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Emeka Ihedioha
Former Deputy Speaker
House of Representatives.

Dateline, Monday, April 30, 2018. Mission; commencement of grassroots consolidation tour of PDP structures in 305 wards of Imo State. Vision; paving the way to Douglas House in 2019. Venue, Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area (LGA). Visionary, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, KSc, CON, former Deputy Speaker, House of representatives. Critical assessment, very successful parley.

My true fans would be smiling at seeing the nature of the preamble above. This is because it is my character to keep it short and simple as the occasion demands. It is in line with the parabolic ‘kiss’ which is “keep it short and simple”. Indeed, the paragraph above concisely, succinctly and aptly captures the political rumble of a sort that transpired in the oil rich kingdom of Ohaji/Egbema.

As hinted in earlier, his mission was to kick start the consultation/consolidation of his structural base in the area where he proved to have real friends and supporters that ran into thousands. With an entourage of over 200 members of the increasingly vivacious Team Ihedioha drawn from across the 27 local government areas of the state, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha humbly, simply and gently entered, first Egbema and later Ohaji, where he met with the grassroots party leaders of varying categories including chapter leaders, ward executives, LGA Officers, leaders and stakeholders.

It was one event that lived up to its billing. Attendance was full capacity at Egbema, Awara and Ngbuishi, the three unique locations where Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was received. In addition to the impressive entourage that came with Ihedioha, a sea of heads of the good people of Ohaji/Egbema rose to welcome the august visitor with great rejoicing expressed in songs and dance by the woman leaders and other women in audience. So much of culture and tradition, protocols were inevitably observed, with the visitor displaying in-depth understanding of the culture and traditional dispositions befitting the occasion. Of course, the characteristic fish for kola tradition of the good people of Ohaji/ Egbema LGA was amply displayed. And to establish his homeboy stature, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha interacted with his host and fans in the Igbo language, receiving loud applause and endless ovation in the process.

At each port of call and delivery, Chief Ihedioha’s message was uniform. He solemnly reminded the people that they must not forget that they are the true reason for democracy; hence democracy is defined as government of the people, by the people, for the people. He reminded them that despite the intrigues of politics and politicians, they are the true owners of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He reminded them also that the power and authority a president, a governor or lawmaker wields are given in proxy to them by the people. He admonished that with the right understanding, the people would do well to mind who they hand their power and authority to use on their behalf. He also warned them against money bags that believe in money politics, stressing that auctioning their mandate of power and authority to the highest bidder harms democracy and indeed erodes the destiny of a people. He observed more importantly that the people who become more and more impoverished by the money bag politicians that gave them little only to take over the states treasury, loot it in lieu of the money they shared during campaigns. He urged them to shine their eyes and select and elect him because he has the true intention of transforming Imo into an industrialized society.

To be candid, Ihedioha spoke with divinely notarized depth and candor, like the Biblical Joshua. His speech was laden with uncommon power and authority befitting a man of power and authority. He spoke with facts and figures, naming names of people and places as witnesses and testimonies to his claims of being out to do good work for Imo people. He reiterated his sincere resolve to remain on the path of truth, transparency and accountability. He decried the system where some people expressed aversion to his honesty and insisted that nothing will make him deviate from the truth. He warned the people to avoid those who want to conspire with them to perpetrate electoral vices and malpractices.

Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha so eloquently took the audience down memory lane, recounting his verifiable and confirmed excellent academic and work profile that span about three decades. This stage of his insightful presentation, elicited thunderous ovation at each venue, with sporadic scream of “OUR Liberator!” from the excited party owners. He reminded them that he has served Nigeria meritoriously, carved a niche for himself as a good ambassador of Imo State and earned a place of honour in Nigeria’s Hall of Fame. He explained that he knows the problem of Imo State begins and ends with the incumbent governor of the state, assuring that he knows the solution to the problem of Imo State to be emergence of a good leader that has acquired the requisite know-how to reposition the state for socio-economic wellbeing and development.

