Culture Economy Government

Gburugburu and Women Empowerment in the Coal City State


In celebration of International Women’s Day which took place on the 8th March 2022, major highlights were on the contributions of women in various sectors globally. In the Enugu state and various countries around the world, there has been a welcomed shift in the disposition of women in leadership and this move has taken a cataclysmic form that has edged all the sectors of the state.

The Gburugburu led administration right from its inauguration has taken a bold step where others are still lacking in prioritising women in leadership. One can, therefore, attest with pride and added excitement the robust relationship and collaboration that exist between the state government and the numerous women groups that abound in the state which result from women taking elective and political appointments in the state and the support of the governor for the female populace of the state.

It is a historical note of great importance that His Excellency Rt Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is among the five governors in the current democratic dispensation with a female Deputy Governor, Her Excellency, Hon. Barr Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo shows a progressive view and highlights the thriving competence of women in government. And this singular act from the outset marks his disposition towards women from the old order of things.

Women in Politics in Enugu State:

The State Executive Council of Enugu State is made up of four female commissioners holding very strategic portfolios including the Commissioner for Finance, Commissioner for Gender Affairs, Commissioner for Culture and Tourism and up to the same number as Special Advisers, numerous Senior Special Assistants, Special Assistants, and Executive Assistants to the Governor.

The State House of Assembly is not left out in this trend of things as there are three female members with two of them occupying prime positions of Deputy Leader of House. These are Honorable Mrs. Ugwu Mary Onyinye, who serves as the Deputy Chief Whip, and Honorable Mrs. Ethel Ugwuanyi. There is also one female member out of six members of the House of Representatives from Enugu State in the person of Honorable Mrs. Stella Ngwu.

The Judiciary:

The Gburugburu led administration’s belief in the equal competence of women is the most evident in the judiciary arm of government. Here out of twenty-three (23) Honorable Judges of the State High Court and the Customary Court of Appeal combined, thirteen (13) are female. Also, in addition to this, the Judiciary of Enugu State is headed by a female judge, Honorable Justice N.P Emehelu.

In the period of the governorship of His Excellency, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the five appointments made have all been women.

There are also Female Principal Officers of the State High Courts and the Customary Court of Appeal all made possible by Governor Ugwuanyi’s belief in the competence of the female legal officers of Enugu State which are indigenes of the Coal City State.

In the Civil Service of Enugu State, there are 14 Permanent Secretaries, numerous Directors, and Deputy Directors and Assistant Directors as gender mainstreaming is achieved in all the ministries, departments, and agencies in the State Civil Service. 

In addition to the judiciary and the civil service, there are also female Chairpersons and board members of agencies and departments which are headed by women. Some of these agencies include Enugu State Environmental Waste Management Agency (ESWAMA) which is under the administration of Mrs. Amaka Anajemba, while the Enugu State Marketing Company is ably managed by Mrs. Maluze Ifeoma. 

The academic of Enugu State has seen a cataclysmic move of women at the helm of affairs. In the institute of Management and Technology (IMT), the current Chairman of the Board of Governors is Ambassador Mrs. Fidelia Njeze. Also, another tertiary institution, the Enugu State College of Education (Technical) is headed by a female provost, Prof. Ngozi Mary Nnamani. Another institute, The Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwolo, Ezeagu L.G.A has as its registrar Lady Ijeoma Ugwu.

While the feel of women in both politics and in the academic sector has been sumptuous, other arms such as the Local Government System of the State have put women in a lot of strategic positions in the state. 

The State Government under Rt Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has an affirmative policy that has seen each of the 17 LGAs in the State producing at least two female councilors, and in addition to these, two female Vice Chairmen of the Councils in Udenu, the Governor’s Local Government and the Awgu LGA at the end of the LGA elections in 2018.

Because of the mass introduction of women in government in the state, the gburugburu led government has seen a lot of positive and transformative change in the state. These have made the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, commend women for their noble role in the development of the state and the entire country.

