By Ikechukwu Amaechi Udeh
Yesterday I released the first part of this series in which I called on Ndi-Enugu to reject the PDP in the forthcoming governorship elections in the State. In this Part 2, I further provide reasons why we must reject the PDP government in the State and chart a new course for Enugu State.
It has become obvious that Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has lost sense of direction and control of Enugu State. The State is now in the firm control of scammers and scavengers who have homed in on Gov. Ugwuanyi’s fidgety composure and his un-assuredness to systematically rape our collective resources.
This is the first time I am seeing a sitting governor in Enugu State that cannot take a decision on what he wants to do.
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has become like the benthic organism. Benthic organisms cannot move freely on their own volition. They move with the direction of the wind or current of the sea; not knowing which direction the wind or current is taking them. Such organisms are usually sessile and move freely on or in the bottom of the sea. Factors like resource partitioning and niche specialization are some of the biotic forces that shape a benthic behaviour.
It is this benthic political philosophy that has made the present fad or should I say “madness” of endorsement racketeering to become huge and lucrative business in Enugu State today.
Gov Ugwuanyi has abandoned his primary call of governance to receiving all manner of hired groups all in the name of solidarity visits. He receives at least three groups on daily basis. This is what is happening in Enugu State now.
Worried stiff by the backlash of his several political miscalculations and betrayals, Gov. Ugwuanyi has resorted to the absurd. He has now resorted to executive blackmail of forcing several groups into paying him solidarity visits. This is indicative of a high sense of confusion, the typical Nsukka rendition of ” _confuse gaduma”_
The latest scam is to rail-road and intimidate the traditional rulers into giving ” _ofo_ ” to the man he sold the governorship ticket to i.e. Peter Mbah. What is baffling is the amount of state resources he is wasting on such gambles.
In the past three months, all manner of groups have paid him solidarity visits at the end of which the group is paid something in the neighbourhood of five or ten million. About two weeks ago, the Governor cajoled Ohanaeze Ndigbo Enugu State Chapter to pay him such visit at the end of which he paid Ohanaeze N8million naira. What a shame!
In the past one week, he has organized traditional rulers across the three zones and paid them about N10 million in each zone just to give ” _ofo_ ” to Peter Mbah and tell the world that Peter Mbah is the best thing that will happen to Ndi-Enugu. What is the essence of such ” _ofo_ “, one may ask. Absolutely of useless essence!
” _Ofo-na-ogu_ ” are Igbo cultural concepts that symbolize righteousness and uprightness. They are used in Igbo socio-cultural and religious discourse to stake claims of innocence, truth and morality. The question is: how can a mischievous use of these motifs serve as a moral force for a process that was anchored on deceit, mischief and betrayal? Can the invocation of the symbolic essence an object like the “ofo” help in the attempt to foist evil on society? The answer is an absolute”NAY”; essentially because ” _ofo_ ” in Igbo cosmology signifies high moral standards, especially for those seeking public offices.
So the whole idea of compelling the traditional rulers to issue ” _ofo_ ” to a man who emerged through an immoral and deceitful process, to me, is laughable, foolhardy, conceited and insulting to the sacredness of the ” _ofo_ “.
But in all these endorsement stunts, the PDP government in Enugu State has not been able to explain to Ndi-Enugu why the state has become the most dilapidated in the southeast. Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has not been able to tell us why he has allowed the many milestones achieved by the Sullivan Chime administration to rot away. Enugu State, the capital of Southeast Nigeria, has become a shadow of itself.
The infrastructural deficits we have in Enugu State today are in sharp contrast to what one can see in Ebonyi State. If you are travelling to Abakaliki from Enugu, as soon as you pass Idodo heading towards Nkalagu, you will see a stark difference in infrastructure between both states. For the records and emphasis, there are over 13 modern flyover bridges in Ebonyi State all completed with no fanfare. The 14th flyover in Ebonyi State with 29spans is nearing completion. But we have not rested since the T-Junction flyover in Abakpa was built even with many structural defects that were detected prior to its commissioning. Remember that of all the states in the Southeast, Ebonyi State has the lowest federal allocation and the least IGR.
Even with such little resources, the Gov of Ebonyi State has been able to match the States limited resources with verifiable outcomes. He has been able to turn Abakaliki into a ” _small London_ ” and a tourism capital. He has not initiated a nebulous regime of ” _nrashi_ ” politics, which has become the hallmark of Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration. The Gov of Ebonyi State has not coveted or acquired Ezza or Izzi lands to build estates for himself. He did not sell the governorship ticket of Ebonyi State to the highest bidder.
This is why we cannot allow the patrimony of Enugu State to become the pork barrel of few political merchants who know nothing more than aggrandizing our common resources for themselves and their cronies. Enugu State today has the worst roads in the southeast. Insecurity has heightened and some communities in places like Isi-Uzo, Igbo-Eze North, Uzo-Uwani and Nkanu-East LGAs have become ghost communities on account of the activities of Fulani herdsmen and other social miscreants. Yet each time we delude the Gov that he has brought peace to Enugu. What peace, if I may ask?
This is why Ndi-Enugu must reject the PDP come 2023. We cannot continue as we are going and hope to move forward. It is a truism that the definition of madness and idiocy crystallizes in a person that continues to do the same thing in the same way hoping to get a different result.
The time for change is now. We must not allow these endorsement racketeers to deceive us again. Get your PVC. The revolution is on. The determination is real. The outcome is predictable. The alternative is Labour Party.
Tomorrow, I will conclude this series by telling us why Chijioke Edeoga is our best bet and why he embodies the spirit of the new Enugu State of our dreams.
*Ikechukwu Amaechi Udeh is an Enugu-based entrepreneur and political commentator*