OWERRI ZONE: DON'T ROCK THE VOTE!
With a restive electorate, voters are prone to make mistakes. In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker was swept into office in November 2010 due to uncertainties the voters were feeling at that time. But less than 4 months into the office, majority of the people who voted for him in November say they would not vote for him today. It has been reported that Wisconsin voters are now expressing buyer’s remorse over Gov. Walker. But it is too late. In politics, elections have consequences; it is essentially important to be an informed voter who makes a voting decision based on facts and not emotions or innuendos.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, a Spanish writer and author of Masterwork "El quijote" once said, “Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory.” So, Owerri Zone is forewarned. The zone should be very careful in this election not to make a costly mistake. If Owerri Zone makes a mistake to elect someone else as the governor of Imo State, the zone may not recover from the colossal error; it may not be able to produce a governor again for a long time. No matter what is promised to the zone, the leaders of the Owerri Zone should not mortgage their conscience or the future of their children because managing what is known is much easier than to control the unknown. Undoubtedly, if Owerri Zone votes massively for Ohakim, it will elevate its chances of producing a governor of Imo State in 2015. It is essentially important to realize that the arrangement for Owerri Zone to produce the governor of Imo State is under PDP. If the zone does not vote PDP into power in Imo State, it has forfeited its turn to produce a governor in 2011. The zone should not rock the vote.
Captivatingly, the dynamics of Imo gubernatorial election, saddled with ubiquitous intrigues converge to one solution, Ohakim. If you objectively evaluate Ohakim’s accomplishments, you will find out that all the misinformation was aimed at beclouding the man’s impeccable achievements. Imo State should be leery about these “born again” politicians whose cunning trappings never left them. Sadly, the opponents of Ohakim have served, with a mindset of solitary aggrandizement, in positions such as senator, minister, special assistant to the president, and member of the House of Assembly. They refused to use their public office to uplift Imo State, particularly their respective constituencies. If they did not serve their people then, can you trust them now to serve the common people? It is not now! Emotional snarl about state of things has, in fact, obscured the vision of some people thereby inhibiting them from seeing enormous achievements in Imo State. In any case, there are many other important factors ridding on 2011 Imo State governorship election that need to be enunciated.
Without a shadow of doubt, for Imo State to be viable and supersede the fledgling status, it must continue to be connected to the national grid of politics. Any attempt to unplug the State from the national socioeconomic grid would spell disaster for the indigenes of the State. President Goodluck Jonathan is likely to win the presidency. With the reelection of Ohakim, Imo State will continue to have a good relationship with the federal government. Governor Ohakim will continue to attract huge federal government presence to the State that would trickle down to indigenes of Imo State. Imo State voters should not make a mistake of voting for another candidate if they want the State to stay connected to national network of politics in Nigeria. With Jonathan, a member of PDP, as the president of Nigeria, it would be a colossal error for Imo State voters to vote for a minority party. This is not the time to experiment with a minority party in Imo State considering the cordial relationship the State has built with the federal government. Voting for a minority party in Imo State will be a huge economic and political loss. Imo State cannot reward individuals who want to grab power at all cost by dumping their own political parties for their selfish gains.
Also, let us not forget that we have been talking about the elusive presidency of Nigeria of Igbo ethnic extraction for so long now. Just think about it, the Igbo cannot make an Igbo presidency argument in 2015 with a minority party victory in Imo and Abia States, particularly in Imo State. We should see beyond 2011; our decision in 2011 will definitely grease the 2015 contraption. Igbo presidency will not be attainable with a minority party. The only path for Igbo presidency is through PDP and without PDP-controlled state house in Imo State the dream will again be deferred. PDP may not grant wavers to those who have left the party recently for their own selfish interests.
Ironically, no one has reported that Imo State teachers are not being owed salaries. Well, while teachers have received their up to date salary, Gov. Ohakim also promised to pay the N18,000 minimum wage, recently passed by the National Assembly to workers in Imo State. With Ohakim, Imo State can only get better. He is positioned to do more than any other candidate. No well-meaning Imo State indigene wants to go back to the era of godfatherism, reckless leadership, and political disquiet. Regardless of mists of Imo gubernatorial elections, wilting Ohakim’s progressive policies aimed at lifting Imo indigenes up from poverty will be a sad thing for Imo State. Owerri, don’t rock the vote!
Acho Orabuchi, Ph.D. is an Opinion Writer/Commentator and Educator in Dallas, Texas USA.