Speaking during the start of the 2021 August Meeting for women held at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu with the theme: Women and Children must be protected as a Bedrock of our Community, Ugwuanyi stressed that globally, women have contributed immensely to the development of society.

He added that his administration at its inception recognized the pivotal role women played in the initiation and effective implementation of government policies and initiatives. The governor, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, pointed out that it was in recognition of the above that Enugu State now has the first female Deputy Governor and the first female Chief Judge of the state, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo and Justice Priscilla Ngozi Emehelu respectively.

In his remarks, he disclosed that four women were elected as members of the State House of Assembly with three serving as principal officers of the House, adding that his administration appointed women as Commissioners for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Finance, and Special Duties. Stressing his commitment to women’s participation in governance, Ugwuanyi said the woman was elected as council chairman under his administration for the first time in the history of the state.

He, therefore, restated the state government’s commitment to continue to partner with women in all sectors of development for the good of the Enugu people. Ugwuanyi also commended his wife, Her Excellency Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi, for the role she has been playing through her pet project, Ugo’s Touch of Life Foundation (U-TOLF), and other children and women intervention and emancipation programs that together have changed the socio-economic fabric of the state.

Her Excellency, Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi, maintained that the annual August Meeting was timely and a veritable platform for women to bond, reflect, and interact on development issues, as well as proffer solutions to the challenges confronting them and the society. Speaking, the governor’s wife stressed the need for women to take their rightful positions in the scheme of things in the state in particular and the country in general.

She charged women to always endeavor to upgrade their cherished sterling qualities, such as education, humility, intelligence, good home management, and community leadership, among others. She also canvassed girl-child education, which she said, remained a viable tool for liberating society from poverty, ignorance, enslavement, diseases, and other problems.

She expressed delight that the Gov. Ugwuanyi administration recognizes the roles of women in governance as evidenced in the emergence of the first woman Deputy Governor and first woman Chief Judge, among other enviable positions in the state. In the same event, during her remarks, the Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Rt. Hon. Princess Peace Nnaji, thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi and his wife for signing the Child Rights Act of the state into law which with it has fostered a positive and a more progressive approach to child care and their tenacity towards the fight against gender-based violence in Enugu State, among other women-friendly programs aimed at improving the living standard of women and children.

Major highlights of the event also include a march past by women from the 17 LGAs and an inspection of farm produce from the council areas by Mrs. Ugwuanyi. Also, present at the 2021 August Meeting event was the Chief Whip of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Mrs. Jane Eneh, the Deputy Leader of the House, Rt. Hon. Onyinye Ugwu, the Deputy Chief Whip, Rt. Hon. Ethel Ugwuanyi, the member representing Isi-Uzo Constituency, Hon. Mrs. Catherine A. Ugwueze, the Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Adaonah Kene-Uyanwunne, her Labour and Productivity counterpart, Hon. Uchechukwu Ogbonna, Chairman, Governing Council, Enugu State College of Education (Technical) (ESCET), Ambassador Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, present and past wives of the LG Chairmen and the Permanent Secretary, Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB), Evangelist Favour Ugwuanyi.

Others include Prof. Joy Ezeilo of WACOL, the Corporate Affairs Manager, Nigeria Breweries PLC, Mrs. Joy Egolum, DPP, Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Onyinye Mamah, and Barr. Ngozi Ikem, which are all women and indigenes of the state have shown great strides in the advancement of women and the effectiveness of women in leadership both within and outside the state.


The Coal City State under the leadership of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has shown through its good leadership that a woman can do a job just as good as any man can. It is the hope that with time, eons of episodes of gender subjugation carried out by misguided simpletons will end and the world will breathe safely with women of all races and colors at the helm of affairs.

Written by Sedo Elijah Ebinne

Culture Economy Government Politics

The Legal Justification of Anti-Grazing Law of Enugu State, Part. 2

In reference to the anti-grazing issue, Section 2 of the Law refers to “moving permit”, which is defined as: “a movement permit issued in the State under the Control Trade Cattle Regulations or a permit relating to the movement of trade cattle issued by any authority having the power to issue the same under any law in force in any other part of Nigeria.”

