This rejoinder is a response to the news on the back page of the Nigerian Horn newspaper of Monday, November 24-25 edition in which Nze Elvis Agukwe called for the “ immediate arrest of governorship aspirants who allegedly conspired and forged the signature of Barr. Ken Njemanze in a petition to PDP.” According to the story, “members of Owerri zone governorship aspirants of PDP in Imo State had on November 17, 2014 petitioned the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, claiming that there was no ward congress in the state in November .The signature of Ken Njemanze was inserted among others. But Barr. Njemanze, a former Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, in the state denied being a signatory to the petition and urged the Police to commence investigation into the matter.” I want to concur with my brother, Elvis Agukwe, on this great revelation and I also wish to assure him that for the first time I am fully satisfied with his stand on a political issue. On this issue, all men of conscience will walk the walk with him no matter how rough the road may be. Ride on my dear brother; I advise that you do not renege on this great task .You will be committing political hara-kiri/ suicide if , for any reasons, you compromise on the task at hand.
I wish to seize this rare opportunity to warn the chieftains of the PDP on the dangers of sweeping this notorious act of some party dissidents in the PDP under the carpet. It’s this inability to call a spade by its actual name that impelled the masses to vote PDP out of office in 2007 and 2011.However, we have decided to take a compassionate view of the PDP in the next election because we believe that the PDP has learnt its lessons and will no longer take things for granted. Although I was in the forefront of the media professionals who spearheaded the sack of PDP in 2007 and 2011, I am now of the opinion that, ceteris paribus, the PDP should be given another opportunity in 2015.However, there is a limit to what we can do for the PDP.The PDP must show that it is really interested in taking power in 2015.There are certain measures the PDP must take to encourage us to throw our support behind it. Once we confirm that the PDP is genuinely committed to purge itself of its ugly past, we, the opinion moulders and media professionals will throw our weight behind the party. After all, we did it in 2011 when the media aides of Chief Ikedi Ohakim waged war on the so-called”Ekeonunwa Journalists and Hatchet writers”. What happened was that rather than use their positions to market their principal, Ikedi Ohakim, they were more interested in pouring insults on the so-called local journalists, who they derisively described as Ekeonunwa Journalists. One of them went to Orlu Stadium to announce before a capacity-filled stadium that “Achike Udenwa is a prodigal son who should be inducted into the Orlu Hall of Infamy” .A chief Press Secretary to the Speaker wrote a column in which he described yours sincerely as “deranged and a psychiatric patient”. My sin was that I rejected all their approaches to buy my conscience with money and rather insisted on exposing the weaknesses of the Goodluck Opia- led House of Assembly. Perhaps, the incumbent editor of the Announcer Express newspaper, Emeka Nkwoada, may wish to discuss the details with whosoever wishes to know more of my travails in the hands of Ikedi Ohakim’s media aides. In fact, Ikedi Ohakim’s Chief Press Secretary once described the utterances of Chief Achike Udenwa as mere vapour, an effluvium. There was also the flogging of a social commentator, Samuelson Iwuoha, by the then governor as well as flogging of a correspondent of Radio Nigeria, Wale Oluokun, by the Chief Security Officer (CSO) attached to the government House. These were just some of the reasons we declared war on that government. We did not have any personal quarrels on the man ,Ikedi Ohakim. He had very terrible media aides who felt that they were placed there to mock and humiliate their fellow journalists. They contributed over 80 per cent of the reasons behind the fall of Chief Ikedi Ohakim.A short while ago, Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka even confessed that he was not properly informed of the allegations on Ikedi Ohakim in 2011. That was a massive indictment of his media aides.
The point I am making is that Ikedi Ohakim was not sacked because he embezzled or misappropriated public fund. After all, it has become clear that whatever embezzlement that took place in Ikedi Ohakim’s Administration, if any, was an analogue looting i.e. if any looting took place. Today, we have seen that looting of public fund has become a digital phenomenon in some states of Nigeria. He was not even sacked because of the so-called flogging of a Reverend Father, Eustace Okorie, in August 2010. Long before the so-called flogging of the Reverend Father, we had already declared war on the Administration of Ikedi Ohakim on the grounds of the ignoble roles of its media managers and reckless party members. After all, any reasonable person would have known that Ikedi Ohakim was so classy and civilized to order the flogging of a Reverend Father of the Church-The Catholic Church”. I will not vouch for his action on NDI UKA WHITE( the white garment churches) . Unfortunately, some of his aides compounded issues for the innocent Ohakim when they sponsored the placing of the photo of Reverend Eustace Okorie and the lady he gave a free ride on the front page of a local tabloid and this was splashed on the internet, Facebook and social media platforms. One of Governor Ohakim’s aides even wrote a viewpoint where he said that there was no difference between the Catholic Reverend Father and Governor Ikedi Ohakim. According to this writer, himself a Catholic, both of them are anointed by God- one, to serve in the Church while Ohakim was anointed to serve as governor. As Catholic journalists we felt astounded and shocked at such apostasy by a member of the Catholic Church who embarked on a barefaced attack on the Holy Order of Melchisedek.So, it was not about Ikedi Ohakim; it was about his media managers and political OTIMKPUS on his pay roll.
