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Engr. David Nweze Umahi : Changing the Narratives in Ebonyi


I have concrete evidence to believe poor leadership is an intentional act, as there is neither a spirit causing leaders to perform poorly nor is it possible to curse a leader such that he will perform poorly

As much as poor leadership is an intentional act, so also is quality representation, good service delivery and the delivery of good and qualitative dividend of democracy to the electorate an intentional act.

It is the choice of every leader to either offer quality leadership or engage in abysmal performance , irrespective of how brief or long the period of the administration; it is exclusively the intentional act of the leader to choose to do well or not

Qualitative Leadership is not a product of your exposure to enough or excess resources , it is not the resources you are exposed to that determine the quality and quantity of service you offer to your people, leadership is all about having a foresight and a vision concerning the future.

It is also the need to change the narrative from negativity to Positivity , every good and reasonable leadership is fueled by one among the two.

This is what Engr. David Nweze Umahi has taught me with the level of work he has done in Ebonyi state within and in the past five years of his administration. He has not only succeeded in changing the narrative in Ebonyi state, he has also foisted a new image on the south East and Ebonyi State in particular.

This is the fifth year of his administration and one year anniversary of his second term in office, but after every necessary assessment I submit to that Engr. David Nweze Umahi has secured and retained top spot as one among the best performing governors in Nigeria. This is no small achievement.

History will be incomplete if in future references are not made to what Engr. David Nweze Umahi has done and is doing in the youngest state in the South East. He has maintained the tempo of a top flight state chief executive and gradually racing to be the best performing Governor in Nigeria as they mark.

May 29, 2020 marked one year since the current administration in Nigeria took over the mantle of leadership. For a number of governors elected in 2015, it’s now five years and counting with legacies already built or destroyed.

A concerned Nigerian and a public affairs analyst Mr Obinna Chigwe who did the analysis of this past twelve months looking at governors who have – within the past one year or five years, performed credibly well, in a series he titled ‘Best of the Best’, Chose – on account of their achievements, but in no particular order -a few governors who made the cut as having performed creditably well, on the list were, Borno State governor, Professor Babagana Zulum; Oyo State governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde; Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike; Ebonyi State governor, Engr Dave Umahi; Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai; Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki; Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and Ekiti stat governor, Kayode Fayemi.

With particular emphasis on Engr. David Nweze Umahi, Mr Obinna Chigwe said “the Ebonyi State governor has courted controversy following his run-ins with journalists. And conceded that he has tended to display dictatorial tendencies,but it takes nothing away from his giant strides. Indeed his accomplishment in terms of infrastructure, placed side-by-side the revenue profile of the state, Umahi arguably stands shoulder high above his peers.”

According to him “Without much of hype, he has completed an infrastructural revolution in Southeast’s youngest state. Besides infrastructure, the state is also making rapid improvement in education and agriculture. Rated as an educationally backward state only a few years ago, Ebonyi has walked up the ladder, largely unnoticed, and now among top ten in most national examinations. ”

He noted that ” Ebonyi remains a construction site. Enugu-Abakailiki road is easily the best federal road in the Southeast courtesy of the governor. He has also intervened in other strategic federal roads in the state, including Afikpo Road, Uburu-Amasiri Road among others.The governor’s projects are particularly noted for their solidity. Along the Enugu-Abakailiki road, at Presco, Spera Indo junctions and the International Market, are three massive flyovers well constructed and decorated for aesthetic value. The bridges are part of the trans-Saharan route to Cameroon.”

“The administration has also completed a huge international market, the Margret Umahi International Market, which was started by the previous Governor Martin Elechi’s administration. There is also the impressive centenary city and a new governor’s lodge, the ecumenical centre with combined sitting capacity of 12,000, the largest ever built by any government in Nigeria, if not on the African continent, among many other projects”

Permit me therefore to say that leadership as shown over time by most Nigerian politicians is “amassing illegal wealth at the expense of the people” while Democracy as interpreted by them is Summarily the ” government of the rich by the rich and for the few rich people in the society, ” leaving the poor lacking and searching for basic life amenities and essentials that will make life sweet and worthwhile for them.

Little did I wonder why Engr David Umahi has become the talk of the Town , he has succeeded in translating campaign promises to action, one thing most Nigerian politicians do not easily do , the only thing that overwhelms me is how he was able to do it within 5 years.

Rev Kenneth Ubochi while reacting to the news of Engr. David Umahi emerging as one among the 8 best Present Governors in the country said it is a welcome development, according to him, it would be unfair not to recognize what Engr David Umahi is doing in Ebonyi state, therefore “We join the men and women of goodwill, lovers of excellence and the entire people of the south east, irrespective of our political divides, in celebrating one of their own, His Excellency, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state, who was shortlisted as one of the best performed and performing state chief executive in Nigeria. ”

This is no mean feat coming from the record-setting and infrastructure minded governor of the hitherto poverty stricken, overlooked, marginalised, guinea worm infested, educationally backward, dirty, dusty and lately created state of the south east. That this great news is coming at a one of the most difficult times in our modern history, with heightened insecurity and uncertainty, is a very welcome development and big consolation.

Umahi is the only Governor in the south east states who made the list and going by the available statistical data of all developmental indices, has himself in a no-contest to emerge the best in the final exercise slated for later this year.

A close look at the states who made the final list of 8, based on receipts from the federal allocation for the period of January to April 2020, clearly indicates that Ebonyi state received the least amount, but is leading in most of the areas surveyed.

The table bellow, in the order of who received what, among the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, tells the rest of the story; During the the period under review, Jan to April 2020;

1. Delta state got a total of N87.26b.
2. Lagos state N70.36b.
3. Rivers state N70.26b.
8. Kaduna state N39.25b.
9. 0yo state N37.26b.
11. Bornu state N36.80b..
15. Edo state N31.44b. And
33. Ebonyi state N22.56b.

Additionally, all the states listed, especially Lagos state generated so much from IGR, while Ebonyi ranks the least on the table and likewise in the country.

As we patiently wait for the final exercise that will produce the winner and best performing governor in the country, the statistics and achievements on ground, indicate that Gov Umahi is cruising home with victory as everything we hear or see on videos about Ebonyi state is true.

We can only thank Gov. Umahi for making us proud while urging other leaders to follow in his footsteps.

Written by Eme J.I
A Current Affairs Analyst, Lagos

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