From Theo Rays
…The aspirants and their chances
Ahead of the 2015 general election the race for the federal house of representative seat of Igboeze north/Udenu in the National Assembly has began in earnest with notable names from Igboeze north signaling their intention to take a shot at the seat come next year.
Among the names are former member presidential advisory committee PAC Dr Sally Adukwu Bolunjoko who is also a former national president of Nigeria Institute of Management NIM , renowned author and former Chairman of Igboeze north Hon Chijioke Ugwu, and current Chairman of Enugu state rural electrification board Engr Simon Atigwe,
others are emerging popular Nigerian scientist and consultant to the Federal MInistry of power on LIght up rural NIgeria Engr Ifeanyi Eze, current member Enugu state house of Assembly Hon MIke Onyeke and CEO renowned courier company Ifex Express and Ifesinachi Transport Prince Dr Emeka Mama
No aspirant from Udenu because of the fact that an Udenu man has been on the seat since 2003 covering three terms of fours years each which will amount to twelve good years in 2015. Analysts say the above listed names who are aspiring under the platform of People Democratic Party PDP are people of timber and caliber who are capable to fleet muzzle at all fronts for the seat.
The question on the lips of political watchers and observers however is who among them will pick the converted PDP ticket and subsequently win the race to NASS? One thing is wining the PDP ticket and the other is winning the main election against possible opposition from other political parties like APC, APGA and Labor Party. It is possible to predict that the popularity of the PDP in the area will be threatened or even dismantled if the party fails to nominate a good choice for the race.
The aspirants and their chances: Dr Sally Adukwu Bolunjoko.
Dr Bolunjoko is making her second missionary journey in the race having contested the seat in 2007 under the platform of ANPP. She has intimidating profile and is also well connected with highly placed people including those in the corridor of power. She served as member PAC along with powerful people like General TY Danjuma, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and others and presided over the affairs of NIM for many years. Currently the chairman of ESBS board, she also owns a top ranking private school in Abuja.
An Anglican grand mum, reputable educationist and a full gospel evangelist, Dr Bolunjoko according to analysts will no doubt make a good representation if given the mandate but there are factors that are likely to undermine her chances. One is that she is not popular in PDP in the area. As an ex-ANPP chieftain observers are of the view that she hasn’t done much in the cause of building the party and giving her the ticket is equivalent to seeing her reap where she didn’t sow which may spell doom to party
Two is that she being accused of not thinking home as she hasn’t done much in bringing blessings to the people of her home town considering her level as a highly placed personality in Nigeria. Her contributions according to observers are channelled mostly to the Anglican Church where she frequently make donations. sporadically sharing rice and salt to widows.
Thirdly is that she is married to an Okene man in Kogi state and will inevitably share what belongs to Igboeze north/Udenu with Okenes if elected. Observers and analysts doubts her chances because her dual citizenship of Enugu Ezike and Okene will work against her during campaign
Certainly the former NIM boss will have to work hard against these factors to be able to convince the PDP delegates ahead of the primary in particular and the electorates in general during main election in February next year to realize her ambition of making it to lower chamber of the NASS
Hon Chijioke Ugwu
The author turned politician made name in politics when he served as the Executive chairman of Igboeze north lfrom 2007-2011 during which he rendered selfless service to the people by executing life touching projects in all the communities across the local government
Under Hon Ugwu regime all communities in Igboeze north received not less than three completed projects in various areas like road tarred with asphalt, water bore holes, building and equipping health centers building of new classroom blocks for primary and secondary schools, rural electrification, youth and women empowerment packages etc
Ugwu’s superlative performance in office didn’t just elevate him to be a household name of good reasoning and purpose in Igboeze north but also earned him many reputable awards and chieftaincy titles. Among them are the best performed local government chairman in the whole of south beast region in 2010, Award of Excellence in local government administration by Nigerian Tribune newspaper, the title of Oke-zuribe meaning one who gave to all among others to mention but a few.
Observers say the ex chairman is unarguably the most popular among the aspirants in PDP and a sure bet for victory for the ruling party in the main election as according to them Hon Ugwu’ s soaring popularity and acceptability among the people in Igboeze north /Udenu will be too much for any opposition candidate to handle as far as the the race for the constituency seat in Abuja is concerned.
