Since Hon. Chijioke Edeoga declared interest to run for the governorship of Enugu State by resigning his office as the commissioner for Environment and Solid Minerals in Governor Ugwuanyi’s cabinet, in line with the electoral law, and his purchase of governorship form, the political turf has received a wave public interest especially as Edeoga’s candidature is greeted with wild acceptance, jubilation and celebration. The social media went agog with much excitement and shouts of joy in view of Edeoga’s political capital founded on character and competence evidenced in his public service antecedents.
On the other hand, Edeoga’s candidature, as it flew through the sky, fanned the camp of the opposition cold. They became panicky, knowing that the Edeoga brand is unbeatably pristine and unblemished. Incidentally, most of them in the other divisions have cases of financial impropriety and antecedents of abuse of public office hanging loosely on their necks. They would seek a way to floor him and would find none. The Ike Ekweremadu camp was the most badly hit. They had laid claims to competence all this while but now that they have seen competence personified, they seem to have suddenly dropped their political ladle and now fold their hands across their breasts like a woman stirring a pot of soup who on receiving bad news, suddenly drops her ladle, and this time in utter consternation and discomfiture. While these other aspirants battle with the slur of the alleged stealing of public funds and primitive acquisition of a plethora of property all over the world, especially in Dubai at the expense of the people, Edeoga comes with an untainted immaculately white rob of dedicated public service and righteousness. The Bible records that when the righteous are on the throne, the people rejoice. Governor Ugwuanyi came the same way and for the past seven years, the Enugu citizenry has been luxuriating in the balm of good governance. Another David has come to the throne and that is why Enugu has received the candidature of Chijioke Edeoga with pleasurable eagerness and excitement.
Because they have nothing to hold against Chijioke Edeoga, they came up with the relationship narrative, a ridiculously false claim with such an infantile hue. Hon. Chijioke Edeoga and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi do not share such a relationship as is being noised about. Even if they did, it would not mean that either of them would be debarred from aspiring to any public office simply because they shared a relationship. Which law precludes them as such? None!
Chijioke Edeoga is from Enugu East Senatorial Zone and Ugwuanyi is from Enugu North Senatorial Zone. They do not even share the same senatorial zone, to say nothing of local government, for while Edeoga is from Isi-Uzo, whose turn it is to produce the next governor of Enugu State ( Ka Isi-Uzo Jee), Ugwuanyi is from Udenu. The fact nonetheless is that their mothers hail from the same clan, Obollo Eke, in Udenu Local Government and that did not make them sisters to merit the contrivance of blood relationship to the tune of sisters the detractors ascribe to them that would prevent their sons from their aspirations. It is amazingly funny anyone would hold such a ridiculous narrative against Edeoga’s aspiration. What an unthinking folk! Alas! Where is their natural common sense?
Meanwhile, where were the detractors when in 1997, Edeoga was elected the chairman of Isi-Uzo Local Government? Where were they when in 2003, Chijioke was elected into the House Representatives where he served as the chairman of the House Committee on Information? Were they alive when President Jonathan appointed Chijioke his SA on National Assembly Matters? Did it take Chijioke’s relationship with Governor Ugwuanyi to attain these heights in politics and public service? Did it also take Ugwuanyi’s relationship with Chijioke for him to have attained the lofty heights he too has achieved in politics and public service to the extent he has adjudged the best governor in Nigeria, a reason why Nigerians are asking for him presidentially? Relationship or not, heaven is replete with many stars and they shine their shine. It would not take any of such contrived relationships to stop the stars from shining. Even if they were cousins, is it taboo for a cousin to hand over to a cousin? James Ibori of Delta State handed over to his maternal cousin, Uduaghan and heaven did not fall. As a matter of fact, Uduaghan discharged himself creditably in the office.
Those behind this relationship narrative are idle, childish and jealous folks who have nothing to put in the way of Chijioke Edeoga. They are just trying to hold on to broken reeds. While Governor Ugwuanyi and Chijioke Edeoga are not cousins, it would not mean that even if they were, any one of them would be barred from aspiring to any office on that account. Such a law is unknown to humanity.
By Reuben Onyishi (Ugoachataberu)
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