By NBF News

Let  us  make  a  case  for  Imo  state governor of  Mbaise  extraction.   It  is  commendable even  as  it  is  realistic. We  are  not saying  that  other  clans  are  not  qualified  to  rule. Of  course,  most  of  them  have been ruling without  the Mbaise  man  being in charge. The  Mbaise  community  has always  supported any  governorship  aspirant or candidate  who  has  the  support  and  good following  of  the  larger  Imo  people  and  who  is  ready  to  deliver.

We  do  not  betray  agreements [ be  it  verbal  or  written] and we  do  not  foment  trouble. In 1979 , when Zik's NPP  was  the  rallying  point  for  Ndigbo, Mbaise  people trooped  to the  party  and  supported  it en masse . One  of  the  places  NPP, Zik and Sam  Mbakwe got massive  block votes  was  in  our  land.  

It must be pointed out that one  of  the rural places  the Great  Zik visited during the 1983 campaigns was  Mbaise land. During  the ill-feted Third  Republic, despite  the  fact  that  our  son Prof  Fabian Osuji  was  disqualified  in controversial circumstances,  and  we  put forward Alex  Obi,  but he still lost the governorship election, we  still supported   Evan Enwerem. Between  1999  till  now, we have always thrown our weight  behind  all  Imo governors  even  when some  of  them treat  us  with absolute disdain.  Therefore, it  is  now  time  for  others  to  support us  to have  a  short at the  Imo  State Government House, Owerri.    

Mbakwe   knew   our  worth, capacity  and  capability, even  our  over blown  and needlessly  inflated  flaws, hence  Mbaise  was  well  represented  in  his  administration, reason he  performed. Yes. The  first  civilian  governor of old Imo State, was  convinced  Mbaise  was  a  land  of   intellect  and  home  of excellence  thus,  he  allotted  the Law  Campus  of  the  Imo  State  University  to  us, precisely  at  Ogbor  Uvuru.   You  know, we  are constantly   a  victim of  high  scale negative politics, so, Military  Administrator  Ike  Nwachukwu  emerged  and  took  it  away. Since  then, nothing  of such, not  even  in the   dream  world,  has  anything of  such been brought  to Ala Mbaise. The  same Mbakwe gave  us  a  paint factory [Zennith], and  you  know  what this  means- development, employment, empowerment, etc,-but it was never allowed    to  function properly.

Mbaise does not lack human capacity, both  in  the  present  and  in  the  past.  Do you  still   remember  the  indefatigable late  KBC   Onwubiko? West Africa's first historian  to  publish  a   complete  and  comprehensive  work  on  the sub-region  from  the earliest time via the  1500 to  1800 AD? He  was  the  man that started  the move  for the then Mbaise Catholic Denary to be  made a  diocese. Sadly, he  died  before that lofty dream came  to realization.  In   case  you don't  know,  the current VC  of  FUTO, Prof C. Onwuliri, hails  from  our land. His   wife, Prof  Viola , is the running  mate to  Governor  Ohakim  in  the  April Elections.

 Who  says  the clan  that  reared Barrister BSC Nzenwa, the man  who  made  sports attractive and exciting  in  Imo  State  and  whose  daughter, Mary, [She   is  now a Supreme Court judge] the Rivers State Governor Emeritus, Peter Odili, took  to  the altar, cannot govern Imo State ?  

It  was  not for  nothing  that  the General of the People's Army, Odumegwu Ojukwu came  to  Mbaise  and  proclaimed the  Ahiara  Declaration  on June 1, 1969. The Ahiara Declaration was the document that contained the principles  and  ideals of  the  Biafran  Revolution   and  struggle  and  Ojukwu himself chose  no other place than the hallowed  Mbaise  environ  to deliver   this  all important and emotional  message. 

Today, we have the men and the women who can deliver Imo   State   from  the  throes -of ruination and extermination.  Probably the most upwardly mobile, consistent, enterprising  and  courageous  politician in  Imo State today, is  an Mbaise  ward. He is  Emeka Ihedioha. Take  a  look at  his  meteoric rise : In 1992, Ihedioha  was  the  Press  Officer  to  the Senate President, later in 1993, he  was  the CPS[Chief Press Secretary] to  the  Deputy Senate President.

A public relation expert,  he  was the CEO, First  Page Communications, thus, he emerged Director of Publicity of the then all powerful PDM, the political association  that metamorphosed  to PDP in 1998.  From there, Ihedioha   moved   to  become  Special  Assistant  on  Media and Publicity  to  the  Senate President. Following  his  distinguished services  on  his  previous  beats, Sir  Ihedioha  was  appointed  Special  Assistant on Political Matters  to  the  Vice President in  2001, a post  he  held until  2003    when  he  was  elected  into  the   House  of  Representatives  as  a  member  representing Aboh Mbaise \Ngor Opkala  Federal Constituency. Since  then  he  has  chaired  a  number  of  strategic  committees  including, Marine Transport, Cooperation and  Integration in Africa and then, Loan Management.

He  is  currently  the Chief Whip  in  the House, making  him the  fourth most  person in  the   lower  chamber  of  the  National Assembly. Ihedioha  is  an oofshoot of  Aboh  Mbaise. From  Ezinihitte, is  Prince Pat  Abii. Sound, principled, visionary  and  colourful, He has a  rich historical, political  and  aristocratic  background  as  he  is  the  son  of  the late  redoubtable Chief D.N. Abii, who  was  among  the first generation of Mbaise Politicians.

Ori Martins is a staff of Sun Newspapers.