ONWULIRI'S MINISTERIAL POSITION - ON WHOSE SLOT?
When the wife of a former FUTO Vice Chancellor and a running mate to former Governor Ikedi Ohakim in the last general election, Prof. Mrs. Viola Onwuliri was nominated, screened and consequently appointed as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it was without much protest from the opposition groups namely: The APGA, the Ada Okwuonu faction, who believed they were shortchanged, and the rest of the group made up of other interested individuals. It was simply usual and expected as long as partisan politics is concerned.
But up till the moment, the intrigues and the maneuverings that saw the emergence of Mrs. Onwuliri as a minister still remain a puzzle to most political gladiators in Imo State. To the Ada Okwuonu group, Prof Mrs. Onwuliri still remains a source of concern and nightmare. Their fear could be deduced from two reasons viz: One, Mrs. Onwuliri was used to oust Ada Okwuonu from her juicy office and dream of returning as a Deputy Governor had Ohakim succeeded.
The second is when fate and luck again seemed to have found Okwuonu following the defeat of Ikedi Ohakim and his running mate at the last election as Ada Okwuonu was nominated to represent Imo Slot as a minister. No sooner had Ada Okwuonu settled to go for ministerial screening, than Mrs. Onwuliri appeared in the scene again. As if Prof Mrs. Onwuliri was positioned and destined to ensure that Okwuonu did not become. Ada Okwuonu was again changed. No thanks to age and less competence of Mrs. Okwuonu
Anyway, our interest here is not Ada Okwuonu or any other group, but the essence and significance of Mrs. Viola Onwuliri's ministerial appointment to the people and politics of Imo State . Please somebody should help me ask our Honourable Minister if she is representing herself or Ohakim's slot as a minister. Or is she there on Imo State slot? If she is on her own or her former boss slot, then Imo State should ask President Jonathan of our slot. After all some states have two slots, one for the state and the other for the President. But if she is there on Imo slot, then our Honourable minister should wake up from sleep. She has to realize that she is supposed to work in synergy with the State Governor to develop Imo State irrespective of party affiliations.
Imo State at this point cannot afford to be playing politics of parochialism and sentimentalism as against developmental politics. I make bold to say it and without mincing words that her ministering impact is yet to be felt in Imo State . The only presence of the minister I think we have felt here is one comrade Edede Franklyn whom I learnt happens to be the Minister's media Aide here in Owerri. I reserve some of my comments till my next article at least for the respect I have for Edede Franklyn whom I have known for a long time.
However, Imo people are passionately watching and waiting for synergy and partnership between the Honourable Minister of State, for Foreign Affairs and His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, to better the lot of Imo State . The good people of the State will be happy to know if Prof (Mrs.) Onwuliri is serving the interest of Imo or her own interest and that of Mbaise Community as she appears to be.
Duru writes from Owerri