Thursday, 7 July 2022



Since after the primaries that produced the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Enugu State, Barr. Peter Mbah, some supine revisionists led by Nnia Nwodo whose brother-in-law, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga failed in his bid to clinch the ticket have sought to disrupt the prescient peace that has reigned in the state. It has been one conspiracy after another, woven essentially to malign the reputation of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, whose only discernible sin in his conjecture is that he resisted the unholy pressure to employ his good offices and enthrone his own cousin, Hon. Edeoga as his successor in office! Hiding under various subterfuges including the amorphous “Adada Peoples Movement” he has persistently reviled not only the governor, but also the Nkanu clan and her illustrious sons, and labored, howbeit vainly, to drag their respective reputations to the mud of derisive infamy. He has sought to position Hon. Edeoga’s gubernatorial ambition as the collective aspiration of the entire Enugu North senatorial zone. But stripped to its essence, Edeoga’s so-called ambition is nothing more than a filial conduit through which the age-long arrogant paternalism of the Nwodos finds expression. The unvarnished truth therefore is that Edeoga is nothing more than a battle axe of the Nwodo family’s political project to corner the resources of the state! 

The family’s idea of politics is fed by the inexplicable intoxication that approximates their personal interests as the collective interests of the Nsukka people. The compelling question is: would Nnia Nwodo have likely fought with such frenetic tenacity as he is doing today had the aspirant from Izi Uzo been any other person other than his brother-in-law? How much support was he ever known to have given to any other candidate from the zone who had at various times in the past fought this same battle even at the risks of their lives? The truth is that the whole hot air is not about principles; it is just sheer prebendal instincts at play.


These hirelings claim that Governor Ugwuanyi has not done anything for the Nsukka zone since his emergence as the governor in the state. Fortunately, the people can still recall the pathetic state of the zone before Ugwuanyi's emergence, and the robust imprints of development he has left in all its nooks and crannies. The 12 kilometer Opi-Nsukka dual carriageway today stands as a potent symbol of an enduring legacy that serves as a fitting entry point into Nsukka, the heartland of Enugu North Senatorial Zone. Countless other significant infrastructure projects have been sited in various towns in the Enugu North Senatorial Zone. Ordinarily, those projects and numerous state patronages dispensed in the zone's favour should stand as stark response to questions about Governor Ugwuanyi's legacy in the Nsukka cultural zone. The selfish discontent dubiously presented to be voiced by the Nsukka people only grew after the PDP governorship primaries in the state. And although Ugwuanyi has strenuously demonstrated that a governor can indeed give everyone a sense of belonging without having to walk the parochial path of clannishness, there is yet no denying the fact that no one can completely divorce himself from his environment and still retain his identity. While not seeking to draw any comparisons with previous administrations in the state, Gov. Ugwuanyi has been particularly skewed in his dispensation of patronages in favour of Nsukka if one considers the massive infrastructural turn-around that his administration has implemented across Enugu North Senatorial Zone. There is no local government area in the Zone that has not experienced a fulsome upgrade of kilometers of its roads. The zone has a full-fledged Federal Polytechnic as well as a brand new University among other institutions. Ditto the intangible benefits that have accrued to Nsukka sons and daughters since 2015 which have been just as remarkable. For instance, from a near-zero percent share of Permanent Secretaries in the civil service, Nsukka indigenes today maintain a dominant presence. The same could be said with regard to the judiciary and agencies and parastatals of the state government. How could all these still fail to satiate a people's expectations? The fact is that the so-called anger of the Nwodos is fired by Governor Ugwuanyi's implicit support that saw the emergence an Nkanu son at the Enugu State's PDP’s governorship primaries.

Therefore this presumed anger that led to the false claim of Nsukka's abandonment would certainly not have arisen had Ugwuanyi harkened to the provincial drums of the Nwodos and allowed their son-in-law to prevail. There’s no doubt that loud eulogies would by now have been be echoing from the zone. Fortunately Ugwuanyi understands that he is governor of Enugu State; not a governor of Enugu North Senatorial Zone. Doing otherwise would have tainted his legacy and set a dangerous precedent. Sticking to his policy of inclusion has no doubt sealed his reputation as a towering icon in the state.

Suffice it to say that this is not the first time an Nsukka son was serving as a governor of our dear state. Okwesilieze Nwodo had served as the governor of the old Enugu State for no less than 2 years. Can anybody point at what infrastructural development he was able to put in place during his tenure in the entire cultural zone?  In our political system, everyone knows how so important the offices of the National Secretary, and even more so, the National Chairman of a ruling party could be. Someone from the cultural zone had occupied these elevated positions, and yet does not have anything to show to the zone. In similar vein, Nnia Nwodo had also served as a Minster on two different occasions; and cannot point at any benefit his tenures accrued to the zone including during the military administration when creation of states and local government areas for instance, was a thing of political patronage. And we all know of someone who was awarded a road construction contract for a crucial road in the quest for the development of this same cultural zone but who had no qualms in appropriating the contract sum and abandoning the road undone!

What is particularly irksome is Nnia's apparent hatred for the Nkanu people. His less than subtle moves to further prop up Hon. Edeoga for the governorship and the various accounts of his unkind epithets directed at the Nkanu people, have erased every shred of doubt. That a man of such age could be so intensely bigoted almost raises a red flag that should necessitate some psychoanalysis. There may perhaps be many who may be honestly surprised that he is such a polarizing figure. What he seemingly forgets, is that everyone else could be just as sly if they choose to be. He also forgets that courage doesn't always roar; it often reflects in actions. Nkanu people know this too well.

Dr. Okwor writes from Amechi Awkunanaw.

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