The Need For Ndi Isi-Uzo Lga To Embrace And Support The Bar. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah Administration In Enugu State | CABLE REPORTERS

By Prof. Ifeanyi Odoziobodo, PhD

The 2023 general elections in Nigeria have come and gone with all its pyrotechnics and razzmatazz. Those who won have settled into their various offices and are busy with statecraft. In Enugu State, the battle for the governorship was significantly tense and fiercely fought. For the first time in the political history of Enugu State, Isi-Uzo made a political statement that would redefine political engagements in the state and particularly in Enugu-East Senatorial zone. For the first time, a son of Isi-Uzo fought bravely and doggedly for the governorship and regrettably lost by whiskers. For so many people of Isi-Uzo, it was a great opportunity lost, and one wonders whether such opportunity can come again in our generation. But that is politics for you.

Be that as it may, I have observed that the 2023 election brought in its wake schisms in Isi-Uzo and since the end of that election and the associated legal battles, Isi-Uzo people have not been themselves again. There are mixed feelings; some Isi-Uzo people have become resentful, some circumspect; some disillusioned and some seem to have declared war on the State Governor, Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah. Some have resorted to campaigns of calumny and smear against the governor and his administration. Such people appear not to see anything good in what the governor is doing. Some of our people have been very caustic with their comments; thereby giving the impression that Isi-Uzo is at war with the rest of Enugu State. This is not the way to go. We need to forget the past and face the future for “tomorrow is here”, says Bar. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, the governor of Enugu State.

My good people of Isi-Uzo, despair not, for the impact of the great struggles is not lost on us as Winston Churchill admonishes that “great battles, won or lost, change the entire course of events, create new standards of values, new moods, and new atmosphere, in armies and in nations to which all must conform.” Much as one may not be happy with the outcome of the election, it is important to note that irrespective of our beliefs and opinions, it is a crystal fact that the elections have been won and lost. We can not go back and change the reality, but we can start where we are and change the outcome of our failure for our good. Thomas Monson admonishes us:  “the past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead; prepare for it. The present is here; live it.” Now is the time to join forces with those that won the election and move the state forward so that we can get our own dividends of democracy. Now is also a time to re-jig our political calculations and perhaps strategize on how to remain useful and politically relevant in the new dispensation. 

Nevertheless, it is important we understand the powers of a governor of a state, especially in a developing country. In a country like Nigeria, where things are not working well, the governor of a state is like a god. He has too many powers to dispense. With his green pen, the governor can make a man a billionaire; he can liberate a man stuck in the prison for years; he can even imprison a man; he can make or mar the progress of a people. In a developing nation, the people do not have the economic power to help themselves. It is the government represented by the governor that holds the commonwealth for the people, and he dispenses it the way he likes. He has the authoritative allocation of resources at his beck and call. 

Therefore, the governor of Enugu State has the powers to change our scary story of poverty and lack of infrastructure.

If the above statements are correct as they are, how can Isi-Uzo people have a face-off with a man like Bar. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, the governor of Enugu State, a governor with a difference? By the time Governor Mbah finishes with Enugu State, we would be sure that an intelligent and courageous man ruled Enugu State for good. Look at the smart schools he is building in 260 wards in Enugu State; look at the extent he has gone in the provision of democracy dividends in just less than a year.

Indeed, Isi-Uzo people can not but align with the government of the day for the good of our people and the development of our area. Isi-Uzo LGA is one of the most backwards local governments in Enugu State in terms of infrastructure and human capital. In order to appreciate our backwardness, we need to ask ourselves certain pertinent questions to guide us in our political permutations in this dispensation. What do we do with the Ebonyi hanging bridge in an important road like the Nkalagu-Eha-Amufu-Ikem-Obollo Afor road in the 21st century? Even though it is a federal road, is it not the governor of the state that can make the federal government construct the bridge? How many motorable roads do we have in Isi-Uzo L.G A? Supposing Gov. Sullivan Chime had not done the Ugwogo Nike-Ikem road, can you imagine the suffering our people would be going through now? What government presence do we have in Isi Uzo L.G.A.? We need to be in very good terms with Gov. Peter Mbah. Indeed, we need government intervention at many fronts.

In terms of human capital, we need to ask ourselves: How many people from Isi-Uzo L.G.A have held lucrative positions in government from where people become rich and assist other people from their area? Has Isi-Uzo ever produced a minister or the chairman of any federal board?  How many Isi-Uzo people have been chairmen of boards or managing directors of government parastatals in Enugu State? How many Isi-Uzo people are even working in the federal or Enugu State Civil Service? How many Isi-Uzo elites have been rectors, provosts, or even vice chancellors? These are positions that can have multiplier effects for people of a local government area as many of the people can become employed and thus escape poverty to some extent and also contribute to the development of their area. 

 We lack rich men in Isi-Uzo L.G.A; do we have any billionaires in Isi-Uzo who can help others? How many Isi-Uzo people get government contracts from where many people become stupendously rich? These jobs are done by human beings. It is only a people who are in good terms with the governor of their state who can get any of the positions mentioned above and also get contracts from the government. If we as Isi-Uzo people cajole the governor and have face-offs with him, how can any of our people get any of these positions?

It is important to note that the elections are over, and we should be strategizing on how to get into the mainstream of Enugu State politics where we really belong. In politics, as we all know, there is no permanent friend or enemy; what is permanent is interest. Personalizing political differences is a sign of political immaturity, and when political differences are personalized, it metastasizes into unintended consequences. Our primary interest must be how to make our political space large and also make our people benefit maximally from the policies of the state government. We have to eschew bickering, blackmail, backbiting, and the “pull him down” syndrome in order to close the yawning gaps and differences occasioned by the 2023 governorship election in Isi-Uzo LGA. Martin Luther King Jnr advises that “we must learn to live as brothers or else we will perish like fools.”

In order to achieve this noble objective of making our people benefit from the Bar. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah government in Enugu State, we must work together as a people. Isi-Uzo LGA, since the return of democratic government in Nigeria in 1999, has been a PDP local government. All the major stakeholders of Isi-Uzo LGA belonged to the Peoples’ Democratic Party and our people are good followers; they always made the PDP proud by delivering all the party’s candidates at all levels during general elections through their block votes. Unfortunately, the 2023 governorship election disintegrated us as one of us who used to be a member of the PDP contested for the governorship in the Labour Party But in spite of this, the PDP still performed very well in the governorship election. This can be deciphered when a comparative analysis of the number of votes the PDP candidate got in Isi-Uzo, the home LGA of the Labour Party candidate and the number of votes the Labour Party candidate got from Nkanu East, the home LGA of the PDP candidate.

Since Isi-Uzo LGA has been a PDP local government; every party man and woman who joined the Labour Party due to the exigency of our son contesting the governorship on the platform  of the Labour Party is enjoined to come back to their original party, the PDP, so that we can become co-workers with Bar. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, the governor of Enugu State, in the task of taking Enugu State to the next level.

 Incidentally, Bar. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, the governor of Enugu State, the man who has demonstrated capacity, has extended the olive branch to Isi-Uzo people. The projects that are currently ongoing in Isi-Uzo are eloquent testimonies that he is magnanimous in victory. We have to work our way up the ladder by massively supporting his administration.     


I am convinced that if we get our politics right, we would be happier for it in the long run. What we can not get today, we can get tomorrow. We have to stop our drum beats of war and embrace the policies of the state government; support the government, and be less abrasive in our political engagements. That’s my candid counsel to our people; the good people of Isi-Uzo LGA.   

Prof. Ifeanyi Odoziobodo writes from Godfrey Okoye University, where he is on Sabbatical Leave.

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