By Johnpaul Anih, 27 – 11 – 2020
The politics of Enugu State is built on a tripod. Enugu East-Nkanu, Enugu North- Nsukka And Enugu West -Udi, Ezeagu, Oji River, Awgu and Aninri. Whereof, our continued zoning principle that encourages peace, justice, equity and fairness must be considered as a prime factor in determining who takes the next shot from Enugu east zone.
These are the dominant intra- ethnic groups in the state. Each season, they seek to call the shots in the power equation. During the ill-fated Third Republic, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, an Nsukka indigene, was governor.
However, his administration was cut short following the palace coup by, Gen Sani Abacha, which effectively ended the transition started by Gen Ibrahim Babangida. Between 1999 and 2003, Dr Chimaroke Nnamani, who hails from Nkanu, Enugu east senatorial zone, was governor. Former governor, H.E, Barr Sullivan Chime is from Udi. Enugu west senatorial zone.
Again, the clouds began gathering over the political firmament of the state. Groups and individuals are aligning and strategizing following the release of the 2015 elections timetable by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Indeed, it promises to be battle royale, though many of the political gladiators are still keeping their plans and aspirations under wraps, bidding their time.
Checks, however, revealed that the battle for the soul of the coal city state will be a straight fight between the camp of the then incumbent Governor Sullivan Chime and his erstwhile friend, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who heads the leadership of TAN group dynasty, a structure he used to dismantle Chime’s partly plans because the then powers that be supported him to humiliate the administration of Sullivan through the help of Her Excellency, Dr. Dame Patience Jonathan, former First lady of the nation. This he did by almost making Hon Chinedu Onu, from Udenu local government, his annointed candidate the candidate and flag bearer of the PDP, as against H.E governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the then Chime’s candidate and the supposed choice of Ndi Enugu. But something divinely great happened through the then president Jonathan’s call for a meeting in Aso villa by Chief Ken Nnamani. That meeting God used to save Ndi Enugu from what could have been political oblivion in the camp of governor Chime.
The likes of these personalities were dutifully invited to that meeting by Goodluck Jonathan, they are as follows; (1) H.E. Chief Ken Nnamani. (2)H.E. Chief Ifeanyi Jim Nwobodo. (3) HRH. Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzo. (4) HRM. Igwe Dr. Onyioha Godwin Nwanjoku. (Fmr. PDP State Chairman). That Chime succeeded in that struggle were determined by this great men who told Jonathan the simple truth and the true nature of the politics of Enugu since the country’s return to democracy in 1999.
There is some level of love lost between the duo, Gov. Chime, and Sen. Ekweremadu until Gburugburu emerged as the choice of the people which shows on the reflections that several political groups opted out to support the Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s candidacy because it came from God. By this, i can confidently say that God made Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuany, (GBURUGBURU) governor of Enugu State, not any man, so claimed in several quarters in today’s Enugu, because of the interest of 2023 Enugu project. And by this implication, God have already decided on that Enugu east Man or Woman who would perfect step to the big shoes H.E, the governor once his tenure comes to an end at 12am midnight of 29th May, 2023.
Interestingly, Ugwuanyi’s emergence as governor of Enugu State was facilitated by the goodwill and widespread of public acceptance. According to the state factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) HRH David Aja. Chinedu Onu remains their best choice and candidate because he was being packaged by a ranking Senator, woh invariably plotted an exit door for Chief Engr. Vita Abbah to pave a way for his control of the State party machinery.
And it came to pass as planned. But never will it happen again! Enough is enough.
Point to note: for those who thinks Gov. Chime would play otherwise in the build up of 2023 election, please listen!
While Nnamani served his eight-year tenure as governor of Enugu State, between 1999 and 2007, Chime was part and parcel of the administration. Between 1999 and 2002, Chime was legal adviser to Nnamani. He was elevated to the position of Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General in 2002 and he served in that capacity till the administration ended in 2007.
Despite Chime’s chummy relationship with Nnamani while in office, the former’s emergence as his successor came as surprise to many. While many of the top functionaries of the Nnamani regime indicated interest in the plum job, Chime did not. In fact, if he was interested in becoming governor, he did not show it. Those touted as likely successors at the time included the likes of then deputy governor, Chief Okey Itanyi, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Dan Shere, former Minister of Information, Mr. Nweke Jr. Dr. Martins Chukwunwike, and Sen. Ike Ekweremadu. While others declared intention to contest the office and attended political meetings, Chime did not. Indeed, some of the aspirants conducted themselves in a manner that suggested that they were sure of Nnamani’s endorsement and support. It was only Itanyi who, though interested in being governor, was technically out.
Chime got the nod because he did not belong to any of the factions that were desperate, in the quest to succeed Nnamani. The former governor reckoned that the choice of a neutral person, as Chime, would be better for the PDP, as he feared that picking any of the other contenders, who had polarized the party, may spell doom for it. According to an aide of the former governor, ‘Chime’s seeming indifference to the succession struggle caught the fancy of the former governor.
Some of the other aspirants appeared so desperate to take over the reins of power that Nnamani became uncomfortable with their aspirations. Eventually, to the surprise of many of us in the administration and, perhaps, those outside, Nnamani anointed Chime. Subsequently, Nnamani got the party leadership in the state to cue into that and started mobilizing for Chime. As it said, the rest is history. Then who says, the same trend would not repeat? Only those who do not know much about history can easily be deceived. Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi will by this long standing history, determine who succeed him, come 2023. Whether some likes it or not. And let me repeat here, the man who would become governor after Ugwuanyi has not been talking or calling for courtesy calls as we have been witnessing in Enugu today. Check the history as rightly pointed out here.
On a final note,
With the massive support provided by Ebeano, Nnamani’s political machinery to our dear leader and governor, H.E, Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration, the road to 2023 of Nkanu man taking over the state of affairs of Enugu, is becoming more clearer day by day.
Let he who has ear, let him listen and quickly join the bandwagon. Enugu east senatorial zone, here we come.
-Prince Ugochukw Nwanjoku.