NWODO'S DEMISE AND LESSONS FOR CHIME, ND'IGBO
Perhaps if a soothsayer had predicted that Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, immediate past National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), would become a victim of high political intrigues within his party seven months after he mounted the saddle, the former old Enugu State governor would have waved it aside.Sadly, such became his fate recently as he retreats once more into another round of political hibernation.
However, the events that played up before now though ugly could still be better interpreted. Discernible minds, therefore, aver that the issues that culminated into this were so trivial that they could have been locally nipped in the bud.Beyond the fall of Nwodo therefore, is yet another tragic vista in not just the socio-political existence of Nd'Igbo, but our national psyche.
While Enugu State governor, Sullivan Chime and his camp may be clinking glasses over the development, the grave consequences of such a victory are not lost.Considering Nwodo's position then as national chairman and the highest ascribed to Nd'Igbo by PDP in this dispensation, one is obliged to regard the issues at stake perceptively and dispassionately. It is imperative to dissect the pathological origin of the hostility by the duo so that our generation and posterity can learn from it. Indeed Nwodo and Chime missed it.
Reports said that as soon as Nwodo was affirmed the helmsman of the PDP, he approached Chime, asking for concessions over his ward in the Enugu North senatorial zone. One of such concessions, the reports claimed was for Nwodo to nominate his ward chairman to fill the vacuum created by the death of the previous ward chairman. This is a simple request so to say, especially if Nwodo did that in deference to Chime's authority as the leader of the party in Enugu State.
However, the request was turned down. Why Chime refused him such is best known to him. But there are strong indications that though Chime supported Nwodo when he was vying for the chairmanship slot, the duo still lacked some mutual understanding to ferment an enduring political affiliation.Being members of one political party, it would have been unfounded to suggest that Nwodo was in pursuit of a different agenda or motive if he had requested to nominate his ward chairman to fill some vacuum.
However, arguably, Chime has done well in the state, considering his predecessor's eight wasted years. Yet Nwodo defaulted by harnessing political weapons in his armoury to deny Chime a second term. One had expected that no matter the provocation, that Nwodo should have exhibited some traits of statesmanship considering his position as PDP national chairman then and the fact that he had governed the state before Chime.
He was also a member of Elders Council as constituted by Chime's administration. The embarrassment and loss the skirmishes caused Enugu State and Nd'Igbo is monumental. Now that Nwodo is gone, are Nd'Igbo better off without any influential position in the current government barely three months before the next elections? Or is it still some calculated attempt to emasculate the socio-economic and political relevance of Nd'Igbo as pronounced by previous dispensations where the slot of senate president zoned to Nd'Igbo for instance, was ignominiously rotated around the five states of the southeast just to discredit the zone?
The detrimental issues that led to the ouster of Nwodo are enmeshed in the desperate attitude and nomenclature of our leaders and politicians to win at all cost. Conceit and arrogance have provided the basis for such calamitous dispositions and antecedents. One recalls the offensive stench that pervaded Enugu State in the past with such obstructive covens and mundane slogans like 'Ebeano and No Shaking'. Yet at the end of it all, Nd'Igbo remain shortchanged, abandoned and left to wallow in political uncertainty!
Perhaps Enugu politics is still idolized, localized and so personalized such that clannishness, blackmail, victimization and parochialism appear to be the order. Indeed Enugu State political landscape should be liberated from the choking grips of charlatans and political undertakers so that decent initiatives, constructive engagements and civil innovations can be assimilated.
So beyond the fall of Nwodo is a grim reality that Enugu could be slipping into anarchy once more. If Nwodo could not get some concessions from his state governor what about lesser individuals who could be seeking such? Chime should therefore strive more to diffuse insinuations in the state that the Ebeano tendencies are still manifest. For instance, recently, the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu representing Aninri Council was given the Enugu West senatorial zone's nod for a third term at the Senate under unconventional circumstances.
Yet Oji River Council under the same constituency was denied the House of Representatives slot it also held for two terms like Ekweremadu, and given to Awgu Council under some questionable primaries organized in the hills of Awgu late in the night. However, the ominous sign is the general perception that the benefactor of that slot is Ekweremadu's aide from Awgu Council. Oji-River Progressive Action (OPA) and a host of other progressive elements in the state condemn this draconian development in its entirety.
One hopes that this is urgently redressed since anarchy beckons where truth, equity and justice are systematically silenced.The above development therefore, only captures perhaps the frustration of Nwodo when he was denied what he must have seen as a simple favour that should have been ordinarily accorded any party's national chairman. So while Chime prepares for the next general elections in April, let him not be deceived that all is well in the state!
Madueke is the Leader of Oji-River Progressive Action (OPA) 08033123296