The expression “any law in force in any other part of Nigeria” in this context, of course, includes the Land Use Act, as previously mentioned in Part 1.

And together, comparatively, these two laws set the stage for restriction of cattle rearing and other land violation matters in the state, except and with express permission by the governor of the state. 

Understand that there Are Laws in Support of Anti-Grazing in Nigeria

Consequently, without any new law banning open grazing, southern governors can assert their authority under these extant laws, including particularly under Section 1 of the Land Use Act, which provides that: 

“Subject to the provisions of this Act, all land comprised in the territory of each State in the Federation are hereby vested in the Governor of that State… ”

The Land Use Act as the principle law of Nigeria dealing with matters relating to land has vested land in the federation under the control of the individual state governors. And for emphasis, this includes commercial and economic activities in the use of the land.  

The Enugu State governor, therefore, has the power to order herdsmen or any other persons carrying on any other business on lands within the territory of the state to apply for a permit or license to do so under the above clear provisions of the Land Use Act. 

And this cannot, in any way, be interpreted as a violation of the fundamental right to freedom of movement.

This is worthy of mention because recently, some opposition has been meted out to the stand of the southern governors’ on grazing in the country.

Asides from the argument that it is the constitutional requirement of Nigerians to have freedom of movement, an assertion which concerning the anti-grazing matter lacks any substance, the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami(SAN) called the movement of the herdsman ‘customary’ being that this has been their practice for as long as one can remember. 

However, this cannot serve as a justification for the unchecked grazing of the Fulani owned cattle which in addition to being a nuisance and causing loss of property to indigent farmers living in the south and other parts of Nigeria, has become a security issue and object of terror resulting in loss of lives of the farmers on refusal to allow these herdsmen access to their property. 

Customs like these which are not only undocumented as a right or contained in any legal promulgation including the 1999 Constitution, the highest legal document in the federation cannot be allowed to subsist.

The defense of the continued grazing of cattle in unspecified areas of land has brought with it death and destruction and should not be allowed to continue unmitigated.

In light of these developments, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) has sought more time to enlighten its members to stop the practice of open grazing of cattle in Lagos State.

This followed the one-day hearing which was held on Wednesday 8th September, for the anti-grazing bill which is scheduled to be passed by the Lagos State government subsequently. The proposed title of the bill is “A Bill for a Law to Prohibit Open Cattle Grazing In Lagos State, the Trespass of Cattle Land And For Other Connected Purposes” which is intended to stop open grazing in the former capital city of Nigeria.

The breeders association pleaded for more time for the bill’s passing to educate the herders on some new ways to handle their business. The spokesperson, the association’s Zonal Secretary for South-West, Maikudi Usman pleaded for additional time to educate the herders on breeding in one place rather than encroaching on other people’s farmland.

He added that the Lagos State government would however allow the prices of the cattle to be raised to two million naira insisting that the cost of rearing in a single location was more costly.

Regarding this plea, the question however is, “how much would need to be given to stop a practice which has caused untold hardship to indigenous in the country?

Finally, most people are not aware that anti-grazing has already been in the Federation for more than 60 years. This judgment, which was not challenged, was given by Justice Adewale Thompson on 17 April 1969 with Suit no AB/26/66. 

The decision read thus:

“I do not accept the contention of Defendants that custom exists which imposes an obligation on the owner of the farm to fence his farm while the owner of cattle allows his cattle to wander like pests and cause damage. Such a custom if it exists, is unreasonable and I hold that it is repugnant to natural justice, equity and a good conscience and therefore unenforceable…in that it is highly unreasonable to impose the burden of fencing a farm on the farmer without the corresponding obligation on the cattle owner to fence in his cattle.”

“Sequence to that I banned open grazing for it is inimical to peace and tranquility and the cattle owners must fence or ranch their animals for peace to reign in these communities.” -HON.JUSTICE ADEWALE THOMPSON: 17TH APRIL 1969. SUIT NO AB/26/66 AT ABEOKUTA DIVISION OF THE HIGH COURT.

