The election of former Power Minister Bart Nnaji as the next Enugu State governor will accelerate the development of the South East as he will work in tandem with Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State to make the zone one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
This is the view of the Association of Enugu State Young Professionals (ESYP), as it recalls that the defunct Eastern Nigerian Region was one of the fastest developing economies in the world until the military coup of January 15, 1966.
“Professor Nnaji and Professor Soludo are development-oriented leaders”, the young professionals say in a statement in Enugu today signed by Dr Nnamdi Nwoye, a medical doctor, who is the president of the association, and Dan Ani, an architect, the publicity secretary.
“They are development-oriented leaders in the mould of Singaporean, South Korean and Malaysian leaders who operate the developmental ideology.
“Both Nnaji and Soludo remind us of our highly educated and farsighted leaders like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Dr Michael Okpara who during their days conceived and built the country’s first indigenous university, Nigeria’s first indigenous bank, Nigeria’s first steel company, Nigeria’s first gas company, Nigeria’s first cement company and many others, achievements which enabled Eastern Nigeria to have one of the finest competitive economies in Africa and beyond within a very short period”.
The professionals note that both Nnaji and Soludo have records of history-changing initiatives and possess a pan Eastern Nigerian vision, citing the 141 megawatt Geometric Power Plant in Aba to supply quality and constant power to nine of the 17 local government areas in Abia State built by the former power minister at $600m and the Central Bank branches in Anambra and other states in the South East built when Soludo was the Central Bank governor.
They recall that when Nnaji was the chairman of the Ohaneze Industrialization and Technology Committee Soludo was leading the Political Committee.
“So, it is clear that both Nnaji and Soludo have always regarded the whole of Igboland, and not just the South East, as their constituency”, they declare.
The Enugu State Young Professionals also reveal that Nnaji and Soludo have been working together on such bodies as the South East Economic Development Commission (SEDEC), apart from being great personal friends.
“There will be a great improvement, so to say, on the personal chemistry of South East governors, as the current set rarely meets on account of personal differences.”
In consideration of the above, notes the group, “we ask Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to heed the request of the overwhelming majority of Enugu people to endorse Professor Nnaji as his successor.
“Professor Nnaji and Professor Soludo will lead other governors in the South East to work closely with their brother governors from the rest of Eastern Nigeria to promote unity and cooperation among the states and, more importantly, to enable the region to regain its development renaissance of the First Republic.
“This will help stem the tide of many of our people flocking to the other places in search of business and employment opportunities which are often non-existent.
“Needless to say, SAS the development renaissance will enable Enugu to regain its pride of place as the headquarters of Eastern Nigeria in truth and spirit”.