Edeoga’s visit to Dan Shere: When kidnappers turned to sympathizers

Ugwuoke Madu

Last week, the buzz of chaos bolstered the already tense political atmosphere following the spate of kidnap cases of students of the University of Nigeria, former Secretary to Enugu State Government, Dr. Dan Shere, among other road users along Ugwogo/Opi by-pass by politically motivated men of the underworld who were working in collusion with suspected Fulani herdsmen in their desperate bid to raise money for election funding.

Nigeria is presently gearing towards another elections year, and the race has commenced. Campaigns and electioneering activities have already filled the air. However, like it is usual, huge fund is needed by political parties for the successful prosecution of elections.

Recently, Mr. Chijioke Edeoga, the Labour Party governorship candidate in Enugu State had expressed his frustration over the reluctance of some key Nsukka businessmen and political stakeholders to fund his election activities. Mr. Edeoga had accused Chief Samuel Maduka Onyeshi, the billionaire Chief Executive Officer of Peace Mass Transit, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, who is representing the Nsukka zone in the senate, and a host of other Nsukka people of betraying his political struggle to become the next governor of Enugu State.

Mr. Edeoga, fuming at what he saw as a political stab by those that convinced him to defect to the Labour Party having been roundly defeated at the Peoples Democratic Party’s primary election that held in May, 2022, said his benefactors deceived him into picking up the Labour Party’s guber ticket against his earlier position.

Even though Edeoga called out Senator Utazi and Mr. Sam Maduka for their perfidious acts, he vowed that he would sort his financial predicaments out of the woods. It was not surprising that Mr. Edeoga, in a move to shove up his dwindling political fortune and near bankruptcy, met with his colleague, Mr. Okey Ezea, who is contesting for the senate under Enugu North Senatorial Zone, on how to prosecute the elections without depending on their benefactors who had disappointed them.

Recall that Edeoga had his descent and blood traced to the Fulani north in a narrative recently told by his uncle, Chief Ignatius Moses. This, according to Okey Ezea, is a recipe for Edeoga to work closely with the Fulani herdsmen, to raise funds for his election by resorting to abduction and kidnapping activities.

An impeccable source who confided with this writer disclosed that Edeoga immediately bought into the design, and saw the strategy as a two-way traffic advantage to him. First, he will be able to raise fund to oil his political ambition whom many had described as a very “dwindling political fortune headed to kiss the rock” if nothing is done. The source said Senator Utazi is livid with Edeoga for hitting him below the belt, and has dumped him for the PDP’s gubernatorial standard bearer. According to people close to the senator, Edeoga was abandoned because his chance of winning the election is not only slim but has a zero percent rate. Second, Edeoga sized the opportunity of engaging the kidnappers to make the state ungovernable for Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi whom Edeoga said was behind his downfall in the PDP. By engaging in spate of kidnappings, the state will be thrown into chaos and heightens hatred for the PDP and its candidates. This to Edeoga and Okey Ezea, is an election strategy that will work for them.

Sequel to the above ploy, Edeoga met with the Fulani herdsmen and introduced himself as one of them. He provided them with the logistics and intelligence to carry out their device. Since the unfortunate event, the Labour Party and Edeoga’s team have been visiting media stations and manipulating the social media to wipe up sentiment against the governor.

But Governor Ugwuanyi has refused to yield to the conspiracy to blackmail him and threaten his citizens with insecurity. Ugwuanyi mobilized all the security apparatuses, swung into action, and gave a marching order to decimate the hideouts of the criminal syndicate and rescue those kidnapped unscathed. Less than 48 hours, the bushes were combed and the citizens regained their freedoms.

Having seen that Ugwuanyi’s proactive measures had scored yet another victory for the government and reassured the people that Enugu State is peaceful, Edeoga and Okey Ezea with their accomplices trooped to the houses of their kidnapped victims to condole with them. First, they visited Dan Shere to mock his predicament in their hands in the name of sympathy. Men of heartlessness! How will predators suddenly become protectors and sympathizers to their victims?

It is time for the security agencies to do their job. Nobody is above the law. Edeoga and other kidnap kingpins should be arrested now to serve as deterrence to other criminal elements marauding and threatening the peace of the citizens.

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