Workers in the 17 local government councils in Enugu State under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and LG pensioners have endorsed Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as their candidate for the 2019 governorship election in the state in appreciation of peace and good governance and his “undeterred friendly disposition to labour”.
The Enugu State chapter of NULGE made the declaration during a colourful and well attended solidarity rally in support of good governance in Enugu State held at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu. The event, which coincided with the date of Gov. Ugwuanyi’s 54th birthday anniversary, was attended by the national president of the union, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel Abdulkadir, who described the governor as a leader with “huge humility, vision and comradeship”.
The workers and retirees in an address delivered by the state president of NULGE, Comrade Kenneth Ugwueze stated that the governor “in less than three years in office wiped away our tears and assured us a better future”, declaring: “We have come out today as the product of that mandate to overwhelmingly endorse you as our candidate for the 2019 governorship election in Enugu State”.
NULGE national president also appreciated Gov. Ugwuanyi for his good works in the state and commitment to peace and wellbeing of the less-privileged as well as the entire workforce.
He said: “Your Excellency, you’re the voice of the voiceless. I’m not surprised at the level of peace in your state. Where there is peace, the hand of God is there. That is why Enugu State is in the hands of God. When a man that fears God is in charge certainly God’s hands will be in every corner of his domain. After your second term in 2023, something greater is coming your way”.
The state president of the union, Comrade Ugwueze, in his address noted with delight that Enugu State under the leadership of Gov. Ugwuanyi “undoubtedly has witnessed unprecedented and unimaginable developments in all the spheres of governance despite the economic meltdown in the country”.
The union commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for his sterling leadership anchored on “accountability, transparency, rule of law, responsiveness, participation, equity, inclusiveness, effective and efficient service delivery”, saying that the qualities have endeared him to the people of the state.
The workers and retirees, who wished the governor a happy birthday anniversary, added that they were also impressed that Ugwuanyi’s administration conducted both audit and biometric capturing of council workers and retirees which ensured that “our monthly salaries and pensions are paid promptly and regularly”.
They further stated that their “outstanding arrears of salaries ranging from one month to fifteen months, arrears of leave allowances ranging from one year to seven years, four months arrears of pensions” were also paid, adding the “commencement of the payment of gratuities to local government retirees through the London/ Paris Club refund, after sixteen years of its non-payment”.
Other achievements of the Ugwuanyi administration highlighted by the union, which they said have impacted positively on their lives and the people of the state include: “Approval for the full implementation of National 2006 Scheme of Service for LG workers; approval for the conduct and release of our outstanding promotions, conversions and advancements; payment of 13th month Christmas bonus to LG workers; massive infrastructural developments of both urban and rural areas through your unique fiscal management of the state’s scarce resources; positive transformation of the education, agriculture, health sectors and other areas of governance; maintenance of peace in all parts of the state which has made Enugu State the safest place to live in Nigeria and other numerous achievements”.
Responding, Gov. Ugwuanyi, who described the rally as historic thanked the local government workers and retirees for their solidarity and affection for his administration and “the endorsement, massive turnout and wonderful audience” at the event.
The elated governor also appreciated them for the “massive support you gave us during the elections that brought us into office and for the cooperation that you have continued to accord us since the inception of this administration”.
He equally applauded members of NULGE for supporting the reforms his administration has been carrying out in the Local government administration, which he said saves “the government over N161 million monthly in wages paid to them”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi, therefore, reassured them of his administration’s commitment to address their needs within the limits of available resources, urging them to remain steadfast in praying for him and his administration.
Other speakers at the event include: Commissioner for Local Government Matters, Hon Chijioke Edeoga; Chairman, state’s Local Government Service Commission, Hon. Emeka Nwatu; Executive Secretary, Local Government Pensions Board, Barr. Nana Ogbodo; Executive Chairman of Udenu LGA, Hon. Frank Ugwu, who spoke on behalf of members of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Enugu State chapter, among others.