Enugu State Rallies of Distraction, By Ozo Ginger Ibeneme II

By AdvocateNews on 10/08/2021

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On the 7th August 2021 , a huge crowd gathered at Awgu for a political rally tagged IFEMELUMMA, so called Enugu West Unity Rally . Before now there have been several other rallies alike : Odinma Nsukka , Oganiru Enugu East etc 

These rallies have some things in common and are targeted at same purpose ; a group of political jobbers are organizing and scheming to take over from the incumbent come 2023 . If you look at the pedigree of the propagators of this scheme you would notice that the infamous Ebeano boys of 1999-2007 are hovering to take back the state . And they are applying the same tricks that worked for them in the past ;propaganda , clannish sentiment , half truths , outright lies , misinformation and glamorous campaigns -to hoodwink the people.

No doubt ,Enugu people love to dance and sing , they are not in scarce supply in these rallies !

These goons are pushing the narrative that zoning has been entrenched into Enugu governorship politics , this is half truth in all ramifications. The truth is that where as the 3 senatorial zones have had a stint to the seat , there was never a day that it was agreed in any forum whatsoever to apply zoning in the state . For if zoning had been discussed , factors beyond mere senatorial zones (which were created just yesterday )would have been considered . For instance it is well known that Agbaja and Nkanu are ancestrally same people and are closer to Nsukka , where as Oji River , Awgu and Aninri which make up old Awgu division are the minorities in the state . Ironically there has always been a plot to leave out the minority from the political equation of the state . 

When Rev Dr Hyde Onuaguluchi (Odenigbo)contested against Joe Nwodo for the gubernatorial ticket of the defunct NRC in 1992 , Agbaja and Nkanu naturally aligned with Nsukka , when both men were disqualified ,Okwy Nwodo the younger brother to Joe grabbed the ticket ,and ran against Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu of the defunct SDP ,and Nwodo won . Okwy is from Nsukka while GNG is from Oji River - old Awgu Division. Since then Chimaraoke Nnamani from Nkanu and Sullivan Chime of Udi (Agbaja) have both been governors ,while another Nsukka man Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi is currently at the saddle . Onoh CC and later JIM Nwobodo from Agbaja and Nkanu respectively,were also governors in the old Anambra State .

The big question now is , what about Greater Awgu? Are we ever going to produce a governor ? 

Beyond this obvious anomaly being pushed by some elements who are apparently prodded by their hate for one man - Ike Ekweremadu (who is rumored to be interested in running and is from Greater Awgu ) is the blatant distraction and wastefulness of this misplaced priority in the name of rallies . 

As it were, and as at today the only state having rallies for 2023 general elections is Enugu State . In fact Anambra state that has elections in a couple of months have not had the number of rallies being held in Enugu State . The question is why ? For what really ? To what end ?

It would not be wrong to conclude that desperate politicians are scrambling to dominate again.

And they have chosen the infamous route of distracting the governor while at it . It is note worthy that many of these men have been guests severally in the past to the EFCC over mismanagement of public funds , they are regrouping to refill their leaking pockets once more .

The Enugu West rally was however not without drama . Senator Ben Collins Ndu set the stage by reading out a document which he claimed was written and signed by “Enugu Stakeholders “ some time in 2013 where they agreed to zone the governorship sit to Nsukka . The document on its own left a lot of questions unanswered. It could not establish if it was a solely PDP affair , and it did not say where next after Nsukka would the position be zoned to . The implication is that claims of zoning agreement at least by this faceless group since return to democracy in 1999 never happened.

Senator Ndu however purportedly  said that “the understanding was that after Nsukka it would be Enugu East next …” . It never said anything about next stop . Recall that in 2015 a lot of intrigues occurred in Enugu Politics between the then governor Mr Sullivan Chime and Senator Ike Ekweremadu . I recall vividly a particular rally at Oji River where Sullivan boasted that he was gonna retire Ike , he asked him to come back home, and that governorship was going to Nsukka . Eventually Ike completely outwitted Sullivan, taking over all state party structures and 100% delegates . Ike was coasting home to pocket all political tickets in the party . Sullivan knowing fully well that he didn’t have the political clout to make a head way from another political platform smartly capitulated . A truce was called and Ike allowed Sullivan to have his way, in exchange for his senatorial seat. Not long after Chime finished his tenure he quietly joined APC and has been enjoying his retirement under the umbrella of the ruling party . 