These various laws can serve as a guide to states and be used as precedent when needed in matters relating to anti-grazing laws. The anti-grazing law of Enugu state commissioned by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is among the very few in the southeast and the Republic addressing the anti-grazing issue and should be lauded. And hopefully, it would be instrumental to end the anti-grazing menace that has disrupted the peace, security and economic enjoyment of Nigerians in the state.

Written by Sedo Elijah Ebinne

Check out Part 1 here —

Culture Economy Government

How Enugu Startup Ecosystem is fostering the Ease of Business

Predicting the top Nigerian cities when the startup blink website releases its annual list ranking the top startup cities in the world is one of my favorite pastimes and this year, I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed that Enugu state had climbed into the top five ranked ecosystems in the country.

With this news that Enugu state is now Nigeria’s fifth-ranked startup ecosystem, things are looking up for startups and investors in the Coal city who would rather not have to go all the way to Lagos to find viable investment opportunities.

It is a big win for the Enugu state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, under whose leadership Enugu has climbed to its highest position on the annual list yet. He has also made no secret of the fact that he would like to see Enugu youths compete on equal footing with their peers on the national and international stage.

Culture Education Government Lifestyle

Enugu Clean Team Project: The Tripartite Journey

Unity Park, Near Michael Okpara Square Enugu Credit:@CoalCityConnect

Keeping the environment clean is important to being healthy. Many disease-causing germs exist in dirty environments, such as the ones that cause diarrhoea and worm infections. This means that many diseases can be prevented through good personal hygiene, and by keeping the environment clean. 

In the preamble to the 2030 Agenda, world leaders affirmed that they are: “Determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change”, so that it can support the needs of a healthy environment which also means clean surroundings.

In The Beginning

On Friday, 25th May 2018, the Enugu Clean Team Project, a brainchild of His Excellency Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi the Executive Governor of Enugu State was formally commissioned. The project was born from the age-long effort to rescue the human environment that is fast losing its biodiversity to the industrial and technological activities of man. 

The United Nations Goal 11 indicators show that cities will play an important role in achieving the SDGs, the goal states that “A vision for cities has never been more important than it is today’’.

Enugu, a state with a population of 3,267,837 persons as of the last census held in 2006 ( was estimated at over 3.8 million in 2012, 4.4 million in 2016), this is due to factors like high and rising number of tertiary institutions, a relatively active entertainment scene and seeming scenes of a progressive but affordable city. With the surge also comes the need to keep not just the cities clean but also keep the residents healthy, this supports the primary objective of the Enugu Clean Team Project that is a “Cleaner and Healthier Enugu State”.

The Project under the leadership of Very Rev. Fr. Michael Amobi Ogbu was founded on the tripartite benefits of; health, aesthetics and youth empowerment. “In a cleaner environment, there is a reduced risk of epidemic and allied health challenges. Ihe di mma n’anya gbara akwukwo- is an Igbo aphorism that comes to highlight the fact that beauty is nice to behold and appeals to the visual senses.”

Culture Government Politics

Informal Rotational Government in Enugu State

The constant tussle for political power in Nigeria has led to the deafening cries of different zones of the country about marginalization. Considering the rich potentials of Nigeria, the system is seen to be wrought with a vicious cycle of competition for dominance. That notwithstanding, the protagonists of rotational governance strongly insist that the same is the ray of hope for Nigeria’s almost bleak fate.

The concept of rotation is hinged on the principles of equity, fairness and justice. Rotation envisages a government where powers are shared and tasted by all and sundry. This paints a picture where, contrary to the undue wielding of power by the high and mighty, power gets to the grassroot.

Culture Government Politics

Rotational Politics in Enugu State: The Need to Maintain the Political Tranquillity in the State

Enugu: 12 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Enugu - Guides

Enugu as a state birthed in August 1991, was not expected by some older states to perform well economically and politically due to the situation of its largely agrarian population.

Critics stated that the only viable area in the whole state was the capital, Enugu city, which was not even an industrial or business city. Enugu city was recognized as an administrative and civil service city having a connection to the great history of the country.

