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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Imo PDP, Ihedioha And 2019 – By Kennedy Eweama



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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.

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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.

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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

Media Consultant


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