Your Excellency


I came across two news stories from
Enugu that prompted this letter. I consider writing to you a matter of urgency
based on the import of both stories – if they are true.

In
the one
, you were said to be finding it difficult to choose your cabinet because there were too many vested interests that you had to satisfy and there aren’t
enough jobs for the boys, especially now that the federal option has allegedly
been closed with the change of government in Abuja.
In
the other
, your immediate predecessor implied that a way out could be to take
the state to the APC (by defecting) so that Enugu’s mouth will not be removed from
the federal breast milk.


As a citizen of Enugu, I tried very
hard to hide my disappointment at the turn of events. Where is the Igbo can-do spirit
which pulls creative solutions out of the hat to meet with difficult challenges?
I have six things to say on these ugly developments coming out of our dear state.
First, you are in charge now. I
hope someone hammers this fact into your head early enough. If what we read is
true, then it is certain that you will eventually fall out with some of the
godfathers, no matter the charm you exude or the quantity of your trade-mark
smile that you deploy in your relationship with them. You might as well do it
now – diplomatically of course – so that you’ll be able to get the committed technocrats
that will help you discharge your electoral mandate, rather than select from
the jobbers’ list that is sure to be handed over to you.
Second, in deciding on the
direction of governance to follow, there are only three options. You could turn
into yourself and proceed to amass as much cash as you can, not caring for
anybody but yourself and your immediate constituency. It has been done before. You
could also, out of gratitude, suck up to the drain pipes (the political
godfathers and tin gods) by integrating them fully into a four-year bazaar. None
of your predecessors had fully implemented this option. You can turn your back
on aggrandizement and political patronage and get serious, competent and
committed folks who will help you squarely leave a firm and lasting footprint
in the sands of Enugu history. Whichever option you decide to choose, the
result will be released in 2019 when we shall watch as you either forcibly, violently wrestle a
second term ticket, or smile home with the ticket that no one else will be
seriously contesting with you based on performance.
Third, it does not matter which
party you belong to, for Enugu to continue to enjoy what those with limited
vision think the state has lost by voting PDP. President Buhari and the
international community will do business with you (no question about it) if you
keep a cool head and concentrate on governance rather than politics in the next
three years. If you want examples to support this statement, look to your neighbor
Anambra and note how she has managed to walk a fine line between governance and
federal politics – without belonging to the then ruling party. The darkest
period in Anambra history was when the state was coupled to Aso Rock through
godfathers. Have you noticed how the current Governor wasted little time in renewing
the links between Awka and Abuja?
Fourth, whatever you choose to do,
remember that you are no longer a politician. The people’s vote has catapulted
you to the top as father of Enugu citizens at home, in the Diaspora, in APC,
PDP as well as the apolitical. If you want to take Enugu out of PDP, why not
consider taking her to APGA instead, where you will thereafter be perceived as
neutral and will have all the opportunities to do business with everybody
without being seen as an enemy? There is such a thing as integrity, and you will lose this rare virtue if you were to be
seen to have abandoned the party that not only made you but helped the state
through your predecessor – for a mess of pottage that will allegedly be served
by a different party in Abuja? Who told those with the doomsday predictions
that what belongs to Enugu State (in terms of federal appointments and allocations)
will now be lost, with an active Governor at the Lion Building?
Fifth, there is money to be made
from Enugu itself, and a huge potential to tap the resources of the state for
much more. Look inwards. Be creative. Look ahead. In two years, your IGR harvest
can account for 40 percent of the state budget. If you don’t know what to do to
reach this milestone, ask for help. Enugu is blessed with first-class human
resource that will help you develop and implement ideas to turn the state
around economically. Unfortunately, majority are apolitical; they especially detest
“local” politics and will not bother you with what they know – unless you ask them
for help. Seek them out and ask for help.
Sixth, people testify to your
good nature. Your Excellency, I fear that this will be your undoing because you
may not be willing to summon the political will to break through the political barricade
that jobbers and kinsmen are sure to erect around you. As it is, you must break
through this cordon in order to free your spirit to soar high and meet the
history that has already beckoned.
I wish you good luck as you set sail. And please stop wasting time.
Your sincerely,

Ogbuagu Anikwe

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