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[The Concourse] 2023 PROJECTIONS: Why Enugu should route for equity candidature

By the reckoning of James Freeman Clarke: “A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation. A politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman for that of his country. A statesman wishes to steer, while a politician is satisfied to drift.”

The above quote formed the choice of today’s edition of The Concourse. We are still in the mid-morning of 2021, but 2023 confabulations have spiced up discourses from local to federal levels; an evidence that our politicians are actively fulfilling Clarke’s wits above.

Immediately 2019 general election ended, assorted febrile antics and gambits started playing out on what should become the complexion and genetic makeup of the next governor of the coal city state of Enugu. Such incident should not be begrudged. It is normal. The belligerency is between those who believed that power is never given but taken, and those who believed that power belongs to the people, and anything that belonged to the people cannot be taken unless given.

From the pool of hassles and contretemps it was easy to distinguish who among the espousers and hierophants is a politician and a statesman.

But there is actually no need for debate. Enugu thrives on an unbroken tradition of governorship rotational formula. This schematic intrigue facilitated the seamless emergence (in turns) of its governors from among the triplet zone that made up the state, vis-à-vis Enugu East, Enugu West and Enugu North. The pendulum started its pivotal swings from the fulcrum of Enugu East senatorial zone in 1999, and is on course to completing its cycle in Enugu North zone come 2023. The natural science of simple pendulum demands that it returns to the fulcrum for continuation of its pivoting cycle.

But if that happens without debacles, it will defile the reality that in our clime, more politicians than statesmen play politics. It takes them (politicians) to stir the waters, in untoward attempts to truncate the cycle. They were on duty in this regard few months ago. But the calm nature of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi confounded them. He remained unruffled amidst the hullabaloo. In Gov. Ugwuanyi we saw exactly what Henry Kissinger taught that “ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.” He kept his leadership garb unstained.

Some argue that since the cycle started in Enugu East and is getting completed in Enugu North; let the next cycle begin from Enugu West in 2023 and end in Enugu East in 2047.
Few others argued that rotational/zoning formula negates meritocracy etc.

While I have the inexpert burden to leave politicking to politicians; I have the moral burden to offer them some advice on the right call to make, in honour of justice. Incendiary preachments and inflammatory utterances should be anathemized. They won’t help us; and those who induce them are doing so for obdurate parochial purposes. Wawa (Enugu and Ebonyi) politics has been one of the most peaceful in the southeast. They are the only two states in the southeast where no sitting governor has been impeached or even squeezed into ungovernable situations.

The 2001/2003 godfather – godson squabble between Chief Jim Nwobodo and the then Governor Chimaroke Nnamani was actually extreme, and led to stormy house of assembly situations. But the custodians of our sociopolitical milieu were able to discern and chart a better course, which helped the ship of the state meander to safety. We have always had a smooth transition from one government to another with relative peace across tenures.

We can’t afford allowing the interstitches wear off now.

And so, all lovers of democratic traditions and stakeholders of the state have an obligation with history towards delivering consensus candidature in 2023. A candidate whose emergence and reign will do a great service to the principles of equity, justice and fairness. This means, we must follow the lead of instinctual science of pendulous oscillation that designed our rotation formula. Simply put, we should choose the best hand for the office of Executive governor of Enugu state come 2023 from Enugu East senatorial district.

The zone is made up of five local government areas — Nkanu East, Nkanu West, Enugu North, Enugu South and Isi Uzo. Of these, Isi Uzo remains the less patronized, in terms of political sharings in the state. The Nkanu and Enugu city centre bloc had produced governors. Enugu North and South local government areas have lion share each, of government establishments and institutions including playing host to the capital city. Isi Uzo has nothing in comparison.

In the spirit of fraternal equity and evenhandedness, it is just expedient that we give Isi Uzo the needed chance, support and ground to deliver from among her numerous illustrious and eminent sons and daughters, a governor for our State in the upcoming dispensation. Even naysayers are in agreement that it was Gov. Ugwuanyi’s ingenuity in opening up rural areas that, for the first time, helped the people of Isi Uzo feel the presence of dividends of state-sponsored infrastructural development.

The aphorism is this: since every zone has tasted power in the Lion Building, it is prudential that the tripod be returned to its “terminus ad quom” and to the untapped town of Isi Uzo. Men and women of proven integrity abound in Ikem asokwa, Eha Enyiduru, Mbu amon’, Mbu akpochi, Neke Otas’ etc, who can replicate the astronomical leviathan strides in infrastructural transformation which Gov. Ugwuanyi’s magic wand notched up in the state since 2015. Ours is to make the best choice.

I stand with John Quincy Adams that we should “always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, but you will cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” If we apply the advisory of Charles Pickering that “a healthy democracy requires a decent society; it requires that we are honorable, generous, tolerant and respectful” then we should be generous enough with truth to admit that 2023 is for Isi Uzo; and be honourable and respectful too to support and vote for a good candidate of that extraction.

The slogan is “Ka Isi Uzo jee!” and the code is “Equity candidature”

May daylight spare us!

Eze Jude O.

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