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Edeoga: Can a pact breaker keep campaign promises?



By Sylvester Illoh

Hon. Chijioke Edeoga is one of the former aspirants for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who have deservedly come under harsh criticisms for reneging on the pacts they signed before the 25th May 2022 PDP primary election.

For those not in the know, in order not to dissipate their votes among a retinue of aspirants and lose out in the contest of a position they said it was their turn to fill, the Enugu East Traditional Rulers Council convened the 19th May 2022 meeting at the Nike Lake Resort Hotel. There, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, Dr. Peter Mbah, Prof. Bart Nnaji, Senator Gil Nnaji, Rev. Ifeanyi Nwoye, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa, Dr. Gabriel Ajah, Dr. Kingsley Udeh, Prof. Hilary Edeoga, Chief Evarest Nnaji, Chief Godwin Ogenyi, Pastor Beloved Dan Anike, Hon. Nwabueze Ugwu, Dr. Josef Onoh, Engr. Erasmus Anike, Prof. Jehu Nnaji, and Dr. Chukwudi Nnaji signed an MoU to support anyone among them endorsed by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as his successor. The Chairman of the Enugu East Senatorial Zone Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Julius Nnaji and prominent traditional rulers from the zone also signed as witnesses.

In Clause 5 of the MoU, they committed to “Respect for the Governor of Enugu State and acceptance of his choice of a candidate from this group in the best interest of Enugu East Senatorial Zone and Enugu State at large”.

In Clause 6, they committed to “The avoidance of litigation as a result of primaries conducted regardless of who ultimately wins”.

And in Clause 7, they agreed to “The eventual integration and accommodation of all aspirants‘ interests in any government led by the victorious aspirant from the Enugu East Senatorial Zone”.

Under the zone too, Nkanu East LGA aspirants, namely, Captain Evarest Nnaji, Dr. Peter Mbah, Rev. Ifeanyi Nwoye, Dr. Gabriel Ajah, and Prof. Bart Nnaji and their elders equally signed such an accord during a meeting at Senator Jim Nwobodo’s residence on 20th May 2022.

Peter Mbah, who was endorsed by Ugwuanyi ultimately won the primary by a wide margin.

To be fair to Edeoga, he was not the only one that has dishonoured the accord. Captain Nnaji (Odengene) also ditched the pact for the Labour Party even after addressing his supporters post-primary election, urging them to support Mbah. Captain Nnaji, Edeoga and their supporters are currently embroiled in a mother of all ‘wars’ over the Labour Party ticket.

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Also, although Prof. Bart Nnaji denied earlier reports that he sought the Labour Party ticket, the allegation persists that he is Labour Party’s Man Friday and has his men as the party’s candidates for various elective positions. Ironically, he initially headed the lobby group that begged Ugwuanyi and Enugu PDP to endorse an Nkanu East son as the next governor.

However, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga has been the loudest in justifying the U-turns from the pacts. Citing insecurity and the need for transparency the management of local government funds etc, he insists that he represents the battle to “save” Enugu.

In one breath he complains of late about the primary election that threw up Mbah. In another breath, he claims he didn’t dump the PDP because he lost the governorship ticket, but because the party failed to give the presidential ticket to Ndigbo. But can he look Ndi Enugu in the face and tell us that he could have dumped PDP had he secured the party’s gubernatorial ticket?

Defending his flip-flops, he said: “When you say I’m not being a man of my own words and you talk about an MoU that you have not seen you are being judgmental.

“The MoU speaks specifically about not going to court. So, nowhere in the MoU did it intend to circumscribe anyone’s democratic rights to aspire.

“There are (also) other people following me whose insistence was that I should adopt a platform and that any platform I adopted, they will follow me so that the battle to save Enugu State can begin. There is no desperation and there is no human being in the world that cannot change his mind. So, I have no apology for stepping out again on another platform.  Changing one’s mind is not a sin and I will change again if occasion demands for the good reason and the right direction”.

Truth is that many of our politicians take the rest of us for fools. Clauses 5, 6, and 7 of the pact speak for themselves.

