Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been in power in Enugu State since the advent of the current democracy in Nigeria in 1999.
The party has successfully produced all the Governors, members of the National Assembly, Local Government Chairmen, members of the State House of Assembly and Councillors.
One interesting thing is the seamless manner in which it has produced these representatives thereby earning Enugu the sobriquet “a PDP state.”
It is no wonder that after the party’s governorship primary election, Mr Peter Mbah, winner of the primary mounted sign posts in parts of Enugu metropolis with the slogan “thank you Ndi Enugu,” even when it was obvious that the 700 PDP delegates that voted for him cannot be said to represent the over 4 million residents of Enugu State.
As it has been the usual practice, once anyone is chosen by the governor, with or without election, the fellow considers himself the next incumbent, (ijebego) only waiting for swearing-in. Sometimes the fellow is dubbed “His Excellency in waiting.”
However, it appears the so-called PDP family in the state is gradually falling apart, as there seems to be discordant tunes and surreptitious moves capable of dismembering the once united family.
While the holder of the big umbrella in the state and leader of the party, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has aligned himself with the G-5 governors, former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani with his Ebeano group is rooting for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of APC.
Nnamani himself expressed fear at a recent gathering about difficulty in the voting pattern.
“How are the rural people going to vote; will you vote for APC, LP for president and go and start searching for another party’s logo to vote for another candidate for Senate and House of reps?”
Nnamani has been very vocal about his support for Tinubu, even while he is holding the ticket of the PDP for a return to the upper legislative chamber.
Ugwuanyi on the other hand is fighting the political battle of his life to actualise his ambition of going to the senate of the Federal Republic.
The governor appears to be losing the support of Enugu North Constituency due to the infrastructural deficit he is leaving behind after eight years of his administration.
Recently, the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi, was pictured attending APC presidential rally in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, which gives credence to the disunity in the PDP family.
Ubosi was said to have confided in a friend that many party members were only waiting for the appropriate time to announce their formal decamping to other parties.
But while the speaker and others are stilling planning their formal exit, other members of the party have commenced their movements.
Only recently, a staunch member of PDP in Opi Community, Nsukka Local Government Area, Mr Damian Agbo, tore his umbrella card to shreds and picked the Labour Party membership card.
“I am tired of the PDP because I have seen no result all this while,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the emergence of LP will bring the much desired development in Opi land. He moved with over 2000 supporters
Just last week another staunch member and the treasurer of the party at Idi/ Ogbozalla ward in Opi, Mrs Ezeah Agatha, resigned her membership of the PDP and took cover in the Labour Party.
Sources also said that, a few remaining PDP officials from the ward would soon join the moving train, latest by end of January before the election proper.
The source further revealed that all the PDP structures in Opi have been collapsed willfully for Labour party.
Again, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA), to the governor on new media, Mr Jonathan Ikechukwu, broke the ice by declaring full support for presidential candidate of LP, Mr Peter Obi.
Ikechukwu did not only declare support for Obi, but pledged to head the “Apostles for Obi/Datti Presidential Campaign Organization.”
Though, he claimed to still remain a member of the PDP family, a clear case of “the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob.”
Then comes the pending case of violation of Electoral Law 2022, instituted by one, Barr Ozioko, who claimed that the party did not comply with the Electoral Law in the submission of its delegates list during its primary elections conducted in May 2022.
Unconfirmed report said that the party has temporarily suspended its campaigns officially pending the court judgment.
This means that the once biggest umbrella in Enugu State is hugely been threatened by the heavy political harmattan wind blowing across the state.