A group of concerned Enugu persons has advised Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State to be careful with the choice of a successor, otherwise he could pick someone who will come after him when he leaves office in May, next year.
The warning is contained in a statement today by the Enugu State Renewal Movement (ESRM) signed by its president, Professor Geoffrey Ejiofor, and the secretary, Barrister Emeka Ogbu.
“This warning has become necessary”, explained the group, “because there is a particular contestant in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who is being prodded on in the race by a former governor well known for intolerance, vengeance and violence.
“This godfather fears neither God nor man, and he has demonstrated this trait in public gatherings over the years even before Governor Ugwuanyi.
“In other words, if his puppet is nominated the PDP gubernatorial candidate and he goes on to win in the 2023 general elections, the godfather will be the one dictating the tune.
The ESRM predicted that Governor Ugwuanyi would be among the first and greatest victims of his administration.
The movement recalled how Chief Jim Nwobodo, old Anambra State governor believed to have installed a governor in Enugu State in the current republic, was practically declared a persona non grata in his home state.
“Jim could not visit Enugu for a long time, even though he was a senator and had earlier served as a minister and a founding PDP member”, said the Enugu State Renewal movement.
It also warned Governor Ugwuanyi against electoral complacency.
“Enugu people are not bound to stand with just any person who flies the PDP flag”, it said, asking the governor to learn from neighbouring Imo and Anambra states where voters have in recent times revolted against the ruling parties.
It recalled that the Imo State people rejected Governor Rochas Okorocha’s nomination of his son in law, Chief Uche Nwosu, in the 2019 gubernatorial election and the Anambra voters rebelled against the imposition of unpopular weak candidates by the All progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidates in the last general elections, despite sweeping the polls in each of the 21 local government areas (LGAs) in the state in the 2017 governorship election.
The group further warned: “There is no guarantee that such revolts cannot occur in our state this time if our people perceive that there is an attempt to return the state to the years of the locust and years of violence and vengeance which saw the houses of persons like the human rights activists, Nana Ogbodo and Barrister Sam Mba, demolished for being allies who later merely disagreed with the government of the day because of its predilection towards violence.”
The ESMR asked the governor to work for the emergence of a “truly governorship material who will bring honour, respect and rapid development to Enugu State”.