Chijioke Edeoga: The Man Who Will Be Governor

By Victor Ugborgu

From all indications, it appears the people of Enugu State have decided to come out en mass to vote Chijioke Edeoga,  Gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party as the next Governor of the state, on Saturday, March 18, 2023.

Though the contest promises to be hard-hitting, because of the caliber of other contestants from other political parties, the resolve by

Enugu voters to throw up Edeoga seems irrevocable. If the February 25

Presidential and National Assembly elections are anything to go by, it will be a clean sweep by Edeoga and the Labour Party in Enugu State.

For instance, out of the eight House of Representatives seats, the Labour Party won seven and one senate seat.

 Apart from Edeoga, the other chief contenders include Frank Nweke

Jnr. of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA and Peter Mbah of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.  While Nweke was a former minister of Information, Mbah served as chief of staff and commissioner for

Finance during the turbulent administration of Chimaroke Nnamani in

Enugu State.

Interestingly, the three top contenders are from Enugu East

Senatorial Zone where the governorship position is zoned in line with the state’s rotation arrangement. Also of interest is that the three      contestants boast of vast experiences that will propel their administrations if elected. Indeed, the Governorship and State House of Assembly will be keenly contested in Enugu State.

However, Edeoga of the Labour Party is favoured to carry the day based on his varied experience both in the legislature and executive arms of government. According to some political analysts, “this is Edeoga’s greatest advantage over his rivals. He has the character, competence and capacity. We have to change the narrative. We have over stayed in the wilderness. We have to cross over to the next destination. We have

been stagnant since 1999.”

He was a former chairman, Isiuzo local government area, member, House of Representatives representing Isiuzo/Enugu East federal constituency, Special Adviser to former Deputy Senate President on

Legislative matters, Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on National Assembly. He was once a commissioner for Local Government

Matters and immediate past commissioner for Environment.

Under his watch as commissioner for Environment, he facilitated the

evacuation and return of people displaced by Erosion in the state and

provided resources for their livelihood. He also identified and

improved specific bus stops and restored  sanity in different bus

parks, maintained public parks and gardens  in the state.

He also formulated and evaluated policies relating to Climate change

which curbed the negative effects of climate change, amongst others.

Without doubt, these positions exposed him to the complex workings

of the executive as well as the legislature, which he will bring to

bear in governance in the State when given the chance, unlike other

contestants .

According to Pat Onukwuli, a public affairs analyst, “Edeoga is enough

of a politician, a journalist, a lawyer and with mild manners to

navigate the fractious politics of Enugu State and deliver good

governance. He is the kind of man you find easy to entrust with the

collective aspiration of a people and go to sleep. He is judicious in

action and will most likely not provoke distrust through political

indiscretion.”   Edeoga has on different occasions assured Ndi Enugu

that his mission, to  restore social, cultural and economic fortunes

of the state if elected governor.

Edeoga’s emergence as the Labour Party governorship candidate was

achieved in almost the same manner as Peter Obi, the Labour Party

Presidential candidate. Edeoga moved over to Labour Party after losing

out in the People’s Democratic Party primaries. However, it took  the

Supreme Court to affirm his candidacy, which put to rest Evaristus

Nnaji’s claim to the ticket.

In its ruling, the Apex Court described Nnaji as a meddlesome

interloper who should not have gone to court in the first place

because he lacked the locus standi. “He should not have gone to court

in the first place since he didn’t participate in the Labour Party

governorship primaries.”.

That was the beginning of Edeoga’s victory as  has continued to garner

overwhelming  popularity among the people. The same way Peter Obi,

Labour Party Presidential candidate garnered wide acceptance among

Nigerian youths through the “obidient” movement. Nigerians both young

and old voted for Obi overwhelmingly.

However, it is not going to be a walk over for Edeoga. Based on Obi’s

success at the presidential polls, other parties in Enugu are also

laying claim to the “Obidient” movement.

Nevertheless, the Labour Party has called on its supporters in Enugu

to vote for Chijioke Edeoga, the governorship candidate in the state,

not minding that all the top contenders in the state’s governorship

election have publicly incorporated the movement of Peter Obi, LP

presidential candidate, into their campaigns.

Julius Abure, national chairman of the LP, in a statement issued on

March 15, said Edeoga remains the governorship candidate and choice of

the party in Enugu.

He said the party LP has not aligned with any candidate from another

party in the state. He said some struggling candidates are trying to

de-market the LP candidate instead of selling themselves to the


 “For the umpteenth time, we want to reiterate that in Enugu State,

the ‘Obidients’ do not have any partnership with anybody or party and

directs all our Enugu State ‘Obidients’ and teeming party supporters

to disregard any statements or moves by candidates of other political

parties to harvest where they did not sow.”

Edeoga also lamented attempts by his opponents, who have been fanning

embers of disunity among the people, adding that his mission ‘is to

heal the state from years of disunity.’, stressing that Enugu people

are united and share a common cultural bond that cannot be overlooked

by actions of desperate political actors.

Decrying efforts to pit people of Enugu East zone against their

brothers in Enugu North of the state, the Labour Party candidate urged

the people to cast their votes for him, as the best person “to heal

the state of imaginary divisions orchestrated by people, whose only

intention is political profiteering.”

“It is unfortunate that a number of people have been laying emphasis

on what divides us rather than factors that unite us. But I have

dedicated my life to making our state better. People are working hard

to write imaginary lines of division between and among us; but I am

here to blight those lines.

“I am from Enugu East Senatorial Zone, and I maintain cultural ties

with Enugu North. This peculiar position puts me in good stead, better

than any other candidate in this election to see everyone as one and

the same. As God had made it, my running mate, Charles Nwokeabia, is

from Enugu West. This means that in Labour Party, we have the type of

rare balance that gives everyone in every part of the state a sense of


The die is cast. Ndi Enugu, the ball is in your court. Vote your

conscience and let the state flourish.

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