It was 5:11pm on Saturday, April 14, when my phone turned on and it was a notification for an email from one old man that has refused to accord respect to his old age, Ogubundu Nwadike, who writes for Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, one of those who have shown interest to run for the governorship election in Imo State for 2019. He wrote on the topic: “Imo PDP 2019 guber candidate: of pretenders and contenders.
My initial reaction was to ignore the author because he has become synonymous with hatred against His Excellency Dr Ikedi Ohakim, and he thinks erroneously that continuous hatred for Dr Ikedi Ohakim would help advance the threatened governorship ambition of his boss, Ihedioha, in 2019. But when I read a similar article with similar topic by Mr. Kennedy Eweama on Monday in several newspapers I realized that it was really a hatchet job aimed at spewing and spreading hatred and distorting the facts.
Reading both articles one is left with the conclusion that Ihedioha is already feeling the heat from the kitchen when there is yet fire there. He is jittery and wants to cover his fears with the tantrum of everyone else being pretenders to the governorship seat in the state. It is puerile that Ihedioha considers himself the only contender to the governorship seat, and it is hogwash that Mr. Eweama concluded that the race to the Douglas House in 2019 is between Ihedioha and others.
That two hatchet jobbers for Ihedioha chose to write on the same topic at the same time advancing the same point should not be seen as coincidence. There was actually a meeting where it was agreed that some people should be taken on in order to advance Ihedioha’s fragile guber ambition. But they goofed.
To be fair enough to Ihedioha, he has every reason to be frightened because of the caliber of people showing interest in the governorship election. The major reason Ihedioha has become jittery and now fighting like a wounded lion is because his bubble has been burst to his face. His game is up. He never believed that someone could have the temerity to show up in the Imo State PDP and declare for governorship. This is because Ihedioha had indulged for so long the false feeling that he built the PDP, that the PDP is the house that Ihedioha built. He saw everyone else as tenants. But this self delusion and adulation have fazed out with the presence of His Excellency Dr. Ikedi Ohakim, Senator Samdaddy Anyanwu and Prof Jude Njoku, who have all declared to run for the 2019 governorship election under the PDP. This causes sleepless nights for Ihedioha.
Another reason Ihedioha is furious now is that he has lost hold on the party leadership. Stories abound how he applied starvation as tool to control the state chairman of the party. The gods smiled on the chairman when he was reportedly taken to see the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike by Senator Samuel Anyanwu. The Governor was said to have taken good care of the Imo PDP chairman. Since then the chairman has been a changed person. He has been rescued from the jaws of Emeka Ihedioha. And since then Ihedioha has not been the same again. He will never be the same ever!
Ihedioha is now aware that his much touted grip on the PDP structure has been a ruse. Contrary to the claim that he installed all the structures of the PDP in the state, PDP members and the general public have come to realise that it was just a lie used to deceive Imo people and party members. The real situation in the party is that Ihedioha does not control more than five local local governments structures in the state. Added to this is the sudden change of mind of the national leadership of the party, that the party would not impose any candidate on the people as was the case in 2015 when Ihedioha was imposed on the people, and he did not get the job done. The national leadership of the party has also realized that banking on Ihedioha is a hazardous gamble, which they are not ready to take. They reason that since Ihedioha failed in 2015 with all the support from the party and the federal government, it remains foolhardy to continue keeping one’s eggs in Ihedioha’s basket. This accounts for the recent bad-face between Ihedioha and Governor Wike, who fought a more dangerous lion and won while Ihedioha did not win a wounded Governor Okorocha.
The mutiny Ihedioha led against the PDP national leadership remains the cause of the lingering problems in the PDP. The national leadership of the party had zoned political offices but Ihedioha led the mutiny that thwarted it. But his hatchet men instead continue to hold on to the false belief that he laboured for the party and that his labouring for the party translates to his owning the party. They believe that no one else had laboured for the party.
Ihedioha’s problems in the PDP did not stop at the House of Representatives. He also thwarted the Ngor Okpala Accord that stipulated one term for a member of the House of Representatives and stayed for 12 years. The consequences of this selfish and ungentle man behaviour that shows disdain for accord remains unresolved in the PDP.