Besides, Senator Ike Ekweremadu was the only aspirant that complained about the three-man delegates and later pulled out from the primary election before he eventually congratulated and endorsed Dr. Peter Mbah. The rest of other aspirants, including Edeoga, upheld the delegates’ list en block and participated in the primary. No one, not even the media complained about the conduct of the actual primary election. Edeoga participated and garnered nine votes, a far cry from 790 votes gathered by Mbah out of the 804 valid votes cast.

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Apart from the pact, Edeoga expressly accepted the outcome of the primary election and endorsed Peter Mbah in a statement he personally issued on 8th June.

He stated: “Although we were deeply disappointed with the outcome of the primary election, we have accepted the results in the interest of peace and stability of our beloved state.

“In the heat of the moment, numerous concerned persons suggested we take our message and members to a different party.

“However, after giving it a careful and pragmatic thought, we decided to remain in PDP and support the flag bearer Barr. Peter Mbah.

“Peter has reached out to us and stretched out a hand of fellowship; we are disposed to support him. I hereby urge all my supporters and the people of Enugu State at large to rally behind Mr. Peter Mbah for the tasks ahead”.

So, Edeoga cannot claim the right to change his mind like the wind and also expropriate our rights to see him as a promise breaker who is unlikely to keep his campaign promises and as a man dancing to the drumbeats from bush parts of Ukehe. Retuning months after to complain about the primary or claim that his supporters insisted is disingenuous and unintelligent of him.

Edeoga needs to be reminded that “Man of his words”, an English expression first recorded way back in 1542, is only used to describe people who keep to their promises or one who can be trusted.

If he is still confused, he and others like him should pay attention to the London Stock Exchange’s coat of arm. On it is the inscription, “Dictum Meum Pactum”, a Latin expression, which means, “My word is my bond”. Although the expression is used to encourage adherence to the highest standards of integrity in financial markets, it is generally a timeless expression that underscores adherence to the fine principles and ethos of honour, integrity, and trustworthiness whether in business, politics or human relations in general. As a lawyer also, Edeoga should know better that a lot of business and political deals are transacted on the basis of a gentleman agreement, let alone in his case where he signed documents.

It is good that he stressed that he is a good Christian. So, let him be reminded that in Matthew 5:37, even Christ instructed his followers “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No’.

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The Igbo are also a people, who place high premium on character (agwa), which includes steadfastness, honesty, and integrity. Writing on the “Dynamics of Moral Formation in the Modern Igbo Society”, Emmanuel Ajakor and Immaculate Ojukwu, say this is largely so because the Igbo socio-cultural system is dominated by many supernatural forces and a social structure that expects all to cultivate a good ‘agwa’ to be able to live a good life in perfect harmony with the members of his society and the forces that govern the universe.

Even Edeoga must have once treasured these values when he chose the chieftaincy title “Okaome” (A promise/pact keeper). So, for the same man to look the rest of us in the face to say he could make and break pacts/promises at will is most hypocritical and puts him across as a man who does not have his own mind and who should never be trusted by the electorate because integrity and honour lie in keeping your words, not only when it is convenient.

It is also amusing when someone, who served as a Commissioner and an insider in the two terms of the Ugwuanyi administration, is now badmouthing the same government and governor he praised to high heavens until he lost out in the contest for Enugu PDP governorship ticket?

Edeoga was the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs in Ugwuanyi’s first term and Commissioner for Environment throughout this second term until he joined the governorship race. He directly supervised the local governments, including the utilisation of their funds. The principle of collective responsibility clearly dictates that every member of a cabinet takes the full responsibility, glory, and blame for any actions or inactions of the government he/she is part of. Why did he not, for instance, fix whatever was wrong with the local government system or resign?

Lastly, Ndigbo treasure justice and equity (symbolised by ofo na ogu). The current Enugu State Governor was born an indigene of Isi-Uzo until Udenu was carved out of Isi-Uzo LGA. His birth certificate bears Isi-Uzo. Worse still, Edeoga is Ugwuanyi’s maternal relative from Obollo. What else, except desperation, would push a man to insist that the governorship returns to the same local government by extension for another eight years?

