By Prince Ejeh Josh
The live jingle could be heard everywhere, announcing another round of glorious year and golden age, and calling for the celebration of an uncommon administrator and an achiever par excellence.
Whether its occurrence is by the glibness of coincidence or by divine pre-arrangement, one thing is clear; we must celebrate! We must roll out the drums, the cymbals, the calabash, the chekere the lyre, the ogene, the achikolo and most importantly, the flutes, not just to celebrate this epitome of ideas, but also to appreciate God Almighty for making today possible.
Barr. Emmanuel Chukwuemeka Ugwu is walking tall having served the state meritoriously in different capacities. Many have described him as one of the finest, intelligent, astute, principled and ethically driven Permanent Secretaries ever produced in Enugu State. He understands the nitty-gritty of his job. He does it with ease. He navigates with dexterity. He adroitly blends skills with professionalism, and the results are always awe-inspiring.
Today, coincidentally, serves as his 60th birthday and retirement from active service. It’s thanksgiving all through. From the scratch to the apex of the service. It takes determination, patience and dedication to go this long way. His mouth has been full of songs and praises to God. 27 years in the service unblemished. The scars of the rough terrain and the tortuous journey may always be there, but it all ended in praise.
Within his time in active service, many have ridden through Barr. Emma’s shoulders to greatness. He has served as a ladder for us to climb and see the light. For many of us, Barr. Emma remains a mentor and role model in the service. Always patient with his staff. Unassuming. Reassuring. Inspiring. Should the big stick be welded according to the dictate of the law, many would not survive it. But the Permanent Secretary, with his humane and forgiving spirit, believes that everything is not punitive sanction but corrections. He invites, ask questions, and offer corrections.
One of his strengths is his ability to carry his staff along. Although, in the service, there is an established chains of communication usually vertical in nature, Barr. Emma, out of consideration, would seek suggestions and inputs from his juniors. This is tailored at role modelling the junior staff, and leaving impressive impacts behind.
As a way of showing gratitude for the selfless services offered by him, recognition, encomiums and awards have been pouring in from different quarters. Chief among them are from the public service, students bodies, and team of think tanks. Interestingly, Barr. Ugwu is a Fellow, Institute of Corporate Administrator of Nigeria, fcai; Fellow, Nigeria Institute of Industrialists and Corporate Administrators, fiica, etc. The reward for good work is more work. We hope for a better future for the excellent administrator.
Today marks his retirement from the civil service. However, his retirement from the service is just a statutory requirement. Despite this, Barr. Emma is still much active and alive. He is not tired yet. The wealth of experience is still itching to serve the state and our dear country, Nigeria. The administrator still has more to contribute, and contribute immensely too.
Boss, as you mark another round of sojourn on earth, we want to tell you that you’ve been a special inspiration to us. We’re proud of you and your exemplary display of humility and affection for your children in the service. May the Almighty God continue his mercy and grace upon you. Congratulations and happy birthday, Boss.