Managing the Aftermath of Enugu LG Elections: A Litmus Test
It is no longer news that the Enugu State Local Government Elections will hold on the 4th of November 2017.
Prior to this development were activities leading to the emergence of Chairmanship/Councillorship Candidates by political parties whether by selection, election or on consensus arrangement.
The case of who emerges the standard bearer of any political position as it regards Enugu State has always been from a selective or consensus arrangement right from the days of former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani, of Enugu State.
This is mostly done with recourse to zoning and rotation principle.
After a candidate has been nominated, he is still subjected to a ‘ceremonial’ primary election process in fulfillment of the electoral requirements.
This was also the case throughout the regime of His Excellency, Barr. Sullivan Chime.
However, the greatest problem has always been the ability to douse the tension that usually arose from the selection/nomination process as often times, zoning/rotation principle are not respected or unpopular candidates get the blessings of the powers that be in different political parties to emerge the choice of the position in view before the main primary election.
This therefore makes the said primary election to be mere ceremonial and a fulfillment of all righteousness as it concerns electoral processes.
In the case of People’s Democratic Party as regards the Nov. 4 Local Government elections in Enugu state, the Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, as the leader of PDP in the state, had a political parley with stakeholders of the party from all the local government areas of
the state to decide where and who should fly the flag of the party (Chairmanship Candidate) during the election.
Though it was a huge success but in some local government areas, zoning arrangements was distorted for obvious reasons and pleas were made to some aggrieved members of the party which of course met some level of resistance but at the end, due to the peaceful disposition of Governor Ugwuanyi, many respected him and worked along with the
Rumours making the rounds have it that Governor Ugwuanyi in a meeting with all the Chairmanship standard bearers of PDP, cautioned them particularly those it was not the turn of their area to lead the council never to witch-hunt or sideline those who opposed their candidature during the party primaries for the election.
This reason according to the Governor is to allow for a united house and love among members of the PDP family in line with his love for peace and harmonious co-existence.
It is therefore pertinent and unfortunate to state that majority of the said PDP Chairmanship Standard bearers in some council areas who are yet to emerge victorious in the forthcoming local government elections in the state, have started sowing seeds of disunity and segregation in their various local governments thereby sidelining those who opposed their candidature due to zoning arrangements among other reasons.
These Chairmanship standard bearers have cocked their gun powder to unleash on those who opposed their candidature without recourse to the Governor’s advice.
The most unfortunate thing is that these set of people will further create more tension for the administration of Governor Ugwuanyi that has enjoyed relative peace and harmony in the PDP family over the years in the state.
This attribute of the Governor is equally admired by the opposition parties across the state as his leadership of the state can be best described as a ‘Government of State Unity’.
This is because it is only in this administration that members of the opposition parties are appointed into different political positions across the state and equally involved in policy making.
It will be recalled that in previous administrations, members of the opposition parties were not allowed close to the corridors of power not to talk of appointing them into political positions, but Governor Ugwuanyi changed the paradigm.
In the politics of Enugu state today, people most especially from the opposition parties in the state are not preaching political party but His Excellency, Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. This must be sustained.
Like Martin Luther King, Jr., who used love and forgiveness to rewrite the story of America from its segregation mentality, Governor Ugwuanyi has no doubt instituted a new political philosophy in the politics of Enugu State with his politics of love devoid of acrimony thereby
creating an enabling environment for peace, progress which must not be distorted by those with sectional mindset.
Ikechukwu Jonathan Snr.