The Plots Against The Okorocha-Madumere Bond: The Gathering Of Vultures And The Uneasy Wedlock Of Strange Bedfellows

By Onyema Onyekereibe

Danny Heitman, a columnist for The Advocate Newspaper, once authored a book titled “A Summer of Birds: John James Audubon at Oakley House.” Going through her pages I could vividly paint a picture of strange bed fellows coming together to achieve one aim; this being a common feature of our crude politics and its maneuverings. How can John James Audubon be at Oakley House if not for reasons of expedience? But if you want to understand what informed my title of this piece, then peep into the powerful cauldron of blackmails, plots and fifth columnists' ploys being built around and against Imo's current deputy governor, Prince Eze Madumere (MFR).

Politics is like the season of the summer. As the heart of the season draws closer, strange birds flock together in search of survival- all driven by survival instinct. This informs the latest twist in which it is becoming clear that forces from contradictory political lineages are relinquishing their long time opposing political stands and differences to build what could better be described as 'The Gathering of Vultures and the Uneasy Wedlock of Strange bedfellows' in their tight-teethed plots to stop Madumere's political prospects.

While some believe it is their patrimony to succeed the governor come 2015 if the latter goes for the presidential slot under the new APC party, others believe that they and their loyalist should replace Okorocha and Madumere at the Douglass House come 2015. Both groups, as strange as they appear, are united by a common goal- stopping Madumere by all means possible.

When the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin began to write her “The Bully Pulpit,” a book about the tumultuous times of America's most vilified president, Theodore Roosevelt, it was as if she was giving account of what Prince Ezeakonobi Madumere has been passing through in the hands of forces bent on both destroying his bond with his boss and discrediting him before the masses and the political class. But whether we describe it as a ghost or a shadow, the Madumere factor is not only hunting many in the polity, but it is also sending shivers down the frayed spines of desperate political forces. And even if it means compromising their traditional political dispositions to built short term alliance whose only aim is to stunt Madumere's prospects of succeeding Okorocha, then, for these anti Madumere forces, it's worth the deal.

Since starting my career as a journalist and later as an independent media strategist, I have never seen a young politician so vilified in innocence like the current deputy governor of Imo state, Prince Eze Madumere. Give or take a little tip above the ice clip in Imo politics, Madumere's relevance and political influence is no longer in doubt. But what remains generally accepted within a wider spectrum of the polity is the fact that Madumere's sudden rise to power took friends and foes by a shocking surprise, except his boss, his most intimate confidant and his long time ally, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who nursed and mentored him from the unknown to the known, the greatest undoing to these anti-Madumere plot is the fact that the governor knows his deputy and political beyond a level where any propagandist's ploy can cause him to question his deputy's loyalty or create disaffection between the two.

To illustrate a typical picture of the primary factor behind Madumere's rise to power, what happened between a stateswoman and I serves as a case in point. When I came up as a media strategist, I had the hunger to use my career to celebrate men and women who have given immense services to our nation, Nigeria. I decided to approach one. She was a diplomat of rare breed but yet an unsung heroine. One day I met her in the early morning hours in her house and had a discussion with her.

She was fascinated at my ideas, but she asked me one question; “What do you want to do with me and my brand?” I responded “I want to take you to the world and tell them about your hidden contributions”. She looked at me deeply and said “Go to that mirror standing on the wall”. I moved to the mirror and starred into it but found nothing except my reflection. She asked me “Who do you see?” I responded “I can see nothing but myself”.

She was not yet done. She asked me to come back to her, and I did. Then she said to me “Hold my hand and take me to the mirror.” I did exactly that. Then, as we stood in front of the mirror she asked me again “Who do you see?” I replied “I can see you and myself.” Then she said “You can't take me to the world without the world seeing you also. This task you want to undertake is both a burden and a destiny.”

That comment changed my view, and as she told me, while trying to show her to the world, I suddenly discovered that the world noticed my presence like never before. Madumere's sole preoccupation has been to show the best of his boss, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, to the people and to help him deliver his promises as Imo's most charismatic political leader. But in the bid to do this, the people have also seen and noticed Madumere's presence on the political scene like never before. There is nothing anyone, both friends and foes can do about this.

From a humble background, both socially and politically, Madumere rode to the corridors of power on the wings of service, humility, and unflinching loyalty to his boss. But his characteristic disposition as a diplomatic political strategist underlined by rare kind of political maturity and broadmindedness has also earned him a marbled place in the minds of three classes of people. These include the political class, the common masses, especially the youths, and the members of the Okorocha political family. For the masses, Madumere is a humble servant whose disposition runs contrary to his predecessors. He is that deputy governor who leaves his exalted office to meet them at their level as never seen in our history.

For the political class Madumere is a mature political negotiator with a rare kind of broadmindedness. While refusing to negotiate his boss away no matter the stake, Madumere diplomatically sells the Okorocha brand to the most pessimistic and unyielding segment of the political spectrum. For the opposition, Madumere is an asset that must be won over, bought over, or coarsed over at all cost if the battle to end the Okorocha political dynasty is something that must be won before 2015.

