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Friday, December 8, 2023

Imo Assembly Seat: Mistakes Njaba People Must Not Repeat in 2015 – By Damian Duruiheoma



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In the last couple of decades in Nigeria, politics has been defined by a devious colour of gangsterism, a phenomenon that has robbed the game of the finesse, fidelity and exotic qualities of progressive political ideals, which are the driving principles of government in the developed world. Because of the way the game of politics is played in most part of the country, Nigerians have lived for too long under the illusion that politics is a game for social deviants.  As a result, men and women who have no contract with honour, people of banal value for integrity and the rugged products of the world of the occult have been occupying exalted political positions. The in-thing is that bucks are passed at will by the same Nigerians who would not give a minute’s silence to recall how they have contributed to the decay in the political system. More often than not, we have made the wrong choice for the wrong reasons. For this, our politics and society have suffered greatly.
Since the creation of Njaba Local Government Area from the present Isu LGA of Imo State in 1996, the people of the area have never had any reason to thank God for the creation of the council especially when it concerns the representation of Njaba State Constituency in the state House of Assembly. Moreover, since the return of democracy in 1999, Njaba State Constituency had had three representatives in the state House of Assembly, but the people of the constituency cannot point to any useful project in their communities and say it was attracted by any of the representatives (both past and present). Or better still, no community in the area can conveniently say that any of their persons or youths has been given real empowerment or made to gain good employment in both government and private institutions. In fact, it was since the return of democracy that most of the infrastructures like water borehole, health centres or community hospitals and roads built by community self-help efforts began to witness dilapidation until they finally could no longer function. The reason is the promise-and-fail attitude of the politicians who promised to sustain such projects but abandon them once they are sworn in.
If the good people of Njaba had been making mistakes by sending the wrong people to represent them in the House of Assembly in the last 16 years, then, there is need to correct those mistakes in 2015 elections. The people have another opportunity in 2015 to send a patriotic and selfless son of Njaba to represent them in the state house of assembly to help build on the legacy of exemplary leadership which Governor Rochas Okorocha has introduced in the politics of Imo State.
Chief Sam Jack Okoro, a scion of the Okoro family of Umunkundu Isieke II, Umunam Atta community, represents a true definition of two key words so fundamental to the building of the best democratic institutions the world over but unfortunately in short supply in the Imo, nay Nigerian political environment. These words are humility and integrity.
Sam Jack, whose life and conduct in private and public relations with people and groups, can only be defined by the enduring values of pure fidelity to any course he is committed to, has proven over time that we still have men who can turn things around for the better and pull the people out from the trenches. He is a man that always will stand for truth and what is right.
In his more than 15 years odyssey in the murky waters of Imo politics, he has maintained an unblemished record of corporate and political uprightness. Immediately he joined active politics, he was made chairman, opinion poll committee of the Democratic Party of Nigeria(DPN) for local government chairmanship aspirants in Orlu Zone in 1997. Sam Jack was also later elected the Orlu Zonal secretary of the DPN. He was the Njaba LGA convener, New Era Alliance.
In 1999, Chief Okoro contested the executive chairmanship election of Njaba LGA on the platform of the All Political Party, APP. Based on his political experience, he was appointed as the Executive Assistant to the Governor of Imo State on Political Matters under the administration of Chief Achike Udenwa. When Chief Ikedi Ohakim took over as the governor in 2007, he recalled Chief Okoro to the state level to serve as his Senior Special Assistant(SSA Political).
Chief Okoro’s contribution to the Udenwa administration led to the then governor appointing him as the Transition Committee chairman of Njaba LGA in 2007, a position he used to place so many Njaba youths in good positions. Since his short stint as the TC Charman of the LGA, Chief Okoro has been seen as a chip from the mould of the best materials in political progressive drive. In less than six months, he gave the Njaba people the best leadership ever because this was what he had been angling to do for the people. Though, he was never elected as the executive chairman, he decided to be committed to the social contract he entered with the people when he first contested the Njaba LGA chairmanship election in 1999 which was robbed from him.
It is instructive to note that during his short stay in office, youths rascality ceased in Njaba. This is because Sam Jack decided to send most of the youths abroad with others gainfully engaged and today they have become important members of their communities.  He created what is known in every community in Njaba today as over 300 employment opportunities and financial assistance to the people of the area especially the poor. It was only in his administration that traditional rulers enjoyed security allowances and were able to effectively curtail the upsurge in crime. He added to this by setting up vigilante group that had made the area cool ever since.
Before netting a degree in Economics from the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1997, Chief Okoro obtained NCE in Economics/ Social Studies in 1994. This was after he joined the business of Telecommunication immediately obtained his West African School Certificate (WASC) from the Community Secondary School, Awo Idemili in Orsu LGA in 1980. He has been a notable businessman ever since.
He is today Chairman/ CEO Sapricon Group of Companies comprising Sapricon Projectti International, Equipment and Trustees International and NTT Nigeria Limited.
In spite of his background, Chief Okoro has continued to embody humility in everything he does. He is not proud but attributes all that he has attained and achieved to God the source of all wisdom and grace. He is a wonderful family man with an amiable wife and wonderful children.
When this writer heard of the news that some traditional rulers and prominent political leaders were considering Chief Okoro to run for Njaba State Constituency seat in 2015, I prayed in my spirit for it to be true. This is because this man has demonstrated great commitment to the growth and pride of Njaba as a council. This unassuming, less ambitious man will do Njaba a greater deal of pride if sent on this mission to represent his people. He will devote all his energies to the course and Njaba will be better for it. He is a patriot. He is always calm and very diligent in all he does. He is very highly rated on the scale of integrity and this he would apply to his service of Njaba.
Njaba people have made their mistakes in the past; this time they need a man of honour, integrity and wisdom again at the State House of Assembly, one without any blemish. Even those who may be tempted to challenge Chief Okoro will testify that he is more honourable than they in every leadership index. Let us give him the opportunity to deploy his humility and patriotic energy to serve humanity on this patriotic call for service to the people of Njaba. This in deed will avoid a repeat of the mistake of the past.

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Damian Duruiheoma wrote in from Owerri, Imo State. dduruiheoma@yahoo.com, 07030518148

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