Those Who Are Seriously Contesting To Take Over From Ikpeazu Are Already Known – Odo Ijere

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As the clock of May 29th, 2023 ticks, it is time to put on our analytic caps, pick up our kaleidoscope, redoubt our thinking membrane and gaze dispassionately into what future awaits us Abians as a people. I’m writing this piece to help settle the dust kicked by my last article which got many asking why I stepped out to eulogyze the person of High Chief Ikechi Emenike.

I have been asked what happened to the MBEN agenda, Ohafia ejikerele mantra, Udumaeze political renaissance, Abia North charter, Abia equity charter and what have you. The truth is that these potpourri of slogans are the basis for concentric conspiracies that characterise politics as a roguish business. It is a market place where you’re advised to bring your best wares or best argument to the table. No one should be blamed where your argument is not strong enough to win the day.

This is where we begin to address the questions so often asked as to where and when the rain began to beat us to where the flame lighted by MPA flickered and died. MPA was started as an advocacy group and not a political organisation. The advocacy has done its work by setting the stage for actions to be taken by worthy MBEN scions to go for the highest offices in the land. That objective was done and dusted. The fact that the best performances of MBEN sons were not good enough does not detract from the efforts put in to galvanise and orchestrate the subject matter.

Let us in the context of this analysis kindly note that of the three MBEN hopefuls to the office of the Governor still remaining in the race, one is still in the court, one is still struggling to have his name published by INEC and one is a candidate of a struggling party so to say.

Assuming that MPA and MBEN can now say we have one candidate Kalu Uke Ijoma of the National Rescue Movement, NRM as the MBEN candidate, what are our chances within the parameters of 17LGAs of Abia State? What are the structures in place to warrant us to stake our political future in NRM? Has the candidate been touring all the clans and LGAs at least, to consult with the leaders? What is the financial war chest of the candidate being deployed for the battle? Has the candidate reached out to MPA leadership to consult? Have the candidate held consultative meetings with Ohafia Council of Nde Ezie to carry them along in this huge battle? What is the popularity rating of the candidate in Ohafia to assure and assuage on possible wrong perception? Has the candidate hosted meetings of leaders and elites in Ohafia or Abuja where he’s domiciled? Are there steps by stakeholders to raise funds for the project?

These and many more are steps to assuage wrong perceptions and feelings and pull the strings of clanship and possible followership. Ohafia ejikerele is not by word of mouth but by deeds. The brand of democracy practiced in Nigeria follows the precepts of ‘first past the post’ meaning that vox populi remains the cardinal pillars of ultimate victory. If you’re not known, you’ll remain a mystery not seen.

These analysis takes us to the next question? Will Ohafia now, take steps to repackage the candidacy of Chief Kalu Uke Ijoma?, as the last man standing in the race? Or should we wait for the court case of Elder Etigwe Uwa, SAN or the final list of publication of INEC to determine Ukpai Iro?

Yet the next question, do we have the luxury of time to continue to toy with the subject matter while others are already in the field of work? Remember the victorious party is relying on the “first past the post” principles of participatory democracy crested on vox populi. Many have done half the race already.

In conclusion, Ohafia Ofurishi must wake up and begin to gaze through the prism of classical alliances in the interest of its drowning politics. Ohafia need power in order to develop her potentials. Ohafia need power in other to attract much needed infrastructure as the third Urban and commercial enclave after Aba and Umuahia. We must engage a political deal that should ensure development of our area. This critical thinking should be devoid of mundane or primordial calculations of Ohafia ejikerele mantra or even so called Abia North “emi lokan” syndrome.
Odo Ijere, Okpotemba.

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