Last month, precisely September 27, 2014, the entire Enugu State stood still in cheers of the adoption of a PDP consensus governorship candidate in the person of Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, a ranking member of House of Representatives from Udenu/Igboeze North. The loud cheers were not confined to Enugu State; it extended to other Enugu State people spread throughout the world.
We were among the Enugu people who cheered.
Who are we? We are of Enugu State. We are professionals in different fields. We live and work in Enugu State, in other parts of Nigeria, and in different countries of the world. Our uniting bond is our undying devotion and love for our Enugu State. Above all, we accept and recognize you as our Governor.
Your Excellency, leadership is not easy. Leadership comes with enormous responsibilities of making tough decisions and meeting the varied expectations of the governed. You have been up in the saddle for the past seven years and counting. You have done your best to the extent of being in the rank of those adjudged as performing governors.
Your Excellency, our hearts are further gladdened because your recent actions shown that you are in tune with critical component of leadership that dominates the thinking of good leaders at the tail end of their tenure. Your critical action through consensus to project a successor has provided the kind of lasting leadership legacy your desire and deserve.
Our dear Governor, this brings us squarely to the thrust of our communication to you. We beseech you to build on the steps you have already taken and guide the rest of the transition so as to guard objectively and ground in gold your desired, deserved, and destined legacy.
Your Excellency, we humbly appeal to you to reconsider your quest for any elective office in 2015. We beg you to put our people first, like the good leader you are, and concentrate on seamless transitioning of the affairs of our beloved state to your successor. We implore you to listen to the collective voices of reason and to consider the distractions and great loss inherent in your contest for an elective position.
Here are ten-point reasons to stay out of elective office:
1. Constitution vs. Zoning: As a lawyer, we will not bore you with the constitutional provision of no-term limit for the legislative arm of our presidential system of government. The importance of no-term limit must override the need for zoning, which is not constitutional.
2. Political Experience & Legislature: The increase in effectiveness of legislators is due to experience: the more you do something, the better you get at it. Experienced legislators make good laws. The Senate and House of Representatives have incumbency and seniority rules which favor greatly reelected and experienced representatives. Examples abound worldwide.
3. Negative Impact on Enugu West Senatorial Zone: The Enugu West senatorial zone has one senate position and two House of Representatives positions. The ranking senator is also the Deputy Senate President and the Speaker of the ECOWAS parliament. The people of this zone will be grossly short-changed if the incumbent senator is denied the opportunity to be reelected. Apart from loss of seniority, a change in the Senate wipes away the power and influence of the exalted office, which is fifth in the succession ranking in Nigeria.
4. Negative Impact on Enugu State: Enugu State houses the capital of Southeastern Nigeria, the home of Ndiigbo. The zone has benefitted from federal appointments and projects emanating from the Office of the Deputy Senate President. The loss of the Office of Deputy Senate President and Speaker of ECOWAS parliament will be a worst disservice to be visited on any people by their leader.
5. Negative Impact on the entire Southeast: The Office of Deputy Senate President is zoned to the Southeast by PDP. The zoning arrangement has the chances of sustaining if President Jonathan is reelected. It is necessary for Southeast to follow the North-central zone that has given automatic ticket to the Senate President and retain the Office of Deputy Senate President. The Governor of Enugu State should be in the vanguard of making sure that the position is retained for the people of Southeast, Enugu State and, specifically, Enugu West senatorial zone.
6. Jeopardize President Jonathan’s reelection: The political turmoil being generated by your rumored interest in an elective position could create unnecessary rift within PDP. Such a rift could metamorphose into many disgruntled members leaving to swell the rank of the main opposition party with unintended consequences adversely affecting the presidential election.
7. Violence and Loss of Lives: Your humane policies have made Enugu State one of the safe havens in Nigeria. In reheated polity, the ghost of political violence could rear its ugly head and descend on the good people of Enugu State with the loss of innocent lives over unnecessary political battles that are not even in the interest of the people.
8. Best Fit for the Position: Your Excellency have fought and won political battles to remain in office since 2007. The eight- year experience in the executive position has prepared better for executive position and less to delve into legislature, where a different personality is a better fit. The art of legislation calls for the type of political sagacity needed to lobby and move and pass legislations.
9. Unnecessary Zero-Sum Game: While we commended your successful engineering of the adoption of your successor, we contend that the push for a seat at the Senate is a move that minimizes our political progression in Nigeria. Besides the unpredictability of the quest, it merely weakens whomever eventually wins the unfolding campaign of calumny.
10.Destruction of Your Legacy: Leadership legacy is very important as it outlasts the leader. Look at Mandela, his single decision to step out when the ovation is high tells of his putting his people first. A rich and lasting legacy should be your focus at this time.
In conclusion, we note that in your heart of hearts, there are some decisions you wish you had made differently if someone had called your attention to them. Many dark clouds of such personal and official decisions could clear if you adhere to our advice to stay out of elective office and allow the people of Enugu East, North, and West to elect their senators and representatives. Focus your energy on making your chosen successor the next governor of Enugu State and to continue your good work without encumbrances. There is not a position worthy of your present performance than the Presidency of Nigeria. And the time shall come.
We wish you all the best in the coming months and beyond. Good luck, and may God bless Enugu State.
Uchenna Nnamani Desmond Ugwu Moses Chinegwu
Enugu East Enugu North Enugu West
For and On behalf of
Enugu Concerned Professionals Worldwide
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