It was Thomas Paine, an American founding Father who once stated that “the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
The immediate past 2023 general elections in Enugu state can best be described as an ‘eye opening tsunami.’ It was indeed, a great wave in the political system which has caused displacement of a large volume of strong and powerful politicians in Enugu state and even beyond.
The weighty wave was without doubt, caused by the overwhelming supports given to Mr. Gregory Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of Labor Party, by the Southeasterners during the first elections of 25th February, 2023.
Mr. Obi became the choice of many young voters across the southern part of the country, with southeast, as his strongest bargaining chip. His acceptance was further fuelled by the insensitive Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC, and the eventual denial of the Eastern Nigeria the golden opportunity to fly the PDP flag during its presidential primaries, despite the fact that about three ebullient illustrious Sons of the zone had lined up for the epic battle, but without successes.
You will agree with me that while the wave raged in Enugu state, that so many excellent and high-quality candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were swept off their feet by the tide.
Some of these admirable contenders who became victims of this unforeseen whirlwind are too numerous to mention in this singular piece. But Of all that happened within that period, the most agonizing to me were His Excellency, the Executive Governor of our dear State, Rt. Hon. Dr. ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Chief Engr. Vita Abba of Nsukka/Igboeze-South Federal Constituency (Expect-More) and Hon. Solomon Izuchukwu Onah (JackSolo), among others.
The above individuals were not unelected because they have albatrosses in their profiles. No. they lost their elections because of our inefficiency as Party canvassers in drawing a line between voting for LP and voting for Mr. Peter Obi, which LP canvassers deliberately muddled-up to confuse the voting class. The two missions were different in all ramifications but we didn’t move-in quickly to stem the tide, by properly separating the two for the uneducated. And so, they became intertwined, leading to what was called electoral bandwagons.
Today, ‘the rest’ they say ‘is history’ as most newly elected public officials of Labor Party in the state are unknown and unidentifiable, even to the electorates. Many of them are unpopular in the real sense of it and even unskillful in the art of carrying-out the responsibilities that have been trusted on their shoulders by the teaming uninformed voters.
But that is a story for another day anyways.
…On Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, Our Dear Governor-Elect
It was Pope John Paul XXII who once stated that some ‘Men are like wines, some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.’ Dr. Mbah is like a beautiful bride in the entire Enugu political space. He is a likeable personality of unimaginable proportion, and a speaker per excellence.
His messages of hope during the electioneering campaigns were laud, decipherable, and clear. His manifesto speaks volume of the Enugu State of our founding fathers while his presence in any public gathering testifies to his readiness, passion, dedication and love for a new and prosperous state.
So his election was square, straight and justifiable…
During the campaigns, Dr. Mbah, had never left anyone in doubt of what his administration would bring onboard at every given time. And he even went as far as enunciating what he would do, beginning with each zone and every local government in the state, which in essence, has continued to raise hopes and aspirations of the average Enugu Man to high heavens.
It is the above expressions, expectations and dreams that proved handfuls to the opposition contenders, and eventually won the elections for the PDP candidate over others.
This is what it is.
…And Finally, Here is a Lesson for the PDP
It was Author Richard Paul Evans who once stated that ‘Fate does not bend for us, we must bend to it.’
The last election has shown to all of us that the age of stakeholder-politics is gone in Enugu state. It was indeed, a beautiful occasion where the obvious disconnection between the leaders of these political wards and their followers became too pronounced.
The elections were clear red-flags for the so called ‘stakeholders’ of the party across wards in the state. And the evidences stand before all of us, especially after the first elections.
The lesson remains we must bend towards the new trend, which is dealing directly with the public, while jettisoning the medieval practice of enriching the stake and its holder, against public demands.
Gwiyi Solomon wrote from Uzo Uwani LGA of Enugu State