Campaigns have kicked off for the 2023 elections and political activities are in top gear. Political parties and their foot soldiers are off on the field hunting for voters’ empathy as hunters hunt for games.
This commentary is aimed at analyzing the various top contenders for the office of the Governor of Enugu State with the sole aim of objectively arriving at presenting the reader with the most suitable choice.
But before I proceed with the analysis, it is important to emphasize how expedient this election is for South-Eastern Nigeria, of which Enugu is the leading state. This is because this election presents a ‘make or mar’ situation for South-Eastern Nigeria which we must ensure goes in our favor.
Why is it a ‘make or mar’ situation? The reason is very simple. South-Eastern Nigeria has over the years been relegated to the back seat of the Nigerian political sphere. It is so bad that our voice can hardly be heard, let alone be weighed to even matter. This explains why the once most peaceful and enterprising region of the country has been reduced to a mere docile entity crippled by pockets of violence here and there as well as a ‘Monday fear’ that has reduced productive activity days to only four days a week as a result of the imposed ‘sit-at-home’ by agitators of self-governance.
The majority have attributed these challenges to marginalization by the other regions in the national political sphere but I beg to disagree.
There is an Igbo adage that says, Ana-ammamma si n’ulo abu iro meaning that CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME. Indeed, we have not been given enough space in the national political space but the big question should be, “What have we done with the space at home?”. It is no news that governance in Southeast Nigeria has been a gross disaster ranging from poor delivery of the dividends of good governance in terms of infrastructural development to abuse of human rights and negligence of the rule of law. Enugu and Anambra had made little effort to become a light rising from the East, and have had their light grossly diminished in the last seven years. The State has in turn joined the bandwagon of political sycophancy characteristic of governance in South East. It is on this note that we must make sure that we get it right this time around before we degenerate into the sorry state of our neighboring South-Eastern States.
Now let me quickly jump into the analysis of the top five governorship aspirants for the 2023 election with particular reference to the governorship candidates of the Labour Party, APC, APGA, PDP, and ADC. There is no doubt that all the candidates have come up with campaign promises and these promises look promising but promising is not enough! The question that people should begin to ask is, “What is the political antecedence of these candidates?” “How did they handle the responsibilities given to them in time past?”
Let’s start with the Labour Party candidate who is a sagacious fine gentleman. But this person happens to be the past Commissioner of Environment in the present administration which ended up with the dirtiest environment ever since the re-inception of Democracy. Under his watch, the State moved from being the neatest State in the South-East to becoming an ‘anywhere belle face’ dump site. His supporters may quickly wedge in to excuse him that he was not in charge but the last thing we need right now is excuse-driven government.
The APC candidate might be a great candidate but for a party that fared so badly at the Federal level, imposing such terrific hardship on Nigerians, it will not be wise to go thumb-print the broom party on election day as one cannot guarantee that the party will not bring down bad governance to the State level.
PDP happens to be the party currently in power in the state. If I must be lenient with them, I will simply say that they fared badly in the last eight years. However to also recognize that their candidate happens to be the former commissioner of Finance under the previous Administration. But what do I know? Is he not a good businessman? Well, he is sure a good businessman but we are yet to see him handle public wealth. You never know. May God help our dear State.
This leaves us with the APGA and ADC candidates – fine gentlemen without any known claw of godfatherism over their shoulders. However, what Enugu needs right now is FRESH AIR and A NEW BEGINNING. The APGA candidate served as the Minister of Information under the Obasanjo regime. He did his part extremely well it is sad to note that his representation of the state at the ministerial level had no reflection at the state level.
At this juncture, my recommendation for who should be the next governor of Enugu State shall focus mainly on
These 7 major focused points are on human development with a special focus on security, public-private partnership towards a sustainable economy and conducive business atmosphere, agricultural development, quality health care, and quality education as the top priorities.
Other areas of focus are women and youth inclusion in governance, and infrastructural development with a special focus on accessible water and road for all.
This is not the time to sit at home. It is time to do all we can to ensure we don’t just collect our PVC but go out en mass and vote
Enugu shall indeed be great again but this is only achievable by obediently voting wisely, not just at the national level but also at the state level.
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