The clock is viscous slowly and faster to the political champions league of Ebonyi 2023. The Political wind is blowing uncontrollably with Political players across party lines tossing their heads in readiness to display their political prowess. The media is awash with many postulations on Ebonyi 2022/2023. Commentators are not exempted as so many of them, including Political pundits keep making statement concerning the game of 2023 in Ebonyi even though 2023 is a bit far. The level of political consciousness of Ebonyians notwithstanding their status has made 2023 election a major discourse on social media platforms, viewing centres, relaxation centres and Beer parlours. Unlike before, people are now conscious of who governs them, baring their minds on the persons temperament, pedigree, disposition and track records.
Emphatically, there will be a serious squabble on who becomes the next Governor of Ebonyi State in 2023. What will really play out in 2022/2023 will virtually be a through reflection of the most admired definition of Politics as asserted by a Political think tank, Herold Lasswel “Who get what, when and how” it is going to be decisive and Zero Sum Game as well.
Arguably, zoning formula may not be considered in 2023 race since all the Zones have produced a Governor. Zoning formula don’t have a backing document where such was agreed upon to be the mainstream of Ebonyi Politics as it concerns the post of Governorship. Though there is a book called Ebonyi Charter of Equity, the content of the book will not be a yardstick on who to become the next Governor after the reign of Engr David Umahi. Evidently, Ebonyi North had Sen Sam Ominyi Egwu of Ohaukwu as the first Governor of Ebonyi who is now the Senator Representing Ebonyi North in the Red Chamber. Central had Chief Martin’s Nwanchor Elechi of Ikwo who handed over baton in 2015. South had Engr Dave Umahi Nweze of Ohaozara whose tenure will legally elapse in 2023.
Furthermore, South has produced two Deputy Governors: Dr Emmanuel Oko-Isu and Elder Prof Chigozie Ogbu who is now the Vice Chancellor of Ebonyi State University. While central has the current Deputy Governor, Barr Eric Kelechi Igwe PhD.
Discussing path to 2023 when we are still in 2020 is a reflection on the famous aphorism: “Make a hast while the sun shine”. Is not too early to delve into it considering what played out in 2014. Gov Umahi as observed started his consultation cum hocus pocus to be Ebonyi Governor very early but he was doing that clandestinely incommunicado of his Erstwhile Boss, Chief Elechi who entrusted everything to his care. A hunter must prepare himself very well before going for hunting otherwise he will be devoured in the bush by wild animals. “To kill a mysterious bird, one need a mysterious stone” Being conscious doesn’t imply that one is fearful (Nkwucha Aburo Ujo).
However, anyone thinking that he will be the next Governor on the platter of gold is making faux pas. Anyone sitting tight in Abakaliki metropolis thinking that he would be the next Governor without making a move to Abuja and other places is making a booboo. Anyone thinking that one person would carry him like a baby and put on the seat of Governor is seriously daydreaming. Anyone kowtowing only one person in Ebonyi State, be it Governor or any other person may be chagrined when the chips are down.
If in PDP, the person should be visiting Wadata Plaza, Abuja and moneybags outside the shores of Ebonyi who commands respect with greater influence. And start lobbying unannounced. If it is in APC, the person should align himself with the rightful people in Abuja, Aso Villa to be precise and start working secretly with the powers that be in Ebonyi both Politicians, top notch business moguls who has the financial muscle within and outside the shores of Ebonyi State.
Decision on who becomes a standard bearer of any given political party judging from the past event is first and foremost settled in Abuja at Wadata Plaza for those in PDP. Such is applicable in other political parties. If the National Working Committee of the PDP or APC don’t appreciate your ‘GHANA MUST GO BAG’, is very complicated to grab ticket. If the grey hairs in the party are not with you, you will not scale through. If the enigmas from Ebonyi who commands respect in Abuja are against you, or influential personalities from (Anambra) just like in the case of Dave Umahi, your matter will be a delicate one. Ebonyi don’t practise godfatherism facially as seen in Lagos State where Ahmed Bola Tinubu is in hegemony of Lagos Politics. The smartest and luckiest person always emerge the Commander of Ebonyi Resources considering the happenstance since the creation of Ebonyi State. To change the status quo in 2022/2023 is tentative.
Ebonyi today is not Ebonyi of yesterday. We have improved and very conscious politically. Ever since the creation of Ebonyi State, decision and on who to Govern the state is not determined in Ebonyi State. It is been done outside the terrains of Salt City. With respect to past event, No Governor since the history of Ebonyi State has ever produced his successor. Sam Egwu as Elechi’s predecessor never made Elechi single handedly. Elechi either did not do the same to Engr Dave Umahi.
Having said the above and in Retrospection of the Political happenstances in Ebonyi; let me put it straight that, it is on record that the Former Military Governor of Ebonyi State, Commodore Walter Aye Faghabor contributed directly or indirectly to the successful emergence of Sen Sam Egwu as the First Civilian Governor of Ebonyi State coupled with the influence of Chief Mmuoneke. Gen Sani Abacha would have installed Prof John Ubochi Eke if not that the natural phenomenon struck him out in outlandish way. His demise crippled Prof John Ubochi Eke who was a major contender with Sen. Egwu.
