Imo 2015: Martin Agbaso and his regrets
Chief Martin Agbaso has of recent not said anything political-wise without sounding regretful for the now humiliated-assistance he said that he bestowed to Governor Rochas Okorocha, which tremendously saw to the success of the later on the platform of All Progressives Peoples Alliance (APGA), in the 2011 elections.
In that regard, Agbaso has said that he wants to succeed Governor Rochas Okorocha in 2015. It could be known that, to a certain extent, the name Agbaso rings a bell in Nigeria, but many only came to know about the Agbasos, when Sir Jude Agbaso, the former Deputy Governor of Imo State, was in political skirmishes, over an undefined contract awards, with the authorities of the Imo State Government.
It is believed that it was Chief Martin Agbaso who made the Agbasos to be enunciated and on whose political wizardry Jude his younger brother emerged as the deputy governor. The elder Agbaso had contested the gubernatorial elections in the state in 2007, but did not show up in 2011, hence the choice of his younger brother to be the running-mate to Okorocha.
Jude it was believed was later set up with the blast of a contract that nearly brought the name of the Agbaso family to wreckages; but for the elder Agbaso who put his head, it was later learned in a well publicized correspondences that Jude was cleared of all the allegations against him.
Much of the elder Agbaso's worry today is not about the circumstances that led to the reprehensibly ouster of his brother as deputy governor, but the belief that the present crop of leadership in the state is not doing enough to assuage the fester in road infrastructure, education, health, water and recreation, amongst others.
According to him, it was his profound belief to support Okorocha in the 2011 elections with regards that the distribution formula would elevate in reality the status of teachers, civil and public servants in the state, but he was deceived to be reading such elevations only in the media.
Those who have come in contact with Martin Agbaso know him as a man of high self-esteem and principle, so it was not out of place when the people of Imo State marshaled out en masse to support Okorocha perhaps, because Agbaso was there, which was a decision that Agbaso said was not an easy one for him to take.
His unenthusiastic ordeal in the 2007 elections and the loss to court proceedings to reclaim the mandate he believed that he was robbed of that saw to the emergence of Mr. Ikedi Ohakim as governor, Agbaso would say that he was not prepared mentally, physically, or financially to contest the 2011 election, therefore he allowed Okorocha to do so in APGA.
Regretting what he feels has become of Okorocha today against him, Agbaso says that he cannot believe that this is the same man who was pleading to him to allow him to run the Imo guber in 2011 under APGA and would be governor for just four years.
Agbaso says that his conviction to support Okorocha was that since Okorocha was training other people's children with his (Okorocha's) own funds when he was not governor, he could do a lot more if given the chance to be in a position of authority. However, no told Agbaso that not all that glitters are gold!
Agbaso would say that Okorocha is still miles away from keeping to the promise he gave to the people of Imo State during the electioneering campaigns, there is today hardly that promised-industralised Imo State and the windows of opportunity are farfetched. Agbaso also believes that it is very shameful for one to lie to his or her people of putting in place development whereas the outcome becomes ruse.
This is also the thought of many Imo people who have said they thought that they knew Okorocha very well and acted upon their 'little' conviction of his philanthropic gestures to give him their support; nevertheless it has dawned on them that an insignificant number of Imo people today know who the governor really is and this number is still hyping his name to where it gets.
The regrets of Agbaso which are in piles are that Okorocha gave them a glimmering light before 2011 that he would be succeeding the biblical Moses who led his people to the Promised Land, but the song on the lips of majority of Imo people like Agbaso is that Okorocha is not far from being a shame, a sham and a scam.
One thing that observers could notice that is working for Okorocha is his sugar mouth, which may not have been adequate with the much hyped-works Nigerians are being fed with that dot the crannies and corners of Imo State.
While Martins Agbaso has shown that he is licking his wounds in the hands of Okorocha, there is a school of thought which suggests that Okorocha should diminish his tales by moonlight in the cause of governance, which invariably has not helped the state to come to abreast the Utopian environment that many Nigerians have the mindset that Imo State has become under Okorocha.
Conversely, some of the observers of the politics of Imo State are of the viewpoint that Agbaso should stop deafening their ears with his regrets of what they believe was a 'business agreement' between Okorocha and him that later went the sour.
As the elections of 2015 are but months away, it is not certain if Agbaso will liberate the state if given the opportunity just as Okorocha was given this rare opportunity many are regretting today that they did not know Okorocha would later abandon them to their old fate of suffering in high profile dishonesty and politicking.
Whether Agbaso would be the light that Imo people are really in need of owing to their statements in different quarters, Plato once warned mankind that we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
Whichever way, Imo people should accept the apology of Agbaso that he did not know that Okorocha would betray him by not living upto his promises. They should despise the rituals of fake friendship, like Agbaso has said that he has suffered in the hands of Okorocha. After all, Henry Kissinger warns that corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.
Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.
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