Observers however are in doubt about Ugwu’s pocket in wrestling the PDP ticket from the money bags but information from a reliable source has it that some youth under the aegis of Igboeze north youth forum in Anambra state have thrown their weight behind him and are ready to give him financial backing.
Engr Simon Atigwe
Currently the chairman of Enugu state rural electrification board Engr Atigwe is the younger brother to former deputy speaker of Enugu state House of Assembly Rt Hon David Atigwe who is a house hold name iin Enugu state. The senior Atigwe is a career politician who can boast of large quantity of experience in the game of politics having spent most part of his life time playing it. He is said to be well connected at the high levels
The younger Atigwe is banking on the popularity, connection and experience of his elder brother to clinch the PDP ticket. Analysts say the engineer who has also made name personally having been around the political scene all the while wishes to continue where his brother stopped to ensure the relevance of the age long name of Atigwe in the political circle in the area.
It is not arguable to say that the history of politics in Igboeze north is clearly incomplete without the mention of Atigwe. According to analysts the fear of the name “Atigwe ” iis the beginning of wisdom while playing politics in the area. Apart from their popularity they also command a very rich pocket and if the race to the federal house is to be decided by cash then the Aji born Engineer is a sure bet for it.
Engr Atigwe who has served as a town planning engineer in Udenu local government is no doubts a strong contender fin the race but analysts say his chances could be threaded with the fact that two people from his country home of Ajji namely Late Hon David Omeke and Hon Simeon Osisi Itodo who is currently the traditional ruler of Aji have all tested the seat
Hon Mike Onyeze
Hon Onyeze is currently a third term member of Enugu state House of Assembly representing Igboeze north constituency one and would be clocking good twelve years on the seat by next year. Analysts say the legislator who hails from okpo is clearly ahead of others when talk about legislative experience
More so he is financially buoyant but his chances are however under serious threat because off the fact one his brother from Igboeze north constituency one Hon Fidel Ayogu occupied the seat from 1999.-2003.
Another factor that would militate against the okpo born politician is the impression among the youth in the area that it is a greedy act for him to nurse the ambition of proceeding to the federal house from state house immediately after spending good twelve years in the house of assembly. A youth leader comrade Athanatious Oodo furiously condemned the interest of Onyeze in the federal house contending that such greed can no longer be tolerated in the politics of Enugu state.
Engr Ifeanyi Eze
Popularly known and called Lord Ezetech Engr Eze’s interest in the federal house was said to be inspired by his soaring achievements in the field of science and technology where he has made name in invention and manufacturing of global system mobile GSM and solar energy equipment s. A development that has endeared him into the consciousness of the people who now regard him as a great man
Currently the chief consultant to the federal ministry of power on Light up rural Nigeria a solar energy project embarked upon by the federal government. He has been noted for think home philosophy because of his close relationship with the people and using his connection to add value to the people by sourcing job opportunities for the youth.
The scientist who has served as a director of research and innovation in federal university oye Ekiti in Ekiti state is believed to have sourced job for over fifty youth in the area and youth consequently don’t joke with him. But the game for now is beyond the reach of youth as party primary remains the issue ahead.
Analysts say his chances could be hampered by the fact that he is new in the game of politics in the area and it is likely that the old folks in PDP are going to scheme the ticket out of his reach when the time comes.
Prince Dr Emeka Mama
Popularly called IDE by his admirers, the prince and heir of Ifesinachi conglomerate first ventured into political arena when he came out to vie for the governorship seat of Enugu state under the platform of PDP in 2007.
IDE’ s interest in the race has turned to be talk of the town because some people have already started linking him with the governorship race which is zoned to Nsukka. The impression among political watchers is that if he had the guts to contest the governorship in the days of governor Nnamani nothing can stop him from trying his luck into the race for the Lion Building this time.
As aspirant for the federal house there no gain saying the fact that he is financially equal to the task but his popularity in the party is in doubt because some powerful figures in the party are said to have made the party a no go area for him. His chances of getting the ticket is said to be a matter of miracle.