WHY PDP LOST FEBRUARY 25 ELECTION IN ENUGU STATE
The outcome of last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections in Enugu State where the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) failed woefully in all fronts, shows that the party had been living on borrowed time. It equally shows that the PDP in Enugu State has been floating in the air.
Ordinarily, the PDP should have no difficulty entrenching itself in the South East, and Enugu State in particular, since the party started its journey from the zone. Former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, who was leader of G-34 that later metamophorsed to the PDP, was from the South East, and lived in Enugu State. Former Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Okwesilize Nwodo, was the first national secretary of the PDP, and later the party’s natitonal chairman.
Going by that sentiment, for 24 years, Enugu people had been neck deep in PDP, voting all its candidates – from councillorship positions to the presidency, but the state did not get much from the PDP. Specifically, the PDP at the centre never considered the South East, or Enugu State in particular, for any important political position. Not only that, for the 16 years that the PDP was in power at the centre, there was no meaningful project executed by the PDP led federal government in the South East, or in Enugu State.
Coming down to Enugu State itself, the PDP has been alienated from the people, taken away from its owners. For the past few years, those who own the PDP, the people at the grassroots, hardly met face-to-face, nor interacted with their governor, who is the leader of the party in the state, to relate to him their problems and difficulties.
Not only that, whoever would remember the last time he saw the face of the governor on television, or heard him talk to the people on radio, addressing them, and assuring them of government’s readiness to attend to their problems? If the governor could not meet with his people one on one, what stopped him from talking to them on radio and television? This has a psychological effect of connecting the leadership with the led.
But the Enugu State Governor preferred to deal with his people through the so-called “Stakeholders,” the “Oti nkpus,” the praise singers, who always would line up at the Government House. They were the only people who had access to His Excellency, who would speak to him on behalf of the people, who would tell him what he would like to hear, and hide from him what he would not like to hear.
They would tell His Excellency “that the entire Enugu people are very happy with his administration; that they are solidly behind him; and that they will be ready to swim or sink with him”. His Excellency will be very happy, and will settle them with bag full of money.
But His Excellency may not have known that there is a big difference between appearance and reality; and that these so-called Stakeholders represent appearance, which is far different from the reality on the ground. He may not have known that the Stakeholders were after their personal or selfish interests, and that they hardly relate with the people they claimed to be representing.
His Excellency may not have known that the Stakeholders have been deceiving him, collecting his money without doing anything. This clearly played out in last Saturday’s election, when Enugu people overwhelmingly voted against the Governor and the PDP.
Aside of that, many Enugu people were not happy that no development project was witnessed in their areas, these past few years. Roads are bad. Water is not running. There is no rural electrification. Schools and health centres are dilapidated. Collapsed industries have not been reactivated. Unemployment is rife. Pensioners are owed pensions and gratuities. Local Government workers and primary school teachers are not paid N30,000 minimum wage. Civil servants are denied promotions and leave allowance, etc. That was why the people decided to pay the PDP in their own coin during last Saturday’s election.
Not only that, many Enugu people were not happy with the outcome of the primary elections conducted by the PDP last May, which produced the candidates currently vying for various elective positions on the PDP platform. They believed that the exercise was heavily monitized, and that those who were declared winners were indeed not the choice of the people. That was why, when they left the PDP and joined the Labour Party, because they felt cheated, many people followed them to the party, and they showed it with their anger in last Saturday’s election.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was the gruesome murder of Barrister Oyibo Chukwu, Labour Party Senatorial Candidate for Enugu East, on February 22, three days to the Presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for February 25. The assailants were not satisfied with killing an innocent man, they went ahead and set his corpse ablaze, which is very wicked and barbaric.
This angered the entire Enugu electorate. They remembered the dark years in Enugu State when high profile killings were the order of the day, and they would not want a return of that inglorious era. They therefore resolved to vote overwhelmingly against the Peoples Democratic Party in order to ensure that anybody who had any link to that murderous cult is not given any foothold in the state.
Leave a Reply