By Okoh Anike Oko

A rejoinder to Chijioke Edeoga: sinking ambition and mad crave for validation

On Thursday, 4th August, 2022, Hon Chijioke Jonathan Edeoga (CJE) emerged the Enugu State governorship candidate of the Labour Party, LP at the party’s primary election at Top Ten Hotel, Golf Estate, GRA, Enugu.

Since then, he has been the target of a propaganda blitzkrieg and a cocktail of media quackery. The latest is the article titled Chijioke Edeoga: sinking ambition and mad crave for validation. It was credited to Chinedu Adonu, a correspondent with vanguard newspapers in Enugu, who claimed to be writing from Oduma, Aninri LGA instead of his Amufie, Enugu Ezike hometown in Igboeze North LGA of Enugu State.

The governorship campaign is yet to formally commence yet the amount of mud already hurled at CJE is enough to build Babylon afresh, from the alluvial deposits of the Tigris and Euphrates.

WHY? He is the nemesis of Peter Mbah and the PDP in Enugu State. Where ever he turns to, from spiritual counselors to political strategists, Peter Mbah keeps getting one message: Chijioke Edeoga is ahead.

Osisi kwuchiri uzo na-eri apa mma which means that it is the tree standing in the way that receives matchet cuts. There are fifteen candidates in the 2023 Enugu State Governorship Election. However, it is basically a two horse race between Hon Chijioke Jonathan Edeoga, the LP candidate and Barr Peter Mbah of the PDP. That is why the PDP controlled Enugu State Government, viewing him as the only man standing on their way to victory, has dedicated a chunk of the state’s monthly allocation to #Operation Cut Edeoga Down. Fortunately, just like the proverbial bamboo, the more they try to cut him, the more he grows luxuriantly in verdant splendor; a na-egbu achara, achara a na – eto ogologo

CJE’s governorship ambition is sailing smoothly, not in any way sinking. Conversely, the man whose ship is about to sink as soon as governorship campaigns officially start in Enugu State on 12th October, 2022,
is Peter Mbah of the PDP. Just like the overhyped titanic was sunk after hitting an iceberg, the “Tomorrow Is Here” apostle is about to be sunk by an iceberg from his yesterday.

Apart from his murky past that is about to unravel comprehensively before his eyes, his today is also a huge dilemma as his biggest headache presently is how to distance himself from his twin Ebeano benefactors, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi due to the bad reputation of both men. Whenever his campaign team speaks of continuity, Ndi Enugu ask, “Continuity of what?” “continuity of nrashi and blood letting?” “Tụfịakwa!”

This explains why in the past two weeks, Peter Mbah campaign has desperately struggled to attach their candidate to Peter Obi ( Peter for Peter ) while becoming emergency surgeons photoshopping Edeoga’s head on any picture with Atiku and any of the Nwodo’s, sometimes without even any of them, to buttress their theory that Chijioke is working for Atiku. Is it not an irony that PDP that ought to promote their candidate Atiku is instead chastising those working for him while at same time forcing him on the same accused. It’s a case of zọnde ọkpa pande. PDP wants to abandon the house they defecated in. Na kwa echecki

In terms of the 3Cs; competence, credibility and capacity, comparing CJE and Peter Mbah is like comparing PO and Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate.
With regards to competence and capacity, a latin maxim says, “ nemo dat quod non habet”, you cannot give what you don’t have. CJE comes to the job with proven and verifiable competence and capacity.

In 1996, he was elected as Chairman, Isiuzo LGA and won an award as the best LGA chairman in Nigeria. The story behind that award is the kind of story often told about Peter Obi’s uncommon sacrificial leadership style. On assumption of office, CJE was expected to buy a brand new vehicle. However, he opted to continue using the old car he met while using the money he ought to have used in buying the car to undertake the electrification of his council which hitherto had no electricity and open up some roads. He not only rejected the idea of purchasing a new car at N1.25m but also rejected with it N250k cash back ( bribe ).

Again, in 1999, he was elected into the House of Representatives and served as the spokesman of the Green chambers. It is on record that he was denied the party nomination to return to the National Assembly in 2003 because of his principled outspokenness against President Obasanjo’s dictatorial tendencies. Therefore, unlike Mbah who is an apostle of Ebeano, before Ebeano, Edeoga was . Go and verify!

Before now, Peter Mbah had never contested, talk more of winning any election. Available records show that he has neither contested nor won any election, not even as a ward councilor. In fact, neither Peter Mbah nor any other governorship candidate from a major political party has contested or won an election before now except Edeoga.

