By Okike Ezugwu
Warren Buffet, the extremely successful investor who was in 2008 named the wealthiest man on the planet advised that when you want to hire a man for a role, the most important quality to look out for is integrity. If Enugu is a business run for the common prosperity of all Enugu people, then we should be begging and dragging Barr. Chijioke Edeoga to head the corporation. He is an upright and incorruptible man.
I did not start to support Edeoga after the Labor Party gained its present tremendous mass appeal. My admiration for the trailblazer is older in origin. It dates back to when I was viciously attacked for daring to point out the failure which the Ugwuanyi-led government was becoming. He was the only one who overcame emotion, felt showing remorse and responded objectively to my observations. I would later gather, from well-informed sources, that he was an internal critic to the Ugwuanyi-led administration. He was the only one who pointed out the flaws of the government and presented far-reaching recommendations which sadly went unheeded. Ugwuanyi would later punish him for his courage and audacity by setting him up for public ridicule and financial ruin. This is a well-known heart-touching story.
Getting closer, I realised why Edeoga did not get rich from politics; unlike the common run of public servants in Nigeria. He is a man of very tall, un-bendable principles and incorruptible honesty. Upon my words, his modesty and moral decency are the closest to Peter Obi’s I have seen in any Nigerian leader. This is the reason I am supporting him and why any Enugu person who could rise above narrow prejudices and self should support him.
We are standing on the threshold of history. Anybody who loves this state must now stand up to be counted. During the build up to the PDP primary election, Odegene, an aspirant, spoke to “selected Enugu Youths.” I made myself conspicuous by asking troublesome questions. My impatience and revolutionary zeal were too showing. At the end of the conference, Okey Ugwuada called me aside and said to me; “It is time to stop playing radical. We must all join hands to help elect credible leaders.”
That counsel now presents a fresh significance. I feel a moral obligation to always state my stance publicly. I cannot tell you that Chijioke Edeoga is a miracle worker in the stamp of Elijah or, perhaps, the sea-dividing Moses. But I can swear to you about certain facts. Edeoga will not grab your land or hide your money in fraudulent, over-bloated, sometimes nonexistent companies. He will not outgrow the ordinary people of Enugu State. He will be your servant, not your master. You could question his policies and the essence of his projects and he would respond with humble accountability. Edeoga will run a result-oriented, aggressive, goal-getting administration before which the rest of the country would stand in awe and envy.
Edeoga, an intellectual and charismatic man, will hold his own gloriously in the council of governors. A lawyer and journalist, he rose to become the editor of a major newspaper. His involvement in public life is storied with achievements, truth-telling, courage and selflessness. This is again a crunch moment for the Enugu people. It is a choice between a clean break from the crime-infested and frightful past and—God forbid—a return to it. It is the time to act for our land, children and for all posterity. It is the time to elect Chijioke Edeoga to set Enugu again on the path of progress.
Okike Ezugwu, a lawyer and writer, can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org #Okike supports Edeoga and started the Ka Nwa-Edeoga slogan#