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Enugu 2OI9: Ugwuanyi’s candidate to beat as PDP endorses gov

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Enugu 2OI9: Ugwuanyi’s candidate to beat as PDP endorses gov

Enugu 2OI9: Ugwuanyi's candidate to beat as PDP endorses gov

MAURICE OKAFOR looks ahead at the 2019 governorship poll and writes that current calculations clearly support the return of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for a second term, given the firm backing of the state PDP, amongst other factors

It is now confirmed that the Enugu State governor, Rt. Hon. If­eanyi Ugwuanyi will run for a second term in office as governor of Enugu in 2019, on the platform of the ruling People’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) and is obviously the candidate to beat in the poll.

The PDP provided him with the ticket under which he excelled in the 2015 governorship elec­tion to become governor of Enugu State, but specula­tions were rife that Gover­nor Ugwuanyi was under pressure to dump PDP and join APC and still be given the Enugu State APC gov­ernorship ticket for 2019 elections.

The speculations became rife even as Governor Ug­wuanyi through his hu­mane and humble nature maintains cordial relation­ship with prominent po­litical stalwarts from the state like Senator Chief Jim Nwobodo and Chief Ken Nnamani, a former senate president, after they left PDP and joined APC.

Finally, Governor Ug­wuanyi erased the fears among the PDP chief­tains in the state like the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Senator Chuka Utazi rep­resenting Enugu North Senatorial District and the Ahmed Markafi lead­ership of PDP that he is still a staunch member of PDP and will continue to defend the cause of the party. He physically ap­peared at the state execu­tive council (SEC) meeting of Enugu State PDP, which is the highest organ of the party last Tuesday, August 8,where he was endorsed to fly the flag of the party in 2019.

The Enugu State PDP at the SEC meeting which was attended by both Na­tional Assembly members and others at the state hier­archy of the party, includ­ing chairmen of the party at 17 local governments of the state passed a vote of confidence on Governor Ugwuanyi for his ‘sterling performance in office and visionary leadership in piloting the affairs of the state, especially within this period of economic reces­sion.

The Enugu State PDP pledged unalloyed sup­port of the party leader­ship at all levels in the state for the governor and his administrations people oriented programmes and grassroots development initiatives, which have en­trenched peace and good governance, and also posi­tively impacted the lives of the people of the state.

The AUTHORITY checks shows that the Tuesday, August 8, is a remarkable event in the sense that the PDP in Enugu State will maintain its stand on the political zoning principle initi­ated by the state founding fathers led by late Chief C.C.Onoh, Igwe Charles Abangwu, Chief Enechi Onyia (SAN]) among oth­ers, which necessitated ro­tating governorship seat of the state to Enugu North Senatorial District in 2015. Aftermath of the calcula­tion that Enugu East Sena­torial District produced two-term governor of the state, Dr. Chimaroke Nna­mani (from 1999 to 2007).Thereafter, Enugu West senatorial district in the person of Sullivan Chime (from 2007 to 2015).

Therefore, in conced­ing the 2019 governorship ticket of PDP to Governor Ugwuanyi for his second term will not truncate the zoning principle of the state and by implication have undermined any up­surge of political crisis in Enugu State, ahead of the 2019 governorship election in the state, in as much as Governor Ugwuanyi is ob­served to have performed creditably so far, amidst the prevailing economic recession in the country.

The other way round, political analysts hold the view that it behooves on Governor Ugwuanyi to muster the political will in steering the mantle of leadership of the party for it to retain its control of the state, against the perceived opposition being fronted by the Enugu State chapter of All Progressives Con­gress (APC).

However, a political an­alyst who talked to ‘The Authority’ on conditions of anonymity stressed that the Enugu State PDP has beaten its APC coun­terpart hands down by not making the mistake of shopping for its 2019 governorship candidate outside Nsukka Senatorial District, stating in as much as their decision satisfied the zoning principle po­litical culture of the state, Governor Ugwuanyi pres­ently has won the heart of electorates of Enugu North Senatorial District, with the ongoing massive social infrastructure he is enthroning in the district which had suffered neglect in the hands of previous administrations.

He asserted that even if the APC decides to choose its governorship candidate from Enugu North Sena­torial Zone also, the zone which controls more than half of electorates in the state at every election, has already seen and taken Governor Ugwuanyi ‘as their beloved son in whom they are well pleased’.

The above assertions are adding to further en­dorsements for a second term in office for Gover­nor Ugwaunyi from other relative sensitive political communities and towns in the state. In the past one month, the people of Ezeagu Local Govern­ment Area in Enugu West Senatorial District decided to honour Governor Ug­wuanyi and his Deputy, Hon Mrs. Celia Ezeilo with traditional titles and en­dorsed their coming back under one joint ticket.

Enugu Ngwo clan, in Udi Local Government Area of the state have like­wise endorsed Ugwuanyi. The political leaders of Ngwo clan led by Chief Dubem Onyia, said they have endorsed Governor Ugwuanyi for a second term in office, based on his articulated and uniformed agenda of development in the state.

The Authority recalls that the Deputy Sen­ate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who is the senator representing Enugu West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, in conjunction with leadership of the PDP in Enugu West Senatorial District, three months ago, rolled out drums at Awgu Local Government head­quarter to reinstate the support of the entire Enu­gu West Senatorial District for the second-term bid of Ugwuanyi. Senator Ekwer­emadu donated two buses to aid the campaign team of Governor Ugwuanyi’s second term bid under joint ticket with the state Deputy Governor, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo.

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