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Zoning Or Resources Control By Political Godfathers In Enugu Politics

ByHybrid News

Apr 9, 2022

Recently, the issue of zoning had rented the political airspace in our beloved Coal City state amongst the political elite.

A cursory look at the state’s political leadership since return of democracy in 1999 indicated that Senator Dr Chimaroke Nnamani was elected as governor of Enugu State through the instrumentality and political dexterity of his then political godfather, Senator Chief Jim Nwobodo.

The first term of Dr Nnamani was highly influenced by his godfather, Senator Nwobodo. When the godfather/son relationship between the two went sour, the effect was felt even in the State Assembly.

Recall also that in the State House of Assembly, compelled Hon members loyal to Senator Nwobodo relocated and operated from Abuja, while those loyal to Senator Dr Nnamani in the Assembly remained in charge in Enugu.

When governor Nnamani eventually regained control of the government structures, he relocated virtually all infrastructural developments Coal City is known for the pride of our beloved Coal City) to his native Agbani: from Law School, ESUTH, UNTH etc.

He literally became a zonal governor if not Agbani Township Governor. We all can recall the heavy price paid by Senator Nwobodo and his loyalists in the State House of Assembly. At the time, the purported zoning formula was not in place.

At the time Governor Nnamani installed and handed over to Bar Sullivan Chime as his successor, he, Bar Chime inherited the political Ebeano platform which largely influenced the Chime administration for a while.

The astute Bar Chime decided to
support Senator Gilbert Nnaji to the senate to neutralize Dr Chimaroke’s political influence then in Enugu East and in the state in general.

Hence, Dr Nnamani relocated overseas. Unlike his predecessor: Dr Nnamani who made himself the governor of Agbani, totally in exclusion of the rest of Enugu, Bar Chime ensured that the plenary Enugu State benefitted from the numerous government programmes and developments during his administration.

The incumbent governor, Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was also a product of political godfatherism and not a product of zoning, or are candidates of zoning also
subjected to the control of godfathers and not citizens control?

One wonders, if the governor, Hon Ugwuani was truly a product of zoning and not godfatherism, why was he not able to form his cabinet immediately after his inauguration, why did he have to wait for another three years when he was eventually declared by the Supreme Court as the winner, to form his cabinet?

Apparently, the fear of his political godfather(s) delayed his forming his cabinet immediately because he needed the political capital of his godfather(s) to weather the storm in the courts.

For those three years, he worked with the cabinet of his predecessor because he was afraid of the judgement at the Supreme Court. It was after the Supreme Court judgment that he was emboldened to form his own cabinet, appoint an indigene as his Chief of Staff, allowed elections at the local levels.

Under Ugwuanyi, like in then Senator Chimaroke Nnamani’s era, majority of the political appointments and infrastructural developments in the
state had been diverted to Udenu LGA in his ‘Nsukkarization’ of Enugu State policy.

Suffice it to say, that all the proponents of zoning are the political elite whose main source of livelihood is through highjack and control of Enugu State meager resources.

Once they scream loud, harass and intimidate citizens of Enugu about zoning and succeed in installing their puppet, marionette, or a dummy that they can manipulate and control, the resources of Enugu State will be under their full control.

Any arrangement that does not favour the zoning agitators’ clique will be scuttled by them. They are not interested in the wishes and caprices of Enugu people, just their interest. They are not interested in who has Enugu people at heart. NO, anyone they cannot manipulate by having direct control of the resources of Enugu State, is not for the clique.

The clique is not interested in who has the experience, a better plan, proven record and the competence to lead Ndi Enugu. No, the cliquish clan is not interested in a governor who has no albatross and can look you in the face and tell you the truth and have the wherewithal to tell you NO. They want a ‘YES’ governor to their clan. It is regrettable that the political neophytes elected a few weeks ago into local councils’ chair jumped into the fray without a clear understanding of the issues.

Some of them don’t even have a clear-cut plan of action for their Local councils and in due course may not even be able to pay monthly salaries. Wake up my good people of Ndi Enugu state and say NO to godfatherism now.

Reject the cliquish clan’s subterfuge of hiding under the cloak of zoning to achieve their unquenchable quest to control our resources, by installing their puppet.

The purported zoning is a subterfuge for the clique to install another puppet in Lion Building and perpetuate their quest for absolute control of power and our meagre resources.

Why is the cliquish clan agitating for zoning afraid of former Deputy Senate President (DSP), Senator Ike Ekweremadu? He is a threat to them because of his governmental experiences, contacts and his independent mindedness, hence, will not accept to be a godson to the cliquish clan.

