Enugu 2023: As Nnia Nwodo the man behind the mask descends into political arena again, by Jideofor Ajagwu

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Saying that Chief John Nnia Nwodo (Jnr), one of the scions of the great Nwodo political dynasty of Ukehe, Igbo-Etiti LGA, two-time Minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria and the immediate Past President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo is an elder statesman is like stating the obvious. He had his first stint in government and politics at the national level, riding on his father’s political reach and fame as a bachelor and fresh university graduate. After that, he was appointed Minister of Information by then Abdusalami Abubakar military regime.

In the face of all these positions and elevations, Nnia Nwodo has nothing tangible in terms of projects and human empowerment to show for it even in his town and local government, apart from lining his personal pockets and those of his family members and talking down on people that do not worship or agree with him. His several attempts to contest and win elective positions since then failed him because of his belligerent, emotional, temperamental, aggressive, sentimental, divisive and garrulous approach to politics and issues especially when it does not go his way.

In 2003, Nnia Nwodo was one of the presidential aspirants of the All Nigerians Peoples Party (ANPP) Immediately, he saw that he will not win the election, he created confusion at the Eagle Square venue after blowing grammar and walked away. That was his last attempt to contest elective position at the national level. He went into political oblivion and hibernation. When his elder brother and first civilian Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo became National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP ) in 2011, Nnia jumped into the arena again and created all sorts of problems and fights for Okwesilieze that later caused the latter’s unceremonious removal from office as PDP National Chairman.

Even before and after serving out his tenure as President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, which was made possible for him to occupy by the Enugu State Governor and his benefactor, Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Nnia had always told anyone who cared to listen that he is no longer interested and cannot play partisan politics again. It is public knowledge that Nnia Nwodo and his family members are the greatest beneficiaries of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration; from contracts, political positions to financial supports. During his recent 70th birthday in Enugu, Nnia Nwodo was full of praises for Governor Ugwuanyi for his unflinching supports and benevolence towards him.

There were other occasions before now, where Nnia Nwodo has been openly thankful and appreciative of Governor Ugwuanyi’s government’s giant strides and outstanding leadership qualities. Nnia Nwodo hobnobs with Governor Ugwuanyi who has always respected and carried along him, having seen him as a brother.

NNIA NWODO BEFORE AND AFTER ENUGU PDP GOVERNORSHIP PRIMARIES

Just like a leopard that hardly changes its colour, before the 2022 Enugu PDP governorship primary, Nnia Nwodo using and hiding under his pliable, controlled and moribund Nsukka General Assembly (NGA) tried to ambush Governor Ugwuanyi and the PDP leaders in Enugu State by pushing for the choice of his elder sister, Chief Mrs. Grace Obayi’s son-in law and Commissioner for Environment, Bar. Chijioke Edeoga on them as the PDP governorship candidate, hoping on his usual Nsukka phantom interest. Nnia and his failed and cantankerous members of the toothless Nsukka General Assembly had hatched their eggs before they were laid by sharing top state government positions that included SSG, Chief of Staff and Deputy Governor among themselves and their relations and cronies.

Immediately their hatched plan failed them with the emergence of Bar. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah as the Enugu PDP governorship candidate during the primary, the frustrated and angry Nnia Nwodo and his cohorts who have over the years misled and deceived some Nsukka people every election year with their selfish and phantom Nsukka political interest, went back to drawing board with the idea and plan to make the former Commissioner for Finance and wife of Arc. Chris Offor, Hon. Mrs. Eucharia Offor the Deputy governorship candidate of the PDP. Their request, move and plan collapsed like a pack of cards with the choice of Bar. Ifeanyi Ossai as the Deputy Governorship candidate by the PDP leadership in the state.

That was how Nnia Nwodo hurriedly railroaded his elder sister’s son-in law, Bar. Edeoga, who had initially accepted Bar. Mba’s olive branch and pledged to work for and with him after the primary into Labour Party to contest the governorship election.

Nnia Nwodo alongside his fixated and narcissistic members of Nsukka General Assembly namely Arc. Chris Offor, Mathias Omeh, General Eze, Bar. Okey Ezea and few others covertly launched social media mudslingings and campaign of calumny against Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for not acceding to their choice of Edeoga as PDP governorship candidate, using vague Nsukka political interest that they have always mouthed when it suits their selfish political agenda.

