In consideration of who to hand over the baton of governance in Enugu State by the Ugwuanyi administration, it is important that consideration be given to someone who can consolidate on the many deliverables of the Ugwuanyi administration in terms of peace and security, infrastructural strides, human capital development, character, credibility, experience and sound knowledge of the needs of the state and its people and the development of appropriate policies in line with the needs.
One major policy thrust of the Ugwuanyi administration is peace and security. Peace is the foundation of the numerous democracy deliverables of the Ugwuanyi administration. Governor Ugwuanyi is internationally celebrated for his unrivalled maintenance of peace in Enugu State within a country torn apart by insecurity, following the dastardly menace of Boko Haram, the infernal grip of bandits and many acts of terrorism. Yet Ugwuanyi has tenaciously held the olive for the state. In consideration of who to take over from Ugwuanyi, the sustenance of this legacy is sine qua non. Hon. Barr. Chijioke Edeoga has a natural disposition to peace. Nemo dat quod non habet (You cannot give what you do not have). Taking a good look at the 18 aspirants for the governorship in the PDP, the ruling party, Chijioke stands out, towering above all in terms of personal disposition to peace and tranquility. Governor Ugwuanyi could not have given Enugu the much celebrated peace if he did not have peace in him. No one can launch beyond their depth ( Alexander Pope). Ugwuanyi harvests peace from the source internalized in him. Chijioke Edeoga like Ugwuanyi is a man of peace whose presence exudes the ambience of calmness and placidity( See my essay on Two of a Kind: Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Chijioke Edeoga). Chijioke like Ugwuanyi smiles away adversities while tackling them headon with assured solutions and good presence of mind. It is therefore very important Governor Ugwuanyi look in the direction of someone who will sustain this all-important legacy of his administration. Chijioke Edeoga is the one.
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Governor Ugwuanyi has achieved much in infrastructural development. His projects as numerous as sand upon seashore need to be preserved and maintained. The road projects across the 17 local governments, the T-Junction flyover and many other projects, the type three hospitals in all the local governments and revamped general hospitals and community health centers, the strides in education via ENSUBEB and PPSMB turning primary and secondary schools in the state around with state-of-the-art education facilities and structures, the Igbo-eno medical college about to gain full university status, his many developmental projects that turned around rural areas and gave the people access to amenities, to mention no more, all require to be sustained and consolidated upon. Recall that Chijioke Edeoga is the only aspirant for the governorship who was part of the Ugwuanyi administration. He understands the policy thrust of the Ugwuanyi administration on all fours and will likely sustain and consolidate on it. Any other person may waste away these projects, especially those of them who have drunk the cup of irredentist vendetta.
Chijioke Edeoga is well experienced. He had served in the executive and legislative arms of government and he is also a lawyer with LLB, BL and LLM degrees in law obtained from the best universities in the United Kingdom. He understands the working of government. He is the only one among the 17 aspirants from Enugu East Senatorial Zone to which the governorship seat is zoned( The other one aspirant is a distraction)who has such experience of interface with the three arms of government.
Governor Ugwuanyi has consolidated democracy at the local government level of governance in Enugu State. He recently conducted free and fair elections at the local governments and the elected chairmen and councillors have been sworn in. Chijioke Edeoga was the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs in Ugwuanyi’s first tenure and had the experience of laying the solid foundation for consolidated democratic governance at the third tier. While many states made do with appointed administrators, Ugwuanyi and his team made for the true essence of democratic governance at the local governments. Chijioke Edeoga is the only one (among the 17 aspirants) who has the experience to sustain this legacy of the Ugwuanyi administration.
Edeoga is coming with a clean record of public service just like Governor Ugwuanyi who came on clean slate and has sustained it till date. Edeoga is the only aspirant among the 17 who had had appointment to high offices and who has no alleged record of abuse of the public offices. Many of the aspirants have yet to discharge themselves of alleged financial impropriety and abuse of public offices. Many are regular visitors to the anti-graft agencies. Edeoga has character and creditability and would not be given to the greed to amass wealth for self at the expense of the people. As Governor Ugwuanyi may wish to look for a man of character and creditability, Chijioke Edeoga is readily available.
Based on the zoning tradition, it is the turn of Enugu East Senatorial Zone to produce the next governor of Enugu State. Governor Ugwuanyi said he would toe the path of equity in the decision of his successor. In Enugu East Senatorial Zone, equity points to Isi-Uzo and Chijioke Edeoga is from Isi-Uzo.
As the people of Enugu State look forward to the reenactment of good governance and the many deliverables of the Ugwuanyi administration when the Ugwuanyi administration winds down, serious consideration should be given to someone who had been a member of Ugwuanyi’s excellent team and who has the capacity to not only sustain the Ugwuanyi deliverables but also build upon them. That person is Hon. Barr. Sir Chijioke Edeoga, a perfect fit for the job.