As the PDP embarks on its search for a governorship candidate, we have put the past behind us. We will help them if they are willing to help themselves, after all, I am not a member of PDP. The only way the PDP can help itself is to use the big stick on some of its erring members who caused the PDP to lose elections twice- in 2007 and 2011.The first move is to sack all those governorship aspirants who are implicated in fraudulently forging the signature of Barrister Ken Njemanze in their Kangaroo petition on the ward elections which held a few weeks ago. All those whose names are mentioned there should be disqualified from the governorship race now, if the PDP is interested in our support. A cursory look at those involved shows that they are wind vane politicians and political prostitutes who have no political structure in Imo State. They believe in mother luck but they do not reckon that there is a limit luck can carry one .In 2011, some of them abandoned the PDP and grabbed an elective ticket from the APGA and smiled their way to victory. Once they won their election, they abandoned APGA. A while ago, the same political prostitutes swiftly defected to PDP and still hoped to get a ticket for governor- hoping that they are the beautiful ones who have the Midas touch for grabbing party tickets- any how, any how. Such politicians are in the business of politics of stomach infrastructure; they must be sacked now or we abandon the PDP and cross over to help Governor Okorocha who we have since dumped for obvious reasons.
On a more important note, we are asking the PDP to faithfully comply with the provisions of Chapter 8 section (9) of its 2014 Constitution (as amended) which states thus: “There shall be a minimum of two year membership for a member to be eligible to stand for election into any public office, unless the appropriate executive committee gives a waiver or rules to the contrary”. This requirement must be imposed now in order to bring sanity to the search for PDP governorship candidate in 2015 election. There is no need for a waiver for anyone who is caught in this stipulation. What I mean is that all those aspirants who have not spent up to two years since they returned or joined PDP must be barred from participating in the Governorship Primaries. Anything short of this is not acceptable to those in my School of Thought. Imo State is too big for any person to be indispensable, no matter if such a person is a Dangote. It is provocative and reprehensible that those who abandoned the PDP for so many years and caused its defeat in 2007 and 2011 elections are suddenly back and still asking that the faithful members of the party should be denied the governorship ticket. No Way! We reject such imposition and impunity. There is no need for a waiver because 90 percent of the aspirants are men of integrity and dignity. You talk of waiver when those in the race are not of very high quality. In the list of those in the race are the like of Hon Emeka Ihedioha, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, immediate past governor , Barrister Ken Njemanze(SAN),Professor Jude Njoku, and several others. Why should anybody be talking of a waiver when you have such array of dignitaries on the list? Perhaps, the only aspirant who is qualified for waiver is Chief Martin Agbaso whose election victory in 2007 was annulled by the then INEC Chairman, Professor Maurice Iwuh. If the PDP decide to show compassion on Chief Martin Agbaso, that will be applauded. All the others who have not served out the two-year limit should be shut out of the race now or we look for option B, probably in the APC.
In conclusion, I want to emphasize that our war on Ikedi Ohakim no longer exists. That era has gone .Anybody who is still dancing to that Ohakim Album(Ohakim must go) of 2011 is misguided; it is dangerous for anybody to continue dancing even when the music has stopped. Although, Chief Ohakim is not my candidate, if the PDP gives him the ticket , those in my group will work for his success. He is a hard-core Imo son and the rest of what happened in 2007 is part of history. This clarification has become necessary because of some posers sent to me by the readers of my column who have often asked me to comment on whether I will ever abandon my paymaster, HON. Emeka Ihedioha, who I have severally endorsed as the best choice for the PDP in the search for a governorship candidate. For the umpteenth time, I wish to emphasize that I am not on the pay roll of HON. Emeka Ihedioha. Whatever I might have written about him is based on the quality of his performance in the areas of legislation, law-making and constituency projects.In fact, I am not aware of any other politician in Imo State who has put up such a dazzling/superlative performance as HON Emeka Ihedioha in the politics of Imo State since 1999. I might be wrong but my conscience tells me that I am right .The Bible says that if your conscience has not condemned you, you have not sinned. Nobody in HON. Emeka Ihedioha’s campaign group has paid a dime on account of those viewpoints. So, my endorsement of him is not a do – or- die affair. There is no deal; I don’t have a job to do there since I am not on his pay roll.I am just writing my conscience; it’s a case of objective truth. So, if the PDP denies him the ticket lose nothing. After all, there is no guarantee that he will remember me if he eventually becomes governor. In 2011, we took similar risks for Owelle Okorocha only to be sacked and dumped from day one.HON. Emeka ihedioha’s achievements as legislator are humongous and intimidating, the fact that I have not personally benefitted is immaterial. If the PDP decided to give its governorship ticket to any of the other aspirants such as Chief Ikedi Ohakim, Chief Agbaso, or even any of the other over 20 aspirants who are not in the list of those that forged Barrister Ken Njemanze’s signature, I will adopt and work for that fellow. At worst, I can siddon look instead of writing toxic and hostile viewpoints. Again, we will reject vehemently any ticket given to any of those that returned to the PDP for a period lesser than two years. The PDP must learn to abide by its own laws. If it fails to do so, we will look for an option B.
However, in the Local Government election, we encourage the PDP to consider those who just returned to the party. Most of them are highly needed in the Local Government tier on the grounds of their experience and previous performance as Council Chairmen, more so, now that there are talks about granting autonomy to the Local Government tier. Those who were sacked/suspended and unceremoniously forced out of the party should be rescued and rehabilitated.The politicians in the Local Government tier have suffered immensely and they should be accorded some compassion and leverage.