By Kenneth Uwadi

The Supreme Court will on July 16, 2010 deliver judgment in the protracted legal tussle between Governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State and the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the gubernatorial election in the state, Chief Martin Agbaso. The Independent National Electoral Commission had cancelled the governorship election conducted in the state on 14 April, 2007.The electoral body conducted another election in the state on 28 April, 2007 in which the incumbent governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, emerged victorious.

After losing in the 2007 governorship election in Imo state,Martin Agbaso took his protest to the Imo State Election Petition Tribunal which dismissed the suit on July 26, 2007. Again, he took it to the appeal court, Port Harcourt in suit number CA/PH/EPT/338/2007. In a unanimous decision, the appellate court ruled that the case lacks merit. In striking out the petition, Olukayode Ariwoola, JCA, dismissed all seven claims by Agbaso. He said in his ruling: “I am in agreement, however, with the learned counsel to the 1st respondent (Ohakim) and this is clear from the records that the tribunal based its decision on the ground of incompetence of the petition''

The lead judge said that the appellate court formulated three issues for determination and ruled against Agbaso in all of them. “In the circumstance, having resolved all the three issues against the appellant, it is clear that the appeal lacks merit and is hereby dismissed,” he ruled.

Since year 2007 Ikedi Ohakim has been faced with about 18 court cases challenging his election as Governor of Imo State and one by one, Ohakim has emerged victorious in all the cases.It is quite clear to Imo people that Martin Agbaso's aim is to use court cases to continue to distract the governor so that the governor cannot give good governance to the people. Yes,his decision to institute multiple legal suits against Ohakim speaks a lot .The aim is to make governance impossible in Imo State.

The calculation is that even if Ohakim survives the legal onslaught, he would have nothing to show as his achievement after his first tenure. Ultimately, this would prevent him from getting a second term. So far Agbaso has failed.The Martin Agbaso quest to become governor of Imo State by all means makes me to remember a story by Dare Babarinsa .

Babarinsa told a story of what happened many years ago after the passage of Lufadeju as the Owa Obokun of Ijesha land,how a particular rich and influential man felt it was his birth right to be king of Ijesha land. In his foolishness, he had staked his claim to the throne even when the old monarch was alive. He even went as far as offering monetary gifts to the seven king makers of the town asking them to make him king. He rented crowd of people to hail him every where as Obalola,Obalola,Obalola (future king) and he would acknowledge the cheers of his rented crowd with generous gifts of shillings and pounds.

When the D-day finally arrived for the declaration of King of Ijesha land, the seven king makers told the rich foolish man bluntly that he was not the rightful heir to the throne and that the throne was not for sale and went on to crown another prince who was to rein as Oba Agunlejike .The rich man after he lost the contest was shocked to come to terms with the fact that he was no longer going to be hailed as Obalola but as Sooroye(the man who lost)

I am not a Judge,but from a layman's perspective, Ohakim will be victorious again in the court case with Agbaso.Why do I say so ? Ohakim won Agbaso in the Election Tribunal in Owerri,won him in the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt and has so far won about 18 court cases challenging his election as Governor.He will also win the Supreme Court case. This is clear. Ndi-Imo already know Martin Agbaso as Sooroye. Ndi-Imo will only begin to look for an Obalola after year 2015. Ohakim is making Ndi-Imo proud. He is a breath of fresh air. He is so different that we are happy that we have him as Governor of Imo State. He is genuinely and determinedly interested in changing the lives of Imo people for good.

Those fighting Ohakim cannot deny the undisputable fact of Ohakim's enviable records, which when compared to the last administration; the difference will be so much overwhelming. At the beginning, they claimed that Ohakim will not smell Government House because he was of the PPA. To their bewilderment, Ohakim proudly won. Later, they blindly argued that Ohakim will not win in the electoral court dispute because it was a taboo in their strange belief for Ohakim to be governor of Imo State.

In order to actualize this belief at all costs, Ohakims's opponents have employed all sorts of funny and dubious tactics such as blackmail, malicious publications and political mischievousness so as to achieve their treacherous desire to no avail.In spite of this various voodoo attempts by the foes of Ndi-Imo and other pockets of mechanism of conspiracies outside the state, Ohakim is able to rise, shine, come out unscathed and emerge stronger than ever before for God is on his side.

Today, Ohakim is almost completing his first four years in office. Those that are aware of the political terrain of Imo State know pretty well that it takes hard work, sincerity of purpose, prayers and solid achievements for Ohakim to achieve these unsurpassed noble feats in Imo State. For those that want to know and see the truth the road to Imo State is wide open for them to see for themselves the changing face of the state under the miracle of a man that is so desirous in making life good for his people.

The Ohakim administration has initiated numerous job creation and youth empowerment schemes resulting in gainful employment for no less than 60,000 Imo State indigenes. Some of these initiatives include the Imo Job Centre, Imo Rural Roads Maintenance Agency, Imo Enviromental Transformation Company and the ongoing Jobs For Youths Scheme by which 10,000 unemployed Imo graduates are being absorbed into the state public service including plans to take 27 lucky youths to the FIFA world cup in South Africa in the Ohakim For Youths world cup special.

In 3 years,109 water schemes have been completed in all parts of Imo State with over 300 slated for completion in the next few months.33 modern classroom blocks built, return of schools to missions to promote discipline, high morals and greater commitment to excellence, on going rehabilitation of 1500 primary and secondary schools in 304 wards of the state, offer of 2600 scholarships to students.

The Ohakim administration has invested heavily in the rehabilitation and construction of roads both in urban and rural areas of the state.At the last count,389 kilometres of tarred roads have been completed while 118 kilometres more on the way.IRROMA has also paved hundreds of kilometers of rural roads.Imo state has also partnered with a foreign consortium, Agro Nova to increase agricultural production and build capacity.

The state government has made available tractors to the 27 Local Government Areas of the State to enhance mechanized farming.The government has also established modern irrigated farms, fisheries and plantations in several parts of the State in addition to adequate supply of fertilizers to farmers at subsidized rates and development of 5 hectres of cassava farms in each LGA in partnership with the Polytechnic Umuagwo.

Ohakim's administration recognizes that a strong and independent judiciary is hope for all who seek justice and has built a court of Appeal in Owerri and renovated the court houses in the State. What about the Clean and Green Initiative which has made Owerri the cleanest city in Nigeria? .Operation Festival which is the Ohakim's administration's special task force on security is recording remarkable success in securing lives and properties in the state.It is on record that Imo State has consistently recorded the lowest crime rate in Nigeria

Which one should I mention and which should I not mention? It is therefore, not surprising that the likes of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Late Umaru Yar Adua, Professor Maxwell Obanikoro, the NUJ, the NBA and host of others have transparently spoken well and genuinely appreciated the good works of Governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State. The tremendous influx of businessmen and tourists into Owerri on daily basis speaks in volumes of Ohakim's government's laudable achievement in the area of peace building and favourable environment for investment.

In spite of all these, nobody is saying that Ohakim has recorded hundred per cent in every ramification, as no one but God is infallible. Still, the fact remains that considering the socio-economic and political transformation recorded from 2007 to-date by the God-fearing Governor Ikedi Ohakim, he really deserves the support and commendation that he has been receiving from the good people of Imo State and other Nigerians across the world.Ka Chineke Mezie Okwu.

-Kenneth Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema,Imo State,Nigeria

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