…Says it’s gross injustice for Orlu to cling to power
By Chidi Nkwopara, Owerri.
A social crusader, Charles Nwachukwu, once said: “Truth is a surgery. It hurts but it heals. A lie is like a painkiller. It gives instant relief, but has devastating side effects. The choice is yours. Choose wisely, as you vote wisely.”
This advice could not have come at a better time than now, when political campaign is in the air, particularly in Imo State, where no fewer than 68 gubernatorial candidates are jostling to succeed Governor Rochas Okorocha this year.
While a few of these candidates have been crisscrossing the 305 political wards in Imo State, others that are largely seen as “not serious contenders”, have as well, planted their billboards in parts of the state.
Quoting Frank Fanon, a youth leader in Owerri, Mr. Ikay Ukaegbu said: “Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill or betray it.”
Making particular reference to the prevailing situation in Imo State, Ukaegbu said: “Our generation is faced with serious leadership challenge. Imo youths, and indeed, all Imolites, have the option to stand up now and effect the required change or sit down, do nothing and suffer the resultant consequence of our collective lethargy.”
Ukaegbu recalled that in 1999, Chief Achike Udenwa did not win the PDP primary, but the State Chairman at the time, Chief Innocent Diala Nwoga, being a fair minded man, reasoned that it was better to give the people of Orlu, who hadn’t tasted the gubernatorial seat, to have a shot at it.
“Now, Orlu people have been on the governorship seat for 16 years. Okigwe people have also served their tenure in Chief Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe and Chief Ikedi Ohakim administrations. Owerri has only tasted it for 18 months. Allowing the pendulum to swing back to Orlu, will amount to gross cheating”, Ukaegbu said.
He appealed to Orlu to “be fair minded now and resist the temptation of clinging perpetually to the governorship seat, possibly because of their fabled numerical strength”.
Asked to guess on whose shoulders the governorship responsibility should rest, Ukaegbu said: “I prefer the former Deputy Speaker, Chief Emeka Ihedioha”, stressing that “he is definitely not a neophyte”.
Addressing Izombe community in Oguta local council area recently, Mrs. Vivian Irona, urged the people to elect only credible individuals at all levels.
According to Mrs. Irona, “Imo needs someone who is glaringly honest and has identifiable pedigree.
Irona then went on to not only enumerate some of the qualities Imo people are looking out for, in the eventual successor of Okorocha, but also gave the name of the likely person.
In her words:
“We want a governor who has the confidence to challenge those whose governance have succeeded in impoverishing our people.
“We equally want a governor who can inspire us to collectively pursue a common goal for our people and the development of our communities.
“We want a governor whose actions will inspire us to dream more, learn more, do more and achieve more for ourselves. We want a governor who has the commitment and passion to truly serve his people and place their interest above his.
“We want a governor who will be accountable and is very ready to take a little more than his fair share of the blame and whose actions will give us all a sense of responsibility.
“We want a governor who can establish a closer connection with the local government areas, understand their problems and equally feel their pain. We want a governor that will work hard and provide our people with the suitable solutions to challenges facing our people. Now, the closest person, parading most, if not all these attributes, is Chief Emeka Ihedioha, and that is why I call on all well meaning people, to rise up and ensure victory for our son.”
The former Governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa, is not thinking differently about Ihedioha.
Addressing Nkwerre people within the week, Chief Udenwa commended them for what he termed “your unflinching support and love”.
He assured that the PDP governorship candidate, Chief Ihedioha, “has what it takes, both mentally and otherwise, to revive Imo from where it is today, to the Imo of our collective desire”.
He equally used the opportunity to canvass support for all PDP candidates in the state and the presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
For Ogu Bundu Nwadike, Ihedioha has already, in his blueprint, promised “Integrated Infrastructural Development and Public Transportation”.
“And for us, he simply implied that there shall be modern Infrastructural development and road transportation system in Imo State, beginning from May 29, when by the grace of God he becomes the governor”.
Nwadike further reasoned that for the aspect of mass transit bus service, for instance, “there is nothing in his plans that he has not experimented, implemented and experienced, during his hey days as a national legislator.
“A patient flip through the pages of Ihedioha Book of Projects, will reveal that he facilitated the construction and reconstruction of major roads in his immediate federal constituency, as well as other parts of Imo State. The beautiful road network leading to the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, SMICA. is one testimony to the road projects of Emeka Ihedioha.
“It will also be noted that he did a lot in the area of public electricity power supply. He facilitated the provision of some substations, numerous transformers, innumerable solar street lights, and so on.
“On marine transport, he attracted the establishment of two jetties in Ngor Okpala-Owerrinta and Oguta, aimed at opening up the waterways of the riverine areas of Imo State. The jetties are there as testimony. With Ihedioha as governor, it is believed that the jetties will receive necessary uplift and upgrade to more modern standards.
“In a nutshell, the idea of integrated Infrastructural development and public transportation is a very good one in which the incoming governor will pursue as a first line charge.
“Therefore, let Imo people in their majority go out on March 2 and vote for Chief Emeka Ihedioha. That is the simplest thing Ndimo can do to guarantee a sincere provision of good quality and durable physical development.”
Saturday Vanguard recalls that when Ihedioha addressed the PDP rally at Nkwerre, he pointed out that his “only motivation for running for governorship is to ensure that Imo is rapidly developed”, even as he decried the level of unemployment among Imo youths, which, according to him, “is an evidence of bad governance”.