Thursday, March 30, 2023



Expectedly, political tempo in Enugu State is gathering momentum, with stakeholders and political office seekers engaged in intrigues that are already raising the stakes ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Historically, Enugu which prides itself as “Coal City State” apparently because of large presence of coal deposits, has not been known with the culture of money politics, perhaps because of the indifference of men and women of means in partisan politics.

The question, therefore, has been whether the state would continue in that tradition or it would be altered by the opposition in forthcoming political dispensation. 

Investigation reveals that there is a renewed opposition in the state with the flag-bearer of the Labour Party (LP)  for the 2023 gubernatorial election, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga leading the pack. 

Prior to the sudden emergence of Hon. Edeoga as LP candidate, the former deputy president of the senate, Ike Ekweremadu, was seen as the arrow head of the opposition. 

Little wonder, the opposition flank was like a grave yard when Senator Ekweremadu announced his withdrawal from the governorship race.

It would be recalled that Ekweremadu while collapsing his structures which he said was for unity, said, “In the last two years, we set out to run for the governorship of Enugu State. Our mission was to change the narrative in the governance of our state and possibly inspire other states in the delivery of impressive governance.

“Our hope was that this would lead to a total recalibration of governance in Nigeria with Enugu State as a starting point and model.”

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Ekweremadu told his supporters; “As long as I live, I promise to stand by you collectively and individually in appreciation. I am pained by the experience of our people, who were injured in the series of senseless attacks on our disciples in the course of this journey as well as many being persecuted, some of whom are still facing sham trials and some in detention for offences they did not commit. Their only offence was their support for Ike Ekweremadu.”

The Mpu born lawyer cum politician  said that he received assurances from the gubernatorial candidate of his party, PDP, Hon. Peter Mbah, that he would integrate his “Pathway to a New Enugu State” in his programme and the participation of everybody in his campaign team and government.

Suffice it to say that Ekweremadu who is currently facing trial in UK court along side his wife Beatrice over the alleged attempt to harvest human organ as well as indulging in human trafficking is not known to last in the ring as his critics alleged that he was just waiting for legal technicalities to halt the zoning arrangement and overrun Enugu.

Further checks show that many people have written off the trio of Frank Nweke (Jnr) of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Uche Nnaji of All Progressives Congress (APC), and Dr John Nwobodo of Accord Party (AP) as their actions are only visible on social media. The political activity of the candidate of Africa Democratic Congress (ADC) Pastor Donatus Ozoemena, seems also not to have been activated. 


As it is, if current events are used as gauge, then the fight for the soul of Enugu will be between Mbah and Edeoga of the PDP and  LP, respectively.

Edeoga an In-law to Nwodos is not a starter in Enugu politics having been chairman of a local government council and member of the House of Representatives. He was equally a one time legislative aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, before joining the present administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, where he served as Commissioner for Local Government Matters and later Environment. 

That Edeoga jumped over to LP is still a mirage to many people as it was said that his failure to clinch PDP ticket ought not to have drawn bad blood as he had been  informed to standby as Plan B option in the build up to the PDP primary held at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

Curiously, Edeoga as at the time of going to press had not made any public statement as regards his formal resignation from the PDP and picking of the LP gubernatorial ticket. 

The former Minister of Information and Ex-President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chiefs John Nnia Nwodo, and Okey Ezea, are being fingered as the political gladiators behind Edeoga’s governorship ambition, a development that has further polarised Nsukka cultural zone which hither-to was relatively peaceful. 

How Edeoga will be able to overpower the fireworks of his former boss is a huge question as findings show that apart from government machinery, the popularity of the PDP candidate, Mbah, is growing steadily across many communities in the the state. 

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Indeed, pro-Mbah elements are quick to tell that he is an asset to the party and humanity, citing his track record and great exploits in public and private sectors as an example. 

According to Dr Sylvester Ajagu, a Public Affairs Analyst, “Mbah is not a political neophyte or pushover, having being among the budding and young politicians that were discovered and appointed to serve Enugu State in the early years of the present democracy.

Ajagu recalled,  “Mbah, who served in Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani’s administration as Chief of Staff and Commissioner for Finance, left the political stage at the end of Nnamani’s administration to explore new opportunities in private sector

Chijioke Edeoga – Can he put a stop to PDP’s dominance of Enugu politics?

“This is unlike his colleagues and career politicians, who have continued to bestride or hang-on on the political space and corridors of power at every given time, looking, fighting, searching and lobbying for political appointments and elective positions for personal gains and comfort.  

No doubt, the heat is on in Coal City State, a reminiscence of rivalries between political lords that characterised the then Chimaroke Nnamani and Sullivan Chime administrations. 

But Governor Ugwuanyi appears unperturbed as stakeholders from various local government areas including Isi-Uzo where Edeoga hails from have paid allegiance to him during their solidarity visit at Government House, Enugu, recently



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