Home Viewpoint Can One Retire His Father? By AGUNWA EMEKA NZERIBE

Can One Retire His Father? By AGUNWA EMEKA NZERIBE

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FLASHBACK: Senator Arthur Nzeribe Having A Hanshake With Governor Okorocha In 2012

There is time for everything, and a season for all things here on earth. Humans on earth are on transit. We are just passing at a glance. We can only maximise our youthful age for the future.

In politics like any other noble profession in the world, every dispensation has its gladiators. The likes of Nzeribe, Iwuayanwu, Udenwa, etc came, saw and conquered. Little insight on the above named persons will prove that they have made their mark politically before introduction of Gov. Rochas Okorocha into Imo political landscape in 2011.

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Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu is a politician of note. In the present Imo State, politicians who passed under his tutelage are still making waves. For over two decades, the name Iwuanyanwu has been a household name in mainstream politics of Nigeria. Chief Iwuanyanwu has been a determinant factor in politics of Nigeria and Imo State in particular. He has produced notable politicians in the state ranging from Councillors, Local Government Council Chairmen, State House of Assembly members, Federal House of Assembly members, Senators, and even appointees at Federal, State and Local levels.

Ahaejiagamba was a front line Presidential aspirant in the country on the platform of defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) before he was disqualified with others. As a philanthropist, he has helped to sustain many families, and as a home builder, he facilitated employment of numerous sons and daughters of Imo indigenes into Federal and State establishments. In a nutshell, Chief Iwuanyanwu was not retired by anyone but was affected by present CHANGE of government in the country as its not possible to retire someone whose political son is a serving Senator of the Federal Republic. Presently, Chief Iwuanyanwu is still a member of Board of Trustees of PDP in the country on merit.

Chief Achike Udenwa came into political limelight through defunct Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN). As a man destined to rule, he contested for the gubernatorial ticket of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999, though he came fourth in the primaries, through providence, the leaders of the party saw humility in him which is a great virtue and favoured him. He was elected Governor of Imo State in 1999 and was reelected in 2003. Upon completion of his second term in 2007, he helped to enthrone new leadership in Imo West Senatorial District (Orlu Zone) that saw the emergence of Senator Osita Izunaso. Every human has his/her own flaws, so also is Gov. Udenwa.

Through indecision, he was unable to enthrone a preferred successor in the State, but his administration as governor of the state produced quality leaders who are still relevant in Imo politics. (Needless of delving into his achievements as Governor of Imo state). His appointment as Minister of the Federal Republic attracted very many petitions mostly frivolous ones, though his confirmation and inauguration as Minister was short lived.

In 2011, Dr. Udenwa with the likes of Senator Araraume, Gov. Okorocha formed Alliance in a bid to unseat then Gov. Ikedi Ohakim. The 2011 Imo Alliance for Good Governance collapsed into Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) when they failed to get hold of sole of PDP in the state, and the gubernatorial ticket of the party favoured Senator Araraume, while the issue on who gets Imo West Senatorial ticket between Gov. Udenwa and Gov. Okorocha was latter settled by Senator Bola Tinubu. With anger Gov. Okorocha defected to All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and became the gubernatorial candidate outwitting Chief Martin Agbaso. The Alliance of Good Governance in the state didn’t die in Orlu Zone, series of meetings were held between Gov. Okorocha and Gov. Udenwa in the country home of the latter at Amaifeke Orlu. Through indices and political permutations, it was adduced that the gubernatorial election could be inconclusive with no clear winner in the first ballot, and an agreement was reached that in event of such, that the ONONGONO especially of Orlu Zone extraction should collapse and support Gov. Okorocha in the second ballot to enable him win. The rest are now history. Upon these, Gov. Okorocha is lately claiming that no heavyweight helped him to win in 2011. At present, Gov. Udenwa has been appointed a member of Board of Trustees of PDP in the country, a position reserved for elders in the party. One cannot claim that he was retired as he’s presently occupying a befitting office as an elder.

