The distraction rallies of Enugu
Written by Ossy on August 22, 2021
On the 7th of August 2021, a large audience assembled in Awgu for the Ifemelumma Enugu West Unity Rally. There had previously been numerous such demonstrations, such as Odinma Nsukka and Oganiru Enugu East.
These rallies have similar characteristics and are aimed towards the same goal: a gang of political insiders is planning and plotting to depose the incumbent in 2023.
If you look at the genealogy of the propagators of this plan, you will see that some of the infamous Ebeano guys from 1999 to 2007 are circling to reclaim the state.
And they are using the same tactics that have worked in the past to deceive the public: propaganda, clannish feeling, half-truths, blatant falsehoods, disinformation, and flashy campaigns.
These thugs are promoting the idea that zoning is deeply ingrained in Enugu gubernatorial politics; this is a half-truth in every way. The fact is that, while each of the three senatorial zones has had a turn at the seat, there was never a time when it was agreed in any forum to implement zoning/rotation in the state.
Because, if zoning had been addressed, considerations other than senatorial zones (formed only yesterday) would have been considered. For example, it is generally known that Oji River, Awgu, and Aninri, which comprise the ancient Awgu division, are minorities in the state, and paradoxically, there has always been a conspiracy to exclude the minority from the state’s political equation.
I’ve also seen some zoning paperwork. It is generally comprehensive and clear. It describes how the zoning would take place in the index scenario as well as in the near future. It sometimes extends all the way down the line to illustrate how zoning might affect minority interests in a specific zone.
Where is the broader Awgu’s interest in this ostensible zoning?
Aside from the obvious anomaly and continued marginalization being pushed by some elements who appear to be prodded by their hatred for one man – Senator Ike Ekweremadu (who is rumored to be interested in running and is from Greater Awgu), there is the blatant distraction and wastefulness of this misplaced priority in the name of rallies.
As it stands, Enugu State is the sole state holding rallies for the 2023 general elections. In fact, Anambra State, which has elections in a few months, has not had the number of demonstrations that Enugu State had. Why is this the case? For what, exactly? What is the goal?
It would not be incorrect to assume that desperate politicians are trying to reclaim power. And while they’re at it, they’ve gone the infamous way of distracting the governor.
It is worth noting that several of these persons have already been before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for misuse of public monies. Nonetheless, they are regrouping in order to replenish their dwindling pockets.
The Enugu West gathering, on the other hand, was not without turmoil. Senator Ben Collins Ndu set the tone by reciting a paper that he said was prepared and signed in 2013 in which they promised to zone the gubernatorial seat to Nsukka in 2015.
Senator Ndu stated that there was an alleged understanding that following Nsukka, Enugu East would be the next stop. The inference is that their promises of zoning agreements after the restoration to democracy in 1999 did not occur.
Remember that in 2015, there was a lot of intrigue in Enugu Politics between the then-governor, Mr. Sullivan Chime, and Senator Ike Ekweremadu. I recall Sullivan boasting at an Oji River rally that he was going to retire Ekweremadu from politics. He urged Ekweremadu to return home, and the governorship would be given to Nsukka.
Ikeoha eventually outwitted Sullivan, seizing control of all state party organizations and 100 percent of delegates. Ike was on his way home to collect all of the party’s political tickets. Knowing he lacked the political power to make inroads from another party platform, Sullivan wisely capitulated.
A ceasefire was struck, and Ike Ekweremadu agreed to let Sullivan have his way while retaining his Senate seat. Chime discreetly joined the APC shortly after his term ended and has been enjoying his retirement under the aegis of the ruling party.
Where was the zoning back then? Ironically, in a popular interview a few years ago, one of the organizers, Chief Anayo Onwuegbu (Omeiheukwu), 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 short-changed in state politics in terms of governorship position.
Returning to the blatant diversion of this activity, which is reported to be co-sponsored by one of the Nkanu candidates, a former State Accountant-General.
While I believe the current governor has done a commendable job, I am opposed to giving away the authority to choose his own successor. I am concerned, if not terrified, by the gloomy political culture that is emerging in my state.
For selfish reasons, I am not a “calm” or “faithful” person in this community’s terminology. As a result, I have little possibility of ever being “selected” by a godfather. Enugu’s political culture has stifled any form of morality or even reason in leadership recruitment.
Politicians prefer to handpick the most submissive among their stooges to occupy and be elevated to political posts from the ward up to the local government and state. This has significantly reduced the caliber of young people groomed for important offices and jobs. The negative consequences of this diabolical approach to power brokering are evident.
In my opinion, the state administration has made real attempts to empower and create opportunities for the young. I would prefer to see awareness campaigns that bring to the attention of Enugu West and Enugu Youths all of the projects that the government has developed to empower and improve their lives, rather than gathering them in ineffective political rallies were half-truths, lies, and crass indoctrination into primitive political culture are the only agenda.
For example, how well are our people aware of the state government’s SME initiatives that offer apprenticeship training and start-up assistance to Enugu youths? How many young people in Enugu West have benefited from it? Of course, Ifemelumma organizers are unconcerned with those.
It is preferable to outfit the youngsters in orange T-shirts so that they can dance and applaud in anticipation of their next round of thieving. In Enugu North Senatorial Zone, the state government has constructed a brand new College of Medicine and ESUT teaching hospital. Where are we going in the West? Which reference hospital is currently operating in Enugu West?
Achi is home to the Civil Defense Training Center. How many of our employees have been recruited for the program? How do our people profit from jobs at the Oji River Police College, the School of Health, the Federal Cooperative College, and other Enugu West establishments?
How many protests have we conducted to demand a better living for our thronging youth? Enugu state government has recently begun to establish ICT centers. Couldn’t our beloved “stakeholders” have an impact on the location of one hub in our zone to assist our teeming youths?
It is clear that these so-called stakeholders are pursuing yet another selfish agenda in order to position themselves for the grab! It’s no surprise that Senator Hyde Onuaguluchi took advantage of the opportunity to slam all the pretenders at the gathering.
Odenigbo didn’t mince words when he told them that no matter how many times a falsehood is repeated, it will never become true. And the reality is that zoning has never been addressed in Enugu State to the point of creating it. There have never been any agreements signed by the people establishing how the gubernatorial seat in Enugu State will be rotated.