By Kennedy Eweama (08035529265)
When President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Not-Too-Young -To-Run bill, thus making it an Act of the National Assembly, some Nigerians doubted the operational efficacy of the Act. Their worry obviously stemmed from the fact that, evidences abound where some Acts of the National Assembly have remained unimplementable years after they were assented to by the President.
In some cases, after becoming laws, such Acts were merely consigned as part of the numerous occupants of the National Assembly’s library. This is quite unfortunate.
However, the case of Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act sponsored by Hon Tony Nwulu, a vibrant youth from the Mbaise political clan in Imo State, is significantly different. That Act, after being assented to by President Buhari, attracted national, and international commendations, and commentaries.
The Act was regarded by the international community as a practical demonstration of the federal government’s commitment to giving the youths opportunity to aspire for any leadership position in Nigeria, thus eliminating the age barrier factor. Nigerians also opined that the Act is in fulfillment of the age long axiom that “the youths are the leaders of tomorrow.” The coming into being of that law,equally provided the leverage, and impetus for Nigerian youths to say ‘no’ to the age barrier limitation in their quest to offer their quota in the service of their father land vide whatever leadership position they wish to aspire for.
Evidently, today in Nigeria, especially in our various parliaments – both the National and State Assemblies – the youths’ population of parliamentarians ( lawmakers), is significantly on the increase. More youths with charisma, zeal for effective service delivery, and the determination to offer their quota to the socioeconomic, and political development of their various constituencies nay Nigeria, are beginning to emerge. This is an eloquent testimony that indeed, Nigerians have embraced the positives drivable from the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act.
In Imo State, in Mbaitoli /Ikeduru federal constituency otherwise commonly referred to as “Mbaike” to be precise, the people have also resolved to embrace the benefits of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act,in concomitance with national, and international expectations. The Mbaike people are usually wise, well educated, courageous, positive minded, and above all, believe in egalitarianism, fairness, and justice. In local political parlance, it is described in Igbo language as “mmanu akara di oto, onye ratu ibe ya aratu.”
Sequel to the above, political offices, particularly the occupation of the federal constituency seat in the House of Representatives, is usually rotated between the two component local government areas(Mbaitoli and Ikeduru) that make up Mbaike. So far, this mutual agreement have been seamlessly adhered to in trust, and fairness devoid of any friction or much ado.
Consequently, by 2023, the occupation of the Mbaike federal constituency seat is expected to revert to Ikeduru. Presently, Hon Henry Nwawuba from Mbaitoli, is still holding sway in that position up to 2015. Therefore, by 2023, he would approximately have represented the good people of Mbaike for eight(8)uninterrupted years. That’s the beauty of democracy, and good conscience.
Now, the issue at hand is, whom shall Ikeduru nominate for the good people of Mbaike to endorse. It must be noted that while Ikeduru might have the right to present her sons or daughters of choice for the position, it is the collective right of the entire Mbaike political clan to elect who represents it.
Chief Theophilus Onuma from Ifakala community in Mbaitoli, corroborated this assertion. According to him, “we want a rancour free handing over of baton from Mbaitoli (Hon Henry Nwawuba) to any Ikeduru indigene in 2023. But, our Ikeduru brothers should realize that it will be the collective decision of Mbaike people to choose who represents them in the National Assembly. Let them present their candidates first, then Mbaike people shall endorse one of them.”
Fortunately, it does appear that the political class in Ikeduru may be settling for a consensus candidate across party lines. This measure, sources say, is to make the selection process less cumbersome, and also encourage healthy political culture among the people.
In this vein, investigations revealed that for now, the pendulum seems to be swinging in the direction of Engr. Akarachi Amadi, and Hon Uche Ogbuagu of Imo State House of Assembly. Chief Dennis Okwu (Sweet Apple), it was gathered, is angling for Ikeduru state constituency seat again in 2023. So, he is out of the equation.
However, political pundits in Ikeduru seem very uncomfortable with flying the Uche Ogbuagu’s political kite. They cite “his haughty nature, and unstable political character” as his Achilles heels. Ogbuagu’s critics argue that his unstable political character might militate against his effective representation if given the Mbaike mandate.
“Uche is a nice man. But politics goes beyond merely being nice. We can’t afford to send to Abuja, somebody who may easily trade off our mandate on the altar of political harlotry or selfishness. Jumping from one party to another without focus or sense of direction coupled with unnecessary show of arrogance or haughty disposition, are not virtues of the kind of person we wish to present to Mbaike people as our man for Abuja. We mustn’t encourage trade by barter with Ikeduru or Mbaike mandate again. Once beaten, twice shy, “Dr Chukwudi Anozie from Atta in Ikeduru asserted.
Investigations carried out further indicated that scores of Ikeduru indigenes subscribed to Dr Anozie’s assertions. That then throws up the issue of Engr Akarachi Amadi in the political permutations.
About 76.3% of persons interacted with on the issue of who, from Ikeduru, is best equipped on grounds of acceptance, and outreach, to hoist the Mbaike flag in the National Assembly in 2023, are favorably disposed to Engr Akarachi’s candidacy. Why, some people may ask?
Firstly, the proponents of Akarachi contend that he is very altruistic, and “infectiously good.” He also has a stable background, and character, very reliable, trustworthy, and dependable,they posited.
Apart from these noble attributes, those rooting for Akarachi’s candidacy, point to his humility,and philanthropy gestures across communities in Mbaike devoid of political attachments. “He is educationally sound having studied in one of the best universities in Nigeria as a Chemical Engineer. He is young, dynamic, dogged, creative, charismatic, and firm. We need a vibrant young man, a servant – leader like Akarachi, who will always listen to the yearnings of our people, and not an ‘Eze-onye-agwala-m.’ We must give him an opportunity to show case his inert leadership traits,”Chijioke Ihegbulam posited.
Deducing from the plethora of Ikeduru people’s remarkable attestations, Engr Akarachi Amadi may rightly be described as ” a prophet duly recognized at home by his own people.”But, the big question remains, will Akarachi, an accomplished Chemical Engineer, harken to the clarion call of his people? Only time shall tell.