Louis Amoke, the Special Assistant to the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state [picture above] on Media and Publicity is a servant who knows his job very well.
Amoke from the outset of his appointment is firing from all cylinders to justify his competence and prove to his pay master that he is not a bad choice for the assignment of publicizing his activities, For instance Amoke on daily basis ensures that news about Ugwuanyi’s activities either in writing or in pictures are in the national dailies.
In fact the name of Amoke has appeared in the national dailies more than his counterparts handling governors’ publicity desk in the 36 states in Nigeria. The point is that Amoke is trying to revive and reinforce the popularity of his boss into the conscienceless of the good people of the Coal City state. It will be recalled that Ugwuanyi’s popularity apparently died down shortly after he was sworn in as governor because of his decision to toe the path of his immediate predecessor Sullivan Chime whose regime was labeled as a colossal failure.
Following his deep romance with Chime, a larger chunk of the people in the state put Ugwuanyi’s preparedness for good governance in doubt and consequently lost confidence in his new administration. For instance the appointment of ex-members of the Federal House of Representatives as well as ex-party leaders and elderly people referred as old politicians as Commissioners did not go down well with the people especially those new breed politicians who expected that Ugwuanyi’s coming will serve as a gate way for their political career.
Recall that during campaign a lot of new breed politicians including those who live in oversea countries made frantic effort to register their political interest before the presence of Ugwuanyi by printing campaign materials like banners, posters, handbills T-shirts, face caps, branding their cars, buses and even houses as well as donating money in support of his election. Some left their base and relocated to Enugu with hope that when he becomes governor he will certainly remember them.
People at various levels formed pro Ugwuanyi groups and was holding meetings and strategizing on how to take advantage of his emergence as governor to achieve political objective. Ugwuanyi gave then hope by accommodating them in his campaign train. He left his phone lines open all through the campaign period and people had the opportunity to register their interest before him. Thus people flooded his house immediately after he was declared winner of the governorship election with proposals and CVs to indicate their preparedness for appointments.
Unfortunately, the Orba born politician apparently ignored them on the ground that he wants not only to continue where Chime stopped but accept those recommended by Chine for appointments. Observers have it that he allowed Chime to nominate Speaker of the House of the Assembly and virtually all the commissioners to the anger of those who supported him with hope for appointments, This among other factors prompted Amoke to come out in full force and embark on media barrage to publicize the activities of the governor with the aim to convince those that are angry that Ugwuanyi really meant well for the state.
The issue of 100 days was a test run for Amoke and his boss; and if reports reaching us from the Coal City state are anything to go by, then the Media Assistant and his boss still have a lot do to get back in good terms with the people. Despite Amoke’s mass media outreach silence and anger are trailing the administration of Ugwuanyi according to reports gathered by our correspondent who was in the Coal City land to assess the performance of the governor and opinion of the people thereof.
Writing on the governor’s achievements so far within 100 days, Amoke talked about allocation of one bed room flat each to 100 civil servants at Elim Estate and other things done for the welfare of workers in the state, setting up of various committees, laying foundation for a 200 bed specialized hospital at Orba inside the governor’s village, balanced appointments within the three senatorial zones and relative peace in the state etc.
But many who were contacted by this correspondent to speak on the 100 days events declined to open up on the ground that there is nothing to comment about as a cording to them they are still watching to see things unfold according to their expectations. Some who could be majority in number prefers to keep silent by saying to our correspondent, “there is nothing to comment on, thank you for calling”
A lawyer from Enugu West zone but resident in the capital city who did not want his name in print for fear of victimization described the 100 days as, “a period used for receiving people in government house, setting up committees and demonstration of propensity that things are working whereas noting concrete is being done towards the direction of good governance that the people of the state are earnestly yearning for.
The lawyer criticized the ideology of continuity and consolidation saying that the governor ought to be innovative in ideas to ensure good governance as according to him “it is not possible to make a positive headway under a failed foundation with old politicians who also have records of failure going by how they fared in their previous assignments as members of the National Assembly and all that”.
A millionaire businessman from Enugu North who also pleaded anonymity, spoke more of his personal interest asking our correspondent whether he is expected to comment on the amount of money he spent in running campaign for the governor which appear not be appreciated or rewarded or comment that the governor is bent on dancing to tone of his predecessor against the wish of his mass supporters, “I do not have anything to comment on please, have a good day” he told our correspondent on phone.
Like the lawyer and the businessman many people who were contacted to speak on the administration of Ugwuanyi gave biased response and spoke in anger against his style particularly the idea of continuity and consolidation of Chime’s legacies. To them the idea of the new guard not fighting the old guard is not a yardstick for good governance and has nothing to do with the expectation of the people.
Our correspondent have it on observation that the people expect the governor to create an avenue to accommodate those election campaigners, give Enugu a new direction with a comprehensive new ideas and make live more comfortable. For instance, the residents of the capital city expect the governor to unleash measure to protect them against the activities of government agencies which they see as very unfriendly to them.
As observed from the reaction of the people in the city, the issue of allocating house to civil servants who will either sell or rent out the accommodation is not worth celebrating because most of the beneficiaries are landlords who have houses in the cities. According to them, the house would have been given to poor people who do not have at all. A trader at Ogbete Main Market who criticized the exercise, describe it as pouring water in the ocean because the Elim Estate accommodation were given to people who do not need it
Outside the city people expect the governor to start work on road construction/rehabilitation immediately without further delay. According to the findings of our correspondent, people in the rural areas need roads, electricity, water, good classroom blocks and a working education system. Public education system is sick in Enugu state. Remove private schools especially those owned by churches like Catholic and Anglican you will find out that education is on the back seat in the state.
Ugwuanyi must seat back to articulate how to placate those that supported him during election and by so doing he will regaling back his popularity. The idea of lavish publicity cannot solve the problem.