#Opinion: Ugwuanyi, Nwodo and orchestrated Adada revolt in Enugu State | CABLE REPORTERS


By Prof. Oguejiofo T. Ujam


FOR the governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, what remains for him to declare, like Paul the Apostle, I have fought a good fight, is next year’s general election. Ugwuanyi had come into the governorship of the state like a bird bearing an olive branch to proclaim the primacy of peace and brotherly love within and among the people of the three distinct Senatorial zones of Enugu State.

     Nothing captured Ugwuanyi’s sincerity of purpose and honesty more than the fulfillment of his promises to Enugu people, especially his support for the power rotation arrangement in the state despite immense pressures to do otherwise.

     It has been said that there can be no success without a successor. Also, as a born-again Christian, Governor Ugwuanyi knows that peace comes from love and affection. He believes that justice, fairness and equity enthrones social harmony.

    By incorporating all those virtues in his succession plan, the emergence of Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah as the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Ugwuanyi solved a major puzzle in the state regarding who he could support to succeed him.

    That decision did not come easy, because, like Jannes and Jambres, there were those who set out from the word go to oppose Ugwuanyi’s template for the sustenance of peace and social harmony in the state. Regrettably, these opponents of consensus are persons that benefitted and continue to benefit from the governor’s magnanimity, generosity and common brotherhood.

      When this author cried out against the attempt by some individuals to alter the zoning arrangement in the state, there were those that took offense. They claimed that one was raising a false alarm to create bad blood and cause unnecessary division between the people of Isi-Uzo and their kinsmen in Enugu East senatorial zone.

   But, it is gladdening to note that data do not lie. The architects of anti-zoning and revisionists, some of whom wanted Governor Ugwuanyi to support an Isi-Uzo person to succeed him, have continued their rebellion. Those who have been following my interventions in the Enugu State political schemes would remember when I asked whether Isi-Uzo people are for or against Governor Ugwuanyi in an article of Sun Newspaper of March 27, 2022.

  Though the PDP governorship primary produced winners and losers, nobody faulted that it was a transparent exercise and reflected the wishes and aspirations of ndi Enugu. As such, it becomes obvious that the former Ohanaeze President General, Nnia Nwodo, and Hon. Chijioke Edeoga’s decision to break away and mount opposition to Governor Ugwuanyi’s succession plan is self-serving.

    Edeoga and his political godfather wannabe tend to forget in their desperation for power that the former Commissioner had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accept, without reservations, the outcome of the PDP governorship primary, as well as pledging to support Dr. Peter Mbah to win the main election.

   Contesting for the Enugu State governorship seat is within the democratic rights of Edeoga, who enjoyed the governor’s benevolence in many ways. He was appointed and retained as Commissioner for Environment of the state despite a glaring lack of vision and capacity to deliver on that simple mandate.

    If Edeoga now thinks that he would convince ndi Enugu State that he possesses the magic wand to govern the state, he must be daydreaming. Unknown to him, it would amount to willful mischief if he claims to know what to do for the state, which he could not do as a member of the state executive council. Moreover, Enugu people would search him thoroughly to know why he could not use the powerful office of Commissioner for Environment to give the state its legendary ambience and beauty.

   May be, Edeoga imagines that the Coal City State of today is one where anybody could govern by proxy or just sit at the Lion Building in Independence Layout just to answer to His Excellency. That might as well be so, because there is no way Edeoga could convince himself that contesting the governorship was his original idea.

    No matter how he pretends, every Enugu State citizen of voting age knows that the former Ohanaeze PG, Nwodo, is his animator. There again, most people wonder why the former President General of the Igbo socio-cultural organization will always want to play the spoiler game in the state.

    When his elder brother, Okwy, was governor, Nnia was everywhere causing distraction and displaying uncharacteristic political nuisance all over the place. The man’s entitlement mentality seems to know no bounds. In various social and political circles in the state, the question people continue to ask is: What does Nnia Nwodo want?

     In the 31 years of history of the current Enugu State, there is no governor of the state that Nwodo junior did not do battle with. When he was tackling charismatic Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, some people took in the mistaken notion that Nnia was contending for good governance, equity and fair play.

