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2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
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Deconstructing Enugu State Primaries [1]
Opinion

Deconstructing Enugu State Primaries [1]

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Deconstructing Enugu State Primaries [1]

By M.O Ene

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The political peace in Enugu State is shaky, specifically in PDP. In “A Piece on Peace” last July, I wrote that “seeking the sustenance of peace … is romantic; formulating realistic management of political problems is more realistic.” The pursuit of power is war without bloodshed. The issue to address is containing surprising movements politically and legally.

Little politicking is taking place. Political pundits ignore ravaging rashes and rap on cysts of calumny. So-called stakeholders during the day turn parochial pharaohs at night, stroking divisive dogmas and gaslighting settled matters. We read no reviews of profiles, no crafting or critiquing of policies to move us to the next level, especially our educational edifices and grassroots governments. If the shenanigans blow up, we will remember elders who watch the tethered goat labour to deliver its kid.

The new game in town is PHD: pull him down. Cell phones capable of taking gory photos transmit lies like termites on a nuptial flight. Uninformed people share. Those in the know peruse, ponder, and disregard. Yet, no one should sleep with sand in an eye, especially those whose good names are disparaged. Still, “olileanya dị!” There is hope—a strong optimism that something good will happen.

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The major problem is the failure of focused and organized oppositions. I have preached the gospel since Y2K, when Uche Anya (APP, Oji River) was in the House. Despite personal pleas with then deputy speaker, Uche was suspended and, as I had warned, schism surfaced in PDP. The deputy speaker led the refuseniks against then governor. Interestingly, the same brother leads the recent rupture as DG of NOES (‘Ndị Ọganiru Enugu State’), a pro-Ekweremadu, anti-zoning PDP faction.

Difference in doctrine is desirable. The current rumbling is fanned by those who agree on zoning; the same people who handed Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu) the decision to choose from Enugu East. In what world do you send someone to buy salt and then make rainfall! PDP aspirants should be praying and waiting for him to be divine-inspired, not berating fellow aspirants under the cover of digital darkness.

On gubernatorial politics proper, contenders show in three main political parties: APC, APGA, and PDP. Appraising aspirants in a delegates-only primary is difficult, but we do not shy away from fights for fear of being shot!

APC

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Two aspirants are shaking body: Uche Nnaji (East) and Mrs. Ginika Tor (West). State APC gave East the nod. Nwakaibie sleeps easy on his 50-million-naira nomination form. “O jebego na APC”!

APGA

Three are aspiring: ex-PDP minister Frank Nweke, Jeff Nnamani, and Donatus Udeh—a townsman of Frank. Enugu APGA may be waiting for PDP to fall apart. As in 2015, it may not happen. Whoever emerges should be ready to contest or crumble like a dry Melina leaf on Iva Valley Road.

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PDP

About 17 pretenders are waiting for Gburugburu to exhale—just as Senator Chimaroke Nnamani posited. Those who lit the social media with kneejerk retorts and radical rudeness owe him an apology.

A brief review of four aspirants will suffice:

1. Ike Ekweremadu: DSPIE Ikeọha needs no introduction. The big buzz, “Ike is coming,” is calm. His manifesto is public. The incumbent may not hand him the keys of Lion Building, but Ikeọha is no stranger to political permutations. 2015 refers: Who knows better about the ways of witches and wizards than a woman whose child was killed by witches! If the unthinkable happens, APGA becomes the political beautiful bride.

2. Barth Nnaji: An erudite Enuguite and two-time minister, Brother Barth is super-qualified for Lion Building. This is a repeat of his 2003 quest. Will Nkanu East considerations make a difference? We wait and watch. Head or tail, Nigeria will benefit better from his electrical energy endeavours.

3. CJ Edeoga: Chijioke caused a stir when he gallantly resigned his commissioner post and bought a nomination form. Pundits watch to see if Isi Ụzọ factor and blood bonds with Enugu North political royalty are buoyant enough to sail him through a sea of shells. Sadly, sowing seeds of dichotomy in his primary pursuit of power may leave a lingering palate of parochialism.

4. Peter Mbah: Okwute, as he is now known, has been hanging high like a mystery mango up in the clear clouds, as was Gburugburu in 2014. He made a super splash heard across the state and beyond. The echo endures and outshines other aspirants. Peter has what it takes to make a great governor: chief of staff, commissioner, attorney, urbane, soft, successful oil magnate, eye-candy, and easy-going. He is not mired in mundane matters and petty parochial politics.

This piece is not about any aspirant, including those who did not make the cut in Part I. (I apologize: the mind is like a bag; I carry mine!) The pelting of Peter since he became the PDP primary frontrunner must come from fear of losing to him. The pillars around him are not spared. It is normal. No one runs after a man who has nothing to offer. Traducers do not pull down a man face-flat on the floor! Even the dog knows to follow a potbellied drunk. Aspirants should rein in their disciples of demolition. Politicians who fight dirty to serve are “liars” (1 John 4:20).

Analysing primaries is shooting the breeze. Except for APC, others have moving parts. For PDP, the incumbent will decide; the party has agreed. So, I will risk a little bundle and bet, as of today, that #4 is good for the fourth PDP gubernatorial candidate in the 4th Republic. In the absence of litigations, we may say this May at every four-way junction: “The peace at last!”

©MOE, 5.20.22

@aladimma


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