Therefore, the questions are: Has Enugu State become a fiefdom? And above all, can Enugu trust people, who cannot keep their promises?

• Iloh writes from Enugu



KOGI GUBER: Former Dep. Gov Achuba endorses Muri, urges Kogites to reject Gov. Bello’s violence, 3rd term agenda



Former Kogi Dep Gov, Hon Simon Achuba

…Says Bello brought his cousin, Ododo of APC, to elongate his grip on Kogi resources

Ahead of the November 11 governorship poll, a former Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba, has declared his support for the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Yakubu Murtala Ajaka.

Achuba, who served under Governor Yahaya Bello, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), told journalists in Abuja at the weekend that he decided to back Ajaka because of his pedigree and capacity to retrieve the state from maladministration.

He charged voters not to be intimidated by the spate of kidnapping and killings that has permeated the state since the commencement of the electioneering.

Also, he tasked the people of Kogi East in particular to desist from causing mayhem against the people because of political gains.

Alhaji Murtala Yakubu Ajaka, Kogi SDP Governorship Candidate

According to him, Governor Bello brought his cousin, Ahmed Ododo, of the APC, to elongate his grip on the resources of Kogi State without any commensurate development.

“If this is allowed to go through, his wife may become our Governor in 2027. God forbid!!!. We call on all well meaning Kogites irrespective of political ethnic and religious divide to rise up and resist the evil seed being plotted in Kogi State.

“It has been 7 years and 8 months of reckless plundering of our state resources without any tangible legacy to show for his two tenures.

“Rather, all legacy projects by his predecessors has been sold off without reinvestment. I know as a matter of fact that about fourteen billion was paid to Kogi State by the Federal Government for a road constructed by his predecessor.

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“Can the successor of Bello expect such legacy fund? It is like daydreaming to think so. He had the opportunity to write his name in gold but turned it down. He will be remembered for bad governance and violence perpetrated in Kogi State.

“Kogites have mastered your tactics and are at the game wisely. The result of the election come November 11 will prove to you that you have so much to learn.

“As you continue to receive decampees, we wish you state the disappointment that follows. Take note that your antics of violence and manipulation not withstanding, this time around will fail.”

He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to be diligent in the discharge of their functions.

“We wish to call on INEC to be free and ensure that the election is free and fair. Thank God we have BVAS, Glory to God.

“Anywhere there are votes beyond what the BVAS has accredited the agents are expected to protest.

“On the issue of security, we wish to call on the inspector general of police and the chief of army staff to keep a close eye on Kogi.

“When I was a still the deputy governor in 2019, the State House of Assembly raised the alarm over importation of military software. What concerns a civilian government with military software? Sincere then, there has been killings and kidnappings. We cannot continue like that.

“We urge Kogites to face the evil and terminate it. November 11 is by the corner. We urge the people to reject bad administration through the ballots.

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“We call on INEC to check what is happening. I want to ask the youths in Kogi East why have they accepted to be agent of the devil? They should stop destroying the property of their brothers and sisters. The intention of this is to make sure that the votes in Kogi East are suppressed.

“If you endorse it, your children will suffer it . You may enjoy it for now but later you will suffer it. Instead of using the money to develop the state, he has pocketed it. This time the voices of the people will be loud and clear,” he added.

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Tribunal verdict, victory for democracy and Enugu, says Gov Mbah



Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter Mbah

…extends hands of fellowship to opposition
…restates commitment to campaign promises

Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has lauded the decision of the Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which dismissed the petitions of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and the Labour Party (LP) candidates challenging his victory in the March 18, 2023 governorship election, describing the decision as victory for democracy and the people of Enugu State.

Dr. Mbah, who also extended hands of fellowship to the opposition candidates and their political parties, said the task to build Enugu remained a collective one, adding that he was committed to working with all, irrespective of political persuasions.

The tribunal chaired by Justice Kudirat Akano, had earlier in the day dismissed the petitions of the governorship candidate of the PRP, Chris Agu, and the candidate of the LP, Chijioke Edeoga.

