There is this saying that “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,” meaning, it is not easy to be a leader of a group, a king of a kingdom, a governor, or a president of a group or a country. This is because of the responsibilities that go with one being a leader since a leader is expected to perform above expectation because to fall short of expectation means that the leader will be a failure and no leader would like to be a failure.
On February 8, 2021, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu was elected to be the leader of the main opposition party in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the South Eastern states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo states. Ugwuanyi was on a fateful day, after a meeting of the party hierarchy held in Enugu, chosen to be the leader of the party in the zone to replace the former leader, Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi State who defected recently to the ruling party at the centre, the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Umahi’s exit from PDP thus left a vacuum, and in order not to leave in a vacuum in the leadership of any organization, Gov. Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi, aka, Gburu Gburu, was chosen to lead the party to victory in future elections starting with the Anambra State Governorship election that will soon take place, November 2021, to be precise.
Now that Gov. Ugwuanyi has been given another mantle of leadership other than that of being the governor of Enugu State, more feathers have thus been added to his crown and it now behooves him to see that PDP as a party does not buckle under but will strive to win more states other than the two states of Enugu and Abia that PDP is currently controlling.
Acting Chairman of the party in the South East, Ali Odefa from Ebonyi State who presided the meeting said that the party adopted Ugwuanyi because of his commitment to the party.
”We unanimously adopted Gov Ugwuanyi as leader of PDP in the southeast zone because of his immeasurable contributions in the region. We are sure and satisfied that he will lead southeast PDP to success.”
Odefa said that the party considered the Ugwuanyi’s outstanding performance in office and in a consensus, adopted him as leader of the party.
Speaking on the forthcoming Anambra governorship election, Odefa said that the party was putting heads together to ensure success in the election.
”PDP South East is putting its house in order, we are drawing and calculating, and at the fullest of time, the successes will announce the effort we have made so far.”
On the surface, it looks like a simple task but it is an onerous task to make PDP enviable and a darling party in the southeast because of the precarious position the party is in at the moment. For instance, since the days of Chris Ngige as the PDP governor of Anambra State, PDP has remained in opposition to All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA ever after and has not been able to dislodge the party even as another governorship election is around the corner in the state.
Ugwuanyi indeed has an uphill task of ensuring that PDP gains prominence in the five South Eastern states now that Imo that had hoped to clinch PDP in the 2019 general election, lost the opportunity to APC through the Supreme Court ruling that made Hope Uzodimma the governor of Imo state to the chagrin and awe to many.
Ebonyi State that had been ruled and controlled by PDP since 1999 that Nigeria returned to civil democracy, narrowly lost that opportunity as the incumbent governor, Engr. David Umahi who was elected under the platform of PDP recently dumped the party and opted for APC. Umahi’s defection has thus put PDP in a sequestered position and Ugwuanyi will have to work the extra mile to see that Ebonyi people do not lose their love for PDP which they had voted all these while until Umahi decided to steer the ship to a different direction.
Ugwuanyi’s task is even more precarious because Enugu State, his own state may not boast of continuing to be a PDP state in the future elections unless Ugwuanyi holds strong the totem that enabled him to win the governorship position twice and was a three-time representative at the National Assembly representing, Udenu and Igbo-Eze North Federal Constituency before he became governor on May 29, 2015, and has held forth since. It is only such a magic wand that can make Ugwuanyi steer PDP ship around so that PDP will once again hold sway in the five states in future elections.
Although it may look dicey, from the type of followership PDP has in Anambra State, with Ugwuanyi’s kind of charismatic leadership, Anambra could be won for PDP. The presence of the former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi in PDP and other topnotchers may help in assisting Ugwuanyi to win Anambra State for PDP that had been in control of the state before now.
The 2023 general election is still far and this is why it is important that Ugwuanyi as the new leader of PDP in the South East will have to work hard to ensure that Anambra will be in the PDP kitty.
All eyes are now on Gov. Ugwuanyi now as the new leader of PDP in Enugu State and South East, to deliver PDP in Anambra State and other States as he has been delivering Enugu State in Senatorial, House of Representatives, House of Assembly, and chairmanship elections in Enugu State since he took over the mantle of leadership in Enugu State in 2015. What makes Ugwuanyi’s task daunting is the rate at which people are now defecting to APC. In Enugu State the other day, a former member of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Obinna Okenwa, dumped PDP, with many of his political allies and joined APC. So, Ugwuanyi has enough in his hand to chew to see that PDP continues to stay afloat, not only in Enugu State but the entire South East.
All eyes are now on Gov. Ugwuanyi now as the new leader of PDP in Enugu State and South East, to deliver PDP in Anambra State and other States as he has been delivering Enugu State in Senatorial, House of Representatives, House of Assembly, and chairmanship elections in Enugu State since he took over the mantle of leadership in Enugu State in 2015.
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