A social commentator thinks Gov Ugwuanyi pushed his luck too far and may pay for it during the 2023 Senatorial election.
Dr. Igniss Nwasogwa
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s story unfortunately is becoming ‘Solomonic’ in all its trappings. Just like King Solomon, Ugwuanyi was also an unknown quantity prior to 2003 when God chose him from nowhere to represent Udenu/Igbo Eze North Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. He also did not come from any of the established families in Nsukka land.
This background profiling is by no means intended to denigrate the person of the Governor or to show that power and authority are the prerogative of the rich and powerful since God gives power to those He chooses. However, it does show that the governor’s veiled superciliousness and indifference towards his people’s interests – especially in the dying days of his inept and nondescript administration – could not have been caused by superiority complex usually associated with regal opulence. It was entirely of his own making.
It is now a common chatter wherever two or more Nsukka people gather that Governor Ugwuanyi brags about not receiving any financial help from any Nsukka man or woman to fund his 2015 gubernatorial election and which brought him to power. In fact, it is alleged that he mentions this to every Nsukka person who cares to visit him in the Lion Building.
If this allegation is true, the question will be: What financial help is the governor talking about? Could that be his defence for abysmal governance failure particularly in a zone that brought him to limelight? How did he become a billionaire to exclusively fund his election? Was it through numerous private factories he established and which exported assortment of wares abroad, earning him humongous foreign exchange? Through real property, shares and other securities bequeathed to him by testamentary instrument and which he inherited? Through his wealthy in-law who left a vast estate under his care or through his niggardly savings from insurance contracts hustling whose proceeds hardly took him home?
Interestingly, It was still the poor and hapless market women and rural farmers from Udenu/Igbo Eze North Federal Constituency who endured the scorching sun in long queues to vote and leapfrog the man to Abuja where he must have made his fortune.
In 2007, the same faithful constituents voted him back to the Green Chambers. They repeated the feat in 2011 thus making Ugwuanyi the longest serving federal legislator from the area. It is therefore those faithful voters that actually laid the foundation for whatever he has become today and not the National Assembly or any money spinning marine sector committee he was assigned to.
In 2015, the entire Enugu North electorate took over from where Udenu/Igbo-Eze North Federal constituents stopped and voted overwhelmingly for Ugwuanyi again, making him the first governor of new Enugu state from Nsukka provenance. This was even as Mohammadu Buhari had emerged President elect; a factor which could have precipitated a bandwagon in favour of the then APC candidate Barr. Okey Ezea.
In 2019, the Enugu North Senatorial District was again handy with their bulk votes to return Ugwuanyi back to office, this time around with an unprecedented 56% of the total votes cast in the election. In fact, Nsukka’s support for Gburugburu was so massive that only a paltry 10,000 votes was left for his opponent to harvest. Where then did Nsukka people offend this misbegotten son of modern day David to warrant his alleged derogatory remark as well as mistreatments meted out to the zone especially over the course of the past few months?
Aside from the alleged derogatory remark, Governor Ugwuanyi has over time demonstrated in no uncertain terms that the governorship slot he is using does not belong to Enugu North people but is a personal entitlement having spent billions of Naira to purchase the ticket from his predecessor. Could someone let him know that with all his money, he couldn’t have secured the governorship ticket if the office was not first and foremost zoned to Enugu North Senatorial District. If the race were thrown open for billionaires like him to contest from all parts of the state, could he have out competed everyone else?
If the slot Ugwuanyi has virtually wasted after nearly eight years belongs to the entire Enugu North people, what moral authority does he have to expect further financial support from the constituents he impoverished in his seven years of misery since 2003? These wonderful constituents freely and unconditionally donated their power and authority to him for their common good but ended up having their fingers burnt.
