By Jonathan Asogwa
It is frequently said that he who goes to equity should come with clean hands, but it’s more absurd and shameful when a revered masquerade decides to dance naked in the market square.
The result is that women and children will cover their faces to run away from the absurdity and avoid their eyes from seeing evil in the complete turnaround of the celebration they had gathered in the square to perform. Such a performance is called an eyesore and a negation of traditional African theatre.
Big masquerades from the Nkanu division such as Chimaroke Nnamani, Bartholomew Nnaji, Ken Nnamani and the older James Nwobodo are like the masquerades that decided to strip themselves naked in the arena and at the end of the day had nobody to watch their obnoxious performances.
As educated as these Nkanu irredentists claim, they fail to realize that Enugu East senatorial district is a multi-cultural zone populated essentially by urban dwellers that form the majority population in three out of the six local government areas that make up the senatorial district. It’s an agony that such a huge voting population could just be reduced or emasculated by this clannish minority group into their microcosm Nkanu clan. These naked masquerades are also making the same attempt to emasculate the Agbaja people in Enugu North local government council, the Isi-Uzo people and the Nike confederacy in Enugu East and Enugu North local government councils. For God’s sake, Enugu east senatorial district is not synonymous with the Nkanu division.
Pathetically, James Nwobodo, from Nkanu, who was a former Governor in the second republic; Chimaroke Nnamani (Governor 1999-2007), Kenneth Nnamani who was Senate President and Bartholomew Nnaji (two times Minister), all from the same Nkanu division, have been behaving like Don Quixote who leaves in a fantasy world. The case of Chimorke Nnamani is more pathetic having been recently rescued from both political and economic oblivion, only for him to be globetrotting, using the yuletide season to raise somebody’s hand in Nsukka.
Chimaroke Nnamani with his over N5.3 billion fraud, still hanging on his neck has been going around healthy and unashamedly campaigning for his Man Friday and an alleged co-conspirator in financial crime (both were detained by the EFCC and still under prosecution) to become Governor in 2023 so that the looting spree of Enugu state could continue unabated. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is therefore duly welcome back despite all the false medical reports that Dr Nnamani has continued to furnish EFCC as excuses to dodge his prosecution. Why is Chimaroke walking free when the plea bargain had to do with his companies and not himself?
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi can now see clearly what some of us saw when we vehemently opposed the re-installation of the Ebeano deadwood. Chimaroke who through magnanimity was resuscitated and brought back to life has now turned around to become like the little nza bird who after an elaborate feast decided to challenge his chi to a wrestling competition. What Chimaroke wants is for him to remain a senator and his brother of the same Nkanu division to become governor so that all will end well to his glory and the rest of us in Enugu East senatorial district will clap for them as they click champagne glasses, rejoicing and singing anashikwe shasheewe. Isorite!
Since Enugu east LGA has gone to the Senate twice, Enugu South has gone to the Senate twice in addition to being Governor, Senate President, etc, Nkanu division (because there is no remarkable difference in what they now call Nkanu East & West and parts of Enugu south) has gone to the Senate twice in addition to eight years governorship and eight years as deputy governor, living behind only Isi-Uzo and Enugu North LGAs as the most pauperized partners in Enugu East senatorial district, equity demands that these two most marginalized LGAs should be given preference in the choice of both governorship and Senate in the 2023 dispensation. The case of Enugu North LGA is so bad that it presently does not have a representative in the Enugu State Executive Council, there is no commissioner from Enugu North local government council.
I’ve heard incorrigible arguments such as that Senator Isaiah Ani was a former Senator and Chief C.C Onoh a former governor, but the proponents of this debased argument refuse to tell those who don’t know that Isaiah Ani was of the old Nsukka zone while Onoh was of the old Udi zone, whereas we were all brought together and congregated from our diverse diasporas into the new Enugu East senatorial district in the 1999 dispensation and we all came as equal partners and not as Nkanu clan. Somebody made an infantile remark that a certain local government is a younger partner or a late entrant in the senatorial district and I wondered if there was a later joiner in the new senatorial district when it was created in 1996.
By 2023, Chimaroke Nnamani would finish eight years in the Senate without summoning a single constituency meeting, either a stakeholders meeting or a general assembly. He has no single constituency project to his credit in the eight years, yet people are still emotionally attached to Ebeano, that is the tragedy of Nkanu clannishness. What the ‘distinguished’ Senator now does is a crazy sell of corruptly amassed plots of land and uncompleted buildings scattered here and there in Enugu without anybody, even the EFCC, raising an eyebrow. So how come Chimaroke is the one selling those properties when it was his companies that were charged to the court instead of him, but he has now turned around to sell off the over 170 ill acquired landed properties and is piling up monies that he wants to use to unleash his violent trademark in the 2023 elections?
