Present realities have impelled me to do this brief memo to the Mbaise nation in particular and also to Owerri Senatorial zone in general. It is pertinent to state that the word Ihediohaphobia is derived from the name of Hon Emeka Ihedioha and Phobia. Phobia is defined as “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something”. In the present context, the point being made in this viewpoint is that some persons in the political domain of Imo State are mortally afraid of Hon Emeka Ihedioha, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives(HoR).These people who are afraid of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha cut across party lines. They can be seen in all the political parties including the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP). It is pertinent to state that within the year, I have written several viewpoints on my perception of the 2015 Governorship election in IMO State as it affects the various political parties and their governorship aspirants. In these analyses, I endorsed Hon Emeka Ihedioha as the preferred Governorship candidate for the PDP while I endorsed Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho as the likely candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA). My reasons for endorsing these politicians are based on my perception of their performance and integrity in line with my marking scheme which I elaborated in one of those viewpoints.In the case of Hon Emeka Ihedioha, his superlative performance in the areas consistency, faithfulness/loyalty to party, lawmaking, oversight functions, constituency development, and the like put him ahead of his peers in the PDP. It has nothing to do with his deep pocket or wealth, even though I am righteously entitled to my own share of his fortune. I do not see what is wrong with a media professional living on his professional skill in the same way lawyers, doctors, engineers and others live on their profession. But it is sad to note that a section of Mbaise nation has been very vehement in attacking my person for the simple reason that I endorsed their son ,Hon Emeka Ihedioha, to emerge as the PDP Governorship flag bearer in the 2015 governorship election. They have sent hostile messages via the social media , e-mail and text messages denouncing what they described as your “ undue interest in an Mbaise affair”. In fact, in one of the text messages, I was called an interloper who has abandoned his Orlu nation in preference to endorsing an Mbaise man because of the huge amount Hon Emeka Ihedioha pays me. I want to tell the Mbaise nation that this is their most ripe opportunity to produce a governor or else they can forget it till the appropriate time in the future. I want to state vehemently that in all those viewpoints which I wrote endorsing Hon Emeka Ihedioha and Captain Iheanacho, none of them has paid a dime on account of those viewpoints.So, the Mbaise people who feel that I am targeting the bank account of their son, Hon Emeka Ihedioha, should ask him or his media aides if they have ever paid a kobo to me on account of my various viewpoints which were published in several newspapers and the social media.
This comment becomes necessary because some of them have even wondered who financed the publishing of my various features on Hon Emeka Ihedioha? One of them even asked “How much commission did you make in publishing these viewpoints in top national tabloids? Well, I don’t know why anybody should lose sleep over such issues which border on my professional duties, more so, since I am a media professional and member of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria(APCON) who should make a living out of the commission on my publications or media placements for my clients. Nonetheless, I make bold to state that as an editor of an online press, www.theheartlander.com, I simply publish my viewpoints on the website and interested parties simply download such articles and publish in other newspapers or social media. As long as my byline is attributed to me,I do not quarrel over such use of my work, after all, any document in the public domain has become a public property. Once your publication has been put in the public domain, the only thing that belongs to you there is your name as the author of the document. Once my right as the auditor is attributed, I leave it at that. I also partner with the Owerri-based Nigeria Horn Newspaper where I syndicate some of my works for the lacal audience. So, this is what happened on those viewpoints which anti -Ihedioha groups are complaining of. Some people who liked those viewpoints simply downloaded them from the internet and published in several news platforms. I am not in a position to know whether they paid for them or not. But I know that nobody paid me a kobo on those publications. So, the allegation that Hon Ihedioha has paid my media consultancy firm huge amount coupled with heavy monthly salary is a sham. Nonetheless, I am eminently qualified to enjoy any largesse from that office because he who works must eat. I have just heard that a Director General has been appointed to run the political campaign outfit of Hon Ihedioha for the 2015 governorship agenda. This appointment has come at a most auspicious moment and it is hoped that this technocrat will take effective control of affairs and ensure that issues are executed with panache and with business-like promptitude.
