Recognizing that good governance and human rights are mutually reinforcing as Human rights standards and principles provide a set of values to guide the work of governments and other political and social actors, the foremost and leading Civil Rights Advocacy Group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has inducted Governor Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi of Enugu State into National Human Rights Hall of Fame.
HURIWA posited the salient achievements his administration has recorded in promoting human rights in the state in terms of implementing programmes and policies that improve the living standard of the people, particularly in the area of manpower, youth development and healthcare as the pivotal reasons for the decision to raise him to the pedestal of human rights recognition, which is the first time any politician in Nigeria is so recognised.
in a recent media statement signed by the National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA, while congratulating Rt. Hon. Ugwuanyi highlighted that the signing into law of the Child Rights Act and subsequent establishment of Family Courts by Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration as well as the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) of Enugu State, are eloquent testimonies to the governor’s laudable achievements in the state, especially in the sector.
HURIWA further disclosed that “Enugu State is among the few states in Nigeria that has a woman as the Deputy-Governor”, stressing that “this is something very unique as it has not happened before since the creation of Enugu State in 1991. More so, a woman, under the administration of Gov. Ugwuanyi, was appointed as the Chief Judge of the State, among other key positions considered for women”.
HURIWA also celebrated Gov. Ugwuanyi for the sustenance and strengthening of the Citizens Rights and Mediation Centre and the TAMAR Sexual Assault Referral Centre (TAMAR-SARC), which led to the establishment of a centre to take care of victims of sexual and domestic violence and other related offences, known as “Oasis of Hope for the Needy.
Continuing, HURIWA noted that the decision of Ugwuanyi’s administration to extend development to rural areas where the majority and less vocal Enugu citizens reside is a clear demonstration of latent style of governance. “By that, he has achieved more things than those who concentrated infrastructure in the city centre where the vocal minority easily notice and acknowledge their achievements.
“When carefully put in proper perspective, Ugwuanyi’s administration has virtually transformed rural areas in Enugu State into semi urban settlements where access to road network and other basic necessities of life are no longer an issue. In the area of health care delivery and safety, he has rehabilitated and upgraded all existing primary health care facilities in Enugu State and constructed new well equipped Type 3 Health Centres in seven local government areas.
“Equally, he has built and equiped with modern facilities, new Fire Service Stations in five local government areas of Enugu State namely, Oji River, Nkanu West, Udi, Udenu and Igbo-Eze North to cater for the safety needs of rural dwellers.
“Above all, he is currently and quietly building a first class teaching hospital in Igbo Eno, Udenu/Igboeze South LGAs to drive the tertiary health needs of the rural people of Nsukka who usually travel to Enugu, and Ituku-Ozalla for such services. He has also bequeathed a brand new Infectious Disease Hospital at the New Market area to Enugu State.
“In Education, he has adopted unprecedented proactive approach to reposition the sector. Over a thousand primary and secondary schools have quietly been rehabilitated and furnished with modern learning facilities.
“Tertiary education has received prompt attention under him with improved infrastructure and academic activities. Most of the institutions that had hitherto carried out partial operations due to lack of full accreditation of courses have now secured full accreditation.
“To crown it up, not too long ago, he secured approval for a federal polytechnic to be sited in Enugu State. This is a feat no previous state chief executive could achieve even with their membership of the ruling party at the center.
“In terms of security, Ugwuanyi’s administration has ensured unparalleled security in Enugu State through a multi-dimensional approach. At a time security is the worst nightmare across Nigeria, Enugu has remained unprecedentedly peaceful. The pockets of disturbances experienced from criminal herdsmen at the outset of his administration were professionally handled and brought under control. This is also the only time in the history of Enugu State that cult wars have not been experienced in more than six years.
“In the area of economy and welfare of citizens, Ugwuanyi has done better than all previous administrations in the state. We say this without prejudice considering the fact that Enugu State under him has recorded its highest IGR and was even adjudged as the 5th largest economy in Nigeria which can survive without federal allocation.
“As regards welfare, this is the only administration that has allowed workers to negotiate their condition of service in line with the national minimum wage since the inception of Enugu State.
“In the midst of the worst economic recession, he was among the first to implement minimum wage in the country with regular payment of salary whereas so many states cannot even maintain and pay the existing salary structure”, HURIWA revealed.
Likewise HURIWA observed that Ugwuanyi’s administration places priority on youths’ empowerment and engagement to build a promising future for them and prepare them for future roles and leadership in all spheres of life.
“Enugu is not an entirely surprising revelation. Unknown to many people, the state has demonstrated strong focus on youth development and soft skill building. It has one of the best strategic collaborative drives to provision digital infrastructure and services.
“In addition, it has a robust policy thrust for fostering entrepreneurs and delivering of the best ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in Nigeria that has been recognized by the World Bank and other global institutions.
“Beyond this, his consistent leverage on technology and strong ICT policy-thrusts to rework the economic future of Enugu State has drawn much admiration, earning the south eastern state top spot in the national drive towards a digital economy.
“It was in recognition of this that Enugu state got multiple nominations in the 2021 Nigeria Tech Innovation and Telecom Awards (NTITA), in the Tech Innovation Hub of the Year and Emerging Leaders in Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) in Public Sector category.
Conclusively, HURIWA revealed that Gov. Ugwanyi’s induction into this human rights hall of fame demonstrates that he is now a LEGEND OF HUMAN RIGHTS and his testaments as a human rights hero will be celebrated on social and online media of HURIWA ‘ad infinitum’.