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OPINION: The Last Opportunity For The Nkanu People Of Enugu State To Redeem Themselves

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By Hon. Chinonso Egbo

 

Dome Media Services

2023 elections indeed mean different things to different people. But principally, it is the very last opportunity for the people of Nkanu to either redeem themselves or remain perpetually in political captivity.

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Historically, these people who are the predominant inhabitants of the Enugu-East senatorial zone are endowed with all that is needed for all-round prosperity. Be it in politics, commerce, academics, sports, innovation, culture and tradition, value system, self-reliance, arable land for agriculture and sense of hospitality, Nkanu people are excellent.

 

There is no segment of the economy that Nkanu men and women have not, or are not distinguishing themselves. They have attained enviable heights and enjoyed tremendous opportunities in the past, yet Nkanu land is still defined by terrains crying for developments. Between 1999 and 2007, Nkanu was governor. Also for yet another 8 years from 2007 to 2015, Nkanu produced deputy governors. And variously, there were as well federal ministers appointed from Nkanu land. Meanwhile, for 23 years, there have been senators, including a senate president, and members of the House of Representatives in addition to council chairmen that were elected to bring governance closer to the people.

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But paradoxically once again, Nkanu land has nothing to show for all these.

 

The reason is very simple. The people are not allowed to choose who leads them and how they should be ruled or represented. And as a result, the Nkanu people have lost the very essence of their hegemony. They are today reflecting in reality, a people under the ugly tendencies of divide-and-rule. Outsiders determine their internal dynamics and take advantage of these avoidable divisions among the Nkanu people to further impoverish them because every semblance of cohesion has been thrown to the winds.

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For example at various times, the plot to impeach a sitting deputy governor of Nkanu origin was hatched and perfected right from Nkanu land. All the socio-political and economic ordeals that Jim Nwobodo suffered in the hands of the then Obasanjo-federal government were facilitated by an Nkanu man. All the humiliations and betrayals that Chimaroke Nnamani went through in the hands of his successor were enhanced and celebrated by certain Nkanu people. In one instance, an Nkanu man was made to paste posters around Enugu metropolis where Chimaroke was sandwiched by anti-graft operatives. Had the constitution amendment proposal of 2013 succeeded, Nkanu would have been the only zone that did not make inputs thanks to some elements of Nkanu origin who acted on the orders of a powerful government functionary of Nkanu land at that time. Some first-class royal fathers in Nkanu were hounded with reckless abandon while some other eminent Nkanu personalities had their buildings pulled down by a government headed by an Nkanu man. When an Nkanu man was the Senate President, all the Nkanu traditional rulers that attended his civic rrception were sanctioned. Between 2011 and 2014, any Nkanu royal father that did not participate actively in partisan politics risked dethronement just because of political ambition of one person. The pathetic list is endless!

 

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Today, and because Nkanu does not have a rallying point, the only weapon to fight an Nkanu man is an Nkanu man!

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2023 general elections are by the corner. The prevailing mood is that it is the turn of the larger Enugu-East senatorial zone, dominated by Nkanu that should produce the next governor of Enugu State. And typical of a nation suffering from self-defeat, every clan is today laying claim to the seat. It is even nauseating to see those whose forms were purchased by outsiders, and also being externally energized just to undermine the eminently-qualified ones. Over 16 aspirants from Nkanu extraction are so far parading their nomination forms. The world is waiting patiently to see the ultimate failure and possibly end of a people that chose to commit political suicide.

 

Although the quest for governorship is almost a lost battle, except drastic steps are taken immediately, the only opportunity for remedy is the senatorial seat. Thankfully, only four aspirants are already known from both PDP and APC. They are two women and two men. Chimaroke Nnamani has been tested, having done two terms as a senator and two terms as a governor. We have seen his capacities and capabilities. Ifeoma Nwobodo has been tested albeit on a different platform. Although an appointee, she was such a powerful person in that government that she had all the opportunities to make Nkanu land better. Even when the deputy governor (who once was the acting governor) and a senator both from Nkanu were in service, she was the gateway to Nkanu land in terms of politics and governance. In short, she was the de facto governor of the state. And so, we have seen her capacities and capabilities.

 

Chief Joshua Mba is yet to hold a public position apart from serving his people as the president-general of the town union. He is a sound lawyer and a successful businessman. He has a proven record of philanthropy and a great passion for community development. He is humble, humane and of high moral standing. He has offered himself to be tested with a public position and his track record speaks for him.

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Princess Adaeze Ogbu is yet another priceless asset to Nkanu. She is versatile and a renowned political activist. She is compassionate and amiable. She has also offered herself to be tested with the senatorial position.

 

And therefore, if Nkanu is to be redirected to the path of rediscovery, restoration and rebirth through fairness, equity and justice, Nkanu-East LGA should be encouraged and supported to produce the senator. Providence has prepared them for such, as can be seen from the list of the aspirants. For emphasis, Nkanu-West parades those that have been tested. It has been governor for 8 years and senator for another 8 years through the same person that is today among the contestants. This is a time for deliberate sacrifice, except the people of Nkanu, including their future generations are to be willfully railroaded into eternal captivity. The delegates and the state governor are hereby humbly pleaded to be conscious of the regrettable implications of this. It is not about political correctness. It is about posterity. In this equation, Nkanu-West team individually have enjoyed sufficient patronage and equally have fair share of the blames for tales of woe enumerated above. Stupidity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.
For the first time, let the will of the people prevail. Let the future begin now. Let there be new breeds in leadership in Nkanu land. Let the down-trodden people of Nkanu choose their leaders and representatives. Since 1999, senatorial elections for the Enugu-East zone has always been a knotty issue due to external interferences and lack of cohesion among the political elites. The very last one is still fresh in our memory. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi will forever be remembered for this democratic liberation that has been long overdue.

 

Chinonso Egbo writes from Enugu

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