I want to emphasize the fact that the Mbaise nation of today is a nation that is mired in a fratricidal war in which brothers are destroying their First Eleven for a mess of portage. A dispassionate analysis of the political domain in Imo State today shows that the greatest obstacle to Governor Okorocha’s second term bid is Hon Emeka Ihedioha. To Governor Okorocha the fear of Hon Ihedioha is the beginning of wisdom and he is prepared to take appropriate steps to checkmate and sully the intimidating profile of Hon Emeka Ihedioha. He is one of those politicians in Imo State who have since contracted the virus of Ihediohaphobia. Meanwhile, he has succeeded in penetrating the Mbaise nation to recruit people of Mbaise nation who will do the dirty job of facilitating the conquering or humiliation of Hon Ihedioha.Fortunately for him, these kinsmen of Hon Emeka Ihedioha are working conscientiously to actualize the brief given to them- i.e.to use their kinship and proximity with Hon Ihedioha to plot for his disgrace and fall in his 2015 Governorship agenda.Governpr Okoroicha feels uncomfortable when ever he sees the trade mark green cap of Hon Ihedioha. He knows full well that Hon Emeka Ihedioha is one of the few politicians in Imo State who have not been involved in the pandemic malaise of looting Imo Peoples money. Unlike most other politicians in Imo State who have cases of 419 and corruption/ sundry scandals, Hon Ihedioha’s record in the politics of Imo State and beyond is immaculate and untainted. Chief Okorocha is uneasy that after about fourteen years in politics, Emeka Ihedioha has not stepped on any banana peelings which could be used to rubbish his profile.
He betrayed this frustration in one of his unguarded utterances recently when he inadvertently revealed what lurks in his mind.On that occasion, Governor Okorocha had referred to various Imo politicians in the PDP as expired, corrupt and fraudulent 419ners.In the case of Hon Emeka Ihedioha, Governor Okorocha scratched his head and endorsed him as the only politician that did not have a 419 record. However, Governor Okorocha’s grouse was that “Hon Emeka Ihedionha is proud”. That was the first time Governor Okorocha was making any positive comment on any politician in Imo State since he emerged governor in 2011.What t5anspired on that occasion is a classic case of Freudian Slip where one involuntarily exposes what lurks in one’s mind while speaking under the heat of passion. So, this attribute of Hon Ihedioha as a politician with no 419 record is intimidating to Governor Okorocha and he will stop at nothing to contrive any scenarios to sully the clean and immaculate political record of Hon Ihedioha. It is deplorable and disheartening that that he has already recruited foot soldiers from the Mbaise nation who will facilitate the actualization of this heinous agenda of tarnishing the integrity and political suave of Hon Emeka Ihedioha. We are watching the Mbaise nation with interest and whether they will allow themselves to be used as the modern day Judas Iscariots remains a matter for individual conjecture.
But is Hon. Ihedioha a proud man? It is crystal clear that Governor Okorocha and his squod are not happy that Hon Emeka Ihedioha who, like most of us, hails from a poor financial background is always seen being escorted by a pair of Triumph power motorbikes and a platoon of security personnel.They are not happy that Hon Ihedioha rides the official limousine with the nation’s Coat of Arms to boot .It does not matter that these facilities are the rights and privileges attached to the office of the Deputy Speaker and not to Hon Emeka Ihedioha as an individual. Their grouse is that the little boy they used to know as the son of poor parents should not enjoy the rights and trappings of office of a Deputy Speaker. He should not be seen using siren or being escorted by Triumph power bikes and security personnel whenever he is in Imo State because in their warped opinion “there cannot be two governors in Imo State”. They say that the only way Hon Ihedioha can be classified as humble and good is for him to reject all the accoutrements and appurtenances of power attached to his office and begin to use keke tricycles or his personal cars in his official engagements whenever he is in Imo State. Governor Okorocha is not comfortable that Hon Emeka Ihedioha is the NO 1 politician in Imo State- a position which he, Okorocha thinks is his(i.e. Okorocha’s) birth right. Yes, as the NO 6TH Person in the order of hierarchy /Protocol in Nigeria, Hon Emeka Ihedioha is the highest placed politician in Imo and the second in the South East coming after the Deputy President of the Senate, Hon Ike Ekweremadu.