Under his administration, the resources of Enugu State will be used for Enugu people, by Enugu people and with Enugu people. He will ensure even development of the state against their will.

He will have his own cabinet to work with, ready from day one without the clique’s undue influence and delay.

He will hit the ground running from day one without undue influence or consultation from any godfather, but from us the free minded citizens of Enugu. He will not surrender our resources to their whims and caprices.

He will control our resources and we can collectively hold him accountable and responsible for our resources.

Not too long ago, our sister state, Ndi Anambra went to the polls and rejected godfatherism with a big NO by electing a man of timber and caliber in the person of Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo (CCS).

Notwithstanding the wanton killings sponsored by the opponents of the free will Anambrarians, “Ndi Anambra”
still braved the fear and threat of death and went to the polls and spoke out loudly with their PVCs.

“Ndi Enugu Ibe mu”shine your eyes, wake up and say NO to godfatherism in the name of zoning, like our brothers and sisters, “ndi Anambra” bravely said NO and vehemently denounced political godfatherism and voted for competence, intellect, capacity, experience, fairness and justice in managing state resources etc.

We can do so and even improve on their own by saying Enough is Enough to godfatherism in Enugu politics. We can kill godfatherism once in Enugu politics by allowing the WILL of the people as opposed to cliquish candidates.

The only force that can end the dangerous trend of godfatherism in Enugu is the person who we (CITIZENS) will elect as our governor without the zoning cliquish godfather(s).

And the time to end godfatherism in Enugu politics is now. If we allow the zoning cliquish clan succeed in 2023, we are allowing them gain more grounds in their unquenchable quest to control Enugu and determine who is where. And the rest of us will become subservient to them for a while to come.

We should not be oblivious of the late strong man of Ibadan/Oyo State politics, Chief Lamidi Adedibu, and how long he held sway in their political airspace, derailing the developmental progress of governors elect.

Such is creeping up in Enugu politics and MUST BE STOPPED NOW before it grows tail. We must emancipate “ndi Enugu” from godfatherism before it is too late.

This is the moment to nip in the bud, this dangerously emerging godfatherism in Enugu State politics. If the godfathers hiding under the cloak of zoning succeed once more, then the citizens of Enugu deciding what’s happens in Enugu politics is finished. That idea is finished, over with and dead.

The subsequent elections will then be through submission of names of candidates favoured by cliquish clan, to be put in juicy positions. Meaning, that people like I and you will have no political chance in the future to vie for elective position without a godfather. All elective positions will then be skewed to their interest.

Recently, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and Senator Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State were both credited to announce that they will not anoint any candidate to succeed them, encouraging all aspirants to go to the field and allow the electorates will to be done. My brother, Governor Ugwuanyi can also be fair and just by allowing all aspirants to go to the field, whoever emerges, he will support the person.

The dangers of the zoning cliquish godfathers installing their own candidate in 2023, like we all know, is that their godson governor will be inundated with list of political appointees (NEVER VETTED) qualified or not, to form his cabinet.

Those appointees will be answerable to their godfathers that recommended them and not to the governor. The resources of Enugu will be directly and or indirectly controlled by the so-called godfathers. This can be very frustrating to the governor elect, hence derail his or her progress for a chunk of up to three years.

Enugu State people deserve a person that will govern the plenary state without fear or favour and not a marionette that will do the bidding of the zoning clique godfathers.

We deserve a governor who will intelligently, brilliantly and with experience stand shoulder to shoulder, toe to toe with our sister state’s governors, Southern governors and the Nigerian governor’s forum and speak the
minds of Ndi Enugu without the fear of anyone. We don’t need a toothless bulldog.

“Umu nwanyi Enugu unu anokwa”. Suffice it to say, that since 1999, the veritable Office of the First Lady of the State (usually the rallying point of our beloved and esteemed Enugu women) were never fully utilized.

Electing DSP Ekeremadu as the
governor, he will on day one create the Office of the First Lady and you already know who she is and she will fully utilize that office to empower our dear and beloved women’s agenda, protect the widows, the girlchild, forced female circumcision, and create opportunities for our daughters, wives and sisters etc.

Please with your PVC and protected vote, shun those ganging up under the cloak of zoning as they are the same clique that never really care about this office that is meant to protect your interest. What is playing out under the zoning cliquish clan’s agenda, is who will control the resources of Enugu State, will it be the citizens of Enugu through DSP Ekweremadu or the same cliquish political elites hiding under the cloak of zoning.

