IMO GOVERNORSHIP ASPIRANTS: BETWEEN SUREGEDE AND SKELEWU DANCE STEPS
Skelewu is a popular song by popular Nigerian upcoming singer, Davido.
In the video of the song, the artiste and his co dancers were seen placing their left hand on their waist and twisting it in an alluring manner to the delight of the watching audience. The Skelewu dance moves can be described as the latest brand of dancing in vogue
In the skelewu video, the dancers were all dressed in black pants and white shirts with a small jacket (monkey coat) on top. They were in a dancing hall, may be in a Club House, where their mesmerizing dancing skills attracted applause from their admirers.
While the artiste Davido and his dancers did what they knew best and attracted accolades for their dance moves, we have not seen skelewu oriented governorship aspirants in Imo State. In otherwords, we are yet to see aspirants with new style, new approach and new innovations. We must admit that we are yet to see any aspirant that has raised the bar.
What we have seen are aspirants who prefer the old surugede music that is characterized by old and out of tune dance- steps. The same old story, merry goes around mentality of some aspirants who preach the same message and say the same old dour story to the people.
The crux of the matter in this piece is to highlight the need for ideas driven; issues based campaigns when the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, gives the go ahead for aspirants to showcase what they have to offer the electorate.
There is need for new innovations to reflect the increasing demand for new ways of governance. What Imo people need is something new, a skelewu brand of politicking that will be attractive to them, a brand of campaign that will add fillip to the yearning for genuine and responsive leaders to govern the State.
Painfully, what we have seen lately is campaign of yabbing, name dropping and abuses. The same blackmail me; I blackmail you kind of politics, politics of the old order, politics of hate and discrimination, politics of mudslinging.
The personality of Owelle Rochas Okorocha has become the campaign issue, his policies and programmes randomly attacked without the attackers proffering better alternatives. And by this act, his contenders have directly or indirectly elevated him to shape and dictate the tone of political discourse in the State. He has been promoted so much to look like a super politician.
His political foes are making him the Davido of our time. At every fora, other governorship aspirants make him the crux of the matter. There is no day that passes by without Okorocha been cast with mud by his fellow contestants.
This piece is not holding brief for the Imo Governor; rather it is important to say that Okorocha is being made popular by his political foes. This is why he is always in the news either for the good or wrong reasons, thus his image continues to illuminate. A visit to the hinterlands in the State reveals that majority of Imo people easily recall that Okorocha is the Governor of the State who wants to return for a second term. When you mention the name of other aspirants, they go dumb, stare and wonder if they have heard such names.
It is important to note here that those who are looking for Okorocha's job, in the guise of campaigning against him or narrating the tales of woe of his administration are indirectly making him a political hero. They only criticize and fail to offer alternatives. And when the people are not offered alternatives, what options do they have.
They are energizing him to return as Governor for a second time. They forget that you can only make someone an issue when you discuss so much about him all the time. This is dangerous and might be harmful to their aspiration.
This may work against those aspirants who have something to offer the State more than Rochas. The PDP in the State has shown that it has the nerve to wrestle power from Rochas and the APC. But its governorship aspirants are not doing enough to instil the message of change in the minds of the people of the State. There is little or no message from other aspirants to those in the hinterland why Rochas should go and one of them smiles to power in 2015.
In the United States and other developed countries, what takes one to power is his or her message, programmes, policies and initiatives. What an aspirant or candidate has to offer the electorate makes the difference during the elections.
The same culture applies here in Imo State. Sadly, it is being misused or rather neglected. One of the reasons why Okorocha's political boat sailed to Douglas House, Owerri, was his free education programme he promised the people. The issue here is not if the free education is a ruse or not. He successfully used it as a tool to convince or deceive the people why they should Kick Ikedi Ohakim and his gang out of Government House, Owerri in 2011.
Ideas on how to make Imo better should be the sing song of our governorship aspirants. It is astonishing that one is yet to see a manifesto of any governorship aspirant in Imo State. Rather what we have seen is campaign of castigation and abuse against one another.
Imo State is an IT compliant State. The depth of political sophistication of the electorate is awesome and it is only aspirants with the right message that will convince such a well informed electorate why Rochas should be kicked out of Government House, Owerri in 2015.
The people only need the right message and conviction why Rochas should not return in 2015 as their governor. They want to be convinced that what they are seeing is made in Taiwan projects. They want to be convinced why there must be leadership change in the State in 2015 .Anything short of it is an exercise in futility.
Governorship aspirants in Imo State should devote more time to market their capacity to govern the State. We must see in them their ability to make Imo State better. There are many of them out there with such ability, but have allowed Rochas' political abracadabra to overshadow such unique abilities.
Written By Innocent Onyeukwu