My most distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic, may I apologise to you for adopting this medium to apprise you of an issue that ordinarily should have been discussed privately. But given your attitude towards me lately, arising largely from this same issue, I thought it wise and expedient that I should have other witness to testify that when others were afraid to speak the truth to power, I refuse to succumb to intimidation and blackmail.
No matter where the political pendulum swings ahead of the 2015 gubernatorial elections in Imo state, I want you to know that you will always remain my friend and political ally. Over the years, you have proven yourself to be consistent with your beliefs even if costly mistakes with the attendant consequences had trailed your decisions. After all, what is life without risks.
In our friendship, you demonstrated uncommon reliability when political assassins came after me in 2003. Although I escaped, my wife and my brother became victims. Although the attack against me was as a result of my association with you, you rallied around me and my family. I remain eternally grateful to you for that an all that you have done for the people of Orlu Senatorial Zone as our senator. I am happy today that as one of the key people that insisted on your going to senate, you have performed.
However, your current political posturing and maneuvering which suggest that you are opposed to the return and implementation of the Imo charter of equity which prescribes rotation of the governorship among the three geopolitical zones in the state have given me a grave concern. As the Chairman of Imo stakeholders Forum, the umbrella body driving the actualization of Imo charter of Equity in the states polity, I personally briefed you and sought your support prior to the highly successful summit we held in 2013. You not only agreed with me on the need for such a Sensitization summit to stabilize Imo politics, but gave your blessings.
Curiously, immediately after the summit which unanimously declared that Owerri Zone should be allowed to produce the governor of Imo state in 2015, your attitude towards me changed, in fact leading to a strained and cold relationship. Could it be that you initially gave your support thinking that I lacked the capacity to pull through the project? How could you have forgotten how I put my life on the line in 2011 to ensure your election as a senator against the wishes of my then principal, Governor Ikedi Ohakim? How could you dream of being politically isolated by swimming against the tide? These are my worries for you, my most Distinguished Senator.
Recall, that in 1998, leaders and elders of Owerri senatorial Zone submitted the ambitions of their people and vehemently insisted that power must shift to Orlu Zone. They sacrificed their all to ensure that sustenance of peace and progress of Imo state through the upholding of imo charter of Equity. Before then, Orlu did not have any hope of producing the governor. Remember also that after the election of an Orlu man, His Excellency Governor Achike Udenwa, you vainly tried to disrupt the charter of Equity by contesting the governorship in 2003. You very well know the disastrous consequences.
Also in 2006, against the wishes of Imo elders who ceded the governorshiop to Okigwe zone in line with the Imo charter Of Equity, you also declared interest and indeed joined gubernatorial race. I advised against that political misadventure which ultimately estranged you from the political class until Orlu political consultative Assembly (OPOCA) rescued you from the political wilderness in 2011. I believe sincerly that those costly political mistakes you engaged in between 1999 and 2011 should be fresh enough to dissuade you from this imminent castosrophe which you want to plunge into.
In the 21st century imo state, we are no longer talking of Ikeketa Orie (might is supreme) in our political contest. Politics had gone digital with equity and justice as the main propellers. Vanity and presumptuous popularity anchored by few cheer leaders are now anathema to the building of consensus by a cosmopolitan people. You know as well as I do that it is the turn of Owerri to produce imo governor in 2015. It will be tragic if you are remotely connected to anything that will break the imo charter of Equity or lead to the disruption of smooth transition of power among the three zones.
The incumbent, His Excellency, Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha breached that process in 2011. That political accident which has become a reproach to the people of Orlu is what we are battling to reverse. We cannot as Igbos be demanding equity from Nigerian people for us to taste the highest office, while at the same time we turn ourselves into greedy tyrants in our own enclave denying the people of Owerri what is rightly theirs. My Distinguished Senator, the word for such an attitude I’d hypocrisy.
It was in consonance with that universal application of justice and equity, that I wrote to our governor to disqualify himself from the 2015 elections. He had earlier sworn to govern for one term in line with Imo charter of Equity. He should keep to that agreement by supporting the emergence of his successor from Owerri Zone. That is also the same pleas I am making to you. Don’t contest the 2015 governorship election in Imo state because it will destroy all that you have stood for in politics, business and religion. Politics involves taking the right decision at the right time and guided by the overriding interest of the masses, not self-aggrandisment.
Ordinarily, my most Distinguished Senator, you would be basking in the euphoria that you installed the state chairman of the party, Chief Nnamdi Anyaehie and therefore you have the party in your pocket. The moment you declare your interest to seek the ticket of the party, the little respect you have now will vanish. People will now know that you started rebuilding Imo PDP for pure selfish reason. The groundswell of opposition against your ambition will overwhelm you. In any case, it will be disastrous for PDP to field you as its candidate against the incumbent governor who also hails from Orlu. That will be an easy victory for the rival APC. What happened to you when you ran against Governor Udenwa in 2013 will also repeat itself with far more political consequences.
My dear Senator, this is the truth which is self- evident, but which your hunger- on and failed politicians seeking economic rehabilitation will fail to tell you. But as your friend and political ally, I am not afraid to tell you the truth because I really mean well for you. Support the Imo Charter of equity which has ceded the governorship to Owerri and be counted among the worthy sons and daughters of Imo state who don’t want to obviate the peace and progress of the state. It is not expedient for you to contest the governorship election in Imo State in 2015, though it is within your right as a citizen of Imo state and Nigeria.
I remain your friend and ally,
Nze Elvis Agukwe.
Agukwe, former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, is the chairman of Imo Stakeholders Forum.
Source: Nigerian Horn.