It is pertinent to mention that there was such a big cache of Imo PDP leaders, past and present at the Ohaji/Egbema parley. Among them were Rt. Hon. Chuma nnaji, the former Deputy Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly and running mate of Ihedioha’s in the 2015 guber election, Hon. Ken Agbim, representing Ahiazu Mbaise State Constituency in the Imo State of Assembly, his Ezinihitte counterpart, Hon. Bruno Ukaoha, Hon. Benjamin Azike, one time Executive Chairman, Nwangele LGA, Dr. Vincent Udokwu, former Chief of Staff to former Governor Achike Udenwa, Hon. Ben Mere, PDP Owerri Zonal Organizing Secretary, Chief Fab Ogbonna, former Oru West LGA Chairman and Leader of Team Ihedioha, Orlu Zone, Chief Isaac Anyim and a host of others. Space and time will not accommodate all of them. All of them spoke in clear language about the utility value of the great man called Emeka Ihedioha.

Of remarkable note was the speech by Dr. Vincent Udokwu, who explained that contrary to rumour that he and his principal, Chief Udenwa were are daggers with Emeka Ihedioha, they were solidly with him owing to long existing camaraderie and profiling of the personality of Emeka Ihedioha. He said: “We have known Chief Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha for quite a long time. We have weighed him alongside other aspirants that have declared or are reportedly still consulting and would declare any time soon. What we concluded was that Emeka Ihedioha is the only aspirant that has the capacity to contest the 2019 election and win. There is no mistake about that. And when we say that be sure we know what we are saying. For that reason we align with him and urge all well-meaning leaders and members of our party to join us to give our party and Imo State the best in 2019. We believe in Ihedioha.”

Almost all the speakers with varying additions hinged their confidence in support of Ihedioha on his tested and proven capacity that they trust. For instance, Hon. Ken Agbim in addition to underscoring the multiple capacities to challenge any candidate of the failed APC, stated that Ihedioha created so much goodwill among so many PDP leaders and members and political office holders at national and state levels that no other aspirant in PDP can claim to have done. He said Ihedioha has the tools to fix the state and get things working again.

On his part, Hon. Benjamin Azike, a chairman of ALGON and Chairman of G4 recounted how Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has stood by many up and coming youthful politicians, providing them with necessary moral and financial mentoring and logistics, describing the 2019 governorship election as a pay-back time for the good work that has become characteristic of Rt. Hon. Ihedioha. He concluded by stating that “ALGON has endorsed Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as their candidate for Imo governorship election in 2019. According to him, this decision was reached following the consideration by ALGON that Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has promised that he would conduct local government elections within six months of assumption of office and more importantly ensures local government autonomy and administration. We in ALGON believe him because he keeps his promises. He is an honest leader. He cannot be like anybody that the incumbent governor presents as successor. This government recently killed the Local Government Autonomy Bill that was passed by the National Assembly and sent to them.”

Ultimately, the sincere eulogies and commendation of the capacities, associated with Rt. Hon. Ihedioha, cannot be wished away. I had recently differentiated them as pretenders and a contender.

Before the end of the very successful parley in Ohaji/Egbema LGA, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha charged all his supporters, friends and the entire party structure to ensure they obtained their permanent voter cards (PVC) to remain in full control of their mandate of power and authority and be mindful of voting for only PDP at all levels of the elections. He reminded them of the need to go all out into their environment with the message of liberation, urging them to begin to convince, convert and win members for PDP as the general election approach. He harped on the increasingly popular slogan “change the change” and implored the PDP members across the state to deploy every legal means to ensure that the bad change that is now in place is replaced with the good change that Nigerians and Imo people desire so much.

Finally, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha assured the good people of Ohaji/Egbema of effecting monumental physical infrastructural development in the area. He frowned at the sorry state of ADAPALM and promised to revamp the money spinning industry, noting that Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC) has been unduly politicized and its funds diverted to private pockets. He promised to ensure that oil producing communities in Imo State enjoy the benefits of their God-given wealth. He promised to complete the Oguta Lake seaport he attracted Deputy Speaker of the House of which Ohaji/Egbema is a major beneficiary. Indeed, he made realistic promises. And as he spoke and acted practically, chants of “Ome nke ahuru anya”, “Mr. Talk and Do”, “Ekwueme” rend the atmosphere. In acknowledgement and response, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha firmly reiterated his flagship pledge of “My word is my bond”!

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