    Those who thought that way did not fail to reckon that Nnia fights for nobody except Onwem (me and myself). That fact came alive when the former Ohanaeze chieftain began his antics with Sullivan Chime. If his chicken fight with Governor Nnamani was in an attempt  to confront a political dynasty, Nnia’s fight with Chime exposed the selfish foundation of his political irritations in Enugu State.

    Before long a particular tendency was exposed showing that the former Ohanaeze PG derives pleasure in biting the hands that fed him. For instance, as Governor, Chime made him the chairman of Adada State creation movement. The movement was well funded and logistics provided. Nnia was well decorated like an Ijele masquerade to canvas support for the Adada State creation across the country.

     Despite all the favours extended to the man by Chime, it did not stop him from descending on the governor, showing Chime off as a governor that was diffident to good counsel and possessed of a tunnel vision.

    Then came Ugwuanyi. Against popular opinion, Governor Ugwuanyi nominated and supported Nnia Nwodo for the position of President General, Ohanaeze ndi-Igbo. The governor did not stop there. Sources disclosed that the governor went further by footing the domestic bills of the former Ohanaeze PG.

   Yet, when it was time, Nwodo proved that the Leopard does not change its colours. He descended on Ugwuanyi and began moves to affront his political interests and designs, especially regarding who flies the flag of PDP in the 2023 governorship election.

   After the plot to ensure that Edeoga wins the support of Ugwuanyi to clinch the PDP governorship ticket flopped, Nwodo went on overdrive and removed every mask of friendliness and brotherhood by going into full-blown opposition.

   Part of the new scheme is to stymie Governor Ugwuanyi’s Senatorial ambition and ensure that the Enugu State governorship contest does not end without bitter acrimony and sectional distemper. The ongoing attempt to whip up negative sentiments against Ugwuanyi is part of the antics of an ungrateful political desperado that insists on being appeased.

    Needless to note that the current political undercurrents in Enugu North Zone is steadily eroding the capacity of the Nwodos to dictate the political dynamics of the area.

   But, since everything that has a beginning must have an end, the attempt to take Enugu State back to an inglorious past, which culminated in the deadly political shown between the Nwodos and Rev. Hyde Onuaguluchi, is dead on arrival.

   Ndi Enugu State has resolved like Rwandans that never again should political dissension pull them away from forging a united front against socio-economic challenges confronting the state.

    That resolution explains the recent endorsement of Dr. Peter Mbah by the Traditional Rulers of Enugu East Senatorial District, when they extended the Ofor (traditional authority) to the PDP governorship candidate.

     The implication of handing the Ofor to Mbah, apart from conferring royal blessing to the governorship flag candidate, is that the Senatorial Zone does not recognize any other contender from its fold. It is therefore a tacit message to Nwodo and his co-travelers that ndi Enugu State is solidly behind Governor Ugwuanyi in his determination to prosecute a peaceful transition.  

   In his remarks, while handing over the Ofor to Dr. Mbah, the chairman of Enugu East Traditional Rulers’ Council and traditional ruler of Nike, Igwe Julius Nnaji, explained that the Ofor also represented Mbah’s social contract with them.

   Igwe Nnaji, who made the presentation in the presence of all the monarchs from the zone, disclosed that the gesture was a practical demonstration of their promise to Ugwuanyi that they would support any aspirant he supports from the zone as the governorship candidate for the 2023 poll.

 “Before the PDP governorship primary, there were 17 aspirants from Enugu East Senatorial zone fighting for the ticket. We had called them here and spoke to them about the need to allow peace to reign and not to allow their ambition to create crisis in the zone since all of them are coming from the same area.

   “They agreed and later came back to us with a memorandum to support any of them that the governor eventually chooses. We were very happy and took that letter to the governor. It was that development that helped to sharpen the choice of the party,” Nnaji had remarked at the occasion.

    On his part, the incoming governor, Mbah, remarked that he understands the significance of the Ofor, saying it conveys confidence, trust and honour. He declared that he would do all in his power not to disappoint Enugu State people when voted in as governor.

   Governor Ugwuanyi thanked the monarchs, noting, “All I have done is to provide the leadership needed at this point in our history to protect that cherished political culture, which, in reality, birthed my political opportunity as well as that of my predecessors in office.”

   With that final words, it is obvious where Enugu people stand regarding who becomes their next governor.


*Prof. Ujam writes from the Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

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