Posted by News Express | 31 March 2018 | 1,531 times
The race to the Imo Sate Government House in 2019 has become more interesting and intriguing in several forms. It is as amazing, interesting, benumbing as disappointing. The 2019 race has disclosed how banal, cheap and elementary some of those who are mistakenly labelled political leaders have been.
My father used to say that a man is not a thief until he gets the opportunity to steal and he refuses to steal. We have come to know the true colours of some of those we call leaders because they have been tried with power, and they have failed both man and God.
For months now we have been fed with the news of endorsement of Uche Nwosu by a section of the All of the Progressives Congress (APC). But on Wednesday March 28, 2019, the absurd happened again in Imo, with 20 members of the state House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Acho Ihim, taking the Uche Nwosu 2019 guber bid to the most infantile level. The ladies-lators took their theatric absurdity to the most ridiculous level when 20 of them gathered at a hotel in Owerri and announced to the media their shameless endorsement of Uche Nwosu, Governor Okorocha’s son-law, Chief of Staff and lackey, for the 2019 governorship election.
Since the inglorious endorsement there have been claims by Governor Okorocha’s and Uche Nwosu’s apologists, giving the false impressions, as usual, that the House’s endorsement of Uche Nwosu translated to his endorsement by the whole of the people of Imo State, since the House members represent the people. But beyond the façade cast by these apologists, it is obvious that the dishonourable members endorsed Nwosu primarily in frenzy reaction to the statement by President Buhari on Tuesday that the tenure elongation for the members of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was illegal and should be looked into, in order to score first. But in doing so they forgot how they celebrated the earlier elongation of the tenure of the NWC, claiming that it was Okorocha’s brainchild. Today they are also celebrating victory that the tenure elongation has been quashed by the President, that Okorocha’s brainchild has been killed.
What we get from this is that the Okorocha government is people by unserious, cheap and pedestrian people who have no shame and can do anything for power, including cursing God. They don’t mind telling you that Governor Okorocha was not born of a woman, if they think that saying so can in any remotest sense advance their course. Such pitiable characters.
There is nothing to celebrate in the endorsement by the House. Nothing at all. The endorsement does not inspire anyone to believe in Uche Nwosu, rather the House members think that is the most fashionable thing to do in the Okorocha administration. They now that endorsing Uche Nwosu could keep them in the good books of the Governor, especially for the fact that Uche Nwosu has been in charge. Some of the lawmakers even do worst things by serving as bodyguards to Mr Nwosu at public functions.
If this surprised you, recall that prior to the 2015 governorship election in the state, Deputy Speaker Ugonna Ozirigbo was seen serving as bodyguard to Governor Okorocha at the Chatham House. The Speaker of the House, Acho Ihim, had last week stirred the hornet's nest by carrying a banner declaring support for Mr. Nwosu. When you look at the antecedents of this House you would know that it is the worst House of Comedy in history.
The endorsement of Uche Nwosu is the practical illustration of the level of fear that pervades the entire House. The members know how vindictive the Governor could be and that none of them would be spared if they didn’t act out his script. Having amassed wealth, they are afraid they could be meted with same treatment Ichie Best Mbanaso got when he dared the Governor and joined the Imerienwe Declaration. Since then Mbanaso has not been the same. This fear of victimisation, to them, is the beginning of wisdom.
By close association with the Governor and Mr. Nwosu, the lawmakers know how the Governor dealt with Captain Emma Ihenacho, despite court orders stopping him. It could therefore mean tempting the Lord your God, if they followed their hearts.
Moreover, the House members know that it could be political suicide not to endorse Uche Nwosu. The House members hunger and thirst for second term. Those who have done two terms are running for the House of Reps seat, and they all need the nominations of the APC. Add to this headache is the fact that some members of the Ugwumba Movement, a political group working for Mr. Nwosu’s guber bid, have shown interests in both the House of Reps and the state assembly. To counteract them, the sitting members could only endorse Uche Nwosu. And they did just that.
The endorsement of Uche Nwosu is devoid of any love or preference for him. It is purely a bargaining chip to get the nominations of the party. Simply put, it is for self-preservation politically, as they know that they could be denied nominations if they followed their hearts.
Last year I did write about certain shameless delinquents in the Imo APC where I noted that the infamous Show Us The Man and Go to Sleep was only running their campaign for selfish reasons, to get some political advantage over some people. It didn’t take time the leader of the group which had been roundly denied and cajoled by the Governor who had said on several occasions that he could not show anyone his successor and go to sleep for fear he could be “killed”, Mr. Henry Okafor, declared for the House of Reps seat for Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta/Oru West Federal Constituency. Mr. Okafor has now met a rival, Mr. Kingsley Uju, who is running for the same position. But since Mr. Okafor now fears that Uju enjoys the support of the Governor, all the noise and endorsement had died and he now concentrates on his own ambition. Recently he announced the shutting down of the Show Us The Man and Go to Sleep group.
What the members of the Imo House have done is a disgraceful rehash of the failed Show Us The Man group. It is the same script of climbing on Uche Nwosu to get party nominations, and when that is achieved, or when it failed, the song will change. For Acho Ihim who is more confused than ever, he is swimming in the euphoria of promised running mate to Uche Nwosu. But like every other drama, this too shall pass and he would see clearly.
Whatever happens, the fall of Uche Nwosu in 2019 will produce such a deafening noise that the APC would be in mournful mood for years, wondering what hit them. The reason is simple: because the lawmakers have ulterior plans and believe that Uche Nwosu represents the perpetration of the Okorocha family in government or creating the Okorocha dynasty, they will beat a retreat after the primaries. And Uche Nwosu will fall.
The hackneyed endorsement of Uche Nwosu should really not bother anyone, much as it has become uninteresting and lost all dramatic fervour and has become a subject for queer propaganda. Take for example the propaganda on the social media of recent that His Excellency Dr Ikedi Ohakim had endorsed Uche Nwosu, because he posed with the latter for a photograph during a burial. To Uche Nwosu’s apologists that picture meant endorsing Uche Nwosu. The Uche Nwosu guber bid has become just another child’s play.
It is therefore obvious that a House that has ridiculed itself on several occasions cannot be said to be speaking for the people. It was the same House that passed the abortion law despite public outcry. It was the same House that gave the Governor the right to borrow up to N200bn without recourse to the House. It was the same people who passed a four year rolling budget for the Governor but would at every year pass another budget. This same House members abandoned their duties and became contractors, so much that the Governor indicted the former Speaker, Senator Ben Uwajumogu, of N5bn contract sum. It is this House that is neck deep in ignominy. This cannot be the people's House and they sure don't speak for the people anymore.
Despite the shenanigan going on, Imo people have come to know that the salvation they need lies with Dr Ikedi Ohakim. This accounts for the rare show of support he has got since he declared for the 2019 governorship election for one more term.
But unfortunately Uche Nwosu has become the bargaining chip in 2019 for politicians of diverse colours. If anyone wants to run for the councillorship in his ward what he needs is to endorse Uche Nwosu. If anyone wants to run for the state assembly seat for his state constituency, the Federal House of Reps or Senate, or even dream of any sort of appointment, all he needs to do is to issue a press statement and endorse Uche Nwosu. This places Uche Nwosu on a shaky cliff. The truth, nevertheless, is that Uche Nwosu has become the worst caricature of all time.
•Collins Ughalaa writes from Owerri. He can be reached via email@example.com
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