“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD; and he delights in him” Psalm 37:23.
It is understandable why no day passes without Imo people making inquiries about the next move of former Governor Ikedi Ohakim. To many of the inquirers, their inquiries are borne out of genuine love for a man that gave them hope for the future when he was Governor from 2007 to 2011. To others it is about the apprehension that has dominated the political landscape of Imo State for some time now as to what the next move of the former Governor is. Some of the inquirers seem to be people who are at the 4-way junction not knowing which one to take, as a result of current political development in the state.
Whatever the reasons are, it cannot be taken away from Imo people that they have found love in the former Governor. He is their Darling, especially since several allegations against him have been proved to be what they had been: allegations.
Imo people genuinely want to know what Ikedi Ohakim has up his sleeve as far as the 2019 governorship election is concerned. And of course, no one can fault them, considering their ugly experiences in the hands of the Rescue Mission Government, where Imo people have been forced to drink from the pool of wickedness of a few people that are bent on forming a ruling dynasty in the State.
Recall the fuss that greeted Ohakim’s decision in August last year to take a break from “active participation in partisan politics”, to allow himself ample time to attend to his private businesses and engage in building the future via youth mentorship. Youth mentorship is a very rigorous process and only those that have equipped themselves with discipline and have the interest of the younger generation at heart will dare engage in building the future of the youths through mentoring them.
Many politicians would prefer to set up an NGO only when they want to run for election, and once the elections are over (and nemesis catches them and they lose!), that would be the end of the whole noise.
For those who already have dead NGOs, they have laid out plans to dust them up and begin to make fresh noise, as if the people matter. But it is all pretence, a smokescreen.
For Dr Ikedi Ohakim, he would not trivialize the affairs of the people. They deserve every good thing, including volunteering to expend his resources to mentor the youths. The former Governor would rather afford himself ample time to concentrate on mentoring the youths than wasting his time or throwing himself into unnecessary ego rivalry where one who is afraid of competition now behaves as if he owns the party, or as if he is already the Governor. Focussing on such trivial warfare is not worth the time for the former Governor.
Anyone who loves Ohakim so much would not advise him to let himself be caught in the unnecessary war that raged in the PDP. Rather people of his standing were expected to provide the needed platforms for all wars to cease in the party.
Ohakim has played his roles as former Governor of the PDP, and he has satisfied his conscience that though he was not part of the PDP problem in any way, he was part of the solution.
While contributing to solving the problems of the PDP, Dr Ikedi Ohakim was still on sabbatical. But many kept asking whether he had returned, with many postulating that he has joined this party or that party.
There is need to remind Imo people that Ohakim does not operate in secret, and he would not keep anyone in the dark about his political activities. Acknowledging this will also help many to understand that
Ohakim’s withdrawal from active politics is not a strange route.
Those knowledgeable in political warfare know that retreating is part of the political game. Even the Holy Bible says that there is time for everything.
But those with open mind are invited to recall that Ohakim did not become the Governor of Imo State in 2007 under the PDP umbrella. He was running for the governorship ticket under the party when the titans in it clashed. Seeing the ugly handwriting on the wall, Ohakim retreated and joined the newly formed Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA). He went on to become the Governor of the state under the PPA platform. He returned to the PDP two years later.
In an interview on AIT, Ohakim explained how he operates politically. He said: “My being Governor was not one per cent accidental. I knew what was going to happen. I laid out my plans clearly. I have never done anything in this world without planning and without doing my SWOT analysis, without looking at what could happen, without looking at moves that my opponents could make. And then I banked on something and it worked.”
As a brand, Ohakim is the leader of the Ikedi Ohakim brand, and when he chose to retreat in the midst of the warfare in the PDP, both at state and national levels, he merely illustrated what is known to all: “He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.” After all, it is only those who survived the war that are true heroes, because only the survivors tell the stories of the war, not those killed at the war front.
But contrary to what many think about Ohakim’s membership status of the PDP now following the outcome of the just concluded national convention of the PDP, the former will say his mind when he is ready. But until he says the contrary, he is still on sabbatical.
Since withdrawing from active politics enabled Ohakim to work with like minds underground for the resolution of the party’s crisis, his announcement of his return is apprehensively and anxiously looked on to. Has he left the PDP? Will he join APGA? Will he join APC? Will he run for governorship again? All these will be appropriately answered when he breaks his sabbatical.
But despite the fact that the PDP has gone through their national convention, many believe that what is going on in the party in Imo now is a consuming fire, and if not put under control it could burn down anything in sight and leave many stranded with no party, or at best, the carcase of a party.
The task ahead needs all hands. And if it is true that the whole body stands when the head is standing, we should all help Ohakim stand, so that in his standing we all can stand right and fight for what is right for Imo people.
Like the crop that germinates and bears good fruits, let us all wait patiently for the reincarnation of Ikedi Ohakim. Let us not be swept away by the wind of speculations about where he has pitched his tent. Because when he returns, all eyes shall see him and all ears shall hear from him.
Of course, oftentimes things get better when refined, just like gold shines when refined through fire. Let us wait for Ohakim’s reincarnation.