I read this morning online some analysis of the political situation with PDP, following the recommendations of the PDP National Zoning Committee which Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State chaired and which zoned the chairmanship position of the party to the North.
The misguided epistle in its permutation of where and who would fly the party’s presidential ticket completely excluded the Southeast on the phantom supposition that the two governors from Southeast: Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, had shown no commitment and loyalty to the party. I personally found that mischievous and a deliberate attempt on the part of the online analyst to sell a dummy to the public and malign the Southeast as has been the case in political scheme of things in the country.
In the misinformed piece, the author peremptorily zoned the presidential ticket coming to the South to South-South and touted Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as the right candidate to fly the party’s ticket. The misguided author claims that Okowa is the right candidate because in his own thoughts Okowa comes from the Igbo side of Delta State and would bridge the gap between Southeast and South-South.Such fawned tokenism nibbled the Southeast by the analyst is more wicked than the said total exclusion. The said analyst claimed that some Fulani folks said they would never allow power to flow to the Southeast. At what point did the rain start beating us in Nigeria that some minority would determine the destiny of a major ethnic nationality in Nigeria? The author goes on to hallucinate yet again among former President, Goodluck Jonathan, Governors Wyesom Wike and Emmanuel Udom of Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, respectively, all in the bid to project South-South against Southeast. He would not include Southwest because former President Olusegun Obasanjo had taken its turn but would strongly argue for South-South, a minority that has had an unmerited shot at the presidency for six years through Jonathan.
This represents one of the misconceptions politically hawked against the Southeast, the zone that has yet to produce the president of Nigeria. How would anyone exclude the Southeast on the pretext that the two governors from Southeast in the party had not shown commitment to it; that the two governors had eyes on APC? How can any human being with head on their neck make such false claims and draw conclusions from them?
I am not in the position to speak for Governor Okozie Ikpeazu of Abia State but I can say that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has shown utmost commitment and loyalty to the PDP. Right from his twelve years in the House of Representatives, while carpet crossing was all the rage, Ugwuanyi faithfully stuck to his party, the PDP, and never gave it a thought to move to any other party. Ugwuanyi had maintained this ideological commitment up until now that he governs Enugu State under the platform of the party. While some governors for political expediency and self interest were busy gallivanting from one party to the other, Governor Ugwuanyi had remained with his party, the People’s Democratic Party. While some governors elected under the PDP, like Governors Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and Ben Anyade of Cross River State, moved to APC to curry the favour of the presidency and launch themselves into relevance at the centre, Governor Ugwuanyi had maintained his loyalty to his party and had emerged the leader of the party in Southeast.
So, how did this misguided permutation published in the Vanguard come by its conclusion that the Southeast is being excluded from the presidential race because its two governors had one leg in PDP and the other in APC? This claim is mischievous and unseemly.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has a reputation for peaceful coexistence and has won awards to that effect even internationally. He does not play partisan politics of bitterness. He extends the olive to all and ensures peace and security is guaranteed to the the Enugu citizenry irrespective of party affiliations. That in any way does not detract from his ideological stand. What some had misconstrued as his inclination to defect to APC is nothing but his peaceful and genial approach to governance which does not in any way consist in virulent emasculation of the opposition as may obtain elsewhere. It is therefore childish of anyone to mistake that for intention to defect to another party.
The other day, one Femi Fani-Kayode had, while granting audience to the press after his shameless defection from PDP to APC, alluded to his claims that he was instrumental to the defection of Governor Umahi and Governor Anyade to APC and that he would soon woo his friend, Governor Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, to APC. Governor Umahi quickly reacted to that claim, making it clear that Fani-Kayode had no hand in his defection. Such a rolling stone as Fani-Kayode, who says one thing and does another, cannot be relied upon to make such reliable claims upon which any reasonable person or media outfit in its delirious bid to make permutations should rely. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is a man of wisdom and such a person like Fani-Kayode, who has shown much inconsistency, bordering on lack of wisdom and integrity, cannot tell Governor Ugwuanyi on what political tide to flow. No! It is akin to darkness leading the light.
Governor Ugwuanyi is PDP and the party has leveraged on Ugwuanyi’s capacity on many occasions. Governor Ugwuanyi headed the zoning committee that had made its recommendations to the party. I am even sure that the party would not want to lose this iconic leader, even if he wants to defect to APC.So, what is this hullabaloo about defection that anyone should rely upon to exclude Southeast in the PDP presidential race?
In the spirit of equity, PDP is expected to zone its presidential ticket to Southeast. Southeast has been the mainstay of the party in Nigeria. Now that its ticket is headed Southward, it is a time to pay back Southeast of Nigeria for its loyalty to the party, given that both South-South and Southwest had taken turns at the presidency. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s Enugu State is a template of good governance devoid of nepotism and all the vices of maladministration under which Nigerians are presently groaning.
Nigeria needs a breath of fresh air in terms of peace and security of lives and property. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi holds the olive in his hand. He is a de-tribalized Nigerian who knows how to reach out to the various divides equitably. He has contacts across the nation and has this aura of a rallying point of good leadership anchored on selfless patriotism. Already, many Nigerians are asking Governor Ugwuanyi to run for the presidency. Ugwuanyi’s acceptance reverberates across the nation. Many Northern elders and traditional rulers are already yearning for Ugwuanyi’s wand that has the capacity to galvanize Nigeria into a cohesive and peaceful entity. Whoever that had thought to exclude Southeast is sure of a wild goose chase. Governor Ugwuanyi offers all it takes for the Nigerian president of Igbo extraction on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP), the party to which he has shown unwavering loyalty and commitment.
Bibian Anekwe News added – “Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes.” .
By Reuben Onyishi