Enugu, NIGERIA —Chijioke Edeoga, governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Enugu, said as a good leader he doesn’t necessarily need a manifesto to know what is good for his people, even as he challenged Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to show evidence of the implementation of his campaign manifesto.
Speaking in a radio programme with Urban FM in Enugu, Edeoga said those attacking him for not presenting a manifesto to show his blueprint for the state did not understand governance, noting that he did not need any statement of purpose to lead the state to glory.
“And those who are presenting the manifesto, …Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, which one of his manifesto did he follow? Who in Enugu State has said, okay, why did you say you are going to do this and who has benchmarked him?
“Even you, who is asking about the manifesto, have you asked Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi what did he do or what did he promise on education, what did you do, why not?
“It is not going to affect my chances. Those people who are nipping those things are looking for excuses because they know it doesn’t matter,” Edeoga said.
“So, this tendency, when somebody does a thing, everybody follows doesn’t help. The critical thing is, the things he (a candidate) even said, are they original?
“In serious climes, what they do is to ask questions to those people who presented those things and you will see that most times, it didn’t come from them; it is not original. That’s the point..”
The LP candidate said he was confident of winning the election despite not presenting a manifesto.
Speaking during ankther radio programme on Energy FM in Enugu, Edeoga said he is more experienced than Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the party, explaining that he joined public service in the country long before Obi.
The candidate said he rose to prominence in 1992 when he served as chief press secretary to Okwesilieze Nwodo, a former governor of the state, and was elected council chairman in 1997.
“Peter Obi had not entered public service in 1997. I have been in public service since 1992 on a continuous basis. I was chief press secretary. By 1997, I was elected council chairman. I was elected on my own strength. I went to the house of representatives in 1999,” Edeoga said.
“I am not trying to take away anything from Peter Obi, but was Peter Obi in PDP when I became the person to beat?”
Earlier , Edeoga had said his mission is to restore social, cultural and economic fortunes of the state if elected governor. He lamented attempts by his opponents, who, according to him, have been fanning embers of disunity among the people, adding that his mission is to heal the state from years of disunity.
He said Enugu people are united and share a common cultural bond that cannot be overlooked by actions of desperate political actors.
Decrying efforts to pit people of Enugu East zone against their brothers in Enugu North of the state, the Labour Party candidate urged the people to cast their votes for him, stressing that he is the best person “to heal the state of imaginary divisions orchestrated by people, whose only intention is political profiteering.”
He said: “It is unfortunate that a number of people have been laying emphasis on what divides us rather than factors that unite us. But I have dedicated my life to making our state better. People are working hard to write imaginary lines of division between and among us; but I am here to blight those lines.
“I am from Enugu East Senatorial Zone, and I maintain cultural ties with Enugu North. This peculiar position puts me in good stead, better than any other candidate in this election to see everyone as one and the same. As God had made it, my running mate, Charles Nwokeabia, is from Enugu West. This means that in Labour Party, we have the type of rare balance that gives everyone in every part of the state a sense of belonging.
“We do not speak in zones. We speak of the state as one united constituency in need of transformation, and this we are determined to do.”