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The 2015 Imo Governorship election has definitely come and gone, but the echoes still re-vibrate occasionally. This is because of the perceived injustice meted to Owerri geo-political zone by some power mongers in the State. Ironically, some self acclaimed power brokers in Owerri geo-political zone were part of the perfidious and well orchestrated game plan to politically alienate Owerri Zone.

The 2015 Imo Governorship election has definitely come and gone, but the echoes still re-vibrate occasionally. This is because of the perceived injustice meted to Owerri geo-political zone by some power mongers in the State. Ironically, some self acclaimed power brokers in Owerri geo-political zone were part of the perfidious and well orchestrated game plan to politically alienate Owerri Zone.

 

Investigations revealed that these groups of fifth columnists in Owerri Zone acted out of selfish inclinations, ranging from personal hatred for the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha to the despicable lust to line their pockets in order to cushion the biting economic situation in the country. Evidently, the latter rather than the former was the primary motive for the betrayal of the collective aspiration of the people of Owerri geopolitical zone. Be that as it may, it is not the intention of this write-up to rake up issues which led to the Judas Iscariot behaviour of some of the leaders of Owerri Zone neither is it intended to condemn the Process which led to emergence of Owelle Rochas Okorocha's second tenure as Governor of Imo State. This is because it has always been my position that political power is not just given; you go for it if you desire it. It is also not an individual affair but a collective effort if success must be achieved.

In this vein, therefore, it becomes imperative to restate for record purposes, that the quest for a Governor of Imo State of Owerri Zone extraction, come 2019, cannot be overemphasized. By 2019, Orlu geopolitical zone which presently holds sway would have governed Imo State for 16years, Okigwe 8 years and 3 months (i.e. Dee Sam Mbakwe had 4 years and 3 months while Ikedi Ohakim had 4 years) and Owerri zone just 18 months under Evan Enwerem of the blessed memory. This is manifest injustice which must be redressed. Even the regime of Enwerem can be likened to that of a ceremonial governor because it operated under a diarchy system of government  meaning military led federal government with civilian governors at the state level. Given the Nigerian mentality, the governors then were tied to the apron strings of the then military President, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB). There was no free hand to rule neither was their independence of any sort on the part of the then governors as they were made to carry out the dictates of the military junta. It was under this kind of unfortunate arrangement that Owerri zone ruled Imo for 18 months.

As it is now, crying over split milk will in no way assuage the bitter feelings of Ndi Owerri Zone who feel politically alienated neither will it even persuade some political and power desperadoes in the state from further attempting to throw a clog in the wheel of Owerri zone's attempt to navigate the administration of Imo State come 2019, hence the issue rather requires sober reflection on the way forward and out of this unenviable and unprogressive political quagmire that has been foisted on Ndi Owerri zone.

Incontestably, Ndi Owerri zone are highly educated, hospitable, administratively sophisticated, amicable team players, and have the spirit of Onyeaghala Nwanneya (though a few Judas Iscariots are now rearing their heads but they can still be tamed). They also have the Spartan spirit of the ancient Greeks. The good qualities are endless. What Ndi Owerri zone needs now is in-house soul searching. They must be prepared to assert themselves and say “here we are”. Nobody can blow their trumpets; they must do it themselves. John Munonye in his book “The Oil Man of Obanje” did say “Let's trace back and see where the rain started to beat us so that we can make amends”.

Ndi Owerri zone must purge themselves of this glutton trait of always betraying their own brother due to a plate of yam porridge. This was very evident in the 2015 Imo Governorship election. They should avoid clothing themselves with the apparel of second class Imo indigenes. They must do away with fifth columnist dispositions. They must present their best come 2019 Imo Governorship debacle.  2019 will be a decisive year for Imo State. Ndi Imo would have then seen the PDP and the APC appreciably to now decide which party to align themselves with.

For Owerri Zone to prove to Imo people that they are serious about bringing something new and different to the governorship chase board, they should present a tested, trusted and capable candidate across party line, who must have credibility, wide contacts, humility and administrative sagacity to turn Imo into the Eldorado of our dreams. This is where Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha comes into the picture. 2019 will be a battle for the mature minds and not for up-starts. It must be a struggle for the redemption of Imo State anchored on truth and sincerity of purpose. The struggle cannot be for the chicken hearted but for the courageous with clear blue print for an Imo State of our collective desire. Ihedioha seems to be the best bet for Ndi Owerri Zone for 2019 and Imo State by extension, and a very good one at that. He is a democrat, forthright, firm, focused and has passed through the crucibles of leadership and experiences. Experience, it is said, is the best teacher. He is not a bread and butter politician. Events in the Federal House, of Representatives where he held sway as Deputy Speaker and later Speaker at the twilight of that particular House singles him as a primus inter pares. Many politicians in his position would have caved him, yet he remained firm.

With the 2015 governorship elections over and despite overtures from the ruling APC, Ihedioha has remained glued to his root. He has continually kept faith with all his friends and the grassroot irrespective of differences in political affiliations. He has provided the much needed opposition in a mature and responsible manner. What more qualities would Ndi Owerri Zone want of their would-be arrow head for the 2019 political battles in Imo State? One may ask: where are all the other guber candidates from Owerri Zone or even other zones, who contested the 2015 Imo governorship election alongside Ihedioha and Governor Rochas Okorocha? Of course, they have all vamoosed to where ever they all came from. Only Ihedioha has remained solidly on ground with unwavering political structure to constructively criticize Okorocha's government which the latter has evidently found very uncomfortable. While the 2019 Imo governorship beckons, the People of Owerri Zone should begin now to amend their ways and not wait for the last day. Let them do away with the Nshiko (Crab) mentality, do the right, and the positive result will come by itself without much ado. A stitch in time saves nine.   

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