Why Diasporas Are Interested In Enugu Politics – Gov Ugwuanyi’s Aide On Diaspora Matters

L – R: Anchor of ‘Freedom Square’ at Solid FM Enugu, Chief Uche Anioke, SA to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Diaspora Matters, Barrister Mrs. Olangwa Ezekwu, Director, Enugu State PDP Public Communications, and Campaign Spokesman, Chief Nana Ogbodo, and member, Public Communications, and Campaign Committee, Austin Okolie pose for the camera shortly after the 2-hour program. Photo: Tony Adibe

By Tony Adibe

The Special Adviser to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Diaspora Matters, Barrister Mrs. Olangwa Ezekwu has said that the main reason Enugu people living in the Diaspora are keenly interested in the politics of the state is that they are citizens of Nigeria who bring huge investments back to develop the country’s economy.

Speaking on Freedom Square, a weekly radio programme anchored by a former lecturer in Mass Communication Department, Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) and the President, Association of Nigerian Publishers, Chief Uche Anioke on the Enugu-based SOLID FM, Barrister Ezekwu , who is also the Director, Diaspora Campaign Committee for Peter Mbah,  said  with the kind of investments Nigerians in the Diaspora bring home, they have to show interest so that such  huge investments would not be a waste.

She said: “We the Enugu indigenes that live here and live outside the country, we are citizens of Nigeria living outside, we have right to vote; those of us who have our PVCs and all that, we are interested in the affairs of our country and we make a lot of considerable contributions to the economy of Nigeria.”

Citing Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who is in charge of Nigerians in the Diaspora, Ezekwu recalled that Dabiri-Erewa, while presenting updates on Nigerians in the Diaspora at the State House in Abuja on Thursday, had said that remittance from Nigerians abroad was four times the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows recorded in 2021.

“Dabiri-Erewa said FDI in 2021 was $4.8billion Dollars while Diaspora home remittance was $20billion Dollars.”

Speaking specifically on the 2023 governorship of Enugu State, and why it was necessary to form a Diaspora Campaign Committee, Ezekwu said that since 2015, “I’ve been the Special Adviser to HE, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Diaspora matters. And we have tried to reach out to get our commission going.”

According to her, the issue of Diaspora in Enugu State is well noted as they (Diasporans) have done a lot to improve the lot of their people back home.

She stated: “So it’s very important that we have a committee that is directing the Diaspora people. We have the power of influence. A lot of us send back money here even if we are not going to the different Local Government Areas and the Development Centres to vote, but we persuade our people back home. A lot of our people rely on us for a lot of economic benefits. So, it’s very imperative that we have a Diaspora Committee.”

Ezekwu further said: “Coming here, we have an online social media. As you can see, our brother is here who has so wonderfully brought the Peter Mbah Support Groups to  Uk, United States, Asia, Europe and we also have people in African countries. They all have formed associations to make sure that our voices are heard. And we can unite Enugu indigenes in voting and making sure that Barrister Peter Mbah is delivered in this election.”

 On the capability of the PDP Governorship candidate, Dr. Peter Mbah to deliver his manifesto to the Enugu electorate, if he is elected into office, Ezekwu further said that the manifesto spoke volumes about its author or owner.

“Here is a man who is well travelled, well learned. He has been able to, as the last speaker, my brother Nana Ogbodo said, he has been able to grow an amazing business venture, Pinnacle Oil and Gas; so, he will make Enugu State a business hub. We need investments in Enugu State.

“So, he will open up the different areas – the agricultural sector, commerce, industry, agriculture, tourism, entertainment, etc. And we have a lot of people out there outside the country; who can bring in these investments to make sure that Enugu is no longer seen as a civil service state; that Enugu will be seen as a business-hub like Lagos, Port Harcourt and can be compared to so many other states.

“Therefore, the Diaspora has a lot to do in this election because of how hard working our people in the Diaspora are. So, if we engage them in this election, it will help us bring in investments into Enugu State,” she explained.

In his contribution to the over 1-hour radio programme, the Enugu PDP Public Communications and Campaign Spokesman, Chief Nana Ogbodo debunked the insinuation that the mantra or slogan “Tomorrow Is Here” is a mere semantics coined to hoodwink the gullible masses of Enugu State. 

Ogbodo said: “It’s just like what I did say before. It’s just like the tagline: ‘Tomorrow Is Here!’ It speaks about the urgency of the country’s economic situation, and the positive angle. It is like a rallying call to action. It speaks for the vision that we can actually define the future of our being by the actions we take today. It encapsulates our hopes and aspirations. It reminds us that our perception for a blissful future is not utopian after all, if we can take decisive action that will bring it from the realm of vision into an actual state of being. It is something that tells us that with the combination of technology and ideas, Enugu can move from where it is to the glorious heights.

“His (Mbah’s) vision is that he is going to create a people-focused government that will make Enugu the preferred destination for investment, commerce, tourism, industry and the living standard of the people improved; that when these things are combined, it will crystalise  to growing Enugu economic GDP from the present 4.4Billion to over 30Billion Dollars in the next eight years with a zero point for poverty index in the end.”

Ogbodo further explained the vision, mission, and political mantra of Mbah, insisting that all Mbah had said was realizable.  “So, I think it is something realizable; how it is realizable is the stimulation it’s going to bring to Enugu private sector. He wants to de-risk investments. He knows that investors are not indeed, charity organizations. Investors would like to go to places where their investments are secured and will not be a waste.

“Mbah used to say: I have travelled this route; I have been an investor; I have been in the government. I know what I will bring to bear that investors will clamour to Enugu State. I know what I will do, and Enugu will leap from the present situation that is described as a civil service state to a private-sector induced-economy… The thing is that we are privileged to have the human resources. We are privileged to have the location; we are privileged to have even natural resources. And we are capable of stimulating the combination of all these things to make Enugu the next Dubai of Nigeria.”

Related posts