Nobody can deny that Imo State has in the last few months been in the front burner of political activities in Nigeria. This is largely due to the sophisticated nature of her people, especially as it concerns their political, social and economic inputs to the development of the country.
It is therefore safe for one to conclude that the People of Imo State are not docile; neither are they gullible when issues of politics, economy and social development are being discussed. Also, in the last few months, a new dimension was introduced into the boxing ring of political activities in the state. All manner of people have declared their intention to take over political leadership from Governor Rochas Okorocha in 2019.
For me, there is nothing wrong in one expressing his or her interest to take over from Owelle Okorocha. But the way and manner some of these ill-mannered aspirants go about their aspiration have made me to write and publish a number of articles, defending and explaining my political interest; and indeed calling for maturity, discipline, politics without bitterness, understanding, cohesion etc. However, the more I continued to call for maturity, discipline and politics without bitterness etc, the more some governorship aspirants and their supporters continue to heat up the polity with their blackmails, attacks, intimidation and abrasiveness etc.
A governorship aspirant must pre-occupy himself in selling his programmes and manifestoes (“womanifestoes”) to the people. A governorship aspirant must be open-hearted and must reach out to people who are far and wide, concerning his or her aspiration. A governorship aspirant must not indulge in blackmailing his fellow aspirants, in order to gain undue advantage or support to himself. A governorship aspirant must show and demonstrate that he has leadership qualities and mass appeal.
I have come this far to show that some governorship aspirants have refused to respect themselves. They have rather continued to display immaturity and infantilism by blackmailing Governor Rochas Okorocha and the Chief of Staff, Hon. Uche Nwosu.
Before I go further on this issue, let me plead with the reading public to allow me digress a bit.
In June 2014, the immediate past speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly connived with the shameless Imo State Police Command to accuse me of a crime (murder) I never committed. And as a result, I was arrested with my entire household. The whole world stood up in my defence. The then Chief of Staff (Sir Jude Ejiogu) who never had any political relationship with me took a bold step and effected our release. Although his effort was later over-ruled, that patriotic action of his created an everlasting impression in my mind.
When the allegation against me was quashed and I was released on the 27th of April 2015 (eleven months later), I openly declared total war on Governor Rochas Okorocha for supporting the former speaker in his unjust and satanic action against me and my household. However, it took the intervention of three people who visited and spoke with me before I decided to forgive Governor Okorocha.
- Prince Eze Madumere consistently spoke to me and insisted that I let Governor Okorocha be.
- Deedem Jude Ejiogu consistently spoke with and to me on the need to forgive Governor Okorocha and the former speaker. He treated me as a son and brother, and actually went the extra mile by taking me “across the red sea”.
- Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, it was who actually treated me as a brother. He brought me much closer and embraced me, and finally ensured that I recovered some of the lost grounds.
On my part, I had continued to watch the three personalities and their leadership qualities and disposition with keen interest. Not long after, I zeroed on Deedem Jude Ejiogu and Uche Nwosu. This decision did not in any way diminish my respect for the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere.
Appetite comes with eating. In as much as I have a very deep and soft spot for Deedem Jude Ejiogu, the truth is that Hon. Uche Nwosu is my first and number one choice, and this decision is already in the public domain. And there are no apologies for this decision.
In the last few weeks, prominent groups, youth Associations, local Government Area Chapters of APC and numerous individuals have been endorsing the proposed governorship bid of Ugwumba Uche Nwosu; thereby making him the man to watch. He has indeed become a frontline candidate. When Uche Nwosu started his various empowerment programmes across the state, some of these aspirants thought him to be a fool. Today Uche Nwosu’s sweat and selfless sacrifices have paid off. Majority of Imo citizens have lined up behind his proposed governorship bid. As far as I am concerned, Uche Nwosu has earned his respect and support in Imo State. He earned this respect and support through his personal efforts and political networking across the state. He did not earn this respect and support because of his marital relationship with Governor Okorocha. I have written a lot on this personality who has today became a phenomenon. His popularity and acceptance across the state have given goose pimples to some governorship aspirants. Some of these aspirants now openly envy Uche Nwosu and the very large fellowship he commands across the state. Even Governor Rochas Okorocha has been infected by the Uche Nwosu bug. Today, Okorocha has indicated interest to join the Ugwumba Political train. This is the crux of the matter.
I have great respect for Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and Dr. Ikedi Ohakim. My relationship with them is well known. They are also governorship aspirants in the state. There are also other governorship aspirants in the state, and I wish them well.
Nevertheless, let me state it clearly that the ongoing blackmail and intimidation of Hon. Uche Nwosu would no longer be tolerated. Let me open the minds of the reading public.
Last week, the news of the purported plot to impeach the Deputy Governor was everywhere. Hon. Uche Nwosu was reportedly fingered in the plot. I investigated the allegation and found out that it was just a design to paint Uche Nwosu in black colour.
Daily Sun Newspaper edition of Monday February 19, 2018 page 17 also carried another attack on Hon. Uche Nwosu and Governor Okorocha. The article was written by my big brother and friend Ebere Wabara and is titled “IMO 2019: Eze Madumere or Uche Nwosu?
After going through the said write-up three times, I became convinced that it is a sponsored attack on Uche Nwosu. I will not blame Ebere Wabara for that piece, because the information available to me is not available to him. And because he has no adequate information at his disposal, he wrote what he wrote. He is not even from Imo State (he is from Abia State), and may not really understand the political intrigues going on in Imo. However, I will caution and warn that it will never happen again.
Any Governorship aspirant, who wants to jump into the boxing ring, must first of all practice with the sand bag. It is after practicing with the sand bag and confirming that you are fit to fight, that is when you can then look for whom to fight.
Governor Rochas Okorocha has the legitimate and constitutional right to support anybody of his choice in the 2019 governorship election. You cannot blackmail the governor to support your ambition. Any Governorship Aspirant who indeed wants or desires to take over from Rochas Okorocha must be seen as a democrat and not a blackmailer. You do not go about creating confusion, trying to attract sympathy by blackmailing Uche Nwosu, and at the same time subverting the interests of Ndimo, and still expects to take over from Owelle Rochas Okorocha. It won’t work.
I believe I have spoken and written enough in parables. I will no longer keep quiet and allow some of these governorship aspirants continue to create confusion in the state and still hope to take over from Governor Okorocha.
A word is enough for the wise.
I rest my pen.
Hon. Citizen Dr. Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha FCAI, MKDA.
Former Senior Special Assistant on Media
Former Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties
Imo State House of Assembly, Owerri Imo State Nigeria
20th February, 2018.
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