Enugu as a city has great ties with the history of the country. It was the administrative capital of the Eastern region, serving as the political city that administered the present-day South East and South-South geopolitical zone.

It was also the capital of the defunct country, Biafra. It was the capital of East Central State, Anambra State before it became the capital of the present Enugu State.

People of Enugu and Ebonyi States referred to as Wawa people had long clamoured for their states from the East Central State and then from Anambra State.

The reason why they sought their state was based on the discrimination as they cited. However, people of the old Anambra were sceptical of the ability of the new Enugu State to survive economically and politically, severed from her mother state, Anambra.

At the point that Enugu was made a state, the military was still in charge, and there was no talk about the kind of power change and politics that was to be played at that point.

However, with the introduction of a transition process to civilian rule, an election was to be organized and the matter came up. The natter was what kind of politics and power rotation would the state play or follow?

Culture Education Lifestyle

Enugu Literary Society (ELS) hosts two home authors plus an Open Mic!

*Sarah Akpu and Olisaemeka Njoku Star in Enugu Literary Society’s April BookJam*

One has to her Credit 5 full-length novels and other literary works; the other is a prolific Nigerian poet, short story writer, editor and translator. The author of two published works and several unpublished literary works. He is also the creator of the first-ever Igbo language version of Scrabble, which was exhibited at the Nigerian Universities Research Development Fair in 2010.

Both Authors Sarah Akpu and Olisaemeka Njoku will star in the April edition of the Enugu Literary Society’s (ELS) famous BookJam, on Saturday, 10th of April from 2-5pm at the Eastern Library, No 22 Upper North Road 10, Trans Ekulu Enugu.

As always, the BookJam would be preceded with an Open Mic, which provides budding writers, poets and artistes the opportunity to present their poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction, and get instant feedback from the audience.

Since its founding in 2016, the ELS has hosted more than 30 authors and poets in its regular literary feast, the Enugu BookJam & Open Mic. During the Pandemic, the society held its readings Virtually and this is the First BookJam post-Covid!

Culture Economy Government Politics


Credit: Getty Images

For every government of the world, there is always a need for a change in power at some point. This need can arise due to the death or expiration of tenure of the present leader.

In some extreme cases, changes occur via conquest or a government being overrun by the military as seen in coups. In such cases, power is transferred hierarchically, through elections or by right of conquest. 

For Enugu State, the practice is a little different. Although Enugu people practice democracy, there exists a rotatory leadership being observed within the state that has been since the inception of the state. 

Culture Lifestyle

Enugu Tourism Scene

With the number of tourist attractions in Enugu, it is surprising that the Tourism industry in the state is not currently bigger.

This situation is something that the present state administration is trying to fix. In August 2020 there were news reports of the plans to develop a new project in Enugu state called the Gburugburu Wining and Dining in the Sky Project.

According to The Guardian, the project is a result of a conscious effort to reinvent Enugu state as a prime tourist attraction in the country.

By giving this project his approval and his name, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has shown that tourism in the state is something he takes seriously and for many, the hope is that this is a move that will open Enugu up to more foreign and domestic investors/investments, generate more money that will go towards increasing the state IGR and provide jobs for Enugu residents.

Enugu is a beautiful city, rich in history and culture, and has several tourist attractions like the Opi lake complex, Nike lake resort, Udi hills, and many others.


On that day, we had converged at the Polo Park Mall which was the agreed take off point. After about an hour delay where we ate and networked, the hike/picnic organizers showed up with more hikers.

Around 9 am, the bus finally showed up and we began packing up our stuff only to find out that the bus could not carry us all no matter how much we squeezed and contorted ourselves to fit. After arguing for a while, we eventually had some people take a Keke napep “drop” and the rest of us climbed into the rickety bus, and off we went.

We were dropped off at a point near the Milliken hills and the driver drove off to Ngwo junction where he would pick us after the hike. As the place we were to meet the guides wasn’t far away, we walked there to wait for the rest. It took a while for the rest to catch up so we occupied ourselves goofing around and taking pictures while our guides stared at us bemusedly.