Senator Arthur Nzeribe (Ogbuagu, Oshiji, Damanze, Oyimba of Oguta) needs no introduction. But for clarity, I will give brief account of his political life. Ogbuagu Nzeribe till date is still accused of been the man that introduced *’Ghana-Must-Go* (cash in bags) into Nigeria politics. If Igbo leaders who are wealthy in those years saw what he saw then, the marginalisation of Ndigbo in Nigeria Project would have been a thing of the past. As an accomplished international businessman, his entrant into politics would have been different if he had chosen to act the way capitalists behave, but he chose and pinched tent with the *’Igbo Party’* known and called Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP).

Through his wealth, he made the Igbo and Zik of Africa proud as he was the major financier of Ziks Presidential aspiration in 1983. Ogbuagu provided a Jet that Zik used to tour the country on campaigns. Ogbuagu used to spray money through helicopters in and around campaign grounds first of its kind in Nigeria. Ogbuagu was elected a Senator in 1983 with the likes of late Olusola Saraki father of present Senate President but it was short lived due to military intervention. (I wish to know how old Gov. Okorocha was in 1983 and role/roles he played in then politics of Imo or Nigeria). After military break, and introduction of a new republic, if not for self centeredness of some notable Igbo leaders, what Senator Bola Tinubu is doing in South West Nigeria and some parts of the country is what Ogbuagu saw and yearned for years back. Through CARIA, Ogbuagu tried to unite the South East and South South of Nigeria. The Northern elites saw the danger in unification of the two sister zones which made them to sponsor internal enemies that disrupted this noble plan of Ogbuagu. He ran for Presidential ticket of Social Democratic Party (SDP) before he was disqualified along the likes of late Major General Shehu Musa Yar’dua, etc. He formed Association of Better Nigeria (ABN) through which he got overnight judgement for the annulment of June 12 Presidential elections, as he claimed that late MKO Abiola used his friend Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) to disqualify him and others from contesting for the seat to pave way for himself. In 1999, Ogbuagu became the Senatorial candidate of All Peoples Party (APP) while Gov. Okorocha was given the ticket of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on a platter.

Upon all the noise Gov. Okorocha made on how he will match Ogbuagu money to money, PDP won in other two zones of the State, precisely Owerri Zone through Senator Evan Enwerem and Okigwe Zone through Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, but lost woefully in Orlu Zone as Ogbuagu defeated Gov. Okorocha roundly at the polls. His presence in the Senate was noticeable even as opposition member, he influenced and determines who gets what in the senate. He defected to PDP and was reelected in 2003. Due to skirmishes between him and powers that be at the federal especially the 3rd Term saga which has metamorphosed into present day 3rd Force, the then Governor of Imo State was used to ensure he does not get a return ticket to the upper chamber, thus emergence of Senator Osita Izunaso. Ageism is something every being must experience, and its a fundamental human rights and United Nations frowns at those disparaging old age. We MUST all become old and incapacitated some day. In 2011, even when his beloved political son was aspiring for Federal House of Representatives seat of Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta, Oru West Federal Constituency, due to health challenges, Ogbuagu wasn’t in the country prior to 2011 general elections, to the surprise of political watchers, Hon. Alphonsus Gerald Irona political heir to Ogbuagu was elected and declared winner of the Federal Constituency seat.

Many where of the opinion that had it been Ogbuagu was home and healthy, that he could have used his political prowess to influence election results when Oguta LGA was amongst other LGAs to determine winner of the 2011 gubernatorial election which Gov. Okorocha later won. Ogbuagu is not getting younger, he has lived and is still living a fulfilled life. He is an accomplished politician who made his mark in Nigeria politics and whose footprints remains indelible. He has reached his height and age is not on his side. Ogbuagu’s first son Uzoma Nzeribe died at the age of 40 years in 1998, if he’s alive today he would have been 59years old this year while Gov. Okorocha will be 56years in September this year. From the calculation, you will agree with me that Ogbuagu Nzeribe is a father to Gov. Okorocha. How could one claim to have retired a man that defeated him twice in a Senatorial contest? One cannot retire his father, rather a father hands over to the son. Imolites should wait, and watch to see who will be politically inconsequential after 2019 and beyond.

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