Nwadike has refused to grow up but has shown how a man could be old without growing up. He has rather chosen to wallow in infantile games and vituperations. He has not stopped amusing me. He has continued to show his poor grasp of issues to the consternation of many of his age who think that old men have the benefit of wisdom and should apply same in all their dealings.
How did Mr Nwadike arrive at the conclusion that only Ihedioha has been critical of Governor Okorocha and his government? He forgot the famous letters Dr Ikedi Ohakim wrote to Governor Okorocha criticizing his government and advising him to change? He forgot that the first letter in 2016 cost the state government more than N29M to refute? Did he forget, or he chose to ignore them? What of Ohakim’s recent alarm on February 4, 2019, that the state government was owing Judges in the state for 16 months? Did he forget that Ohakim’s intervention forced the state government to make a U-turn and begin paying the Judges?
It should be noted that becoming the Governor of Imo State in 2019 is not about who criticised Governor Okorocha the most. If that was the criterion Ihedioha will not smell the 5th position. Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that no matter how Ihedioha shouted, his opposition did not make Imo State House of Assembly to change their mind on the autonomy for LGAs bill. And of course, he cried only after the milk was already spilled and it had no effect whatsoever. But consider Ohakim who achieved result and forced the state government who had earlier denied owing the Judges to make U-turn and start paying them. Which of the two would you prefer?
The truth is that the hood does not make the monk. He who laughs last laughs the best. Imo people can no longer be deceived by regular media outings which some little-minded politicians do to score cheap points. Imo people want someone that can achieve much with little or no noise. And it is clear that Ihedioha’s noise did not achieve anything. It was an empty noise, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing”.
Another headache Ihedioha has is that he behaves like a Garrison Commander. He wants everyone to do what he does, and if you don’t do so he concludes you’re doing nothing at all. He forgets that politics is not like Mathematics that has a formula one must adhere to to arrive at the same answer. Politics is much like the game of football. Every team plays according to their peculiar pattern. The winning team becomes the best player.
But should anyone believe that only Ihedioha funded the PDP? Were was Ihedioha when the PDP was formed and how much did he contribute? Who moved the PDP to its 147 Okigwe Road office? Is it known to Nwadike that Ihedioha does not pay his party membership fees, and that by law he is not a member of the PDP? Nwadike must have been a god or possesses the omniscience attribute of God to speak with such finality on a matter he knows nothing about.
Nwadike should therefore stop drinking panadol for another man’s headache. In the tikitaka of politics Ohakim is the man. Ihedioha knows so. Moving from party B to A is not a crime in our political culture. And it is heart warming that Ohakim won the governorship in 2007 when he left the PDP. That was his tikitaka pattern for 2007, and he won the coveted trophy. That Ohakim chose to go on sabbatical while the likes of Ihedioha chose to tear the party apart is another manifestation that Ohakim is the Chairman. He knows the game and that it was better to work underground with kindred spirits for the good of the party than tearing the party apart with impunity. The Igbo say that elders don’t sit at home and watch the she-goat deliver in the tethers.
Ohakim is a thinker. He is a serious minded person who is not given to frivolous outings. He sees beyond the façade of public appeal. He is not given to making excuses for failures or successes. Those who are knowledgeable know that for anyone to succeed there must be factors for his success, and for any man to fail there must be factors too. It is therefore infantile to adduce reasons why Ohakim became Governor in 2007 and explain why Ihedioha did not win in 2015. Successful persons don’t make excuses.
But Ihedioha should realise that the greatest testimonial to his pretense to the 2019 governorship is that prominent Mbaise members of the PDP, such as Senator Bright Nwanne, Rt Hon Nnanna Igbokwe, Dr Alex Obi, etc, have all left the PDP. Moreover, all the atrocities he committed during the PDP congresses in Imo State after the peaceful wards and LGAs Congresses, still plague him. And if adequate care is not taken, if the national leadership of the PDP refuses to nip this ugly catastrophe in the bud, Ihedioha might be the only PDP member before the primary election.
Ughalla is Chief Press Secretary Ikedi Ohakim