Dateline, Monday, April 30, 2018. Mission, commencement of grassroots consolidation tour of Ihedioha political structure in 305 wards of Imo State. Vision, paving the way to Douglas House in 2019. Venue, Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area (LGA). Visionary, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, KSc, CON, immediate past Speaker, House of representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Critical assessment, very successful parley.
My true fans would be smiling at seeing the nature of the pramble above. This is because it is my character to keep it short and simple as the occasion demands. It is in line with the parabolic ‘kiss’ which is “keep it short and simple”. Indeed, the first paragraph above concisely, succinctly and aptly captures the political rumble of a sort that transpired in the oil rich kingdom of Egbema and Ohaji on Monday, April 30, 2018, when in its finest array of a convoy of many brand new buses with other accompanying SUVs and sedan cars, totaling 57, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha breezed into the agricultural epicenter in Imo State.
As hinted in our into earlier, his mission was to kick start the consolidation of his structural base in the area where he proved to have real friends and supporters that ran into thousands. With an entourage of over 200 members of the increasingly vivacious Team Ihedioha drawn from across the 27 local government areas of the state, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha humbly, simply and gently entered, first Egbema and later Ohaji, where he met grassroots party leaders of varying categories including Lga Chairman, LGA Vice Chairman, LGA Secretary, LGA Woman Leader, LGA Youth Leader and other leaders of higher rating. They came with a large troop of Ihedioha supporters that continually expressed excitement at the coming of the amiable former lawmaker par excellence.
It was one event that lived up to its billing. Attendance was full capacity at Egbema, Awara and Ngbuishi, the three unique locations where His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was received. In addition to the impressive entourage that came with Ihedioha, a sea of heads of the good people of Ohaji/Egbema rose to welcome the august visitor with great rejoicing expressed in songs and dance by the indefatigable woman leaders and other women in audience. So much of culture and tradition, protocols were inevitably observed, with the visitor displaying an in depth understanding of the culture and tradition dispositions befitting the occasion. Of course, the characteristic fish for kola tradition og the good people of Ohaji/ Egbema LGA was amply displayed. And to establish his homeboy stature, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha interacted with his friends in his structural base in the Igbo language, receiving loud applause and endless ovation in the process.
At each port of call and delivery, Chief Ihedioha’s message was uniform. He solemnly reminded the people that they must not forget that they are the true reason for democracy; hence democracy is defined as government of the people, by the people, for the people. He reminded them that despite the intrigues of politics and politicians, they the people are the true owners of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He reminded them that the power and authority a president, a governor or lawmaker wields are given in proxy to them by the they the people. He admonished that with the right understanding, the people would do well to mind who they hand their power and authority to use on their behalf.. He also warned them against money bags that believe in money politics, stressing that auctioning their mandate of power and authority to the highest bidder harms democracy, Imo State and very importantly they the people who become more and more impoverished by the money bag politicians that gave them little m oney only yo take over the states treasury and loot it in lieu of the money they shared during campaigns. He urged them to shine their eyes and select and elect him because he has the true intention of transforming Imo into an industrialized society.
To be candid, Sir Ihedioha spoke with divinely notarized depth and candour like the oracle of God. His speech was laden with uncommon power and authority befitting a man of power and authority. He spoke with facts and figures, naming names of people and places as witnesses and testimonies to his claims of being out to do good work for Imo people.. He confessed his sincere resolve to remain on the path of truth, transparency and accountability. He decried the system where some people expressed aversion to his honesty. He warned the people to avoid people who want to conspire with them to perpetrate electoral vices and malpractices.
Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha so eloquently took the audience down memory lane, recounting his verifiable and confirmed excellent academic and work profile that span into about three decades. This stage of his powerful presentation elicited thunderous ovation at each venue, with sporadic scream of “power, power” from the quite excited people on the stands. He reminded them that he has served Nigeria meritoriously, carved a niche for himself, and earned a place of honour in Nigeria’s Hall of Fame. He explained that he knows the problem of Imo State begins and ends with the incumbent governor of the state, assuring that he knows the solution to the problem of Imo State to be emergence of a good leader that has acquired the requisite know-how to reposition the state for socio-economic wellbeing and development.
