By Dr Chukwuemeka Aroh
God has ultimately blessed us in Enugu state with what we have relentlessly prayed and cast about for. Our dear Governor-elect is the best thing that has happened for us this season. Permit me to call him ” _Peter God-sent Ndubuisi Mbah”._ “Tomorrow is Here”! we shout with great joy, but the haters of tomorrow frown at us and wish Enugu a permanent seat in auld lang syne. We respond loud and clear to them “we have bid farewell to the years of yore in Enugu”. We are already in a tomorrow that is loaded with state transformational goodies; Integrated sector-based productivity growth, inclusive and transparent governance, cross-cutting programmes and social services, expecting water to drop for Enugu residents in a trice. If wishes were horses beggars would ride they say.
Wawa! haters of tomorrow your wishes shall not materialize, we can’t go back to yesterday. Enugu state is unstoppable now and on autopilot towards building a peaceful and secure, highly developed and prosperous state for all. Why? Because:”Peter is Here””Tomorrow is Here””Nothing can stop Enugu State, we are all the way up”Barr. Mbah’s, first step in this dance of governance portrays a good omen and a harbinger of better times to come. A step that reinforces what we had always known about him which motivated us into evangelists for him and of course voting massively for him. We didn’t stop there, we also defended our votes especially when we sensed a ruination of justice was in the offing at the collation centre. Just as we know a good dancer from their first step, we know good leaders from their leadoff decision. Our Governor-elect has displayed his leadership mastery, compassion and selflessness once again. This attitude and path has calmed down an Enugu that was at the height of it’s volatility ever in many years. This situation which erupted from desperate political rattle sabres who introduced sharp divisions and do or die politics into Enugu state just few months ago. Most painful is the awakening of the premordial moribund caste sentiment, an unimaginable straw just to whip up sentiments to influence the politics. All these done for their own selfish ambitions. Ignorantly, because of their narrow lopsided world view, thinking that these antediluvian, tribal sentiments and violence was going to help them win. Thank goodness they lost, as we the people of Enugu were smarter than all these.
Against this backdrop, the story I have is that of Peter Mbah’s jaw-dropping, virtuosic, avuncular, altruistic, humanistic and unifying acceptance speech. A speech that has vellicated breathing a sigh of relief to the general Enugu populace and has broken down the nay sayers into sober and remorseful reflections. I can personally classify it as the best acceptance speech by a Governor-elect. I will liken it to the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln where he committed post-Civil War America to “a new birth of freedom.” Lincoln’s speech carried a message that ideals are worth dying for and that it is up to the living to carry on the work of those who died to protect ideals. Studies in American history shows us how this singular speech changed the country.
Here in Enugu, Barr Peter has made one of such speeches that will impact the histroy of Enugu state and be remembered for a very long time if not forever. The main thrust of the speech being that he called for a New Enugu, One Enugu and an Enugu that we can all call our own irrespective of who we are, Our Enugu. Peter Mbah, a man who like the children of Issachar in chronicles of the holy bible has a perfect understanding of the times, driven by sensitivity for the people he understood that what Enugu needed most was healing. A palliate from the bedlam and pandemonium by balkanizers who with their hate speeches and hate actions attempted to divide Enugu for their narcissistic reasons but failed. In the words of the great Governor- elect “let’s restate that ours will not be government of any section of the state. It is your government ndi Enugu” … “We are all brothers and sisters, those who attempted to create a wedge between us failed woefully” Inter alia. The significance of this speech is heightened as it is coming at a post election period. An election where the opposition completely went full scale dirty but instead of standing on understandable animosity to make a divisive and vindictive acceptance speech he chooses to call for love and unity. This is very impressive and a reflection of the true colour of the man who has just acquired by popular mandate the number one citizen of the state.
The simple interpretation of this speech is; Come to me, I am your governor, a governor for all, even those that opposed and are still opposing me presently. I hold nothing against anybody and I bear no grudges. Let what happened during the elections stay with the elections which is already in the past despite how low, painful and embarrassing. This is the voice of a father, the governor we have been waiting for and we are proud of him.This acceptance speech weeks after is still the talk of the town: amongst scholars, social gatherings, churches, village squares, beer parlours, everywhere people gather. People are amazed at his response, they are flabbergasted by his approach and grossly impressed by his maturity. One could attempt also to liken him as a person just like a preacher will do to Jesus who we just celebrated this easter, few days ago. Who said about those that crucified him ” father forgive them for they know not what they are doing” in the book of Luke of the holy bible. Don’t mind me if I am sounding religious, my apologies, but I have for weeks thought about what to equate Enugu’s Governor-elect’s acceptance speech and political body language to, that’s exactly how I got here. The reason being that it was heavy and mind blowing to me knowing the blackmails, castigations, false witnessing, sabotage and even assasination of his impaccable character, name it, all he had to deal and put up with in the name of politics. Must politics be dirty, filled with evil propaganda and falsehood? Do we even ignore the inec collation center drama that turned it into a tribunal, the votes that where eliminated, the negligence of PDP’s concerns about a particular local government, the military suppression, rigging during the elections and the padding. Which do I mention and which do I leave really? All these done to hoodwink and delude ndi Enugu and even at the last count INEC but after all Peter Mbah of PDP still won. Dr Mbah has proceeded on the journey of the New Enugu in love, without umbrage. He beckoned on ndi Enugu to move on together, stating clearly what his sole goal is and I quote “Only one obligation, to devote every tissue of my flesh, the totality of my mind and spirit to the task of greatness of Enugu”. This I like to call PFDIM( People Focused Disruptive Innovation Model) of governance. Completely represented in his well articulated manifesto which has become the new Enugu’s political bible and an anchor of our development expectations. That’s the hallmark of great leadership, he never bothered to fire back for one day form day one or even look back. What manner of man is this? I must say his a true child of God who understands vengeance is of God who never fails to pay each man back in their own coin. We wouldn’t be overflogging to keep repeating that Barr Peter Mbah is God sent to Enugu state . His attitude of no grudges and loving people from all places, all religions and political divides is unparalleled. He wears a political lense I like to call “One Enugu”.We are very optmistic in Enugu because our Governor-elect has started well. The bedrock of development in any clime emanates from the non-polarization of the people. This implies that unity is the bedrock of development. This is simply why in our Nigerian coat of arm as a nation we have : “unity and faith” and “peace and progress”. Enugu state being a microcosm of Nigeria, therefore this represents us. Our governor-elect has said in every form let us unite and have faith in each other and the system as well so there shall be peace and progress in Enugu. This is the genesis of the pinnacle miracle and anticipated eldorado in Enugu, stay tuned Enugu is coming.
Dr Chukwuemeka Aroh(PhD political science,_ _Public relations and Development consultant)_ *DDG campaign and activities Peter Mbah Support Group (PMSG).