-As plot to hijack Ezuruezu Mbaise fails
-Okey Ezeh, Amuchie, Nwulu call for caution
The plan by the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Imo State, Chief Emeka Ihedioha to drag the Mbaise Nation, through its apex socio-cultural platform, Ezuruezu Mbaise, into his political ambition has hit the rocks as the group on Friday, December 28, 2018 vehemently opposed and unanimously defeated the motion for his adoption as the preferred candidate of Mbaise for the 2019 Imo governorship election.
The motion for the adoption of Chief Ihedioha was moved by a PDP chieftain, Chief Nobert Obasi, which threw the gathering into unmitigated crisis. The atmosphere became more tensed when some ostensibly rented political loyalists of Chief Ihedioha invaded the Ezuruezu Mbaise Hall and tried to harangue the audience into adopting their principal. Their motion was roundly rejected, even as reputable opinion leaders warned desperate politicians to desist from plotting to hijack a non-partisan platform like Ezuruezu, which should be a free space for cordial brotherly interaction on behalf of the progress of the entire Mbaise Nation. To arrest the situation, the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Mike Ahamba, hastily called for closing prayers, and everyone suddenly dispersed.
A source within the leadership of Ezuruezu who spoke to us on condition of anonymity fumed that it would be unreasonable of the Mbaise Nation to make one mistake twice.
“In the past, this same idea was sold to our people, that this particular candidate was adopted by Nde Mbaise. Nobody queried anyone. We all swallowed it hook, line and sinker. But now our people have become more discerning. They now ask some vital questions.
“Our people now want to know why Ihedioha should be adopted even when some other illustrious sons of Mbaise are also candidates in the same election. Does it mean Ihedioha is more Mbaise than the rest of them? In what areas can we say he is more qualified than the others. If anything, he is the least qualified. Why would someone who openly told us that when he was Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives he collected N4 billion just to construct the roundabout at Ahiara Junction come back to us for endorsement? What we have realized is that our people have not occupied the place of pride we deserve in the scheme of things in Imo State because we have almost always allowed a few kingpins to lord their parochial interests over us and present same as our collective aspirations. We must put a stop to that,” the source vowed.
Meanwhile, the three frontline governorship contenders from Mbaise, Sir Stanley Amuchie, Sir Okey Ezeh and Hon. Tony Nwulu, have condemned the desperate attempt by Ihedioha and his goons in strong terms. In a press statement jointly signed by them and made available to newsmen on Saturday, they regretted the attempts by a handful of chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of Mbaise extraction to hoodwink the entire Mbaise nation into an ill-conceived and spurious adoption of Chief Emeka Ihedioha as the preferred candidate of the Mbaise people in the forthcoming governorship election in Imo State.
According to them, “This ill-fated endorsement agenda emanated from and is premised on the charade of December 11, 2018 where Chief Ihedioha convened a meeting of his coordinators and supporters and named them “Owerri Reawakening”, a gathering that eventually issued a communique purporting that “Owerri Zone” had endorsed Chief Ihedioha. This is a travesty. It was admittedly shocking when this same endorsement miasma was on December 28, 2018 introduced for consideration by PDP chieftains in Ezuruezu Mbaise.”
They further highlighted that no leader of note in Owerri Zone had an inkling of the badly orchestrated plot. For them, “the various groups that traditionally articulate the political interests of Owerri Zone never at any time participated in the scheme, neither were they at any rate informed about any consensus-building and the modalities for its realization. It was entirely a desperate political machination devised to force an unsavory bile down the throats of Owerri people. For Chief Ihedioha and his goons to rely on such palpably absurd outing to now extrapolate that Ezuruezu Mbaise should get him endorsed for the 2019 Imo governorship is the height of self-deception,” they insisted.
They also clarified that there has never been a time the Ezuruezu Mbaise or the other reputable groups within Owerri Zone gathered for the purpose of drawing up a template for choosing the preferred candidate to endorse, adding that there is no template anywhere on the basis of which anyone can lay claims of being endorsed by Owerri Zone or Ezuruezu Mbaise.
“We believe that credibility, competence, knowledgeability and acceptability should form the criteria for anointing, adopting or endorsing any candidate. The governorship of Imo State requires wide consultations across various Zones of the State, various strata of the citizenry, various social categories in the State and various political interests in the State, and, therefore, as Owerri Zone there must be a conscious effort to communicate with ourselves and negotiate with the other Zones in the State on the basis of that criteria in order not to eclipse the chances of the Zone. Those who stage-manage leprous endorsements are unhelpful to both themselves and the Zone at large.”