Hon. Ifeanyi “Gburugburu” Ugwuanyi, all things being equal is the next Governor of Enugu state, courtesy of Chime’s leadership discernment and ability to separate the wheat from the chaff.
There were over 15 candidates jostling for the position, seeking dearly to be the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) standard bearer in 2015 elections.
Gburugburu, with all modesty is not the best, looking at credentials and pedigree but the force of the pendulum of destiny is such that no man can stop when it moves. It comes with a clear direction, steady and sometimes slow but certainly it gets to its destination.
Gburugburu‘s selection as a consensus candidate deconstructed the political calculation in Enugu politics. The most favoured had been the Speaker of Enugu state House of Assembly, Hon. Eugene Odo.
Gburugburu in his usual humble note had joined the race telling a friend he was going to try his luck. He did and has been a man driven by the force of humility and luck.
Ugwuanyi equally emerged consensus candidate over and above other contestants like the Senator representing Enugu North Senatorial Zone, Senator Ayogu Eze; Commissioner of Information, Hon. Chuks Ugwoke and the PDP state Chairman, Engr. Vita Abba.
It is worthy of note that Ugwuanyi’s emergence as a consensus candidate of Enugu North PDP caucus for 2015 governorship poll was not manipulated by Gov. Chime who had earlier said he would not foist any candidate on the people of the zone, but would allow them to choose for themselves who their candidate would be.
The meeting had the following people from the zone in attendance: Ugwuanyi, Chuks Ugwoke, Mark Obetta and former deputy governor, Okechukwu Itanyi.
Others were Engr. Abba, Pat Asadu, representing Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Federal Constituency, Prof. Osita, former Economic Adviser to former president Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, Senator Fidel Okoro.
He was never sure he would become a House of Representative member. Destiny did it.
He was never sure he would become a House Committee Chairman on Marine Transport, let alone being the longest serving one. Destiny did it.
Destiny has also placed him as the Governor of Enugu state come 2015.
His choice without the primaries may seem undemocratic as some people have argued, but where over 15 persons have indicated interest to be, with accompanying bitterness and crisis that could follow as well as the political suicide some disgruntled elements in the state had planned, that Enugu State, especially the Enugu North Senatorial Zone expected to produce the next Governor will be submerged in anarchy, this decision could not have been wrong. A PDP “hawk” in the State had planned to cash in on the slot.
Ugwuanyi had confided in me one time in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state that the secret to political success in Enugu state is to be less visible and talk less as much as possible. This, he did.
He is the peoples’ man and plays by the political rules. He does not discriminate.
His twelve years in office as a federal legislator is punctuated by effective representation of Udenu/Igbo-Eze North Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives.
He has streams of projects attracted to his constituency. They include pipe borne water, renovation of schools, building of church halls, and empowerment of youths.
At the level of legislation, Ugwuanyi has nurtured and passed a lot of transport and maritime bills into law at the National Assembly. They include NIMASA Act.
Gburugburu needs the support of the maritime community to actualise this dream of being in Lion Building come 2015.
Enugu politics is very peculiar though given that it is pre-dominantly PDP, however, a trigger from anywhere could change the game already won. He is a lesson in humility.