Opinion & Analysis

Ugwuanyi, 2023, Posterity and Day of Reckoning

By Chinwoke Ogbu

It was the inimitable legendary reggae musician, Robert Nesta Marley popularly known as Bob Marley who gave the immortal words in the song Get Up, Stand Up , Burnin Album released in 1973 that  “You can fool some people sometimes, But you can’t fool all the people all the time. So now we see the light (watch you gon’ do?) We gonna stand up for our rights (yeah, yeah) So you’d better”

Marley’s lyrics best fit as a perfect example of a truism in the life of Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi, the outgoing Governor of Enugu State.

The one popularly known as Gburugburu has been a master of the dribbling game. He continued fooling the people at all times and it worked perfectly for him so to say for many years until his disgrace on February 25 2023 during the National Assembly and Presidential elections.

Gburus was in the House of Representatives for three tenures of four years totalling 12 years. While his counterpart then in the Senate , Ayogu Eze was parading himself as the undisputed political leader in Nsukka Zone and thinking that he was already the next governor, he did not know that a schemer and fast guy at the lower chambers in the National Assembly who is supposed to be his junior has already pulled all the necessary plugs to become the next governor.

Before one could say Jack, Gburus pulled the rug out of everyone’s feet and was announced as the anointed governorship candidate to take over from Sullivan Chime. Gburus unknown to many had perfected his plans by striking a deal with all the power brokers that mattered in Chime’s government then.

To cut the long story short, he was sworn in as governor in 2015 with an overwhelming support of the entire people of Enugu state .
Soon after, as a master of the game, he deployed the skills of trade (ashua), deceit and mind game on all that matters.
He was in charge and knows how to reach out to the most difficult persons to dance to his tune. He knows how to be generous with cash whenever he needs something and he deployed it carefully.

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He also knows how to disarm the clever ones or anybody who might spoil the show for him. He literarily took entire Enugu state in his palms dishing out collective promises to communities  and personal promises to individuals.

It worked very well for him that his second tenure was also achieved seamlessly.
As he kept promising people and communities of various goodies, he kept on shifting the goal post at the middle of the game.

In Igbo-Eze North where he garnered massive support from the time he was at the National Assembly, he promised them heaven on earth.

He assured them that as a two political block of Umuozzi and Umunano and with 20 political wards, they will be rewarded with two commissioner slots.

That promise never came to pass as he only appointed one at a time from both Ozzi extraction- Fidel Ayogu and when he fell out with Ayogu, he picked Emeka Mamah also from Ozzi leaving out Umunano.

Even the post of Chief Press Secretary hitherto held by his long time buddy, Uwakwe Abugu from Umunano until death snatched him, he refused to appoint another capable hand from Igbo-Eze North to replace him despite the fact that they have an array of many seasoned journalists fit for the position.

When Emeka Mamah also fell out with him after the National Assembly primaries where he gave more than 6 different persons hope to go and buy form for  a particular post , he refused to appoint another person from Igbo-Eze North as a Commissioner.

Till date.  two months to the expiration of the tenure of his office, Igbo-Eze North has no Commissioner rep in his govt despite the fact that he promised several people for the same position.

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Two major road projects he promised to undertake in Igbo-Eze North one leading to Igogoro-Okpo, Mkpamute axis in Ozzi and one leading to Umuogboulo,-Isiugwu, Owereze, Ufodo and Umuopu axis all ended up at one kilometre and two kilometres each.

Till today, the Enugu North Zonal Chairman of PDP, Nze Mike Onyeze , a former three abi na two  time House of Assembly Member from Okpo community cannot drive straight to his community because of the deplorable condition of the roads.

Onyeze takes a detour to his backyard in Ikpuiga and Amachala axis before he could get to his house at every journey outside.

All promising young men and opinion molders across different communities in Enugu State, he promised to appoint into government positions as SAs, SSAs etc all became audio promises that were never fulfilled.

As it is in Igbo-Eze North so it is in Isi-Uzo, Oji River, Uzo-Uwanu, Igbo-Etiti, among others.

Many rural communities in Nsukka zone who hoped for an improved infrastructure under Gburugburu were disappointed because it is either their projects were abandoned or they were never flagged off at all.

Such was the scenario in places like Igbo-Eze South where red earth and dust paints and welcomes anyone who drives into the communities because of their poor road network.  Infact, there was a governor!

The greatest Carmel that broke the lions back was Gburus inordinate ambition to go to the Senate after eight years as Governor. Knowing that it was the turn of Nsukka-Igbo-Eze  South, Gburus used subtle means to harangue the sitting Senator, Chukwuka Utazi into relinquishing the ticket for him despite that he is from Udenu LGA .

He had already sold the governorship ticket to Peter Mbah, an Nkanu man and Chimaroke’s boy who has a case with the EFCC.

This was after goading the likes of Chijioke Edeoga to go and pick the guber ticket after projecting him as the anointed candidate. He made Edeoga commit his  resources into the project to render him financially prostrate and also bring other wealthy Nsukka people to commit into the project thereby making them waste resources only to brazenly disappoint all at the last minute.

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He elected to go to the Senate from Udenu and also picked an Udenu man , his right hand man, Ifeanyi Ossai  as Deputy Governor  thereby assaulting the sensibilities of other Nsukka people.

But he never knew that the day of reckoning was coming. As an intending Senator under PDP, he also refused to support his presidential candidate , Atiku Abubakar but instead chose to be a puppet to Gov Wike of Rivers State who had other plans.

He also failed to support Mr. Peter Obi of Labour Party for his presidential bid and failed to read the handwriting on the wall that Peter is a revolution whose time has come.

The end result was the deafening defeat he suffered at the polls on Election Day. The people of Enugu North decided to pay him back in his own coin by electing to send him back to Orie Orba instead of Abuja where he can continue his transaction politics.

It was a day of reckoning and the people spoke loudly with their votes.  Having dashed his senatorial ambition, the people are also poised to speak in one accord come Saturday March 18, 2023 by electing Chijioke Edeoga of Labour Party as their Governor thereby rejecting Gburugburu and his anointed Peter Mbah completely.

They have elected to use this Saturday to correct the numerous mistakes of Gburugburu and address the various injustices and deceit he brought into the system as governor.

In all these, the immortal words of the Great Bob Marley stand out. You can fool some people for sometime but not all people all the time . Thank God for this Day of Reckoning. Welcome Hon Chijioke Jonathan Edeoga as our Governor. Thanks be to God who made this possible.

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