TOWARDS IMO 2015
Let the truth be told. It is quite indescribable that Mbaise, despite our intimidating numerical strength, vast landmass and natural resources we have yet to produce an Imo State governor. As 2015 beckons, the question on the lips of almost all Mbaise people is: when will one of our own, man or woman, rule Imo state? We have eminently qualified persons who can drive Imo State to the next level.
We should emulate the paths of Annang clan in Akwa Ibom that extricated itself from the clutches of political failure to ascend to the mantle of governance. Although we share pathological history with the Ngwa clan of Abia State, our political growth must not be anchored on its inability to taste power in Abia State as none of its own has ever ruled the state. As it is with Ngwa, so it has been with other entities like the Egbara in Kogi, Idoma in Benue, Yewa in Ogun and even Anambra North. For now, we numbered among these clans but the glass ceiling or jinx which has blocked us out of the Douglass House in Owerri must be smashed in 2015.
Many informed commentators will be asking how is this possible since we have a serving governor who still has a tenure to go if he so desires. The answer is quite simple. First, Owelle Rochas Okorocha made a promise during the 2011 governorship campaigns that he would do only one term. We still believe that he would keep to his promise in 2015. In the event that he reneges and seeks for a second term, constitutionally, it is his right and nobody can question him for it but it will be recorded against him that he never kept to his words. But then, who would have believed that Okorocha would have defeated then incumbent governor Ikedi Ohakim in the last elections. That political masterstroke that denied Ohakim a second term can still be employed against Okorocha in2015 and this is not preaching hate or gang up against anybody but a mere political re-alignment.
At this juncture, let us bring in Emeka Ihedioha, the Deputy speaker of the House of Represetatives, and an Mbaise son. A survey I carried out revealed that all House of Representatives' Deputy Speakers since 1998 have always met their political waterloo each time they vacate office as none of them has even returned for a second term. Look at this: Chidubem Nwuche( 1999-2003), Austin Opara( 2003-2007), Babangida/Usman Nafida (2007-2011). One feature holds all of them together- after their tenures as Deputy Speakers, they never found their political bearing any more. One or two of them that attempted to be governor in their respective states met brick walls. In this way, their political fortunes nosedived and they went into oblivion.
Will this ugly fate befall our own Ihedioha? The truth is that this misfortune can be turned into miraculous fortune. How? As it is now, Ihedioha has so many options. To start with, he can move up and vie for the Owerri Senatorial senate under PDP. All of us know why PDP and Kema Chikwe lost to APGA's Chris Anyanwu and the story does bear repetition here . Two, he can eye the VP slot if it becomes clear that President Jonathan is not re-contesting. Three, I have said it that the zoning arrangement which had kept Imo a politically peaceful state was completely shattered in the April governorship elections, thus Ihedioha can take a shot at the Imo governorship election. This will be like pulling a chess nut out of the fire, very difficult but not impossible.
We are aware that politicians like Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho are already mobilising for 2015, praying that Rochas does not return to PDP but indications are rife that the Imo governor may eventually ride back to the party he left out of frustration. And lastly, Ihedioha can still fight to retain his seat at the House Representatives after all, the Senate President, Senator David Mark, has been in the National Assembly since 1999.Ihedioha has proved a worthy ambassador of Ngor Okpala/ Aboh Mbaise Federal Constituency as he has represented his people, Imo State and Ndigbo to the best of his ability. Reason, he has been growing from strength to strength since 2003.
No matter how it goes, Mbaise will want to see a better clan that pushes for the growth of Imo State, the development of Igbo nation, all in a country we shall proudly call our dear fatherland.
Martins is a staff of The Sun