Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The much talked about 2023 general election is gradually passing by with the conclusion of the Presidential and National Assembly elections gradually becoming a thing of history.
Following the anger; the frustrations; the disappointments; and the excitements that characterised the outcome of the exercise, all eyes are now fixed on the March 11 Governorship and States House of Assembly Elections across Nigeria.
Enugu State is not an isolated case; in fact, Enugu stands out as one of the flash-points in the March 11 election following the shocking outcome of the Feb. 25 elections, especially the national assembly.
Like in some other states, Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Kebbi and Abia where the incumbent governors lost the bid to graduate to the Upper Legislative chamber after eight (8) years as State Chief Executive, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in Enugu State is going into the March 11, elections with grudges and trepidation.
Enugu’s case is very peculiar because the very foundation of PDP which had colonised the state since 1999 and a reigning political empire “the Ebeano dynasty” are under threat of extinction.
The truth remains that, the pillars holding the PDP in Enugu State were devastatingly hit by the political earthquake of Saturday, Feb. 25.
A relatively unknown, structure-less, political party, the Labour Party (LP), shook the entire PDP family and like an Israeli Army, overran its estuary.
It was very surprising what happened to the PDP and its high ranking candidates last Saturday across the length and breadth of the state.
It was a hurricane that swept the ruling party and shattered its very foundation in the state and inflicted a terrible wound that may take time to heal.
For the first time in 24 years, the ego, the razzmatazz, the arrogance, the bragging that the PDP supporters and their eggheads were known for, came to an abrupt end.
From all indications, the ruling PDP today is a shadow of itself following its poor performance in last Saturday’s polls. The morale of her members are at the lowest ebb, just as there are jitters down their spines.
Interestingly, the PDP is not getting any sympathy from the electorate, which goes to suggest that the people did not vote out of ignorance, they were happy to have voted the way they did.
To refresh the minds of those who were still not fully aware of the tsunamic results of last Saturday election in the state, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi lost woefully to Okey Ezea (Ideke) of LP in the Enugu North Senatorial district in the National Assembly polls.
PDP, however, retained Enugu West Senatorial district. Out of the eight (8) House of Representatives seats in Enugu State, Labour Party won seven (7) leaving PDP with only one.
A former state chairman of the party, Chief Vita Abbah, was also defeated by, a very young greenhorn never known in the political circle in the state in the race for Nsukka/Igboeze South Federal Constituency.
Meanwhile, after all the hues and cries, all eyes are now fixated on the race to the Lion Building Enugu.
The Lion has been tamed and it is now making frantic efforts not to be disgraced further by being chased out of its den by small flies after 24 years.
After the Feb. 25 elections and its surprises, it appears now that the contest is beginning to narrow down on two most serious and prepared parties in the state.
Reports have it that, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which was earlier making inroads in the electoral terrain was beginning to bulge.
The Governorship candidate of the party, Frank Nweke Jnr., was reported to have visited the Ebeano family to pledge his continued loyalty to the group that made him what he is today.
That visit, for whatever intention, will definitely affect his chances, in March 11, Governorship election in Enugu State.
Nweke has been using every available opportunity since then to deny any unholy alliance with the Ebeano group despite paying homage.
But be that as it may, that journey remains questionable in the minds of many political watchers in the state.
Also smarting from the victory of its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Enugu State chapter is also strategising on how to upset the ruling PDP come March 11.
Though the chapter has been enmeshed in accusations of fraud among its bigwigs, they are still exuding some confidence of victory come March 11.
It is in the light of this that, members of the ruling PDP have been meeting with all stakeholders of the party including polling agents, wards executive, local government chairmen, support groups and other relevant allies.
A source revealed that the only agenda in such PDP meetings and overtures remained how to win the March 11, election “at all costs.”
On the other hand, the Labour Party is also strategising on how to consolidate its success “at all costs.”
There have been reports of toxic exchange of words by gladiators of both parties in the build up to the March 11, governorship polls.
Anxiety, fear and mutual suspicions are in the air with each political party trying to maneuver one another without decorum and decency.
Political leaders and groups in the state have continued to appeal for caution to allow peace reign, before, during and after the election.