For sixteen years that most of the state governments were controlled by governors elected under the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the governors behaved like demi-gods and dictated the shots. Whatever they said was accepted as the Bible truth with minor or no objection. This held sway until 2014, a year prior to the 2015 general elections.
Before the 2014 primaries that ushered in the new crop of leaders, something happened that seemed to have creaked the wings of the soaring governors who had little regard for the then President, Goodluck Jonathan.
Like a bolt from the blues, one thing led to the other and the cookie came crumbling for some governors that some of them could not get ticket to go to the senate or secure tickets for their loyal subordinates.
A typical example is what happened in Niger, Ebonyi and Enugu States where the then three governors, Mauzu, Elechi and Chime could not have their way to install a successor or achieve their tall objective of going to the Senate.
What happened was that some other stakeholders over-powered them and removed the party structure while they were napping.
This type of thing never happened when Tinubu, Nnamani, Egwu held sway as governors. One would urinate in his pants when those governors were larger than life, but the 2014 build up to the 2015 general election changed all that.
Recent event has shown that the state governors seemed to have regained their form and are now stretching their muscles to have a full grip of the party structures in their states and dictate the tunes like governors of yore were known for.
In Enugu State, Gov. Ifeanyichukwu Ugwuanyi seems to have to have put the party structures in his pocket. Before now, people used to think that he is weak and relied solely on his successor, Sullivan Chime to give bearing.
Political watchers used to see Ugwuanyi of leaving the party hierarchy and governance to some prominent PDP chieftains to dictate the pace. At the time, the inception of his administration, former governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim; former governor, Sullivan Chime; Senator Ike Ekweremadu and Senator Gil Nnaji were believed to be the domineering force behind Gov. Ugwuanyi.
Today, Ugwuanyi seems to have grown gradually that he can now control the party structure as well as have full grip of governance. For instance, prior to the state congress that led to the election of the new exco led by Hon. Augstine Nnamani on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, some party stalwarts accused Ugwuanyi of trying to impose candidates on the party.
Some even swore to switch over to another party should Ugwuanyi succeed in imposing candidates of the party members.
A party man, some days to the state congress, had stated in an interview that a mass exodus of party members might take place should Gov. Ugwuanyi impose candidates on them.“My brother the truth is that so many people in Enugu state are not happy as I talk to you now.
“How can you say that the local government party chairmen in all the councils should be returned, so why is the party conducting congress ?
“Some of these local government party chairmen like in Enugu East local government have held the position for 16 years, and have become demi-gods.
“Well, if that is the position of the Governor, then am afraid some of us will vacate the Party for them and look elsewhere,” a party stalwart complained bitterly before the Tuesday May, 10, 2016 state congress.
With the Congress conducted in a free and fair atmosphere without any party member raising a finger shows that Ugwuanyi is in control as he consulted widely and held a lot of stakeholders meeting even a day to the congress day proper.
A proof that Ugwuanyi is a man of himself and in charge was exemplified in the comments made by the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu that peace has returned to the party.
Ekweremadu pointed out that in the past there were faction in the party but today, the party members are now under one big umbrella which is the symbol of the political party.
Commenting on the party cohesion, Ekweremadu stated that the new executive was lucky because it was coming at a time when there was unity among major stakeholders of the party in the state, unlike his predecessors whose time were characterized by divisions between the governors then and the Abuja-based politicians or other party leaders.
“Let me explain, with due respect to my friend Egungbe, he was our first chairman, and then we had the Nwodo, Jim Nwobodo, Chimaroke factions; when Nwanjoku became the chairman we had the Abuja group and the Enugu group; and when my brother and friend Vitta Abba became the chairman, we had the Sullivan group and Ekweremadu group. But today we only have the Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi group in Enugu state,” he stated.
With such testimony coming from Ekweremadu, a towering political figure in Enugu State and beyond, it could be deduced that Gov. Ugwuanyi, aka, Gburu gburu may now be in control of the party structure in Enugu State.
Governor Ugwuanyi came into politics with a solid foundation as a philanthropist. In 2002, he became the 16th president of the Rotary Club of Emene in Enugu where he imbibed the Rotary principle of selfless service to humanity.
He was first elected into the 5th Assembly of the House of Representatives in 2003-2007, representing Igboeze North/Udenu Federal Constituency. He was overwhelmingly re-elected to the 6th Assembly in 2007-2011, and again to the 7th Assembly 2011-2015. He was thus a ranking member of Parliament and the longest serving National Assembly member in the Enugu North Senatorial District of Enugu State. He was the Chairman of the Enugu State House of Representatives caucus.
In the National Assembly, he clearly made his mark. Between 2003 and 2007, he served as Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Public Service Matters and Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Pensions. It was in this era that the evolutionary Pension Act 2004 was enacted. In 2007, he was made Chairman of the House Committee on Marine Transport.
As Chairman of the House Committee on Marine Transport, the maritime sector underwent a revolution geared towards providing a regime of new legislations that would make the marine transport sector in the country come at par with what obtains internationally. His focus was driving the legislative arm of the transportation component of the nation’s development Agenda. His cardinal interests were capacity building, strengthening regulation and increased indigenous private participation in the sector.
Due to his performance, he was re-appointed on re-election to the House in 2011. He thus became the first person in the history of the National Assembly (both Senate and House of Representatives) to chair this all-important Committee in two legislative sessions.
On December 8, 2014, Ugwuanyi contested for and won PDP’s ticket for gubernatorial election in Enugu State. His victory was challenged in court by Senator Ayogu Eze, but Justice Ejoh Stephen Chukwu of the Federal High Court Abuja dismissed the suit, holding that Ugwuanyi’s election in the gubernatorial primary was legitimate and legally binding.

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