If he is elected as the Governor, he is going to immediately hit the ground running. With his exposure at various levels of governance, he has prepared himself for the challenges that lie ahead.”
By Emeka Nwosu
The forthcoming general elections may prove a watershed in many States of the Federation, given the unraveling of political formations previously thought to be monolithic or immune to change. Many political permutations, predictions and calculations are going to be shattered, going by the grim determination of the people to enthrone new political kids on the block with vision and grit.
A serious wind of change is blowing across the nation, and particularly in the South East where the people are poised to do away with those monolithic political structures that have continued to hold them down and bringing no tangible value to the table. One of such States where a political upset is expected to be recorded is Enugu, in which the Governorship candidate of Labour Party, Hon. Barrister Chijioke Edeoga, is daring waves.
Since the advent of the Fourth Republic in 1999, Enugu State has remained a one-party State in which only the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has continued to hold sway with nothing much in terms of infrastructural development to show for it. Apart from the era of Governor Sullivan Chime in which some impressive marks were made, the State has continued to live in past glory recorded during the previous administrations of Dr. Michael Okpara and Chief Jim Nwobodo.
The fortunes of the State, under the stewardship of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, would seem to have suffered lamentable decline. His administration has nothing concrete in terms of human capital development and infrastructure to show for the almost eight years it has been on the leadership saddle of the State. It has been nothing but a lackluster performance.
Even with such mediocre output, the outgoing Governor Ugwuanyi is seeking to impose a stooge in the name of Peter Mbah, contrary to the wish of Enugu people. The main qualification of Mbah is that he has a deep pocket which enabled him to grab the PDP ticket in controversial circumstances.
Ugwuanyi and his chorus boys never allowed a level playing field in the PDP primaries because of their determination to install a surrogate that would continue with the docility and timidity of the administration.
This was why viable and cerebral competitors like Chijioke Edeoga were frustrated out of the ruling Party. But the loss of PDP is now the gain of the Labour Party which is fielding Edeoga as its flag bearer.
They know that Edeoga cannot be pocketed and would not dance to the tune of the godfathers, going by his pedigree. That was why everything was done, including the subversion of the internal rules of the PDP to deny him the ticket. But they easily and conveniently forget that God rules in the affairs of men. To the glory of God Almighty, Edeoga, today, is the gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party in the State.
Edeoga`s emergence on the platform of Labour Party has redefined the character and content of the politics of Enugu State. His candidature which is widely accepted across the State is like a hurricane sweeping across the entire landscape of Enugu to the chagrin of the political establishment in the State.
What is advancing the fortunes of Edeoga in the contest are the great values he is bringing on the table. He is a scholar, technocrat and political leader who has been tried and tested, and is eminently qualified to give Enugu a new lease of life. Edeoga is level-headed, cultured, well educated, charismatic, affable, warm and personable. He has a national reach which he can effectively deploy to the benefit of the State and its teeming population, especially the youths. One character trait that stands him out is his disarming personality and compassionate spirit. He is indeed humility personified.
Edeoga has an impressive academic record. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He also holds Bachelor of Law (LLB) and Master of Law (LLM) Degrees from the University of Buckingham and University of London, United Kingdom, respectively.
Edeoga has impressive record of public service from where he has acquired the requisite experience to deliver good governance and quality leadership to the good people of Enugu State. If he is elected as the Governor, he is going to immediately hit the ground running. With his exposure at various levels of governance, he has prepared himself for the challenges that lie ahead. He is definitely not going to learn on the job.
Edeoga started his impressive career as a talented Journalist with the Champion Newspapers in Lagos State. He was elected in 1997 as the Chairman of Isi Uzo Local Government Council, Enugu. At the dawn of the Fourth Republic in 1999, he was elected into the House of Representatives to represent Enugu East and Isi Uzo Federal Constituency of Enugu State. While in the Parliament, he served as the Chairman, House Committee on Information.
After serving his tenure in the House of Representatives, he was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan as a Presidential Adviser on National Assembly Matters. In that capacity, he leveraged on his goodwill and extensive contacts in the National Assembly to secure safe passage for the Ministerial nominees of the President and Executive Bills.
During his tenure as Presidential Adviser, he saw to it that the National Assembly and the Presidency had cordial relationship.
From the National Assembly in Abuja, he returned to serve as a Commissioner in Enugu State under the outgoing administration of Ugwuanyi. He first held the portfolio of Local Government and later Environment. He resigned from the position to throw his hat into the governorship race.
Edeoga is well prepared for the task ahead. With his wealth of experience and academic attainments, there is no doubt that Edeoga has what it takes to make the desired difference in the governance of Enugu State. With Edeoga, there is a heightened expectation of a new dawn in Enugu.
▪︎ Dr. Nwosu, a public policy analyst, wrote from Abuja.