By Stanley Nwanosike
The Labour Party (LP) in Enugu State, has appreciated Enugu State people for believing in the party and showing the courage to say NO to misrule with their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
The Labour Party also said that Chief Chijioke Edeoga, its Governorship Candidate in the March 18 Enugu State Governorship Poll, is resolute and he would recover the mandate masses of the state gave to him.
Dr Mcginger Ibeneme, Spokesperson, Labour Party, Enugu State, gave the appreciation while reacting to the outcome of the March 18, 2023, Enugu State Governorship Polls, whose result was finally declared on March 22 at the INEC State Collation Centre, Enugu.
Ibeneme said that he was a bit sad about the outcome of the election, adding: “Not because we were not announced winners, but because we came close but they cheated as usual”.
According to him, “I am proud about how we fought every step of the way. We were able to prove to the whole world that we won from all indications.”
He said that Edeoga represents the fighting spirit of the oppressed people of Enugu State, and Nigeria; while he shone the light in the right places in the state.
The spokesperson noted that the last real election in the state would be the one between Okwy Nwodo and Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu in 1991.
“Enugu State has two cultural zones and three political zones. The cultural zones are Nsukka Zone and Enugu Zone. Enugu zone was split into 2 senatorial districts whereas Nsukka Zone remained a single senatorial district.
“Nsukka Zone has had 2 governors; Okwy Nwodo and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. ENUGU zone has had Christian Onoh, Jim Nwobodo, Chimaroke Nnamani and Sullivan Chime.
“However since 1999 ENUGU State PDP has rotated governorship slots among the three political zones. Chimaroke Nnamani went first from ENUGU East zone, Sullivan Chime went from ENUGU West zone and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi completed the cycle from ENUGU North zone.
“However, the problem we have in our hands is that some elements insist that anybody who is not from a particular constituency cannot be governor, or even senator.
“Also, they insist that some individuals, even from the ‘superior’ constituency may never hold elective political posts. They are ready to go to any length, which may explain why Chief Oyibo Chukwu was murdered,” he explained.
Ibeneme noted that when Edeoga indicated interest to run for governor they came after him, adding: “He was cajoled, he was harassed, he was threatened”.
“Edeoga stood his ground that he has a right to vie for any positions he is qualified to occupy and nobody must tell him otherwise. I remember vividly that he deferred to Prof Barth Nnaji to take the LP ticket but Nnaji as an elder statesman blessed him to run instead, as a younger vibrant fellow.
“Edeoga is a very focused individual. He is calm and convincing. Our biggest challenge was funding and they mocked us about it. But Edeoga was that kind of fellow you could do anything for without expecting inducements.
“Edeoga rather resorted to grassroots mobilisation, which looking back now one can say is the most effective approach. We visited 244 wards out of 275, we could have completed the rounds but we ran out of time.
“In all the wards we visited, we engaged the people, we collected a list of their expectations from our government and documented them. Our intention was to give the people their actual needs and not to impose white elephant projects on them,” he said.
The spokesperson said that the visit to every ward in the state was the reason why our manifesto was delayed, in order to do a people’s manifesto, a compilation of the demands of Enugu State people, ward by ward and community by community.
He said that Edeoga showed unprecedented leadership throughout our struggle leading to the election.
Ibeneme said that Edeoga has a calm disposition even in the face of extreme provocation, adding that for the nearly one year we worked together, “I never for once saw him lose his cool, even when he is upset.
“The results have been announced albeit to the disappointment of all well-meaning Enugu people and Nigerians in general. Be rest assured that we are going to pursue our mandate through the courts,” he said. (NAN)