destination.

The Managing Director cited the Ugwuanyi administration’s construction of magistrate’s courts in all local government areas, reconstruction and construction of critical roads majorly in the rural areas, construction of the first Enugu State government’s flyover bridge at Nike Lake Road T-junction to solve the problem of gridlock in the area, the Opi-Nsukka dual carriageway, the 5,000-seat stadium, the establishment of a state-owned medical university, SUMAS, the turnaround of the education and health sectors, heavy investments in security, among others, as some of the governor’s achievements.

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