ENUGU 2019: Why the odds favour Ugwuanyi By Francis Ede

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As the jostle for who occupies various elective offices in Nigeria hots up, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, who is running for his second term, has palpable manifestation of overwhelming acceptance by the good people of the State. Many of the voters already regard his eminent triumph at the polls as a done deal.

In the same vein, most of the other political parties recognized that INEC has already adopted him as their own candidate in the said election, indicating he would win with landslide, in the 2019 governorship election. The state, for about 20 years, has always been the solid base of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and has always scorned advances or tendencies to go any other way in it’s voting pattern. And as of today, all the occupants of all the elective positions in the state from the governor and his deputy, National and State Assembly members, Chairmen and Councilors of the 17 Local Government Areas, are in the PDP. In addition, all the political appointees of government at the state, Local Government Areas and the Administrators of the various Development Centres.

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Ugwuanyi are ruling on the groundswell of party supporters, members and sympathizers and on the established tradition and unbroken winning streak of the (PDP) in Enugu. The enormous goodwill that has been generated for over the last 3 years, the volume of human and material resources available for him to use to his own advantage and that of the party is powerful and remains a rich and resonant tool to extirpate any challenge to his election for his second term in office. Unassailable facts show that the people of Enugu are reaping great benefits from voting in Gburu-Gburu in the last elections as their governor. However extravagant their joy may be, it rests on concrete basis. He has shown strident determination and intent driven by a bold spirit to make a lasting imprint on the history and chronicle of his people and these has manifested in the racing speed with which the whole of Enugu has been turned into one huge and glowing construction site in the last three years of his administration. He has also ensured the expansion of existing structures and services, such as public transport and road networks, housing, health and other public facilities, education, and massive urban and rural development programs. And he has also ensured the payment of workers salaries, pensions and gratuities of civil servants. The character, and loving mien of Ugwuanyi, his humility, readiness to serve both the young and the old is a character in a leader that many voters. They agreed that the best way of having this impeccable attribute of a loving and caring governor, who has been tested and found worthy, diligent and focused on bringing the dividends of democracy, is to support him for a second term in the office.

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Finally, the quality of other candidates in the election plays a vital role in who among them will emerge triumphant. As has been noted earlier, many of the other political parties in the state have already adopted Ugwuanyi as their candidate in the said election. And it will now appear in practical terms that the only real challenger is the APC but the odds are heavily weighed against the party as majority of the voters in Enugu have since expressed their preference for the continuity and consolidation of the gains and achievements of Ugwuanyi in office over the last three years, and could hardly be persuaded to vote otherwise.

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* Ede is an Enugu public affairs analyst.

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