In a frantic bid to defuse and submerge Hon Emeka Ihedioha’s rising profile, Governor Okorocha has embarked on an unprovoked campaign of calumny and muckraking against him. Although some of these newly recruited foot soldiers in the war against Hon Emeka Ihedioha did not believe in Okorocha in the 2011 election, they have become his emergency great friends .Governor Okorocha’s sudden passion for these his new Mbaise friends is not because of his love for them but because he wants to use them to achieve his agenda of truncating the Mbaise nation and that of Hon Emeka Ihedioha in particular. As an opportunist which we all are, Governor Okorocha is willing to pay any amount to ensure that this agenda is successful. The agenda of attacking Hon Ihedioha started in 2013 when a State Assembly rerun election was being conducted in Oguta.The Imo Government House vehemently protested the presence of Hon Emeka Ihedioha in Oguta Local Government Area on the grounds that he should not be seen in Oguta LGA since he(Ihedioha) is not from Orlu zone or Oguta LGA. They complained that Hon Ihedioha’s presence in Oguta was very dangerous as his intention was to rig the election in favour of the PDP candidate, Chief Eugene Dibiagwu. They rented a crowd to demonstrate in protest of the presence of Hon Emeka Ihedioha and Senator Hope Uzodimma in Oguta.Even Senator Hope Uzodimma who hails from Orlu zone was not even allowed to be in Oguta during that ill-fated State Assembly election. Most of us who thought that Hon Emeka Ihedioha would invoke the federal might to resist Governor Okorocha’s impunity were shocked when he quietly pulled out of Oguta in order to maintain the peace. Yet in the Anambra Governorship election of November 16th, 2013, Governor Okorocha moved Imo Government House and bank account to Anambra State in a frantic bid to actualize the election victory of the All Progressives Candidate( APC) candidate, DR Chris. Ngige. Addressing members of the APC in Awka, he said that the battle for governorship in that election was a battle between ASO ROCK and the APC. He even bragged that the election must be won by APC as he, Okorocha, was equal to the task whether in terms of money, power or any way because “the day a warrior was born in a land is the same day another warrior was born in another land .Hear him:”Ubochi amuru dike na mba ka amuru dike na mba ozo”.I was totally upset that my governor who had opposed the presence of the like of Hon Emeka Ihedioha and Senator Hope Uzodimma in Oguta during a mere re-run State Assembly election was now in Anambra State as the Chairman of DR.Chris Ngige’s campaign committee.
The Iriji Mbaise ceremony which took place a few weeks ago was another opportunity for the Imo Government House to plot a stratagem to humiliate Hon Emeka Ihedioha before his kinsmen. It was a well planned and choreographed strategy to hatch a scene which would be used as a peg to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it. I am unable to see what offence Hon Emeka Ihedioha committed on that occasion to warrant all the hullaballoo and finger pointing against him. In Igbo mythology and cosmology, the presentation of a Kola nut to a guest has always been an occasion for wisecracks and show of native wisdom. That is what Hon Emeka Ihedioha did when he cracked a harmless joke which would have elicited an applause and guffaw from the crowd. Unfortunately, those who came from the Government House had a devious agenda of making political capital of tarnishing Hon Emeka Ihedioha’s profile, hence they started making mountain out of an innocuous joke made by Hon Emeka Ihedioha. I am shocked that rather than rally round their son and denounce those who came to the IRIJI to confront HON Emeka Ihedioha, a section of Mbaise nation has been embarrassing most of us in the way they have been tendering apology to the Government House for God knows why. This show of shame from the Mbaise nation validates the fact that the erstwhile Mbaise monolith has since crumbled or is fast crumbling. In the era of “Mbaise Onyekweleyafeoooooo!, nobody would have had the courage of confronting the Mbaise nation with such barefaced braggadocio and impunity. We are talking of an Mbaise nation that has about seventy professors, uncountable PhDs, over 1000 Catholic Reverend Fathers and Reverend Sisters. This act of sabotage against Honn Ihedioha must be condemned in its entirety now or we who are not from Mbaise nation will help to put the death knell on the Mbaise 2015 Governorship project. After all, those like me do not lose anything, more so, since we are not on the pay roll of Hon Emeka Ihedioha or any politician for that matter.
The fact that some of us from the Orlu Zone have endorsed Hon Emeka Ihedioha and Captain Emma Iheanacho to fly the Governorship flags of their parties in 2015 does not mean that we hate our Orlu zone. God forbid. It does not mean that we hate our brother, Senator Hope Uzodimma, who appears to be interested in the Governorship race of 2015.My endorsement of Hon Emeka Ihedioha is anchored on his superlative performance in the National Assembly. I make bold to say without any fear of contradiction that I am not aware of any politician in the National Assembly(NASS) in IMO State who has made such an impressive outing in the areas of legislation, oversight functions, constituency projects/youth and women empowerment, facilitating political appointments and the like since the return of politics in 1999.These records are not just earmarked, they can also be eye-marked .
