By Jude Aneke

The name Chijioke Edeoga unlike those of other competitors in the ongoing titanic race to the Enugu Lion Building, evokes nostalgia among the vast majority of the people of Enugu State(and beyond) who have keenly followed the owner’s political career in the past three decades. It is a name associated with service delivery and results at all levels of government be it local, state or the federal government.

This is in contradistinction to Edeoga’s opponents who until this dispensation were unknown quantities whose only qualification to vie for the office of governor is their illicit wealth dubiously acquired or stolen from the pubic treasury. Despite using their opportunity to serve for self glorification, aggrandizement and corrupt enrichment, and without any form of accountability , they are shamelessly back seeking another mandate from the same people they pauperized with so much relish. This only happens in a third world country with weak and corrupt institutions and which hardly hold the influential and the highly connected accountable.

Any objective comparison of the front line candidates in the Enugu governorship tussle clearly shows that Hon. Chijioke Jonathan Edeoga is the only one truly equipped to serve taking into account his excellent, meritorious and unimpeachable public service track record dating back to the third republic. From Chief press secretary to former Governor Okwesilieeze Nwodo in 1992, chairmanship of Isi Uzo local government area in 1997, Member House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003, Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan and lastly two term commissioner, Chijioke Edeoga’s records have spoken no other language but selfless service to his people.

In advanced climes where public service credentials are revered, treasured and recognized as the best qualification for higher service, the electorate would have had no difficulty in separating the wheat from the chaff.

Available information indicates that Hon. Chijioke Edeoga as a member of the Enugu State Executive Council provided an almost indispensable intellectual input and sagacity to most issues tabled for discussion at the council to such extent that the governor mulled postponing any meeting in which he Edeoga was indisposed to attend. Hon. Chijioke Edeoga thus served as a veritable bulwark as well as a stabilizing influence to Governor Ugwuanyi who had no option but rely on his rich, honest and wise counsel for the most part of his first tenure as governor of Enugu state. Things however began to change when the governor against all advice, brought back former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani to the fold, a decision that is largely responsible for all his woes today.

Those close to Governor Ugwuanyi further reveal that since Chijioke Edeoga resigned from his government early last year, the governor has been like a sheep without Shepherd fumbling from one blunder to another. According to them, only Chijioke Edeoga would (before his resignation) look the governor in the face and tell him point blank that a particular decision about to be taken, was wrong while the others would prevaricate or luxuriate in singing his praises in order not to fall out of favour with him.

That same finesse, sagacity, experience, tact and charm he has brought to bear on his current campaign and which has made it a cynosure of attraction. While Barr. Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party and some other contenders wasted valuable time holding town hall meetings in which only the elite had access, the experienced and sagacious Chijioke opted for ward to ward tours and rallies where he meets ordinary people to feel their pains and pulses.
The impact has been wonderful as could be seen in the mammoth crowd that always turned out to receive him.

Each time he met and interacted with the people, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga laid bare his mission and vision for a new Enugu State where its God given resources will, going forward be used for the benefit of the vast majority of the people instead of a select few placated on a regular basis with taxpayer’s money just to remain loyal and silent.

Hon. Chijioke Edeoga is promising Enugu people to run a transparent government in which they are briefed on a weekly basis on its policies and programmes while obtaining feedbacks on their effects on the people. Most importantly, Chijioke Edeoga if elected governor in March 2023, though may appoint aides charged with the responsibility of information, will not fail in his own duty to personally and on a regular basis, interface with the people to hear their petitions. This very important interaction either through the Radio or television has been lacking in the governance of the state since the return to civil rule in 1999.

In all his rallies, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga outlines to the people his socioeconomic blue print, a clear departure from the boring and anachronistic method of trapping manifestoes in voluminous books no one ever cares to open. This is not to says that Edeoga’s manifesto is not encapsulated in a book form but that the entire effort and expenses at producing them is useless, if time is not taken to explain its content to the people.

Hon.Chijioke Edeoga has plans for a total transformation of the coal city state from a civil service state to a manufacturing hub through a determined, concerted and systematic power sector rejuvenation and re-engineering. Although the world is tilting towards clean energy by the year 2030, the ongoing Russian | Ukrainian war has thrown up an unforseen variable and which has altered the original projections and permutations about ending fossil fuel consumption any time soon.

Accordingly and unlike the previous administrations in the state which paid lip service to the crucial issue of revamping the coal industry in the state, the Edeoga administration will tap fully this God given natural resource in order to harvest sufficient energy for rapid industrialization pending when a conversation for migrating to clean energy will resume. It is common knowledge that despite the global consensus on the desirability of clean energy, such countries as South Africa, Australia, Canada, India, Pakistan among others still rely on coal fired power to run their industrial sectors. Nigeria and Enugu State in particular will therefore not continue to fold its hands by allowing the precious resource to continue to lie fallow.

When the energy sector gets adequately boosted, the Emene industrial layout will surely come alive once again while our teeming unemployed youths would have been taken off the streets. That is the only logical way to significantly reduce crime and criminality leading to an organic peace and tranquillity across the state.

Hon. Edeoga’s graphic plan to drastically improve water supply in Enugu metropolis to end the age long sufferings of the residents is phenomenal and mind blowing. Other candidates have since his radio programmes been plagiarizing his action plan in this direction without giving credit to him. Again, his blueprint for the social sector including health and education are no less heartwarming and inspirational.

It is Chijioke Edeoga’s sincere vision that at the end of four years or eight years at most, Enugu under his stewardship would have been totally transformed multi sectorally for the benefit of the people while a solid foundation would have been laid for good governance in the state.

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