It is pertinent to mention that there was such a big cache of Imo PDP leaders, past and present at the Ohaji/Egbema parley tour of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. Among them were Rt. Hon. Chuma nnaji, the former Deputy Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly and running mate of Ihedioha’s in the 2015 guber election, Hon. Ken Agbim, representing Ahiazu Mbaise State Constituency in the Imo State of Assembly, his Ezinihitte counterpart, Hon. Bruno Ukaoha, Hon. Benjamin Azike, one time Executive Chairman, Nwangele LGA, Dr. Vincent Udokwu, a prominent member of the Imo State Executive Council during the regime of Chief Achike Udenwa, Hon. Ben Mere and a host of others. Space and time will not accommodate all of them. All of them spoke in glaring clear language about the utility value of the great man called Emeka Uhedioha.
Of remarkable note was the speech by Dr. Vincent Udokwu, who explained that contrary to rumour that he and his principal, Chief Udenwa were are daggers with Emeka Ihedioha, they were solidly with him owing to long existing camaraderie and profiling of the personality of Emeka Ihedioha. He said: “We have known Chief Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha for quite a long time. We have weighed him alongside other aspirants that ha ve declared or are reportedly still consulting and would declare any time soon. What we concluded was that Emeka Ihedioha is the only aspirant that has the capacity to contest the 2019 election and win. There is no mistake about that. And when we say that be sure we know what we are saying. For that reason we align with him and urge all well-meaning leaders and members of our party to join us to give our party and Imo State the best in 2019. We believe in Ihedioha.”
Almost all the speakers with varying additions hinged their confidence in and support for Ihedioha on his tested and proven capacity that they trust. For instance, Hon. Ken Agbim in addition to underscoring the full option capacity of the Sir emeka Ihedioha to challenge any candidate the ruling party, APC will present, stated that Ihedioha created so much goodwill among so many PDp leaders and members and political office holders at national and state levels that no other aspirant in PDP can claim to have done. He concluded by alerting that contrary to newspaper reports that Imo State House of Assembly has endorsed a candidate, the fact remains that only some APC lawmakers made the remark at a hotel that belonged to one of them. He reiterated that Imo lawmakers had no business endorsing any particular candidate.
On his part, Hon. Benjamin Azike, a chairman of ALGON and Chairman of G4 recounted how so very much Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has stood by many up and coming youthful politicians, providing them with necessary moral and financial mentoring and logistics, describing the 2019 governorship election as a pay-back time for the good work that has become characteristic of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. He loud and clear concluded by statting that “LGON has endorsed Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as their candidate for Imo governorship election in 2019. This decision was reached following the consideration by ALGON that Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has promised that he would conduct local government elections few months after he assumes office and restore local government autonomy and administration. We in ALGON believe him because he keeps his promises. He is an honest leader. He cannot be like anybody that the incumbent governor presents as successor. This government recently killed the Local Government Autonomy Bill that was passed by the National Assembly and sent to them.”
Ultimately, speaker upon speaker went on and on eulogizing, commending and applauding the high capacity that they see in only Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha from among the pack of imagined aspirants in PDP and entire Imo State. I have recently differentiated them as pretenders and a contender.
Before the end of the very successful consolidation parly in Ohaji/Egbema LGA, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha charged all his supporters and friends in his structure to ensure they obtained their permanent voter cards (PVC) to remain in full control of their mandate of power and authority and be mindful of voting for only PDP at all levels of the elections. He reminded them of the need to go all out into their environment with the message of change, urging them to begin to convince, convert and win members for PDP as the elction dates approach. He harped on the increasingly popular slogan “change the change” and implore the PDP members everywhere to deploy every legal means to ensure that the bad change that is now in place is replaced with the good change that Nigerians and Imo people desire sdo much.
Finally, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha made the people of Ohaji/Egbema promises of effecting monumental physical infrastructural development in the area. He noted that Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC) has bee unduly politicized and promised to ensure that oil produsing communitues in Imo State enjoyed the benefits of their God-given crude oil. He promised to complete work on the big river port projects he attracted while he was Deputy Speaker, of which Ohaji/Egbema is a major beneficiary. Indeed, he made realistic promises. And as he spoke and acted practically, chants of “Ome nke ahuru anya”, “Mr. Talk and Do”, “Ekwueme” rend the atmosphere. In acknowledgement and response, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha firmly reiterated his flagship pledge of “My word is my bond”!