I come from a senatorial zone where a particular politician was in the NASS for about 12 years but today there is not even a one room apartment anywhere in Orlu zone as evidence of his constituency project. This fact is cogent and verifiable. So, when I feel overwhelmed at the constituency projects and political suave of HON Emeka Ihedioha, people can begin to know my background and point of reference. Those who disagree with me are free to submit their rejoinders to me for free publishing on my website(www.theheartlander.com).As the editor of the website, I will publish such rejoinders as long as they are anchored on facts and not an insult or attack on my person. Unfortunately, what happens now is that a group of aggrieved Mbaise or aggrieved people from Owerri zone embark on indiscriminate attacks on my person via the social media and the local press. They ask me to leave Mbaise nation alone since I am not from Mbaise nation. They say I cannot tell them who of their sons will be governor. Such people from the OWERRI zone are misguided elements who must be told in non-equivocal terms that we are searching for a governor of IMO State and not Governor of Mbaise nation or governor of Owerri zone. If the ongoing aggression from the Mbaise/Owerri nations continues , we may take a fresh look at the 2015 governorship on how it affects ORLU zone.
Let it be crystal clear to everybody who cares that if Orlu zone decides to join the fray in 2015, it cannot be intimidated out of the project. We are now endorsing Owerri zone because we believe in equity, not Charter of Equity. There is no such thing as Charter of Equity in Imo State. Rather, equity has always been there from antiquity. Equity is fairness and justice in the affairs of humankind. So, to me , Equity?, Yes; Charter of Equity?,NO such accord in Imo political lexicon. In Orlu, we are not greedy, hence most of us are looking in the direction of Owerri zone for 2015 governorship. But if the people of Owerri zone misconstrue our humility for timidity, we in Orlu will join the 2015 race. We are likely to win at first ballot. In a worst case scenario, there will be a tie in which Owerri zone and Orlu zone will go for a supplementary poll .The outcome of such a poll is not far to seek. So, Orlu zone should not be seen as cowards or timid people. The groups from Owerri zone who issue threats to Orlu zone on the 2015 governorship must think again. We love Owerri zone but some misguided elements think they can chase Orlu zone out of the race through threats and harassment. It is provocative that some misguided elements in Owerri zone have even dragged Orlu zone to court over the 2015 governorship poll. I don’t know the reliefs they are seeking from the court. Well, the matter is sub judice and we are watching with interest.
We just feel that the like of HON Emeka Ihedioha and Captain Iheanacho who have performed so well should be given an uplift to occupy the IMO Douglas House/ Red Chamber in 2015.However, in the case of APGA, the party must ensure that the governorship candidate is a person who will win and stay in APGA like Martin Agbaso and Peter Obi and not a person who will win and defect to PDP after a few months. I am sure that the APGA will guard against a reoccurrence of the sabotage of Governor Okorocha and Senator Comfort Anyanwu.In spite of unprovoked attacks on the Orlu nation from a section of the people in Owerri zone, we hope to remain committed to the agenda of working for an Owerri zone Governor in 2015 until the parties release the list of their candidates in the next few months. If we are not satisfied with the list of candidates, nothing stops Orlu zone from presenting a governorship candidate from any of the over 20 political parties in Nigeria. To be forewarned is to be forearmed and a stitch in time saves nine.
But reasons the author gave for his support of Ihedioha may not be taken for another Mbaise/Owerri or Orlu or Okigwe person. There should not be consideration of Equity in choice of governorship candidates in Imo state. First, Okigwe zone is half of Orlu zone. Again, Owerri has nearly 98% all modern development infrastructures in Imo state, including five govt universities and polytechnics. Imopoly isclosest to Owerri and benefits Owerri more than any othe group. And Owerri tends to resist transfer of any of the institutions from Owerri. Even at that, the incumbent governor Okorocha is said to come from Orlu zone but his giant development infrastructures are only in Owerri. In fact, Okorocha may end up leaving his Orlu zone without its standard sports stadium, and he has refused complete the flood drain duct in the principal city in his zone, as well as leaving lots of road works he started in his zone uncompleted – unlike in Owerri. Since Okorocha did not show that the zone a governor comes from matters, why then the Equity talk? Orlu has remained without development-enhancing infrastructure, except the teaching hospital and market established about ten years ago. So any good governorship candidate from Orlu in Pdp or Apga shall score large number of votes especially in decisive Orlu senatorial district.