Addressing the state, at the Government House, Enugu, Mbah said: “This is another memorable day in the anal of our dear state, as the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal affirmed the mandate, which you freely gave to us on 18th of March this year.

“This is victory for Ndi Enugu. It is also victory for democracy.

“It is a victory for massive development for Ndi Enugu. It is a victory for exponential growth for Ndi Enugu. It is a victory for Enugu’s greatness. It is a victory for the ban on Monday sit-at-home. It is also victory for our determination to restore water in all your homes in the next 68 days”.

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While thanking God for making the victory possible, Dr. Mbah also commended the tribunal for painstakingly dissecting the petitions and “for coming out with fair and just decision that resonates with Ndi Enugu”.

According to him, “the verdict has further strengthened our confidence in the judiciary as the temple of justice and the last hope of the common man”.

Extending hands of fellowship to his opponents, Mbah said: “There is time for everything under the sun. There is time to strive and time to unite. We all put ourselves forward to serve Ndi Enugu. The people have spoken and the tribunal has also affirmed. If service was the motivation, then it is time to rise above partisanship and come together because there is so much work to be done.

“Our arms are wide open and I beckon on my brothers, who ran this race with us, to join us in the onerous task of building a new Enugu State of our dreams.

“In the same vein, I enjoin all our supporters to be magnanimous in victory. Politics is over. Governance began on 29th May when we were inaugurated. It is time to unite”.

Governor Mbah, who reiterated his resolve to deliver on his campaign promises, further stressed that the tribunal’s decision was an elixir to do more, and urged the people to hold him to account on those promises.

“Once more, I immensely thank the good people of Enugu State, who not only believed in us, but also vested their mandate in us. Above all also above, they have stood by us every step of the way.

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“I want to assure them that I will work for them with every fibre of my being. I stand by every campaign promise I made as espoused in our Statement of Purpose. I also stand by the Citizens Charter that I executed on my first day in office. The Enugu people should hold me to account. I will not let them down”, he concluded.

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BREAKING: Tribunal dismisses Edeoga, LP’s petition, affirms Mbah’s election as Enugu Governor



Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah

…Edeoga’s petition lacks merit

The Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu has upheld the election of Dr. Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the March 18 election in the state.

Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party (LP) had approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration on the grounds that Mbah wasn’t qualified to stand for the election.

He alleged that he forged his National Youth Service Corps, NYSC certificate and cases of over-voting in Udenu, Nkanu East and Enugu East local government areas.

The Tribunal chaired by Justice Kudirat Murayo Akano dismissed all grounds of petition saying his petition lacked merit.

The panel held that NYSC isn’t a requirement for contesting for the office of the Governor and there’s no where that the NYSC Certificate was attached to the documents Mbah submitted to INEC by the respondent.

On the issue of forging NYSC Certificate, the panel discountenanced all the evidences by the DSS, NYSC official and others because they weren’t in compliance with paragraph 4, sub-section 5D of the evidence act.

Only the witness of the pw26 which was described as a hearsay by the panel and those not help the petitioners and therefore resolved the issue of Certificate Forgery in favour of Mbah.

On the issue of wrong computation of results of the Labour Party in Udenu local government, the panel said they petitioners failed to prove his case and the witnesses they called gave the same report from different polling units and wards and wondered why their testimonies are the same even from different locations.

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The panel also said that the witnesses presented by the Labour Party weren’t duly accredited agents by INEC and makes their testimony invalid.

The panel based on the witnesses from the right agents in 3 polling units, deducted 51 votes from PDP and added same to Labour Party.

The tribunal held that the deduction isn’t enough to Overturn the election of Mbah.

In Amagu polling unit in Nkanu East the panel cancelled the votes for all parties because the witness pw10 proved he was there and the right person.

In the remaining 11 polling units, the tribunal held that the witnesses didn’t sign the result sheet and their witnesses is discountenanced because they can’t prove they were party agents

After resolving all the matter, the tribunal dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.

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