The people of Enugu should equally research how Pinnacle oil evolved in 2004 and find out promoters of the company that now want to use the ill acquired wealth from the state treasury to reinstall themselves on the people of the state for worse pillage to come. Nnamani’s mates such as James Ibori went to Prison, what is still delaying the EFCC from serving the same treatment to Chimoroke Nnamani? The amiable former Governor of Enugu state, Gentleman Sullivan Chime saw all these Nnamani’s shenanigans and decided to bench him for eight years and that made Chime have peace in his administration, now Ugwuanyi went and resurrected Nnamani and since then both Ugwuanyi and Enugu state lost peace.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should equally look into the violation of the electoral act with the early campaigns of Chimaroke and his ‘anointed Peter’ who was detained with him at the EFCC for an attempt to bribe the EFCC investigation team leader (now a commissioner of police) with N20 million and another N30 million the then EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu to fast track the release of Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa and others from EFCC custody. These are the traits that Nnamani wants to bring back to Enugu state. Anointed indeed! In his usual characteristics, Chimaroke Nnamani did not wait to be fully back to the PDP when started pushing for a local government chairmanship candidate which almost destroyed the party in his local government.
Remarkably, Nnamani forced the candidacy of Sullivan Chime on the spine of Enugu state even when there were other credible aspirants such as Ike Ekweremadu, he was not challenged by anyone. So how come now that Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is governor, Nnamani wants to topple and play the same role he played in 2007 as if he is still a sitting governor? Nnamani boasts that he has settled all EFCC officials with choice properties in Enugu state; hence he feels free to sell the properties that investigations have been concluded on by the agency. It’s a shame to EFCC that Nnamani is still walking arrogantly free on the streets of Nigeria without the Enugu state government recovering its N5.3 billion and when his mates such as James Ibori, Jolly Nyame, Joshua Dariye, Orji Uzo Kalu, Lucky Igbenidon and late Alemaseigha have either finished their sentence or are still in the prison for similar offences.
It is also noteworthy that EFCC is prosecuting Femi Fani-Kayode for producing fake medical certificate when Nnamani has all the while since 2007 paraded false medical reports and each time he is to be arrested he will quickly pretend to be sick and trump up some false medical report, capitalizing on his medical profession. Nnamani pretends to have a heart problem, yet he has the energy to go on campaigns showcasing his crony.
All said and done, Nkanu east LGA being part and parcel of Nkanu division cannot claim to be marginalized in the Enugu East Senatorial zone when it has held all the ministerial and deputy governorship positions but utilized the years fighting one another in communal wars that denied the area of meaningful development. Nkanu produced the first Igbo Inspector General of Police (IGP) as well as the Chairman of Nigeria Drug law enforcement Agency (NDLEA). None of the modern-day Nkanu heroes could make the wars in their enclave abate until Governor Ugwuanyi intervened in the matter and restored sanity in the area. Is this a people that should be handed over power again to continue the massacre of one another? Certainly not! In the case of Jim Nwobodo, one expected he would have retired from partisan politics to become a statesman, but he has failed to leave up to that responsibility, which is sad.
As Governor Ugwuanyi makes up his mind about his successor, he should remember that the Nkanu man has never hidden his resentment and disdain for the Nsukka man, made manifest by Chimaroke Nnamani against his deputy Ezenwata Okechukwu Itanyi. This same Chimaroke Nnamani on many occasions described and categorized Isi-Uzo as Nsukka throughout his pervasive and bloody maladministration dotted with the marginalization of the Nsukka people. The same Nnamani moved the ESUT campus and Teaching hospital from Nsukka to Enugu and relocated every development to Agbani in a true exercise of his inherent clannishness. It is no longer news following the fate of the resigned commission for lands that the Nkanu people have sworn to reverse every housing developmental project executed by Ugwuanyi and Chime in Nkanu land if they become governor. The ‘politics of demotion’ started with late Senator Fidelis Okoro’s house in GRA, is still fresh in the memories of NdiEnugu.
I pitied the innocent Mrs Ifeoma Nwobodo who is married to an Nkanu man but was never allowed to contest for any political position in the acrimonious Nkanu land. She saw it all in her husband’s homestead from where fingers are always pointed at Nsukka as being clannish, yet Nkanu is not only much clannish but weaponized like an atomic and nuclear bomb bound together. It’s still a pity that Bartholomew Nnaji after becoming minister has suddenly become aware that there is no federal presence in Nkanu east and decided to run after Ken Nnamani who could not also bring any federal presence in the constituency as Senate President. As Minister for Power, who did Prof Nnaji empower in Nkanu east? All these Nkanu leaders now singing Nkanu ogbuzuru were all in different positions to develop their area but failed to do so but rather resorted to primitive wars indicative of their real origins close to the Enugu state.
Let’s take another look at the very clannish Nkanu clan: A snake’s offspring will always belong and so it is with a people whose inherent profession is butchery. It has been killing sprees ever since the second republic when Jim’s Vanguard was a metaphor for political violence in Igbo land and which made the returning Ikemba Emeka Ojukwu join NPN instead of the NPP. The second republic collapsed and at the return of the present dispensation, the older Nkanu man foisted his brother on NdiEnugu in 1999. It was Sullivan Chime that gave Enugu state this 16-year fresh breath which the blood tasteful can no longer wait to continue scavenging. I can however bet them that the God of David and the God of Abraham is still alive. Like all that lacked a good foundation, Jim, Ken and Chimaroke engaged themselves in wars of attrition between 1999 and 2007. Is that what we want to repeat in Enugu state after the Ugwuanyi peace model?
The solution, equity and justice demand that in clear conscience, governorship and the Senate should be left to Isi-Uzo and Enugu North local government councils to take as first-line charges. These are the council areas in Enugu East senatorial district that have not been encouraged to have a breath in what rightfully and constitutionally belong to the zone where they are neither visitors nor fewer partners.