Chijioke Edeoga and Abure’s Travesty of Narrativized Causualty

  • By Eze Nwamadi, Ogbonna Asadu, and Eze Nwamadi

Words carry with them cultural memories and various senses of usages in history, and so cast about themselves these memories when they occur in a syntactic structure. The word, casualty, calls to memory J. P. Clark’s poem, “The Casualties,” an aesthetic reliving of the victims of the Nigerian Civil War. The poem begins thus “The casualties are not only the dead, though they are well out of it.” For Clark, everyone was a casualty of the war, either on the Nigerian or Biafran side. But politics is not war, except that Edeoga played it with calumnious violence right from even the build up to the gubernatorial primaries of the PDP in Enugu State. When politics is played the Edeoga way, casualties abound. And it begins with him, for he that digs a pit falls into it.

We agree with Julius Abure, the factional national chairman of the Labour Party, that Edeoga was a casualty of the 2023 election, but would rather add that Edeoga brought upon himself the political misfortune that naturally befell him. He caused to himself political wounds and bruises he now nurses and licks in ashes with no balm of relief. The proverbial partridge advised its underlying that while they broke off the yam tuber for food, they should also taste the root thereof, so that when the owner harvested the yam tubers they would resort to the roots for survival. Edeoga did not ever think of life after politics. He demolished every stake of political relationships and now has nothing to lean on.

From the lead to the Enugu State PDP Gubernatorial Primaries of 25th May, 2022, in which Edeoga participated, he had begun to attack everyone who aspired to the governorship in the state. He called everyone of them unprintable names, using what J. P. Clark would call “emissaries of rifts,” social dregs sedimented at the lowest ebb of his so-called media team, to attack aspirants with false claims and propaganda meant to damage their reputations. Edeoga attacked even his brother from Isi-Uzo, who he called a fertiliser thief, and another aspirant whom he dehumanised with the term ‘ohu’. Edeoga galloped along the streets with unrestrained nakedness and violence until he hit a culdesac in shameful defeat at the primaries where he scored paltry 9 votes against Peter Mbah’s 709 votes.

Barr. Julius Abure claimed Obi and Edeoga were a casualty of the Electoral Act of 2022. Obi and Edeoga are two parallel lines that have no meeting place. During the electioneering process, Obi avoided Edeoga as one would a hot iron. While he campaigned for Alex Otti, he showed every inch he had no fancy for Edeoga who at every opportunity threw himself at Obi on whose popularity in the South East he had opportunistically hoped to ride to victory. But Edeoga had nothing going for him. He had neither character nor capacity. All through the process, he could not craft a manifesto. While Mbah and Otti paraded clear road maps to governance as articulated in their manifestos, Edeoga groped in the dark and had no idea what governance entailed. So, how could their electoral act have victimised someone who was not in any way prepared for the leadership he sought with desperation? Was Abure holding that the electoral act should have been reformed to accommodate the incompetence Edeoga embodied?

The electoral act should have been reformed to accommodate Edeoga’s lack of character. That is how to shift the goal post that the weakling bad player may score a goal. That was someone who reneged on his pledge of support to Mbah after he failed at the PDP governorship primaries. He even gave a press statement to that effect, but a few days later, he defected to the Labour Party and claimed he had become its governorship candidate. Is there character in betrayal? Or did Abure close the eyes of Ndi Enugu to Edeoga’s acts of violence, betrayal, knavery, and despicable character? Was it surprising that Ndi Enugu rejected Edeoga and his party at the polls and massively voted Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, who demonstrated character, capacity, competence and preparedness to lead?

Edeoga, like we wrote above, grew thorns all over his body to the extent he did not leave off his two sides from where he could be lifted when sick. Edeoga stuck to the falsehood of NYSC certificate forgery against Peter Mbah and pursued it with utmost mischief. But Mbah, in his good spirit, extended the olive to him after the tribunal judgement, asking him to join hands with him in his drive to develop Enugu State, but Edeoga would not hear. He continued with his campaign of calumny against Mbah with his ragtag media urchins and drove the phantom allegation to the Supreme Court, where he was finally disgraced.

Edeoga indeed was a casualty, but not in the narrativized flank Abure had led. He was a casualty of his political misdeeds. The alibi of electoral reform, which Abure wrongly advances, is childish. Abure has done well to give Edeoga a job, at least he would be busy working on the Labour Party’s so-called pursuit of electoral reform, an inane pursuit of shadows that would constitute a part of the gravecloth for the burial of the Labour Party in the deep pit of political misadventure.

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