By Prince Ejeh Josh
Let me succinctly make this submission without apology as a prelude to this essay. Chijioke Edeoga, Enugu Labour Party governorship candidate in the just concluded 2023 general elections, has no mandate to recover. Not even in court let alone from the social media where he has infamously engaged in media frenzy to shop for relevance, indefinitely defaming the PDP, court of law, Dr. Peter Mbah, Enugu State Governor-elect and other perceived political foes.
The brazen and inconvenient truth about the March 18 election outcome that few gullible Labour Party followers have absurdly and ignorantly refused to accept is that, Edeoga convincingly lost the election, and his failure is glaring. The forensic evidence of his political mishap and eventual collapse is a fact that is beyond dispute.
To reiterate this in clear terms; Edeoga’s claim of electoral victory could only exist as a figment of imagination and work of fiction which he would soon realise he had allowed himself as a “political puppet” (A sincere apologies to Chief Nana Ogbodo who only re-echoed the general evidence-based and incontrovertible fact before the public) to be misled by his political godfathers. In corporate law, these set of dangerous political mafia, usually marauding as sponsors and 35 percenters of every allocation, revenue and contract, are referred to as shadow directors.
Whatever action, inaction and impact from Edeoga is their direct influence. This is why it’s enough to conclude that the Labour Party’s governorship candidate had long mortgaged his soul and faculty of reasoning, and in his words, lost the will and ability for independent decision. The rest was history. This will, however, be a discussion for another day.
It is a public knowledge that before the general elections, Edeoga, a former House of Representatives member and erstwhile Commissioner for Local Government and Environment under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had indicated interest to vie for the governor of the state despite denying that earlier. He could have, as well, been pushed into the race by the cartel comfortably positioned to swindle the coffers of the state through their conduit pipe ceremoniously decorated as Chief Executive at the Lion Building.
Get me right. It is Edeoga’s political right to express interest in any office once he meets the constitutional requirements for such office however unpopular and timid he may appear to have been in his public perception and image rating by the people.
He did contest the PDP primaries and was given a bloody defeat and outright rejection as even delegates he singlehandedly picked from his Isi Uzo local government area and Nsukka Zone’s maternal home to vote for him told him to his face that they were afraid he would make the worst governor of the century.
One would not be surprised at the mortifying rejection by his own delegates. They were not blind loyalists as the collective destiny and common good of the state was more paramount to them than electing a candidate with a history of leadership failure. Predictably, Edeoga went back home in shock and despondence. What could analysts have expected from someone who had been in different offices for over 35 years but could not point at any single project he attracted to his people. For the delegates, it’s a payback time and the revenge was served cold but more messier, bloodier and ruthlessly delivered even to the disappointment of those political godfathers.
With all hope lost, Edeoga, in a press release personally signed by him, congratulated the winner of the election, directed his household and minions to support Peter Mbah as he was better and even superior to him in terms of competence, capacity, character, verifiable track records, orientation and standing in life. By all standards, Edeoga cowered to Mbah’s superiority and towering international status.
Then, the Peter Obi, Labour Party presidential candidate, effect blew in like an hurricane. The gang of conspirators masquerading as political syndicate forced Mr. Edeoga out of his political hibernation and imposed him on the political party. Yet Edeoga never considered it serious to campaign aside few political wards in the old Nsukka Zone. To complicate his woes, Peter Obi deliberately avoided associating with him because of the baggage precariously hanging on his neck like a cat already belled. They were baggage of corruption, incompetence, cluelessness, leadership failure, profligacy and confusion. The world could see Mr. Obi feeling ashamed of taking pictures with the purported Labour Party candidate.
One of the greatest undoing of Enugu Labour Party was fielding Edeoga as its candidate even though there’s a strong dissension by members of the party because of how he swindled Chief Evarest Nnaji of his hard earned money, standing as a placeholder for him but later stabbed him behind when it was dawn on everyone that Obi’s sweeping popularity was having impact on the structure of the party through public opinion and opinion molding culminating to the birth of the Obidients Movement.
But Mr. Obi represented a different meaning from the Labour Party tirade in the state. Imposters, infiltrators and opportunists had already hijacked Enugu wing of Labour Party. Obi definitely knew about that, and adroitly avoided the political leprosy carried by the gubernatorial candidate. While Peter Obi was in Abia, Plateau, Lagos, Delta states vigorously campaigning for its party’s gubernatorial candidates, he snubbed Enugu’s and described the candidate as toxic, dent and unfortunate imposition. One could see Edeoga desperately shopping for pictures with scampering Peter Obi. Edeoga’s hope of even winning his own polling unit became dimmer and almost oblivious before the February 25 presidential election.