Enonyi 2023 and the EZZA question fear or which-hunt _By DR. JOACHIM .C. EZE


Merriam Webster was reputed to have said  that  “speech is silver, but silence is golden”. That is to say,  “words are important, but that sometimes it is better to say nothing”.

While this idiomatic expression has become a kind of golden rule in the conduct of  human interactions, there are occasions that do not demand silence because as Edmund Burke had stated:  “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing or keep silent “.

The political development in Ebonyi since the commencement of  political campaigns with regards to opposition parties presents Ebonyi in the Hobbesian state of nature: “poor, nasty, brutish and short.”

The seeming deliberate attempts to denigrate Ezza Clan in the State as “unwanted” people creates tension and raises serious question on the sincerity of government in providing equal opportunities to all groups in the state to aspire to positions of leadership.

The build up to what is witnessed today started some few years back. After the ashes of the Ezza Ezilo war settled, (a needless war that the state government has not been able to  absolve itself),  there came the Ezza Effium war which claimed many souls with a Catholic Priest from the same clan clamped in  detention for many months. The war has rendered many people homeless with many others becoming IDPs in their own fatherland for no justifiable offence, not a natural disaster but mere deliberate human wickedness, hatred and political power.

The common denominator in democracy is that it offers people freedom of choice. That is what distinguishes it from autocracy.  In 1998 when democracy returned to Ebonyi, an Ezza man was the pioneer Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which was the main party that time. The Ezza man did not appropriate the position of Governor to Ezza Clan. He offered it to another clan which started what we have come to project today as the “rotational” principle in the state.
The Governorship position had since moved from Ebonyi North to Central and to Southern zones.

In 2023, the State government under Chief David Umahi decided that the governorship position should start from where it began, Ebonyi North.  Such a proposal does not prevent people From expressing their interests  in the position because even in previous years, people from different political parties and zones, still vied for the position even if  it was zoned to a particular place or zone.

It becomes worrisome why the aspiration of an Ezza man to the position of a Governor of the state would bring such  tension to the government such that Ezza Clan no longer have Peace in Ebonyi State.

Prof Bernard Ifeanyichukwu Odoh is an individual who on his own is seeking the support of Ebonyi people,  not just Ezza people, to be governor. He has not committed any offence to seek a public office. It is Ebonyi people that will choose who becomes their governor on Saturday 11th March, 2023. It is not the duty of Ebonyi State government or Governor Umahi to decide or impose anyone on the people.

It is intriguing why there should be such brouhaha because of one man’s interest. If Government candidate is acceptable to Ebonyi people, he will be voted into Office. The PDP has a candidate with Chief Ifeanyichukwu Odii from the South. APC has a candidate with Hon. Francis Ogbonnaya Nwifuru from Ebonyi North. Incidentally, the three main contenders in different parties represent the three geopolitical zones of the state. The contest  is expected to be a beautiful one leaving Ebonyi people with options.

To orchestrate crisis to intimidate any of the opponents is not democracy, rather it is a  failure of leadership and lack of transparency on the part of government. Why should Prof Bernard Odoh be singled out for persecution?

There have been over seven recorded assassination attempts on his life. No other contestant has recorded such attacks.

Many Ezza people are members of APC as they are also members of PDP and APGA. None of the clans in Ebonyi can produce a governor without the support of other clans or groups across the three geopolitical zones in the state. But it is a dangerous precedent for any government in power to compel people by force to follow a particular candidate in an election without giving them freedom or choice.

The recent murder of a traditional Ruler in Ezza Clan and attempts to instigate the family members of the revered Monarch to criminalise Prof Bernard Odoh without due legal process,  in addition to many other reported cases of assassination attempts,  leaves many unanswered questions.

Is this a  witch-hunt against Ezza people or fear of  Prof Bernard Odoh or just deliberate targeted political action to stop either Ezza person or Prof Bernard Odoh from becoming Governor of Ebonyi State? 

Governor Umahi has been reported to have said that Ezza people are not strategic. The way to go is to leave the  people who are not strategic to fail rather than hunting them out of existence or creating disharmony and tension in the polity.

All citizens of Ebonyi State are equal and have equal rights to all political positions in the state. Everyone should have equal rights to aspire to any position of his or her choice. The Ebonyi people have the choice to make because power belongs to God and the people whose mandate it is to choose.

The only way Ebonyi State can prove its popularity through it’s sponsored candidate is to allow  all other candidates equal  opportunities and peaceful environment for elections without suppressing anyone or clan. Let the people choose their leaders.

Enough of the incarceration of Ezza people, after all, without Ezza people, Ebonyi State may not have been created. Enough of the humiliation. The Security agencies have a responsibility to use the instrumentality of the law to unmask the killers of Eze Christopher Igboke Ewa. Playing politics with such heinous crime is very despicable and disgraceful.

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