Imo Politics, Closet Gossips And Chief Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe – By Emeka Oraetoka


Arthur Nzeribe

With election year on our hands, deft political movements by politicians have commenced; real and imagined would be opponents to political gladiators have either been marked out for political blackmail or character assassination. Tension is building up every where in Imo State. Name dropping for political advantages has become a past time business in the State too.

This writer do not think there is any intrigue left in Nigerian politics that Chief Nzeribe has not mastered with precision and accuracy of Big Ben clock in London. Is it not surprising that about two years ago, the same Nzeribe that was seen and hailed as one who helped many politicians to political offices both at National and State levels, has suddenly become an obstacle to the political ambition of Senator Hope Uzodinma, one of the beneficiaries of Chief Nzeribe’s political magnanimity.

The most interesting aspect of Senator Hope Uzodinma’s gossip that only Nzeribe stands between him and his governorship ambition in 2015 is that the same Hope intends to leverage on his closeness to the seat of power Aso- Rock to win the governorship election. Why then is he afraid of Chief Nzeribe? Even at the red chamber where he holds sway as the chairman, Senate committee on Aviation, he is believed to be having the ears of the Senate President, Senator David Mark. At the national level of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], he is a towering figure, and probably in a good position to get whatever he wants from the party, if he makes such demand. Or is there a growing realization in his camp that strategic name dropping cannot win governorship election for him in 2015? He has been involved in many shuttle diplomacy for PDP; his recent been resolution of Taraba State governorship crisis. So, who can say no to Senator Hope Uzodinma’s governorship ambition come 2015?

With these impeccable political credentials at Hope’s disposal, what beats this writer’s imagination is the distinguished Senator’s fixation with Senator Arthur Nzeribe in Imo State politics. One would have thought that political sagacity should dictates that, a politician as highly placed as Senator Hope Uzodinma, knowing that Nzeribe is a big factor in Imo State politics, and wields significant influence that could determine who becomes the governor of the State, must be courted and not gossiped in a closet. Political pundits would agree with this writer that it took Senator Nzeribe years and great effort to build his political empire in Imo State in particular and Nigeria in general; this fact Senator Hope Uzodinma is very much aware of. At least, in 2011 election in the State, Hope sought and obtained the political backing of Senator Nzeribe, then went on to win the Senatorial seat he currently enjoys. From the point of view of the current gossip, it appears Nzeribe has not been consulted by Senator Uzodinma on his 2015 governorship project. If he has, the gossip would have been: “I told Nzeribe of my intention, but he refused to give me his backing”

Again, if Nzeribe could not constitute obstacle to Hope’s ambition in 2003 when he sought the governorship seat of the State on a joint ticket with Ikedi Ohakim, why is it that he now constitute such? But come to think of it, could this allegation of constituting an obstacle to the governorship ambition of Senator Hope albeit cowardly be linked to the character of Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe? Surely, it is not in his character to oppose the ambition of any Nigerian politician in the closet. It has never happened, not in his life time. He is a direct political fighter, known to his closet accuser. His ABN odyssey, am sure, is still fresh in the memory of Nigerians and his accuser. In case he [Uzodinma] has forgotten, it was pursed with determination and sense of purpose. It is needless boring his accuser with his credentials at the National Assembly. The record is there for him to see. If he cannot, few of his contemporaries are still there for Uzodinma to inquire from.

It has never been in Nzeribe’s character to constitute a clog in the political wheel of politicians in Imo State albeit cowardly; rather, what he is known for is frontal political attacks on opponents when his path is crossed. Even before any political confrontation, enough notices will be sent in. For instance, before embarking on call for the impeachment of former President Obasanjo, more than enough notices were forwarded. His closet accuser may as well go into the archive to see how these notices were sent to political opponents in the past. This will serve as guide because it will avail Senator Hope better pedestal to respond to Nzeribe’s offensive if and when he decides to confront. The truth is that this oracle is very effective and potent and should not be ignored, for doing this, goes with a prize.

This write-up should be seen as a political response to a closet gossiper [Senator Hope Uzodinma] who is surely hell bent on provoking political confrontation with Chief Nzeribe. Onye akpana agu aka na odu, ma odindu ma, onwnruanwu.



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