That decision is for Enugu citizens to make come election by voting DSP Ike Ekweremadu as governor of our beloved State. I know that my brother, the incumbent governor is a very fair, just and wise man.

He is wise enough to know that if I recommend my long-time ally and loyalist for him to make governor, the loyalty of that my friend made governor will first be to me that recommended him and not to him, the governor.

You are not preview to my agreement with my friend before I recommended him to. But if you, Governor Ugwuanyi, works with your own long-time ally, friend and political brother and he becomes the governor, you will still be politically relevant years to come and not reduced to just a one-term Senator, if you become one.

Test this by asking the Enugu East Senator not to purchase form to return to the Senate so that another
person from another part of that senatorial district can go to the Senate for Enugu East, and see fire coming.

The governor may also have his own candidate but may be constrained to project the person because of the geographical part of Enugu East the person hails from. There are two options for the person to EVER be governor in Enugu State.

Option 1: The governor asking all aspirants including his own widely known (but secret candidate) to go to the field and whoever emerges becomes his candidate.

He, the governor can either openly or clandestinely support the candidate of his choice in the primaries to emerge.

Option 2: The governor meeting with former DSP Ekweremadu in any part of the world, discuss, have an understanding and reach an agreement. The governor
throws his weight around DSP Ekweremadu’s bid, then the likelihood of the governor’s choice candidate, succeeding Senator Ekweremadu after his eight years as governor, will be very high. And the eight years is just around the corner.

Just like yesterday when Governor Ugwuanyi started in 2015, his own eight years is almost here and we are already discussing his successor. And part of this deal should be that the governor’s candidate will be part of Senator Ekweremadu’s administration. This will help the person gain more experience and more grounds in Enugu politics to better prepare himself to succeed DSP Ekweremadu.

The danger of not adopting any of the glaring options above is that if someone is recommended to Governor Ugwuanyi by the zoning gladiators, the choice of his
own candidate ever making it to Lion Building is diminished significantly.

The Senator representing Enugu East will not step down to allow other parts of the zone to present candidate for Enugu East Senate seat. Meaning, that the governor’s candidate will not even go to the senate.

The governor would’ve sacrificed everything to the zoning cliquish clan by ceding the governorship position and senatorial seat of Enugu East to his godfather(s) in a free fall “GAIN ALL LOOSE ALL” approach. If I have the listening ear of my brother, Governor Ugwuanyi, I will candidly counsel him to adopt Option 2.

This is not the time to toy with who will be in Lion Building. We need a trusted hand with experience, Intellect, brilliance, capacity, the reach, that all citizens of Enugu can work with to tackle the challenges ahead. Note that the criminals being sacked in Anambra state by their brand-new Governor, will soon start moving into neighbouring States to hide and operate.

We need a strong and experienced governor like DSP Ekweremadu to tackle crime, insecurity, improve our economy and create skills acquisition centers, train the trainers, create employment and employment opportunities for our teaming youths.

Moreso, the Global Economy has been on the downward turn by the effects of Covid 19, Security challenges, and the upward trend of Oil price which is affecting our energy consumption.

The current hardship facing the plenary world and Nigeria in particular is not showing any hope in sight of abetting. Hence, I implore on “Ndi Enugu” that this is not the time to play politics with who will govern us.

This is the time to be wiser and be objective, rational and really scrutinize those we empower to serve us. We need a great leader to lead us, we need an intellect who is brilliant, has the capacity, the experience and knowledge base of governance to proffer a solution to our problems, has the reach, capacity, strong-will, and not easily intimidated, outspoken and the wherewithal to represent the
interest of Enugu State both at regional and national levels.

The global economic and security challenges ahead is not such that we can dare elect someone that will start learning on the job, we need an experienced governor that will hit the ground running. That can look anyone in the face and say the minds of “Ndi Enugu” and know how to achieve that.

My dear people of “Ndi Enugu” God has blessed us by giving us an illustrious son like DSP Ekweremadu, now let’s do our part to ensure it is us that decide who govern us. With our PVCs, we can choose our own political godson that will be answerable to us collectively, than allow the zoning cliquish clan, of a few individuals, install a puppet in Lion Building, through whom they will control our resources.

Let us shine our eyes and take control of your political future and resources and shun godfatherism before it is too late. Make haste while the sun shines. Catch the black goat before night falls. Cut off the head of black snake because if you hit it with a stick, it will regroup and viciously attack you. A word is enough for the wise.

Onyema D.
Political Affairs Analyst

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