The candidate who would have become governor then if Ike had insisted on winner -take -all would have been either Ike himself or Chief Anayo Onwuegbu. Where was zoning then ? Chief Omeiheukwu in a popular interview few years ago reiterated the fact that there has never been any agreement on zoning in Enugu State and that if anything old Awgu Division has been Perpetually shortchanged in the state politics in terms of governorship position.

Now consider also how a few men would gather in an unnamed location to decide the fate of a whole state under a supposed democracy. As a young person in the state I feel very insulted . Be mindful that when politicians have this kind of agreement it is usually to satisfy a singular interest and to benefit themselves. This is the plight of my state . And some people are actually clapping for this absurdity. 

I have also seen a few documents about zoning . It is usually thorough and unambiguous. It details how the zoning would happen both in the index case and in the near future , it at times goes all the way down the line to describe how the zoning would affect especially minority interests in a particular zone . Where is the interest of greater Awgu in this purported zoning ? 

Now come back to the blatant distraction of this exercise which is alleged to be sponsored by one of the aspirants from Nkanu , a former Accountant General of the state and a chieftain of the notorious defunct Ebeano political family.

While I have a personal opinion that the sitting governor has done fairly well , I do not in any way support the idea of ceding the responsibility to single handedly pick his own successor to the governor. I am actually worried and in fact petrified of this ominous evolving political culture in my state . For selfish reasons, I am not a "calm" person , or one to be seen as “loyal “ in the parlance here . So I stand no chance of ever being “picked “ by a godfather . The political culture in Enugu has been one that truncates every kind of decency or even rationality in leadership recruitment. From the ward up to the local government and state , politicians tend to hand pick the most docile of their stooges to occupy and be promoted in political positions. This has greatly depleted the quality of youths groomed into serious offices and positions. The untoward effect of this devilish approach to power brokerage is obvious . 

In my own assessment, the state government has made genuine efforts to empower the youths and provide opportunities. I would rather love to see campaigns of awareness to bring to the knowledge of Enugu West and Enugu Youths all the projects the government has developed to empower and improve their lives , rather than gather them in unproductive political rallies where half truths , lies and crass indoctrination into primordial political culture are the sole agenda .

For instance , how aware are our people about the state government SME programs that provide apprenticeship training and start up funding for Enugu Youths ? How many Enugu West youths have benefitted from it ? Of course Ifemelumma organizers do not give a hoot about those, it’s better to dress the youths in orange T-shirts’ to dance and clap in anticipation of their next round of looting. The state government has built a brand new College of Medicine and ESUT teaching hospital in Enugu East Senatorial Zone , whither are we in the west ? Which reference hospital are currently in operation in the entire Enugu West ? Civil Defense training center is located in Achi , how many of our people are being recruited into the program ? Police college in Oji River , School of Health , Federal Cooperative college and others , how does our people benefit from employment into these government establishments? How many rallies have we held to agitate for a better life for our teeming youths? Enugu state government recently began to roll out ICT hubs , couldn’t our dear “stakeholders “ influence the siting of one hub in our zone to benefit our teaming youths ? What about the numerous agricultural programs and loans provided by the government, etc etc? 

It is obvious that these so called stakeholders are into another round of selfish agenda , to position themselves for the take ! 

No wonder Senator Hyde Onuaguluchi took the opportunity to take a swipe at all the pretenders at the said rally . Odenigbo didn’t mince word in telling them that no matter how many times a lie is repeated it could never turn into truth . 

The truth remains that there has never been a time zoning was discussed in Enugu State to the extent of establishing it . There has never been any documents signed by the people to establish how to rotate governorship sit in Enugu State. 

Personally I do not like distributive democracy which ensures the perpetuation of a political cartel, whose emergence has nothing to do with merit or manifesto , but the manipulation of a primitive political arrangement to favor established interests.

However, in a political atmosphere dominated by sub intellectuals , if zoning is what works for the players , it is only fair that Old Awgu Division levels up with other zones in occupying the governorship sit of Enugu State for once . 

This to me is equity .

Ozo Ginger Ibeneme II (MBBS)

(Ozo Ikirikpom Inyikiriputu Na Achi)

Rock Palace Elugwu Akwu Achi 





Posted 10/08/2021 9:32:45 PM


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