By: CHUKS EZE, Enugu
People with disabilities (PWD), in Enugu State, have described the state governor, Rt Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, as God-sent and special gift to the state, especially the vulnerable and needy.
They made the remarks while sharing relief packages provided them by the governor to cushion the effects of hardship occasioned by COVID- 19 pandemic on them, especially during the ongoing government restriction order.
The items include bags of Coal City rice brand, maize and millet; cartons of noddle, assorted beverage drinks, tomato paste, seasonings and bottles of water, among others.
They noted that Ugwuanyi had, through the stimulus package, again, demonstrated his immense love for the have-nots, adding that the governor had always remembered PWD both in and out of season.
Special Adviser to the governor on Education, Dr Kingsley Udeh, who doubles as the State Focal Person for Open Government Partnership (OGP), monitored the distribution of the items across the state.
Addressing beneficiaries at Udenu Local Government Area (LGA) headquarters, during the flag-off of the exercise, Dr Ude noted that Governor Ugwuanyi had instructed that the items “must be distributed directly to the beneficiaries,” emphasizing that nobody would be allowed to receive any item by proxy.
While and enumerating other clusters to include Oji River, Agbani, Udi, Awgu and Enugu City, among others, he said that the Udenu centre would cover Udenu and Igbo-Eze North clusters.
“His Excellency has provided relief materials for distribution, specifically, to people with disability across the state.
“We targeted PWD, for this special exercise, because they are the most vulnerable in the prevailing emergency situation, which is the lockdown over the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Many of these people survive by daily charity they receive from spirited individuals and they have now been constrained to stay at home.
“But as a concerned governor and in his usual compassion, magnanimity and attentiveness to his people, His Excellency has given you relief materials and delegated me to supervise and ensure that they are judiciously shared among the real target recipients across the state,” Ude clarified.
The SPA, who did not state the total value of the palliatives, in cash figure, however, noted that although several millions of naira had been spent for the outreach, but that the greatest investment to the scheme was love.
“Love is the greatest investment to this. It is compassion, emotional sensitivity and good governance, courtesy of the people’s governor, to cushion the effects of hardship on his people,” he said.
The immediate-past Transition Chairman (TC) of Udenu LGA, Onyekachi Ugwu, who was on hand to receive the governor’s SPA and his team, also appreciated Ugwuanyi for remembering the less-privileged, in his usual manner, “at this Easter and during the ongoing COVID- 19 pandemic lockdown”.
“Our prayer is that God should continue to increase the governor in every measure – his political life and personal life; and give him long life, holistic prosperity and divine protection always,” he added.
On his part, PWD’s representative in the state’s OGP Steering Committee, Comrade Samuel Obiefuna, praised the governor, as well, for the largesse, pointing out that Ugwuanyi had always cared for them and given them a sense of belonging.
“Since he assumed office, Governor Ugwuanyi has never ceased to remember us, both in and out of season.
“I have always said it, and I hereby reiterate, that there are only two governors in the South-East – Governor Ugwuanyi and others. He is a man with unequalled compassion for the less-privileged,” he noted.
Similarly, the State Coordinator, Disability Support Forum for Gburugburu (DSFG), Ese Jude Chuka, also appreciated the governor’s gesture. Like Obiefuna, Eze declared that no other governor had cared for PWD in Enugu State like Ugwuanyi.
“In the history of Enugu State, even under the the old Anambra State, PWD have never felt recognized and cared for, like under Ugwuanyi’s dispensation. The governor is really a God-sent to us, and to Enugu State, in general.
“He always puts smiles on our faces and we are grateful to God for that,” Eze said.
In same vain, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Association of the Blind in Enugu State, Jonathan Nwafor, praised the governor.
Nwafor, who is also the PWD coordinator for Agbani Cluster, spoke at the Nkanu West council headquarters, during the distribution of the materials to beneficiaries in the area.
While conveying his gratitude to the governor, through the OGP Focal Person, Dr Udeh, he said: “Please, extend our sincere gratitude to the governor. Tell him that we appreciate this gesture; that we are praying for him, and that we shall continue to ask God to preserve him, guide him and provide for him”.
The exercise, which commenced on Holy Saturday, April 11, is expected to be wrapped up on Easter Monday, April 14, 2010.