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Enugu Governorship: Can Ugwuanyi redeem Enugu North?

Nwodo’s government, which included the present Ebonyi State, was run under the principle of Triangular Equilibrium; a policy it adopted to equitably distribute the state…

Nwodo’s government, which included the present Ebonyi State, was run under the principle of Triangular Equilibrium; a policy it adopted to equitably distribute the state resources according to the geo-political zones of the state. It was an egalitarian idea then, but subsequent development in the state proved him wrong.
He was succeeded by Governor Chimaroke Nnamani. Nnamani’s government, which ran for eight years, invariably concentrated on Enugu East Senatorial District where most of the capital projects, both state and federal government, were built. Other zones of the state, Enugu West and Enugu North, were not favoured as Enugu East. The worst affected is Enugu North that was made to remain stagnantly undeveloped. The one that comes to mind is Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, which was removed from Nsukka, and relocated to Enugu East.
Governor Sullivan Chime, from Enugu West Senatorial District, succeeded Nnamani. He however did not toe the line of his predecessor as he relatively spread the cake of the state to other senatorial districts. But still some pundits from Enugu North claim that, like Oliver Twist, they need some more.
Political developments in the state in the past weeks show that something positive is in the offing for Enugu North Senatorial District. This followed the endorsement of Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, representing Igboeze North and Udenu federal constituency in the National Assembly, as the consensus candidate of the PDP for the 2015 guber election in the state. He was unanimously endorsed by the party’s stakeholders from Enugu North. Recall that Governor Chime had hitherto urged the zone to produce a consensus candidate to succeed him.
Former national chairman of the PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, said stakeholders and leaders from Nsukka senatorial zone of the state prevailed on most of the governorship aspirants to step down for a three-term member of the House of Representatives, Hon Ugwuanyi, to the become the zone’s consensus candidate for the 2015 election because ‘of the determination of the zone to produce the next governor of the state’ and ‘in order to reduce rancour and bitterness amongst interested parties and ensure smooth transition for the party’.
Among the aspirants that were present during the meeting were the senate committee chairman for works, Senator Ayogu Eze, speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Eugene Odo,; state chairman of the party, Engr. Vita Abba,  former deputy governor of the state, Chief Okechukwu Itanyi, Hon. Pat Asadu, Prince Mathew Agu, Amb. Fidel Ayogu, Professor Osita Ogbu, Chief Ikeje Asogwa and Professor Simon Ortuanya.
Since Ugwuanyi’s endorsement, several associations and individuals have declared their unalloyed support for him. They include former local government chairmen of the state under the aegis of Association of Former Local Government Chairmen of Enugu State which endorsed Hon Ugwuanyi in a meeting last week.
Also, the umbrella body of Nsukka people in Abuja has thrown its weight behind Hon Ugwuanyi, describing him as a God-sent. The body, Nsukka Zonal Citizens Abuja, in a press briefing recently, said such decision by the party’s caucus in the senatorial zone would eliminate bickering and rancour associated with elections. The president of the group, Barr Paul C. Eze, said the choice of Hon Ugwuanyi by consensus is an indication that he is generally accepted. He also commended Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime for endorsing Hon Ugwuanyi.
“Governor Chime has always been a candid leader and his contributions to the development of the state and the nation at large speak volumes. No doubt Hon Ugwuanyi will toe the line of Chime’s giant strides in the state. That stride of the governor has reduced unnecessary tension in the state. Enugu North Senatorial Zone remains indebted to him because of this singular act,” he said.
For Dr Sally Adukwu, an aspirant to the House of Representatives for Igboeze North and Udenu federal constituency, the choice of Hon Ugwuanyi is divine. She called on other aspirants to rally round him to move the state forward.
She said, “My message rests on the leadership style that our people desire in Enugu State. We have been people regarded as ignorant and politically insensitive. I want to let our leaders know that we have become politically aware. We want a visionary leadership that will serve the people and not rule the people. The people want servant leaders. People who are arrogant in leadership will no longer be voted for. That is a plus for Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. People have told stories of Hon Ugwuanyi’s generosity and I have come to conclude that he is God-sent.
Chief Charles Agadenyi Nwodo, the national chairman of the Progressives Action Congress, (PAC) said, “If the will of the PDP stakeholders who represent the people is that they will use consensus to get the party’s candidate, there is nothing bad about it. It is part and parcel of democracy. Such limits crises and waste. But if there are dissenting voices, such voices should meet the stakeholders and seek redoing it. It is dangerous also to revolt against the stakeholders of a political party. It can be disastrous. Democracy demands that voting should take place, but if through consensus a deal is struck, it beautifies it because of the benefits therein. It reduces intra-party crises.”
Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Marine Transport. Apart from being the deputy chairman of the House Committees on Public Service and Pension, he is a member of: Defence, Population, Privatization and Commercialization, Science and Technology, States and Local Government Affairs.
Uroko wrote from Ezimo, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu state. [email protected]

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