Enugu 2023: Uchenna Nnaji, Edeoga, Frank, each to their baggage of hurdles

By Kenneth Nwangene (Esq.)

Since history, the politics of Enugu State has never been followed with such keen interest as it concerns the justling for the number one position of the state.

The guber primaries of all the political parties have come and gone but things have been moving from one drama to the other; parties tearing themselves apart in utmost confusion, which ended in court in most cases.

The few opposition parties APC, Labour Party and APGA are already on a journey to an unknown destination with each of them not knowing the steps to take to secure the support of Ndi Enugu.

At first, it was the Labour Party crisis which involved Everest Nnaji (Odengene) and Chijioke Edeoga. The issue started when the Labour Party exploited Odengene the sum of N25M which he said he was told to pay to in order to obtain a waiver and become the guber candidate of the party. Surprisingly, some members of the Enugu Labour Party officials who have sympathy for Edeoga went behind the door and gave him the ticket. This act still remains in court as the recent Appeal Court judgment has been challenged.

As Edeoga was basking in the euphoria of the Appeal Court victory, he met with his waterloo when Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate came to Enugu for his presidential rally, but refused to identify with Chijioke Edeoga as he had officially done with other LP guber candidates in other states where he would raise the hand of the guber candidate of the state and ask the Obidients in the state to vote for them.

Peter Obi had arrived at Akanu Ibiam International Airport by 8.30 am on the day of his presidential rally but was never seen to be welcomed by any of the Enugu Labour Party officials. This corroborated the information making the rounds about Obi having known the level of injustice rocking the party had decided to distance himself from them since it is against the justice, equity and fairness he advocates for.

The desperate Edeoga on receiving the news that Obi was already in the University of Nigeria Nsukka for an interactive session with the students, hurriedly went there but was never allowed to sit in the same row with Peter Obi. After the lecture delivery, pictures were being taken and Edeoga in his usual rush to pose and take a shot standing shoulder to shoulder with Obi was disappointed when Obi thundered that he should shift so that Chukwuma Ozumba, the former Vice-Chancellor of UNN will stand right beside him. In the picture, Edeoga was seen standing at the other end with the countenance of rejection, like a scorned lover.

Peter Obi, as information revealed, has so much dislike for Chijioke Edeoga due to the bad political records he has acquired since 1998 he has been in government. Being a man who hates incompetence, Obi was briefed further on how Edeoga was enmeshed in the N2B magazine scandal, a situation where he allegedly used the state owned newspaper called Enugu LGA News as a conduit for milking the 17 local government council up to the tune mentioned above.

Obi was not ignorant of Edeoga’s woeful delivery in the ministry of environment which was the last ministry he handled before becoming a guber candidate. Edeoga for the three and half years he controlled the ministry had on monthly basis swept under the carpet the N120M earmarked by the state on monthly basis for the evacuation of refuse in Enugu. With reckless abandon, Edeoga left the environment of Enugu State at the mercy of smelly mountainous heaps of dirt. This heightened state of uncleanliness in Enugu under Chijioke Edeoga as the Commissioner for Environment gained the attention of Punch newspaper in her publication made on 30th March, 2022 titled, “Enugu stinks, refuse takes over streets, blocks drainages, residents fear epidemic”.

This was the legacy Edeoga left in Enugu before rushing to clinch the Enugu guber ticket of the Labour Party, and I ask; How can a man whose incompetence was felt in so many ministries and offices be seen parading himself around, contesting for the Governorship seat? No wonder he told the Enugu branch of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) that he has no manifesto, depicting lack of political ideas on how to move the state forward.

Analyzing the Enugu APC and their never-to-be-actualized dream, APC as a party in Enugu has never been considered a serious opposition due to the ceaseless crisis that has always rocked the party. It is either that the leadership structure stole millions of naira or that a certain APC governor in the South-East is imposing a puppet on them as a guber candidate.

Since the emergence of Ugo Agbalah as the party chairman and Uchenna Nnaji as the imposed guber candidate of the party, the leadership of the party has been torn beyond redemption. The major stakeholders of the party, Sullivan Chime, Ken Nnamani, Geoffrey Onyeama, and many more, have stayed aloof from the party as a force outside the state is on a journey of imposition and destruction.

Ugo Agbalah and Uchenna Nnaji are said to be the puppets of the court imposed governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma. The duo were alleged to have been doing the bidding of the Imo State governor as against the wish of the party members in Enugu State.

Recently, Agbalah and Nnaji’s leadership was protested by some aggrieved members of the party who went to Abuja to record their grievances, accusing them of embezzling about N1.2B campaign fund.

As the crisis was steaming, another allegation of substituting the deputy guber candidate’s name Robert Ngwu with that of George Ogara surfaced when INEC already recognized the former as the authentic deputy guber candidate. This act in a disclaimer released last week by INEC was termed ‘impersonation and an act of criminality’. INEC had vowed never to substitute Robert Ngwu’s name with George Ogara’s. As it stands, Enugu APC is parading a guber candidate and a deputy who come from the same Senatorial Zone and the same local government. What a political anathema!

Despite all the money alleged to be stolen by the current leadership of Enugu APC, they still nursed the ambition of making away with the millions Tinubu gave to the rented youths on the day of the APC presidential rally but Agbalah and his cohorts met the greatest beating and battering of their lives as the youths were proactive to block them and unleash mayhem on them.

Frank Nweke from APGA, a two time minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who could not boast of a single project he attracted to his people, neither does he have any graduate he gave a federal job or empower, is trying to play the saint game. Frank only showed his political power by imposing his brother as the traditional ruler of his community, only for the current administration to depose him.

Frank, even though not considered a guber candidate, has been on the business of copying the manifesto of Peter Mbah, the Enugu PDP gubernatorial candidate. He is busy jumping from one radio station to the other in search of an audience and some cheap attention to sell his bloated rhetorics.

Despite his numerous campaign jingles being played in virtually all the radio stations in the state, Frank is still the candidate with the least number of faithfuls.

Even with his ‘onye aghana nwanne ya’ party slogan, Frank Nweke’s candidacy is still not accepted by his kindred as it should be. They have severally queried why he suddenly remembered that his people exist when he could only tar the road that leads to his house and has not been giving alms to the needy in his hometown. He is said to be an egocentric politician just like Chijioke Edeoga who at home shuts his doors against his people.

Just like Peter Obi had advised during his campaign rally in Enugu that Ndi Enugu should not take party into consideration while voting for our guber candidate but rather look for one who is competent and is well knowledgeable in the private sector. He advised that we should shun career politicians and go for a competent technocrat who will manage the resources of the state well.

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