Ugwuanyi’s Legal Victory: Matters Arising
Recently, a Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed a suit filed by the outgoing Senator representing Enugu North Senatorial District, Senator Anyaogu Eze, challenging the victory of Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, winner of the last PDP Governorship Primary conducted in Enugu State.
Eze approached the Court praying that it should hold that a sister court presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola endorsed the delegate list his faction of the party used in conducting the parallel primary which produced him as governorship candidate as authentic.
But, in his judgment, Justice Evoh Chukwu held that the harmonized list which produced Hon. Ugwuanyi as Governorship candidate subsists. Meaning that the Primary election which trumped up Ugwuanyi as PDP Governorship candidate for Enugu State is the authentic primary that is duly recognized.
He further noted that, the order of the sister court which Senator Eze relied on to hold a parallel primary was merely declarative and not mandatory. Adding that only one primary was held by the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) in accordance with the stipulated rule in section 89 (4) of the Electoral Act.
From the facts presented so far, one must not be a legal luminary or a rocket scientist to know that Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu) is the authentic or acceptable PDP Governorship Candidate for the Coal City State. Hence, it will be in the interest of peace and the general development of Enugu State if Senator Eze abides by the judgment and refused the temptation of filling for appeal. In this direction, he should join the party as well its leader in the state, Barrister Sullivan Iheanacho Chime in working for the victory of its candidate come April 11.
The enthralling celebration and happiness which enveloped the whole state on hearing the victory of Ugwuanyi is a true testimony that he is the choice of the people. Let it be said again that since democracy returned to Nigeria in 1999 and as its currently being practiced in Enugu, there has never been any candidate that have enjoyed public acceptability like the candidature of Hon. Ugwuanyi!
Also, it is necessary to state here that both Eze and Ugwuanyi come from the same Enugu North Senatorial District, popularly known as Nsukka cultural zone. Like I stated in this page last year when I was making case for Enugu North, I said that the zone is the only senatorial district that have not produced Executive Governor in the state since 1999 and they should be allowed to produce the next governor. I wrote the piece when it looked as if the state would not overcome the high political intrigues it was witnessing then, but today as God would have it, Gburugburu is the candidate for the party.
Similarly, Senator Eze should make the needed sacrifice by not engaging Hon. Ugwuanyi in further legal battle which will only create room for the opposition to wax strong. Let him know that law is made for man and not man for the law. Dragging the choice of the people he sought to represent to the court of law will definitely speak more about his hidden intention. Both of them have been friends and are among the people's representatives in Abuja.
The difference is that while Eze found himself in the Red Chamber, Ugwuanyi found himself at the Green Chamber but, like I have always believed, it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runeth, but is of the Lord that showeth mercy (Romans 9:16). In this regard, the people of Enugu State have made their choice, instead of fighting against their decision, he should shelve any plan in that direction and join hands with Gburugburu to bring victory to the party come April 11, because the voice of the people is the voice of God. Vox Populi, Vox Dei. Apart from the favor of God on him, personal attributes like humility, simplicity, levelheadedness and pragmatic ways of doing things also contributed to factors that endeared him to the heart of the people.
It is also good to state that if the outgoing Governor and leader of the party in the state, Sullivan Chime had not stood his ground when the former National Chairman of the party who also hails from Enugu North demanded that he should leave his senatorial district for him to determine who becomes his Senator, there is no way Senator Eze would have gone back to the Senate in 2011.
Because of that act of sacrifice on the part of the governor we all know what it cost the state and the entire South East Geo-Political Zone. So if the governor could be so magnanimous by sticking out his neck for him when he was at the crossroad of his political career why won't he do so for others? Therefore, politics is a give and take enterprise, if you don't win today, try next time, but don't throw the baby with the bath water away.
Comrade Edwin Uhara is a Journalist and Public Affairs Commentator based in Abuja.
Reach him on 07065862479