There is a positive buzz in parts of the country over the outcome of the local elections of March 9. Wherever you are in Nigeria and around the Nigerian social media world, the excitement in Imo State grabs your attention. Folks in Imo State are the most satisfied with the outcome of 2019 gubernatorial elections.
Imo State prepared a meal for their eze onye agwalam. He lived up to the wise saying that one man alone cannot eat up the food prepared by the community. Salutations, once again, to Ndi Imo for showing that they understand the score and upholding the culture of the people. Ndi Igbo do not do monarchy, particularly not so within a democracy.
Next door in Abia State, Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu returned for a second term. His folks proved resilient, formed alliances with their neighbours and ensured they did not drop the baton on their watch. Returning Ikpeazu is the easy part. Ikpeazu now must battle with himself. It is now a matter of legacy. What would stand against his name in 2023? The perception today is that he promised much but delivered very little.
Senior civil servant Chudi Uwandu is from Mkpa. He is a decent man who travels Abuja to Mkpa in pursuit of community development. His remarks pre-election should inform Ikpeazu.
Uwandu responded to my reminder about the Abia Charter of Equity and the imperative of returning Ikpeazu for a second term. “I am aware of the charter and had subscribed to it. But Chido, what vexes my Nkpa people is that our Governor, OVI, couldn’t do one km out of our major Nkpa road he started in over one year now. The road will get worse than it was before he began it when the rains return this year. My people see that road beyond the charter. Today, the portion done by Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, while he was Governor, stares us in the face and asks:”How market.”
Although my stance on the performance of OVI has been, the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t, I suffer the pain of praising the Governor when the project started and being jeered by those who did not believe him at the onset. Our Governor may be a good man and may be operating under unimagined circumstances, but nobody is explaining anything to us. Politics is about people’s welfare and caring for their feelings. However, methinks it is better to negotiate with a debtor than a new customer within this context.”
Someone should tell Ikpeazu that people suspended their doubts to vote for him because of higher ideals and not as a reflection of approval. While he may not need their votes anymore, he should pay serious attention to the mirror. Does he like what he sees? He should listen more to the voices on the streets, from his UkwaNgwa territories to other parts of Abia State. Then he should strive for a positive legacy. The perception is that Abia State is the laggard of the South East. He can change this perception with action and not rhetoric. Congratulations and welcome to no excuses, Dr Ikpeazu.
This column received an important feedback just before the elections. I share with permission.
It was a great delight to read your write-up on the Igbo Wars 3, as published in BusinessDay newspaper of 14th February, 2019. I assume there are two others before this one but I am yet to lay hands on them. Hence this mail. The articles are of interest to me: for the education and the rich opinions contained therein and for their timing, in the context of where we are as Igbo people in the Nigerian nation. My other interest in the articles is institutional.
I am the Secretary of the Strategy and Planning Committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. In my view, you speak eloquently to our situation, our needs and challenges as a people. I humbly request that you to kindly send me the full series i.e. Igbo Wars 1, 2 and 3; and, I crave your indulgence to permit me to circulate same to the members of our Committee for their information, education and appreciation.
Obviously, we all may not agree on every point butcertainly we can agree on this: you made a very thought-provoking analysis and we can all benefit by learning from it.
Thank you very much, Sir and remain blessed.
Ferdinand N. Agu, MFR
Strategy and Planning Committee,