Friday, 20 May 2022

Re:Enugu 2023: Ugwuanyi, Nwodo, Utazi, Offor, Edeoga And The Conspiracy Against Enugu State By George Okpeta


When I read recently on online media about a planned and well-oiled media attack against Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi by some people from Nkanu axis and renegades of the Ebeano political family in a premeditated attempt to cajole him into  choosing his successor from the so-called core Nkanu land, I was dismissive of it and took it with pinch of salt. 

     I did so because some online media have published or peddled more rumours and fake news than verifiable news stories, especially as 2023 general elections draw near. 

   Recent developments, just few days to the commencement of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  primaries in Enugu had proved me wrong. Such is the trending article on social media titled "Enugu 2023; Ugwuanyi, Nwodo, Utazi, Ofor, Edeoga and the conspiracy against Enugu State written by one Godwin Udeh, who is not far from a hatchet jobber, operating with a Psuedo name to delude the people. 

   No doubt, Udeh's article was characterised with cheap blackmail, malice and unfounded allegations against Gov. Ugwuanyi. This is a clear case of the owl crying  in the night and the child dieing in the morning. 

    Udeh's jaundiced article is indeed the commencement of the planned media onslaught on Gov. Ugwuanyi by some groups from Nkanu axis to pitch him against Enugu people ahead of the governorship primaries and 2023 general elections. I am not Ugwuanyi's spokesman niether am I Okey Ezea, Senator Chuka Utazi or Chris Offor's media spin doctors. But that does not mean that I am not well informed or grounded on the issue at stake and write about it with facts. It is all about the rotation of  governorship seat in Enugu state among the three Senatorial zones and the forthcoming PDP governorship primary.  

    It is obvious that the writer of the article, Godwin Udeh, falsely accused Governor Ugwuanyi of colluding with the trio of Senator Chuka Utazi, Chris Offor and Okey Ezea to truncate the  governorship zoning arrangement in the state and make former Commissioner of Environment, Bar. Chijioke Edeoga from Isi Uzo LGA the next Governor of Enugu State. 

     What a contradictory and concocted beer parlour allegations against Governor Ugwuanyi, a man who has said repeatedly that at the fullness of time, justice, equity and fairness will take preeminence in the choice of his successor. Why are people trying to be hurriedly preemptive of Governor Ugwuanyi in his choice of successor, even when the fullness of time has not elapsed?

   Is it because of Gov. Ugwuanyi's humility and democratic nature that has made some negative and paid elements in the state to cast aspersion on his person, do anything they like and go scot free? 

   It is not surprising that this premeditated, sponsored and diversionary media campaign of calumny against Gov. Ugwuanyi and Bar. Edeoga is being unleashed now. 

   The timing has shown that those behind it are not far from those that are contesting or have vested interests in the governorship primaries and elections in the state. 

   It is not surprising because some people within Enugu East Senatorial zone, especially those from Nkanu East and West Council areas see themselves as superior and savvy than others, especially those from Isi Uzo LGA. This is quite unfortunate. 

   It is not surprising because Governor Ugwuanyi's taciturnity and studied silence ahead of the party governorship primary in the state has created confusion and worry in the minds of those of them, who believed erroneously that power will be given to their favoured aspirant on the platter of gold. It seems that it has dawned on them that every governorship aspirant is on his own. 

    It is quite unfortunate and disappointing that instead of some of the PDP governorship aspirants especially from the so called core Nkanu land to be taking their  consultations to the length and breadth of the state to solicit for support and market their candidacies, they are busy sponsoring social media fairytales and lies against Governor Ugwuanyi and the people of Enugu Enugu North Senatorial zone. 

  Back to Edeoga's entrance into the governorship race and his soaring popularity that has become a source of worry to other aspirants and people, especially from the so- called core Nkanu land, which comprise of Nkanu East and Nkanu West local government areas, just two out of the six local  government area that make up Enugu East Senatorial zone, Edeoga is from Isi Uzo LGA in Enugu East Senatorial zone and is overqualified to contest the governorship election just like other aspirants from the zone. This is especially as the zoning of governorship in the state favours their Senatorial zone to produce Governor Ugwuanyi's successor in 2023. 

  The rotation of governorship seat in Enugu state that has engendered peace, equity and fairness was on the basis tripod arrangement of the constitutionally recognized three Senatorial zones in the state namely- Enugu East, Enugu West and Enugu North. It was never arranged or upheld on the basis of cultural bloc or group or affiliation as being ignorantly and mischievously peddled by the writer in his article to arrive at predetermined destination. 

   When Isi Uzo LGA was gerrymandered into Enugu East Senatorial zone in 1996 from Enugu North Senatorial zone by some privileged personalities mainly from Enugu East zone just to reduce the huge population of the people of Enugu North Senatorial zone and deal with them politically, didn't they envisaged  equality of all the council areas in the Senatorial zone or that what is good for goose is also good for the ganders? 

   Haven't the people of the so called core Nkanu benefitted from Isi Uzo politically since 1996 till date? What has the Nkanu people left for or gave to Isi Uzo LGA people politically and otherwise in the spirit of brotherhood since 1996 till date? Why the phobia and stereotype against Isi-uzo people in Enugu East Senatorial zone by the so called core Nkanu people and Senator Chimaroke Nnamani's renegades? What is the voting strength of the so called core Nkanu people that made them think that they are so indispensable in the politics and voting in the Enugu East Senatorial zone? 

   Besides, there is nothing like core Nkanu land in the Nigerian constitution. It is non-existent. We know about Nkanu East and Nkanu West Local government areas that is in Enugu East Senatorial zone. 

   Assuming without conceding that Bar. Edeoga is a relation of Gov. Ugwuanyi, how does such disqualify Edeoga constitutionally from contesting governorship election? In Abia state, former Governor of the State, Chief Theodore Orji is presently the Senator representing Abia Central zone.

    His first biological son, Hon. Engr. Chinedum Orji a ranking member of the State House of Assembly is the current Speaker of the House. What is this hullabaloo about Bar. Edeoga being a relation of Gov. Ugwuanyi? Is Bar. Edeoga not from Isi Uzo LGA? Is Isi Uzo LGA not in Enugu East Senatorial zone? Is it not the turn of Enugu East Senatorial zone to produce Governor in 2023 in line with the conventional rotation of governorship seat in Enugu state since 1999? Answers to the above questions are in affirmative. So, why these lies about Gov. Ugwuanyi and Bar. Edeoga? 

  Instead of dissipating energy in maligning Bar. Edeoga whose campaign has gained mileage and traction ahead of the primaries, other aspirants especially from Nkanu East and West Council areas should intensify their campaigns and consultations across the length and breadth of the state to woo the stakeholders and delegates. 

     As it is, it seems Gov. Ugwuanyi as a true democrat may not anoint anyone as his successor. The choice will be made by Enugu delegates at the primaries. The matter may be settled in the field. Those who have waited for Ugwuanyi's anointing or endorsement may be disappointed at the end of the day. 

    As the delegates and the rest of Enugu people have always insisted that there is zoning of governorship seat in the state, let them pronounce or reaffirm it with their votes during the primaries.

    Gov. Ugwuanyi we know is not perturbed or moved by this kind of cheap media blackmail as executed by the so called Godwin Udeh. Udeh's article is that of hands of Esau and voice of Jacob. More of such baseless, spurious and sponsored articles will be peddled on social media platforms before, during and after the primaries and general elections. 

    Bad and serial losers in any contest will always have something to say to discredit the process and justify his or her loss or defeat. 

   This is normal and expected in every election. What we are seeing in Enugu is a case of the oppressor crying for being checkmated from years of enslaving others.

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