Nsukka Catholic, Anglican Dioceses shop for candidates other than PDPs


Churches lament handover of power to Ebeano political dynasty


 ...Express fear over return of insecurity in Enugu State




The Catholic and Anglican Churches in Nsukka, Enugu State are now coordinating efforts aimed at electing more credible leaders in other parties other than the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, when Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi completes his  tenure on May 29, 2023.

The two most popular churches in the state are miffed that Ugwuanyi was not leaving landmark achievements after governing the state for eight years and was leaving the Nsukka more divided than he met it following alleged divisive politics that characterised his tenure. 

Priests in strategic departments in both churches, who spoke on condition of anonymity accused the out-going administration of deliberately creating problems in the zoning policy of the senatorial seat which currently favoured Nsukka and Igbo Eze South Local Governments instead of the Igbo- Eze North / Udenu axis which had had its turn in the person of Senator Ayogu Eze.

Most of the indigenous priests in the two dioceses of the churches were also, said to be worried over the poor handling of the zoning policy in the state which favoured Isi- Uzo in Enugu East Senatorial District  but Ugwuanyi wasted the opportunity which would have saved the Nsukka Area that was merged with Nkanu from perpetual slavery and marginalisation. 

The priests said that the governor allegedly sold the slot to the highest bidder at N6 billion as he had always informed those who cared to listen that he bought the position from Governor Sullivan Chime as the highest bidder then.

Already, the churches have begun the 

sensitisation of the faithful over the need to get registered to enable them vote out the PDP following what it described as the party's alleged poor showing in their area. 

The priests said that the latest extension of registration of voters exercise would boost the campaign for registration of new voters with the aim of burying the ruling party in the state.

The Director of the Political Enlightenment Desk in the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka and lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, Rev Fr Emeka Ngwoke, had been appealing to the faithful in the area to obtain their voters' cards to enable them have a say in those that will emerge as their future leaders.

Fr Ngwoke noted that lives of Christians revolve around politics, hence it would not only be immoral but sinful for Christians not to exercise their franchises.

Ngwoke's appeal is aimed at getting majority of Christians to carry out protest votes against the ruling PDP in the state and especially in Nsukka.

In a recorded video message Ngwoke said, "Good morning ... dear people of God of the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka. 

"I make this special appeal to you, from the Diocesan Justice, Peace, Development and Caritas Commission. 

"This commission held its meeting yesterday and ...  at the end of our deliberations, it was resolved that I make this  appeal to all our priests, the Catholic faithful and indeed all men and women of our diocese, who  care for the well-being of our state and the condition of lives in our country to please get registered, expeditiously and immediately, so you can vote; so you can exercise your franchise and so you can have a say in the forthcoming elections.

"I say this as a matter of responsibility.The challenge before us is not only a civic duty; a moral responsibility but also a religious obligation. We live in a society and we have a responsibility towards that society.

"Our lives in a society pivot around politics. If we are in a democratic setup and in-deed, even, if we are not because there will still be politics, in so far as decisions will be made, but there can be no democracy without politics..."

Catholic priests who spoke said they were working with their counterparts in the Anglican Communion, to first, get the faithful register, so that they can vote for their candidates in a bid to end PDP rule in the state, after over 24 years.

Priests in the Anglican Communion, Nsukka Diocese, confirmed that the two Bishops of both the  Anglican and Catholic Churches, Most Rev. Alloysius Agbo and His Grace, Professor Godfrey Onah were co-ordinating the processes that would enable the people, elect credible candidates from other parties other than the PDP.

Bishop Agbo who also,  spoke at a workshop organised by the Nsukka Journalists Foundation, at Adada House, last weekend, also alluded to the cooperation between the two big churches in Nsukka to ensure improvements in the infratratural developments of the area.

The bishop spoke about the last local government elections in the state, which saw only the ruling PDP's candidates emerge winners as a scam, adding that majority of the citizens were unaware of the elections.

According to the Bishop, "many people did not know when the last local government election took place in the state, where they are full fledged citizens, let alone participating in it. How would they know, and how could they participate when the so- called primary elections ended practically in only one party, presenting candidates? 

"What was the need of coming out to vote in an election where there was no challenger? In a disguised one- party system, other parties are either intimidated by naked power or silenced by infiltration and this is dangerous to any nation. Of course, there is no democracy in this kind of process, where 99 percent of the population is excluded in deciding who should be their leaders..." 

The priests in the zone lamented that 

 the eight years of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi's administration had not only become more ruinous to Nsukka but had become a serious burden to the zone. 

They particularly wondered why Ugwuanyi destroyed the legacy of peace nurtured by his predecessor, Sullivan Chime, who dismantled all the killer squads in the state, only for the governor to bring back the characters that created the mess before him.

According to them, "What happened to the Enugu is in the hands of God mantra of the outgoing governor?"

Priests who spoke to the Southeast Post online news said that the faithful had been deceived into believing that the governor would placate Nsukka zone after spearheading the Oganairu Nsukka Rally only for him to finish the people politically with self - centred politics. 

"We are looking for options. We cannot be blind followers again. We are looking at other parties," one of the priests said.

Earlier, the priests had told our reporters that the churches were scandalised by the return of the Ebeano political family through Gov Ugwuanyi's poor judgement adding that already, members of Ebeano had started displaying intolerance of other people's views through alleged harassment of their opponents.

The Senator representing Enugu North in the National Assembly, Senator Chuka Utazi, who spoke in the same vein with the indigenous priests lamented that those in the majority had become the minority through poor management and urged the people not to despair but re- strategize by  asserting their voting power to get to the promised land.u