They recruited some social media miscreants mainly Nsukka journalists who failed woefully in the mainstream journalism practice and have pushed for appointments into Ugwuanyi’s government but were turned down. They conjured, fabricated and peddled all sorts of social media propaganda and lies against Governor Ugwuanyi, hoping to pitch him and his party against the people of Enugu North Senatorial zone. Their social media campaign plank against Governor Ugwuanyi was that he hates Nsukka and that he sold the governorship ticket to Bar. Peter Mbah for N2BN For days, weeks and months, social media platforms were flooded with anti-Governor Ugwuanyi fake news emanating from Nsukka WhatsApp platforms and other social media accounts and platforms.

While these were ongoing, the likes of Nnia Nwodo and his cohorts feigned ignorance of it or having any hand in it. They made the whole conspiracy look like Nsukka people’s altruistic and patriotic agenda. To lend credence to their evil plan, they hoodwinked and co-opted few Nsukka Catholic priests, who on some occasions wrote inciting and malicious open letter to Governor Ugwuanyi on social media, claiming to be more Nsukka than him and others.

When Nnia Nwodo realised that they were not getting the desired result to whip up the sentiment of Nsukka people against Governor Ugwuanyi as they planned and agreed, Bar. Okey Ezea fired his own salvo by writing an open letter to Governor Ugwuanyi calling him names, accusing him falsely of not doing anything for Nsukka people and denying receiving money from him after the 2015 general elections. Ezea received the bashings and backlashes of his life. That was how people knew those behind the sporadic social media campaign of calumny against Governor Ugwuanyi from some parts of Enugu North Senatorial zone.

Even at that, the Commander-in-Chief of the social media fabrications and lies against Governor Ugwuanyi, Nnia Nwodo, who scribed the social media article against Governor Ugwuanyi, titled “Orie Orba Market Politics” remained calm and continued to stoke fire and coordinate attacks against Governor Ugwuanyi from behind. He hosted several secret meetings and conspiracies against Governor Ugwuanyi and PDP candidates in Enugu, Nsukka and Abuja, where he bragged that he will teach Governor Ugwuanyi and the PDP in Enugu politics of their lives for not supporting Edeoga’s governorship ambition.

The social media attacks against Governor Ugwuanyi and Bar. Mbah from Nsukka axis continued unabated. They even moved extra miles to fabricate video with the title Ego Ndi Enugu which they peddled like wildfire. Delusionally relying on Mr. Peter Obi’s recent visit to Enugu and the Appeal Court judgment affirming Edeoga’s candidacy though being challenged at the Supreme Court, Nnia Nwodo, who has severally sworn in public and private that he will never been partisan in his life again has descended into partisan politics arena again with the recent trending video footages showing him campaigning for Bar. Edeoga and peddling falsehoods against Bar. Mbah, Governor Ugwuanyi and Nkanu people.

In one of the videos, Nnia who is a lawyer was seen misinforming people by peddling lies like his recruited social media urchins about the spurious Ego Ndi Enugu video and other lies they have foretold against Bar. Mbah and Governor Ugwuanyi on social media before now.

This singular act has confirmed the rumours making the rounds before now that Nnia Nwodo and Bar. Edeoga are the supervisors and architects of all the libelous articles and videos being peddled by Nsukka labourers and their social media e-rats against Governor Ugwuanyi for not supporting Bar. Edeoga’s governorship ambition.

Chief Nnia Nwodo himself has buttressed the rumours by his speeches in the trending videos of his campaign for Bar. Edeoga’s governorship ambition. This has exposed the chameleonic character of the man called Nnia Nwodo that has been the bane of his political growth and breakthroughs, despite having a stint in politics and government too early in life. Nnia Nwodo has by his spurious and bunkum speeches in the videos exposed his bigotry, clannishness, selfishness and greedy.

Assuming without conceding that Enugu State PDP had wanted to choose a governorship candidate from Isi Uzo LGA, must it be Bar. Edeoga that Nnia Nwodo wanted because he is the son-in-law of his elder sister? Is Nnia Nwodo saying that there are no other better people in Isi Uzo LGA apart from Bar. Edeoga?

Why is Nnia Nwodo, whose brother was a beneficiary of zoning of governorship seat in Enugu State in 1992 pushing for Bar. Edeoga from Nsukka cultural zone to succeed Governor Ugwuanyi from the same zone? Where is Nnia Nwodo’s sense of sagacity, equity and fairness?