We moved into the forest and started climbing the hill around 11 am. This was my first hike and I was still feeling the novelty as we began the climb, even moving to the front of the line and joining the others as they sang and exchanged banter.

Halfway up, however, the climb became more difficult and I had to stop and catch my breath often, eventually falling away to the middle of the pack. Very soon, I was drinking from the water bottle and cursing my choice of shoes, wishing I’d worn boots instead of sneakers.

By this time, we were nearing the summit and the climb had become so steep that I had to crawl to move up sometimes to the amusement of some of the more experienced hikers who were familiar with the route. Frustrated, I asked how much longer we had to go to get to the summit and hearing we didn’t have much farther to go, I picked up the pace so I could get to the top and rest.

Eventually, we reached the summit and I collapsed to the ground in exhaustion and relief, swearing to the group that this was my first and last hike with them to good-natured laughs all around. After some medical attention to make sure everyone was okay, we tried to find our way to the main road, eventually finding it after losing our way a couple of times. Once there, we paid the guides and set off for Ngwo junction. The walk to where we’d meet the driver was a long one but after the hike up that steep hill, I didn’t mind at all. When we got to the junction, we found that the organizers had fixed the earlier problem and had two buses waiting for us. Soon, we were on our way to Ngwo pine forest.

When we got to the forest, we encountered another problem – some “sons of the soil” who insisted that if they weren’t paid, we wouldn’t have access to the picnic ground despite already paying the elders of the community beforehand.

Despite our anger at the extortion, we raised the amount demanded, and handed it over to them and finally, we were able to spread our mats, lay out the food, drinks and speakers for the picnic to begin.

For the rest of that evening, I and the other hikers had the time of our lives as we ate, drank, played games, and generally had a good time. When it was time to finally leave, we cleaned up the place and took pictures before we got into the buses that took us back to the mall via a different route from the one we used in the morning. It was a worthwhile experience.

Before my trip to Ngwo pine forest, I had once visited the Awhum caves and waterfall and narrowly missed out on a trip to the Akwukwe sand beach. Due to work weeks and busy weekends, my free time to visit more tourist attractions in Enugu has been very limited.  I hope it improves as things normalize.

In these uncertain times, with a pandemic sweeping the globe, tourism is likely low in the thoughts of the majority.

But as unlikely as it seems, there will come a point when a vaccine for COVID-19 will become available and we can resume our routines. When that time comes, I can think of few places I’d rather be exploring in this country than Enugu, the coal city.

With the tourism commitments been explored by the Government, I am hopeful and excited.

Culture Economy Lifestyle

How Nsukka Can Become Enugu’s Second City

Credit: NsukkaIgboNation

Nsukka, a local government headquarters in Enugu State, Nigeria, is most widely known for being the location of the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka. However, it is also home to an estimated 950,000 with towns like Obollo Afor, Opi and Enugu-Ezike yet it appears to be a city caught in a limbo of development.

Like most places populated by Igbo people, trade is one of the biggest enterprises in the town. At night, the town sleeps pretty early compared to most of its counterparts that are locations for tertiary institutions with the same status the University of Nigeria. The natives retire early, taking their businesses along with them and throwing the town into sleep. 

Despite being home to one of the biggest universities in Nigeria, one can argue that it has not lived up to the developmental expectations that many would expect of her. In the environment around the school, empty lands still abound while the majority of over 36, 000 students of the school, nestling in the town, fight for the limited living spaces. This cannot, in all honesty, be attributed to the failings of the government.

In 2016, His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, hosted the Nsukka Trade Fair geared towards supporting business ventures that would promote opportunities for both local and international businesses. The Trade Fair was themed, ‘Promoting SMEs and Agriculture for National Recovery. Also, from the development of the road infrastructure in the town since the governor took over the reins of power, his resolve to develop the sleeping town of Nsukka shines through. 

What then could be the problem of the town that has refused to live up to expectations placed on it?