Of course, for Okorocha, Madumere remains a son too close to his course than his biological siblings and close relations. In service and loyalty Madumere has justified the trust and confidence his boss has ever reposed in him. For many years Madumere has stood behind his current boss in service and loyalty. And Okorocha being a man known for having a strong sense of reward for productivity and sacrifices for anyone irrespective of tribe or ethnicity, has taken Madumere beyond expectations in the latter's political career.

Personally, both in public and in private, Madumere has always remained grateful to his mentor and long time ally. This sense of gratitude, as a matter of fact has been the common psyche of Madumere in the daily discharge of his duties both as the former Chief- of –Staff to the governor and current deputy governor of the state. The bond between the deputy governor and his boss has been an incredible exception in comparison to what obtains between governors and their deputies in Nigerian politics.

For the governor, as far as things are in Madumere hands, they are in safe, capable, and trustworthy hands of a consummate insider and selfless deputy who considers himself nothing but a humble servant whose job is to help his boss deliver on his promises to the people. For Madumere, his greatest political ambition is to serve his boss and help him realize his ambition.

In the build up to his appointment as the Chief of Staff to the governor, forces bent on destroying Madumere have drawn up all kinds of ploy to accomplish their pulpit perfidy of discrediting him both before his boss and before the people. People who felt they needed the position went after Madumere's head. Though the plot failed, but the shocking reality about this theatre of the absurd is the fact that those who are fingered to have allegedly masterminded these plots are strange bedfellows in our polity.

In what appears like an orchestra of orgies, blackmails after blackmails have served as Madumere's meals. And at the threshold of his appointment as deputy governor, as the Jude Agbaso chapter came to a dramatic close amidst a denting financial scandal, prominent hatchet writers and career blackmailers ever known within the polity were let loose against the deputy governor.

As far as you can do the job of the devil's advocate against the deputy governor, there are willing money bags among the anti Madumere forces to fund it to any level. Despite all these maneuverings, the deputy governor, His Excellency, Prince Eze Madumere has kept his head low while doing his job and demonstrating his unwavering loyalty to his boss.

In politics it is a common perception that target shifts, strategies change, and alliances flip and flop in interesting patterns. Hence, the anti-Madumere/anti- Okorocha forces are trying to cash in on this common perception to build conspiracy theories aimed at destroying the father-son relationship existing between the governor and his deputy. So as the plot to discredit Madumere failed woefully to succeed because it was filled with the untruth, a new strategy is showing up on the horizon. This time the target is no longer Madumere's image; the new target is Madumere's bond with the governor.

The strategy is to generate a negative sentiment between the deputy governor and his boss by portraying the deputy governor as an ambitious fellow who wants to undo the governor as a way of succeeding him by 2015. To balance their logic, they also portray the governor as a power drunk fellow building all manner of checks around the deputy governor.

All they need is to destroy the bond between the duos as the only way to get Madumere out of the game. The overriding perfidious goal of these filthy propagandists is to create disaffection between the governor and his deputy.

Of course, even without going for Madumere's head, the unity and strong atmosphere of cordiality and co-operation between governor Okorocha and his humble deputy, Prince Eze Madumere remains the greatest threat to disgruntled politicians desperate to destabilize the Okorocha political dynasty as we head into the 2015 general elections.

In a dramatic narrative of geopolitics and its justifications, these forces have started singing the zoning mantra in mushroom tabloids on daily basis, and portraying Madumere as a figure secretly rallying political circles of the Owerri Zone to claim the Owerri Zone mandate back from Okorocha.

In titles that most times come with no bylines, no editorial backings and no reporter's appendage, those behind these fictitious publications on local and mushrooms newspapers bare it all. You will even be shocked the more to discover that all the accounts given in most of these anti Eze Madumere publications are based on fiction, and nothing but fictions. But let me spare readers some specific details for another piece.

The fact is that an understudy of the power currents circulating against the deputy governor, Prince Eze Madumere (MFR), shows that strange bedfellows in Imo politics are entering into an uneasy wedlock to undo someone they all perceive his working relationship with the governor as their greatest threat.

A crop of players in cross party lines, political families and power dynasties, including the good, the ugly, the filthy and the incredibles, are strangely united by the fact that Madumere is the man to get down, off, and out by whatever means possible. However, what is very evidently obvious is the fact that whatever is the case, Prince Eze Madumere, the deputy governor of Imo state, remains Gov. Rochas Okorocha's best field man and most trusted ally.

As for the conspiracy theories of the fictitious propagandist, to the best anyone close to the corridors of power can say, Madumere has shown no sign of nursing the ambition to succeed his boss, both in words and in action, in public and in private.

As the political brinkmanship for 2015 begins, no kind of alliance for political expedience will separate the governor and his most trusted deputy. Thank heavens the governor is not daft to be deceived with such cheap ploys. However, as events develop, we keep our fingers on the pulse of the polity.

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