Even in Enugu East Senatorial zone that is their turn to produce Governor Ugwuanyi’s successor in line with the established zoning arrangement of governorship seat, Nkanu cultural zone has 95 percent votes in the senatorial zone, hence PDP, APGA and PDP picked their governorship candidates from there. Why is Nnia Nwodo and his cohorts pushing for Bar. Edeoga’s vaulting governorship ambition concentrating their campaigns and activities in Nsukka axis and canvassing for support on Nsukka primordial sentiment as if only the people of Nsukka will vote Bar. Edeoga in to be governor?

It is now crystal clear that the campaign of calumny and propaganda against Governor Ugwuanyi on social media being spearheaded and orchestrated for months by Nnia Nwodo is not about Governor Ugwuanyi’s superlative performance, especially in Nsukka, but about the selfish political interest of Nnia Nwodo and his failed and jobless cohorts that have lived and survived all their lives on government patronages and people’s collective patrimony.

As Nnia Nwodo has descended into political arena again, he should be ready to take the shit. This is not the first time he has miscalculated politically and this may not be the last, considering that he is not a man of his words and character. He is very transactional and can easily pander where his stomach faces.

He has lost political battles in the successive governorship elections in Enugu astate since 1999 after which he will make a volte-face to align and hobnob with the eventual winner for survival as it has become obvious that he cannot survive outside government patronages. This is the major reason no right thinking Nsukka or Enugu man should support or take Nnia Nwodo’s propaganda and lies against Governor Ugwuanyi, PDP and Bar. Mbah in his trending videos seriously. It is not about the wellbeing or welfare of the people. It is all about his political survival and relevance.

If not let Nnia Nwodo show his so called Nsukka people and specifically his Igbo-Etiti LGA people what he attracted and did for them in terms of infrastructure and human empowerment, while in political office for years. Nnia Nwodo and his cohorts are not more Nsukka than Governor Ugwuanyi and any other Nsukka man or woman.

For years to come, Governor Ugwuanyi will remain a hero in Enugu State for standing for equity and fairness and developing the state especially Enugu North Senatorial zone. No amount of Nnia Nwodo’s propaganda and campaign of calumny against Governor Ugwuanyi, PDP and Bar. Mbah will guarantee or secure election victory for his sister’s son in law and Labour party governorship candidate, Bar. Edeoga in the forthcoming elections hence the people of Enugu North Senatorial zone should not waste their votes for Bar. Edeoga that will lose the election.

The 2023 governorship election in Enugu State will not be different from the previous ones that Nnia Nwodo’s candidate has always lost out at the end of the day. It would be recalled that with the return of democracy in 1999 and against the rotation of governorship seat in Enugu State which was espoused by the founding fathers of the state, the Nwodos supported Arch. Nduka Agu of Enugu West Senatorial zone to emerge PDP governorship candidate against Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani from Enugu East Senatorial zone that was favoured and supported by majority of PDP leaders and founding fathers of the state in adherence to the zoning of the seat in the state.

With Nnamani’s victory at the polls as against Nwodo’s expectation, Nwodo mobilised others to commence political fight against Governor Nnamani in the state. In 2003, Nwodo supported Arc. Fidel Ayogu of ANPP from Enugu North Senatorial zone, hoping to use him to scuttle Nnamani’s second term bid. Despite this, Nnamani won his second term. That was how Nwodo lost his political battle against Nnamani.

In 2007, Nwodo supported Bar. Okey Ezea of Labour Party from Enugu North Senatorial zone against Sullivan Chime of the PDP from Enugu West Senatorial zone, that it was their turn to produce Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani’s successor in line with zoning arrangement in the state. At the end of the day, Chime defeated Ezea in the governorship election. He also defeated Ezea, who was the governorship candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) in 2011 to win his reelection.

In 2015, Nwodo was in support of Bar. Okey Ezea of APC against Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of the PDP. When Ugwuanyi won the election and was kept in court by the duo of Ezea and Senator Ayogu Eze, Nwodo was not able to persuade the duo to settle out of court with Ugwuanyi. Despite the fact that Nwodo was not supportive of his governorship ambition in 2015, Governor Ugwuanyi was highly instrumental to Nwodo’s emergence as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, a position that took him from political oblivion and obscurity to limelight again.

Now that Nnia Nwodo has came out openly in support of his in-law, Bar Chijioke Edeoga, Bar. Edeoga and Nnia Nwodo will be roundly defeated everywhere, including in Enugu North Senatorial zone and Bar. Edeoga’s Isi Uzo LGA by Bar. Mbah of the PDP on March, 11, 2023.

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