The truth is that Governor Ugwuanyi has for too long taken Nsukka people’s support for granted and by reason of which he has consistently taken irrational decisions but certainly not anymore. Those close to him may never let him know that after the disgrace which took place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium on 25th May, 2022, glory immediately departed from him while his approval rating particularly in Nsukka plummeted to less than five percent. The worst calamity that has befallen the Orba political merchant after that monumental betrayal is that even his most trusted and fanatical supporters from Enugu North (including those in the Government House) who stood by him all these years now avoid him like a leper while waiting anxiously to humiliate him at the polls as the only fitting payback to a betrayer. He should indeed be worried as there’s real fire on the mountain.
For the avoidance of doubt and to put the records straight, It is pertinent to clarify one thing here. Nsukka people are not bitter with Ugwuanyi merely because he refused to back an Isi Uzo man to succeed him despite the yearnings of the people who had for decades suffered unspeakable political injustice in Enugu East senatorial district. It was the dishonest, deceitful, hypocritical and disingenuous manner it was handled that is in issue.
If Ugwuanyi were not man enough to give Isi Uzo the gubernatorial ticket, what prevented him from making his stand public early enough instead of resorting to petty shenanigans, manipulations and treachery all of which have become his stock in trade since becoming governor. If the seat had allegedly been bought and sold to the highest bidder, what prevented the leader of all time from inviting Isi Uzo and Nsukka stakeholders as early as last year to explain to them why he could not look their way with regards to governorship? If he did so and gave Isi Uzo, for example, a senatorial or even House of Representatives ticket they’ve been restricted to in the District, no one would have made much ado about it. Politics is after all about dialogue, negotiation and give and take. Instead, he chose to play his chess close to his chest while secretly promising both sides and fooling IsI Uzo to believe that he was going their way. It was therefore not apparent where he was headed until news broke in the midnight of 24 May that he was allegedly sharing N400,000 each of state funds to buy delegates for Peter Mba.
Those close to the governor and Manipulator-in-Chief reveal that even as late as the eve of the disgrace called primaries, he allegedly assured a close ally who ate with him on the same table that he was committed to the Isi Uzo cause and that all arrangements were made to suit the emergence of an Isi Uzo candidate.
Why did Ugwuanyi choose to shock and break his own people’s heart when he had enough time to explain to them how his mind was working? Report has it that when some Nsukka leaders (including the highly respected Chief Nduka Eya) got tired of his waiting game and approached him a day to the primaries, Ugwuanyi for the very first time opened up. When they couldn’t agree, the governor walked out on the leaders; an insult he will pay dearly for at the appropriate time. What offence did Nsukka people commit to merit such treatment from someone who was jobless and going cap in hand before 2003?
As a man increasingly given to treachery and manipulation, he chose Senator Jim Nwobodo two days to the election to announce his choice – as a man unable to face his people would do. It is thus on record that Jim Nwobodo rather than Ugwuanyi chose Peter Mba to succeed Gov. Ugwuanyi.
At the end of the day, Ugwuanyi left Isi Uzo with nothing. No governor, no Senate and no House of Representatives slot, a situation worse than they were before someone they called their own came to power. What a stab on the chest! As if this heartbreak was not enough, Ugwuanyi stagemanaged a solidarity visit by the same Isi Uzo people to thank him for breaking their hearts!
Then the big one. The oppressor-in-chief who robbed Isi Uzo of her golden chance to political emancipation turned round to demand to represent Enugu North in the Senate. What a presumptuous haughtiness and arrogance especially when it is not even the turn of Udenu to produce the next senator for the zone. Shouldn’t he be representing Nkanu people he gave everything instead?
Even though the puppet the murderous Ebeano cabal presented as its gubernatorial candidate no longer stands any chance of winning with the emergence of Hon. Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party, a fine gentleman without baggage, Ugwunkanu will still pay for his sins. He has murdered sleep and will sleep no more. Going forward, he needs no one to tell him that he has pushed his luck too far and will forever pay a price for offending a peaceful people who showed him love and gave him everything.
Ugwuanyi pushed his luck too far