Credibility wise, comparing the LP duo with the PDP duo is like comparing light and darkness. The PDP tag team comprises men of stupendous but shady wealth, who are EFCC customers. Of course, their defenders would claim that they are yet to be convicted by any court. However, in the new Nigeria which the Obidient movement shall usher in come May 29th, 2023, men and women having question marks on their integrity have no place, none whatsoever.
The LP tag team, on the other hand, comprises men who have diligently laboured for the much they have; men who will not suffer cardiac arrest, if they spot the red vests of EFCC operatives close to them. The Peter Mbah camp keeps spreading the propaganda that CJE does not have the financial muscle to prosecute the election. However, political office is not meant to be for the highest bidder except in an endangered society where an outgoing Governor boasts proudly of having sold his party’s governorship ticket to the highest bidder.

Of course, Atiku is seen as having unexplainable stupendous wealth in comparison to Peter Obi just like Peter Mbah can not explain the source of his acclaimed humongous wealth.

However, Edeoga and Obi are richer than Mbah and Atiku, integrity wise. Most importantly, peter obi’s Obidient movement is powered by patriots who have taken ownership of the process by contributing their hard earned resources to fund the movement instead of relying on funds from kleptocrats.

Secondly, LP, being the annointed vehicle for the Obidient movement is the vehicle of choice, ugbo ndi oma . Today, especially in the South East, any candidate who is not onboard this vessel, risks being swept away by the obidient tsunami.

LP, having a guber candidate from Isiuzo LGA is very strategic. It is a fact that in Enugu politics, Isiuzo has a peculiar case of marginalization, being in Enugu East Senatorial district and yet being part of old Nsukka Division. As such, they enjoy dual benefits. However, on the flip side, they often suffer double jeopardy in Enugu politics. A clear example was the case of Prof DenChris Onah from Isiuzo, who got denied appointment as Vice Chancellor, Enugu Sate University Of Science And Technology, ESUT twice, both when it was the turn of Enugu East Senatorial district (Nkanu) and when it was the turn of Enugu North senatorial district (Nsukka).

Therefore, just like Peter Obi, Edeoga’s candidacy ticks all the boxes, including healing the wounds of marginalization.
With such a profile, which can be referred to as a winning combination, what other validation does Edeoga need to be the next occupant of enugu lion building?

Indeed, Adonu’s piece which led to this article is laden with lies and outright falsehood. It is amazing that any decent human being can affix his name to such a distastefully warped piece. However, for the purpose of setting the records straight, some of the obtuse lies need to be trashed to save unsuspecting readers from ingesting such “bile” without any caveat emptor.

Chijioke Edeoga and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi are not cousins or related by blood, in any way. The extent of their relationship is that their mothers, hailed from the same hamlet in Obollo-Eke, Udenu LGA, not even the same kindred. Mrs Jemima Edeoga (nee Eze) was from the family of Lazarus Eze, whereas Late Mrs Vero Ugwuanyi (nee Onah) was from the family of Pius Onah both of Umuezejo village, Obollor-Eke. However, both women were very close friends. Despite getting married to Eha-Amufu (Edeoga) and Orba (Ugwuanyi), the friendship between both women continued and made both families to remain close. Go and verify!

Again, the issue of Edeoga hijacking the Governor’s media team and mismanaging the team’s N2million monthly allowance is another kindergarten propaganda, as he (Edeoga) could not have hijacked his own creation. The team was efficient, well-coordinated and intact until he left.

Adonu is a young man and should avoid attracting the wrath of our ancestors or the curse of elders by joining Mr. Kennedy Iyere, his Edo co-traveller in denigrating Igbo icons of Enugu State origin like Chief Nnia Nwodo and Prof Bart Nnaji.

Finally, we urge Ndi Enugu to obediently rally round CJE so as to reap optimally from the populist agenda of the incoming LP Government and avoid corrupting the beautiful thing God is about to do for us.

Having Obi in Aso Rock, and Edeoga in the Lion building is a team that will pull Enugu along with the rest of the nation out of poverty and move her from consumption to production. Ihe oma asoghi ndi enugu nso.
Any obidience that entails voting Peter Obi for President and not Edeoga for Governor is adigboroja . Does the bible not warn us against putting a new wine in an old wine skin? We must do away with gluttons, transactional politicians who want to use the Enugu Government House for “betnaija”.

Indeed, “doomed is the nation whose thinkers (leaders) are gluttons”.

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