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IKEDI OHAKIM 2011: IMO STATE POLITICAL GLADIATORS, SHEATH YOUR SWORD, LET BYGONE BE BYGONE, IN THE INTEREST OF OUR BELOVED STATE.

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As an elder statesman in Nigeria, I make bold to say that my experience in politics both at the Centre and Imo State in particular puts me in a gilt-edged position to know the inner ring of Nigeria’s political system. It will not be out of place therefore, to insist that I am in good position to tell the sons and daughters of our beloved Imo State of how their best interest will be served as far as politics is concerned in the State.

There is no doubt that our State is basically a PDP one. Besides this status, it is the most politically advanced in the whole of South-East. Politically, we can shout at each other to express anger but at the appropriate time, we always come together to protect the interest of our State first. That is to say, our politics is not a do or die affair. You may call it politics of safeguarding the establishment. Maybe our good understanding of politics is a function of our educational sophistication in Nigeria generally.

Our political history in Imo State is such that we do not upset the existing political arrangement, and the unwritten agreement. Suffice to say that as a living witness of this fact of political fidelity; in 1983, I was set to do political battle with the late Sam Mbakwe, the then Governor of Imo State. Of course, it was my political right to contest the Governorship primary election against Sam Mbakwe the incumbent. After oiling my political machinery to actualize my dream of becoming the governor of Imo State and primed it for Douglas House, our political leader, RT Honourable Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, appeared in my house in Oguta and persuaded me to drop my ambition of contesting against Mbakwe. I heeded his order and backed down for Mbakwe to complete his second term in office.

That singular act of sacrifice on my part worked in ensuring political harmony in Imo State for a very long time to come. It will not be out of place to say that my sacrifice then saved Imo State from political buccaneers who had wanted to control the state from outside. Ours in Imo State has always been eight [8] uninterrupted years for our elected governors, except for eras of military interregnum. Imo State has an excellent record in its governorship succession order since 1999, and that is a credit nobody can take away from us. This would not have been possible without the sacrifice[s] made by her distinguished sons and daughters in foregoing their ambitions at the appropriate time. To me, the crisis that temporarily engulfed our State in the run-up to the governorship election of 2007, could not upstage the succession order on ground because of our political sophistication. The implication of this political superiority on our part has always been political harmony and stability in Imo State.

Being an elder, I think I can tell anybody that cares to listen that I know the political arrangement of Imo state too well; just as I can vouch for the integrity of the political heavyweights that have come out to vie for the number one seat in the State. They are all illustrious sons of Imo State who can equally give good direction to Imo State, as governor Ikedi Ohakim is currently doing, if equally given the opportunity to serve. I can tell you that Rochas Okorocha, a strong presidential contender in 2007, I know very well.

Achike Udenwa, former governor and a tough presidential challenger in 2007, I also know. Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, my colleague at the National Assembly, I know too well also. Dr. Alex Obi, former State Chairman of PDP, is a good political fighter too. My appeal to you all is that we should let bygone be bygone; enough is enough. We know that all of you can fight to the bitter end politically and should this happen; our beloved State will be the worst for it. When two elephants fight, the grass they say, suffers but I do not think Imo State wants this scenario at this point of our development. Abundant evidence shows that these four combatants, Dr. Alex Obi, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, former Governor Achike Udenwa and Rochas Okorocha are friends of Governor Ikedi Ohakim. In terms of provision of democracy dividend to the good people of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim has done very well. It is on this basis that I am first of all, calling on these distinguished sons of Imo State to sheath their sword and allow Ohakim to complete his second term in office, and also to complete those developmental projects he had started.

The second plank is on the need to maintain the political stability that we are enjoying right now by adhering to our unwritten pact of onye aghana nwanneya and egbe bere, ugo bere policy being religiously followed in our State. It is surely not in our best interest to jettison this agenda at this stage of our development. We must know that it will be politically unhealthy if not suicidal for our State’s progress, for one zone to feel cheated arising from act of omission or commission, particularly as our commitment to egbe bere, ugo bere agenda has been sincere from inception. Equally, it will amount to insincerity on my part as an elder-statesman not to tell and persuade these eminent sons to see reason with my time tested view on politics as it affects Imo State.

Note:
[1] Only the blind cannot see what OHAKIM has done, and will continue to do. Only the deaf cannot hear what OHAKIM is doing presently and only the dumb cannot pray to God for OHAKIM to win a second term mandate.

OHAKIM is simply phenomenal, irresistible and insurmountable. I enjoin my political peer to join or re-join the bandwagon now!

Finally, I know the political strength of all my colleagues, Rochas Okorocha, Achike Udenwa, Ifeanyi Ararume and Chief Alex Obi, very well. I know their consolidated political capacity as well as their individual capabilities. I am therefore, in a good position to say that they cannot beat OHAKIM! It is a trite fact that, it will amount to abomination of the first order for an elder to watch a goat die on the string during child bearing. On the strength of this, I once again appeal to my brothers to sheath their sword, and join hands with Governor Ikedi Ohakim to complete his second term in office in accordance with our tradition of being our brothers keepers in Imo State.

(Chief) Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe, Ogbuagu Damanze, Ochiji Na Oguta.

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