Evaluating Senator Eze’s Role in Ebonyi Politics

Benjamin Nworie

The politics of Ebonyi central is one of the most complex, uncertain and dynamic in the State. A senatorial zone of four council areas but with the highest ethnic groups in the state. To be a Senator in Ebonyi Central is like representing diverse ethnic and multi-cultural groups. This is why it was difficult to be a “good Senator” in Ebonyi central.

There must always be a reason for one quarter or the other to feel marginalised. But it doesn’t mean that these agitations and clamour were unsolvable but many politicians had used divide and rule to hold sway in the politics of Ebonyi central.

It was believed that when there was crisis within some quarters, it would enable them concentrate and gained more political fortunes. However, this strategy has become obsolete and it’s no longer business as usual. Electorate have become wiser and self-independent.

From many indications, Eze is getting it right, correcting the wrongs of his predecessors. Rather than divide and rule, he has continued to build bridges of unity amongst the political and heterogeneous clans in the zone.

One thing fascinating about his political footprint is that Senator Eze is kind to how he emerged as a senator. To say the obvious, it was a miracle and unexpected. It was like a “joke” when he was nominated to fly the ticket of the party and it was a feat that has prepared him to prove his worth. Like the biblical David, he fought with titans and defeated the “Goliaths”.

Less than one year in the Nigerian upper chamber, Eze has become the talk of the town, clearly outshining his other contemporaries in the state. In Ebonyi central, the old methods have passed away.

It got to a time when evidence of good representation was reduced to how many times youths were gathered to drink in various joints.

With Eze’s emergence, real empowerment and securing of employment opportunities have replaced the old order. A total of 48 graduates have been secured job opportunities by Senator Eze in various federal government ministries, parastatals and agencies.

Many people have rated it the highest feat within the short period in the National Assembly since the creation of Ebonyi state. It’s also surprising to many, the magic which is playing favourably for him that he has become a reference point in the senate from the state

With his mien and calmness, Senator Eze is fast bulldozing into the support base of his political opponents and becoming the “lion of Ebonyi central politics”.

This also has unsettled some political players who felt that Senator Eze would not make any impact in the senate. Most of these players had long laid ambush to make him redundant and possibly snatch the position from him in the next election.

But from the look of things, Senator Eze’s popularity and support base are fast becoming indestructible. All evidences manifested during the Christmas and Easter celebrations. It was all about Easter holiday with his people but it turned out a carnival and gathering of enthusiastic supporters at his onueke home town. Many people came to show appreciations. Some people came to lobby for employment opportunities.

Some also came to find one favour or the other, while some came to water ground for their defection to the APC. Many groups were also on ground to show solidarity. Most interestingly, some PDP stalwarts also came to identify with him and fine-tuned way of joining the APC.

First on the list were the stakeholders and representatives of people of Ikwuato Idembia led by Dr Chike Onwe, Chief Dominic Nwafor and Dr. Augustus Nwankwo. They came to show solidarity to the Senator and assured him of their supports and partnership in his quest to serve the people of Ebonyi Central zone.

Another group was the delegation and representatives of the  members of People’s Democratic Party PDP) of Ezza extraction led by Rt Hon Chris Usulor, former Member of Ebonyi state House of Assembly; former SSG Ebonyi state under former governor Dave Umahi, Dr Chief Hyginus Nwokwu; former acting chairman of PDP Ebonyi state, Barr Ifeanyi Nworie, Chief Amaechi Oken and a host of other prominent members of the opposition party.

The leader of the delegation, Usulor said they came to pay Easter homage to Eze because they’re proud of his performance and are willing to join forces with him as he continues to make the people of Ebonyi Central proud with the intimidating records of his exceptional performance within his one year in office.

They said that with their engagements with the Senator, they were ready and prepared to join APC and support the government of Governor Francis Nwifuru

The PDP leaders acknowledged the efforts of the Governor to develop and distribute social amenities accross the state. They said that they were at home with the policies and programs of Governor Nwifuru as encapsulated in his charter of needs agenda.

Many factors are working well in favour of Senator Eze. One, the abysmal performance of major opposition parties in the last general election and the seeming collapse of PDP to APC in the state have stabilised the confidence and lessened the burden of opposition against him.

Second, Eze’s role in the emergence of Governor Nwifuru as the candidate of APC remains indelible in the political activities of 2023 general election.

Very courageous and bold, Eze accepted to chair the campaign council of Nwifuru when it was not certain that Nwifuru’s ambition could fly.

If not for any other thing, though the offer was later subverted to Austin Umahi, but Eze has placed himself as a close ally and confidant to Governor Nwifuru and he has continued to preach the governor’s gospel and achievements to the people.

However, just as earlier stated, the dynamism of politics of Ebonyi central has created new cold war in APC by former PDP members who defected to APC against Senator Eze. How these seeming crises are curtailed determine the unity and strength of the new APC in Ebonyi state. This is because if it is not properly handled, it may create a “a bad blood” that may inhibit the fortunes of the party in 2027.

Already, some observers are already touting that some of the PDP decampees want to inject crises in APC and run back to their folds. These may not be unconnected to the fragmentation in Ezza South APC in the state.

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