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A Case for Senator Ayogu Eze

By Clarius Ugwuoha, NNP- Feb. 15, 2011 – It is disheartening that democratic representation in Nigeria is still governed by the whims and caprices of a chosen few. What played out in Enugu State a few month ago, the ripples of which still unsettle the polity in that state, is instructive. Very phenomenal changes are taking place worldwide, triggered by a Mohammed Bouazizi in a little village in Tunisia. We cannot continue to beguile ourselves with the self-assurance that this cannot be replicated in our polity. As ACN and some PDP caucuses arrogate to themselves the sole authority over choice of candidates, usurping the role of the masses, they should know that the Nigerian threshold of tolerance is stretched to breaking point.

The sterling performances of Senate Spokesman, Ayogu Eze, should stand him in good stead for a second term at the apex house. He is one of the few good things in that cast, one of the few senators whose sagacity and brilliance leaves us with hope of a functional, vibrant and reengineered Upper House. It was with dismay, therefore, that keen watchers of the ongoing bid for re-election of political office holders were treated to the travesty of democracy in Enugu State. Reports to the effect that the then PDP national chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, had been given the right (sic) to produce a Senator for Ayogu Eze’s Enugu North Senatorial district among other elective positions, stunned the democratic world. What this meant was that the entire constituency had been disenfranchised from the start.  It was with relief that well-meaning Nigerians greeted the unceremonious exit of Dr. Nwodo which put paid to such arcane, rascally and undemocratic arrangement. The entire polity, not PDP alone, is still reeling under the impact of the near-anarchy in PDP orchestrated by his brief but tempestuous reign. In most places, there were parallel executives and parallel primaries, with the polity overcharged with court injunctions, restraining orders and outright violence. Efflux of erstwhile party stalwarts into other parties in turn destabilized these parties as strategically placed candidates were displaced. Fair enough, most of these problems in PDP did not originate with Dr. Nwodo. He simply failed in the area of stemming them for which he came on board and instead constituted himself into a clog to the free flow of democratic tenets. His overriding fixation was in the creation, perpetuation and control of sub-political fiefs. The rest is history.

Senator Ayogu Eze is a forthright but humble law maker. When some media houses tried to instigate him against the Enugu State Governor, Mr. Sullivan Iheanachi Chime, stating that he had traded Senator Ayogu Eze and others in a bid to renew his mandate, the response of the erudite senator, himself a staunch loyalist of the Enugu State governor, was disarming. He was full of eulogy for the governor who had almost overstretched himself in a bid to ensure that the then Chairman did not have his way. There was no bitterness in him, even as he noted with self-possessed dignity that it was impossible and undemocratic to disenfranchise the good people of his constituency. This show of political good-breeding spotlights him as a generational mind given to equity and fair play.

Whatever the tide in the ongoing murky drive for re-election of office holders, it is pertinent to state that the Senate, Enugu State and Nigeria at large cannot afford to lose the services of Senator Ayogu Eze, whose firm handling of information in the upper house, legislative brilliance and charisma was rated above-average and have attracted accolades from far and near. We cannot forget in a hurry his numerous contributions to senator proceedings in plenary and at the committee levels including the sponsorship of the Freedom of Information (FoI) bill, assent to which was denied by the then President Obasanjo and which has been resurrected in the Federal House of Representative; and numerous other distinctions.

As we strive for the enthronement of an enduring and responsible democracy, it is appropriate that we eschew all manner of parochial sentiments and vote in our very best, at the same time weeding out those who have performed below par in previous dispensations. We can only achieve this if the masses are given more and more freehand as should be the case in a participatory and functional democracy.

Clarius Ugwuoha, a public affairs analyst, could be reached at: clarius@lycos.com

Short URL: http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=4326

Posted by on Feb 15 2011. Filed under Articles, Legislature, NNP Columnists, Senate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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