It is no longer in doubt that those who expected the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to be destabilized by the Makarfi/Sheriff crisis which engulfed the party for over a year, are now bowing their heads in disappointment over the manner the issue was resolved. Even more disturbed are the fifth columnists who volunteered to play the vulture and work as enemies within.
If anything, the PDP crisis which the Supreme Court firmly resolved some months back, has tremendously helped to sanitize the party. The crisis, which I consider as divine, gave room for the Judas Iscariots in the party to manifest themselves. But for the crisis, the leadership of the PDP will perhaps, be still grooping in the dark and unable to identify the undesirable elements within its fold.
To me, the PDP imbroglio had more merits then demerits (if any). According to the immortal literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe, “all lizards lie prostrate; nobody knows the one with stomach ache” Before the brouhaha erupted, every party chieftain wore “a holier than thou attitude”. The crisis however, brought to public domain, the real and committed party chieftains as well as the bread and butter chieftains too. Indeed, the PDP palavar remains food for thought to any discerning party faithful.
Though the dispute over the national leadership of the PDP is now over, it must nevertheless, be pointed out that some committed patriots made the party to remain firm, cohesive and focused. Despite alluring over tures for them to capitulate and jump ship, these exemplary party leaders chose to swim and sink with the PDP. Their dogged nature and gospel of a united PDP, kept the hopes of many alive. Today, these party leaders are the heroes of the party and democracy because they allowed their integrity and conscience to guide and determine their actions rather than making themselves vulnerable to avarice and shameful quest for insatiable aggrandizement.
Rt. Hon. Emeka Nkem Ihedioha, is one of these noble PDP leaders in Nigeria, whose love and commitment for the party, have won the party many followers. Ihedioha has shown panache in leadership, resilience in pursuit of populist and ideal policies and tenacity of purpose in ensuring that PDP remains united at all times.
It needs not be re-emphasized that but for the selfless efforts of Ihedioha, PDP particularly in Imo State, would have been commercialized. This is not saying that Ihedioha did it alone. But then, he provided the much needed initiative, leadership, encouragement and platform for Imo PDP to remain indivisible or insusceptible to the antics of some mercantile politicians working for other parties under the pretence of being PDP Chieftains. I am referring to the “wolves in sheep’s clothing”
Naturally, some people are either born or meant to lead while others are very good at followship, provided the leadership has laudable vision, mission and the needed steam to push through thick and thin. Ihedioha incontestably belongs, to the former class.
His political tutelage which spanned many years and criss-crossed various strata of political leadership, singles him out as both a good follower and a leader. A chronological X-ray of the political and leadership antecedents of Ihedioha gives a profile of a humble, sagacious, intelligent, dogged, decent and trustworthy politician and administrator, whose word is his bond.
In 2015, Imo lost a golden opportunity of electing the best governor the state could have ever had due to the shenanigan attitude of some fifth columnists within the party. In other words, Ihedioha lost to treachery and betrayal within the PDP and not to anybody. Imo people overwhelmingly voted for him but the plethora of Brutuses in PDP, who shamelessly sold out at the eleventh hour for monetary reasons, betrayed the popular wish of Imo people.
Thank God for the Makarfi/Sheriff fued. All these bed bugs in Imo PDP have finally surfaced as if they were attacked with Baygon insecticide. We now know them. The antics of the ostriches are no longer a mystery to anybody in Imo PDP.
As the saying goes, “once beaten, twice shy”. The lessons of 2015 should not be allowed to repeat themselves if the present wailings, lamentations and gnashing of teeth in Imo is to be abated. Again, Imo people and indeed, PDP faithful still have another golden opportunity of reclaiming the envisaged Eldorado of 2015.
What I am saying is that Emeka Ihedioha has once again, offered himself to serve Imo people as their governor come 2019. His declaration no doubt, has elicited joy in the state and re-kindled hope that all hope is no yet lost, and that after rain, there will still be sunshine again.
To some political analysts, the choice of Ihedioha by the PDP nay Imo people, will be the best catalyst and anti-dote needed to strengthen the hydra-headed dilapidation Imo has found herself now, even with the unenviable prospects of the virus worshiping before 2019.
Ihedioha has the requisite experience and contacts needed for the job. He appreciates the nature of the murky waters of Nigeria politics. He has stepped on the banana peel once (in 2015) and would not wish to have a repeat occurrence.
As stated earlier, in leadership parlance, it is said that for one to be a good leader he must first be a good follower. Ihedioha has paid his dues in the regard. From his humble entry into politics,he rose steadily to the apogee of the National Assembly as Deputy Speaker and later Speaker. To preside over 300 men and women of varying idiosyncrasies is no mean feat. This, Ihedioha did for four remarkable years with panache plus the earlier eight years he spent in the House of Representatives holding the Chairmanship of various notable standing committees of the House as well as Chief Whip. His record in the House is eye-popping.
He is dogged, focused, brilliant and does not prevaricate. His word is an assurance policy. This is perhaps where a few people misunderstand Ihedioha. He makes a promise he redeems and not frivolous ones (like most politicians do) which remains a mirage at the end of the day. He is always honest in his dealings.
Ihedioha is contented. He is not a glutton. He is always conscious of public opinion about his actions and utterances. This is because he appreciates the undeniable fact that in a democracy (not familiocracy), power belongs to the people. To any rational mind, any politician, administrator or leader, who is averse to public opinion or criticism, is not worth the people’s mandate. This is our problem today in Imo.
The former deputy speaker incontestably understands Imo’s problems more than most would – be aspirants. He requires no tutelage any more on the job. He knows where and where-not to step on. There will be no time for experimentation for a novice in governance because the damage on the fabrics of the state will be monumental by 2019. Let nobody think otherwise as that will be self deceit .
Imo needs a political doctor with the midas touch to revive and re-jig her socio-economic and political live already emasculated and hanging on the precipice. Ihedioha to me, is the best man Imo people needs for this onerous task. Besides, “the boy is good” won’t pose any problem either. He is a good manager of resources.
As a nation, for Nigeria to beat Zambia here in our own country and qualify for the World Coup in Russia slated for 2018, the Super Eagles came out with their best squad and even fought like the Spartans of the ancient Greeks. Imo PDP and Imo electorate as a whole, need Ihedioha to captain the operation recapture Imo 2019 square. The battle will be fierce. Nobody dashes power in Nigeria, you grab it.
Seasonal, bread and butter and poster politicians, should re-think. The interest of Imo and her future as a state, far out weigh any personal or parochial interest. Late Chinua Achebe said in Arrow of God that “if an old woman falls twice, the little children around her might be forced to count the contents of her basket which they never did after the first fall due to sympathy and empathy”. Another fall in 2010 will be very catastrophic. Time to think is now.
A word is enough for the wise.
Signed: Kennedy Eweama