By Mbadiwe Emelumba
ETHELBERT Okere’s treatise titled, “Imo gang up: Too late in the day”, left one with one conclusion. The write up was hastily put together, lacking sufficient research and laden with fallacies and fantasies, thus offering no normative value. This makes it imperative that I must join issues with my good friend Okere to set the records straight.
I believe that one settled the golden rule of the journalism profession is that while comments are free, facts are sacred. In the instant case, while Okere was free to make his comments on the subject matter, he was duty-bound to respect the sacredness of facts. This he did not do.
His greatest fallacy, which destroyed the fabric of his premise, and made his entire submission lame and impotent, was to include Senator Hope Uzodimma as part of the gang up. Uzodimma was not and is not part of the gang up. In fact, Uzodimma issued a statement categorically stating that he was not part of any alliance or gang up.
The statement was published in both traditional and social media. As an Imo indigene and an experienced journalist, it is obvious that Okere did not do enough to get his facts right. This must be stated emphatically because he ought to know better.
In the denial statement, Uzodimma made it clear that he was focused on his case at the Court of Appeal and that he will not be distracted by any alliance or gang up. He went further to say that he was optimistic of victory at the appeal because he was certain that there was a miscarriage of justice at the tribunal. The statement also emphasized that as a member of the ruling party, the APC, the senator would not be “intimidated by any power into hasty and unproductive alliances nor be frightened into unnecessary gang up”.
Why am I going this length to recall the senator’s statement? Because it proves beyond all doubts that the foundation of Okere’s submissions is porous, fallacious, baseless and therefore of no effect. This is more so because he went to great lengths to anchor his submissions on a non-existent gang up involving Senator Ifeanyi Araraume of APGA, Uche Nwaosu of AA and Senator Uzodimma of APC, as well as former Governor Okorocha. Without doubt, including a party that was not part of the gang up, destroyed both the flow, sequence and logic of his entire write-up, particularly because most of his postulations centred around Uzodimma.
Now to the specifics of some of his fallacies, the first of which is he said that the gang up group adopted Araraume as the consensus candidate in the event of a re-run election. By this position, the agreement includes Uzodimma as those who adopted Araraume. It is clear that somebody who is not part of this group cannot be part of this adoption, more so when that person believes he has a good case in court. Mind you, Uzodimma is asking to be declared the winner of the election because he believes he won.
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Deriving from this, it follows that Okere’s poser to Uzodimma whether by adopting Araraume he has told Imo people that in the event of a re-run he, as the candidate of the ruling party, cannot lead the party to victory, becomes trite and a non-issue. Uzodimma indeed made it clear in his denial statement that as a member of the ruling party he would be neither intimidated nor frightened into any action. Does this seem to be coming from a man who is not sure of victory in an election?
In like manner, Okere’s submission that Okorocha is to bankroll the cost of the appeal case on behalf of the group, with all insinuations therein, becomes yet another non-issue. Still out of curiosity, one may wonder what Uzodimma and Nwosu are still doing in an appeal if they have already conceded consensus candidacy to Araraume in a re-run. By the way, a re-run is the centroid of Araraume’s prayer in court. Most importantly, this point fails to fly because Uzodimma is not part of the gang up. The summary is that almost all of Okere’s submission stand discredited because of the fallacious foundation in respect of the composition of his gang-up group.
For those who may want to argue that one person alone not being a member of the group does not vitiate every reality about the group or the decisions therefrom, this illustration will suffice. If you build a premise that 4+1=6, which is wrong, everything that flows from this fallacy is bound to be wrong. For instance, if you continue from this false premise to say that 4+1 =5 ÷2 = ? Whatever conclusion you reach will also be wrong.
Now to the other plank, Okere often arrogates to himself a sanctimonious prophetic prowess which he thinks entitles him to speak for Imo people. This is the third time he is doing that, hence the need to call him to order.
In 2011, as former governor Ikedi Ohakim’s aide, he publicly challenged those propagating Ohakim’s unpopularity outside Imo State to come home and test his popularity by criticising him in Imo and risk being stoned by his teeming supporters. That year, Ohakim lost the election as an incumbent governor.
Late in 2018 after an APC coalition wrestled the party structure from incumbent governor Okorocha, Okere again went to the press to declare that the jubilation that followed was ”evidence that Imo people have accepted APC”. That jubilation was only among the followers of the APC leaders who rebelled against Okorocha. It was certainly not an Imo affair.
Now on this particular issue, my good friend is at it again. He is pontificating in the name of Imo people. Hear him: “The mood of Imo is not to embark on a back and forth inauguration of one governor in May and another in December…Imo people believe they have put the 2019 election behind them, especially as they had through it untied a logjam that had appeared impossible for 20 years — achieving a power shift.”
Really? Pray how did he scientifically determine these moods of Imo people? Of course, he did not tell us how because he was just fantasizing.
But for whatever it is worth let us see how far this fantasy can stand the test of logic. Check the votes declared by INEC in the March governorship elections. What it shows is a demographic spread that does not support any Imo consensus on power shift. Put the votes of APC, AA and APGA together and it will be seen that over 60 per cent of Imo voters did not vote for power shift. Secondly, PDP, even by Okere’s admission, did not win in the whole of Orlu zone. It did not win in Okigwe zone either. Again that does not suggest any power shift agreement but a clear indication that Imo voters won’t break their heads over power shift.
But the revealing moment came in Okere’s concluding lines. According to him, in the event of a re-run “, the people owe Araraume and Uzodimma only one thing: Put them in one basket for another crushing defeat.”
Now is it not all too obvious that the whole project is all about the interest of a political party and the work of a paid agent! This revelation makes it futile to resist the tempting conclusion that this whole hasty write up might has been a mercenary project. On this score, it is needful to remind all of us of Nicolo Machiavelli’s timely warning that the heart of a mercenary does not harbour commitment to the Prince.