Sen. Sam Egwu emerged and completed his 8 years as the first Civilian Governor of Ebonyi State amidst confrontation from Sen Anyim Puis Anyim, Dr Ogbonnaya Christopher Onu, inter alia to struck out golden spoon from his mouth. While leaving office in 2007, he worked, fought tooth and nail to install someone who would succeed him. His dream of doing such was almost at the apex before the Nigeria retired Army General, the man who attempted to rule the giant of African for 3 tenure, Ogun Born Political Enigma; Gen Olusogun Obasanjo GCFR brought in Chief Martin Elechi to succeed Gov Sam Egwu to the surprise of everyone, especially Sen Ucha was coasting to victory then. Due to his status in Nigeria politics and PDP, his decision was unchallenged even though it didn’t go down well with some persons. Those nursing ambition in PDP then have no option than to succumb and abide by what Ogun General said to avoid wasting their little resource.
Chief Martins Nwanchor Elechi came, ruled for 8 years despite the challenges he faced in the hand of Sen Ali Ucha, a Political machine Gun from Ezza Nation and others who challenged his re-election. While leaving office, he tried his possible best to install someone single handedly as his successor (Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, Erstwhile Minister of Health) which some Political Armoured Cars in Ebonyi saw as an affront on them and total neglect of their personality. His Deputy, who is manful, very smart and good in lobbying, rushed to Abuja and used the powers that be in Abuja, Political Enigmas in Ebonyi like Sen Anyim, the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Sam Egwu etc who detest Elechi’s action and billionaires from Anambra State; rode on their back, outshined and beat his master, Chief Martin N. Elechi behind bar before the cock cried twice. Remarkably, the yoke of power of incumbency was cracked as PDP Guber Primary Election was conducted incommunicado of Chief Elechi who was a sitting Governor. Engr. Dave Umahi who is his Deputy, defeated the likes of Engr. Paul Okorie, Late Dr Offia Nwali, Sen. Paulinus Igwe Nwagu, among others and emerged as the PDP Standard Bearer. Gov Elechi thought that the game was a child’s play, but his surprise, the National Working Committee of PDP gave a node to the primary election that produced his godson as the standard bearer. A committee was later set up to meet with Gov Martin Elechi to calm his nerves which didn’t go well with Chief Martin Elechi. Later on, in a keenly contested election, Engr Dave Umahi emerged the 3rd Civilian Governor of Ebonyi State even though his Boss, Chief Elechi in pyrrhic venture, allegedly fielded and sponsored a Gubernatorial candidate in Labour Party, Arch Edward Nkwegu OFR among others in different positions (State and National Assembly members) to ensure that his dream of producing his successor came to reality.
Ipso facto, while the 2023 is encroaching, Ebonyi Politicians should be canny. Nobody should allow himself be deceived concerning 2023. Nobody should follow off track while applying tactics towards 2023. Nobody should rely on the promise made by anyone solely. For those that the Governor may promise or has promised to handover should be aware that Mr Governor as alleged is widely known for his erratic trait. Such promise if made should be taken as levity. Anyone building hope on him solely as the solid rock may definitely be bemused and cry folly when the chips are down.
Above all, anyone who wishes to be the Next Governor should start Working out for his salvation clandestinely now as Roman they say wasn’t built in a day. One person can’t wake up and decide the fate of Ebonyi 2023, whether iron gate, Zuma Rock, Hill or Caterpillar. Ebonyi is yet to have a Godfather who decide what happens in Ebonyi Political space. And such person may not surface now without meticulously building structures that would water ground for him or her to do so.
By and large, Ebonyians need resilience and are much interested in 2022/2023 game. And will do all their best to get the best in 2023 in order to remove Ebonyi from the calendar of Poverty drastically, revitalize the dreams of the founding father’s, revamp the decaying Education System, rejuvenate the happiness of workers, bring back investors in earnest, make Governance palatable, demystify dividend of democracy to rural dwellers. And bring catalyst to the yearnings and wishes of the masses where all will smile day and night in gusto; air their views without being disgruntled or manhandled.
Izzi Clan are enthusiast to take the mantle of leadership of Ebonyi on the ground that 2023 is the turn of Ebonyi North to produce the next Governor based on insinuations making round. Ezza Nation on their part who are the eldest and largest clan in Ebonyi are seriously scouting and visibly tightened tension to ride to the saddle this time against all odd. Other tribes are not left out as they are making nocturnal move towards 2023. But, be it as it may; one thing to note is that, the game of 2023 will be reflected on Laswell definition of Politics: Who get what, when and how. Anyone can become the next Governor of Ebonyi State notwithstanding his/her tribe.
To muffle up this piece; I exhort heavyweights who cogitate they are fit to rule Ebonyi in 2023 to beacon on this Excerpts from the letter Abraham Lincoln wrote to the teacher of his son:
—–Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob and stand and fight if he thinks he is right.
The path to Ebonyi 2023: Anyone who prepares himself and take advantage of the mistakes of others engulfed with the nitty gritty involved in politics with God’s support, good charisma, financial capability, inter alia will definitely rule Ebonyi as the 4th Civilian Governor irrespective of party affiliation or tribe.
©Martins Chinonso Nwede is a Political Analyst and the Head, Political Desk, YouTv, Southeast Zone.