Imo State and the Politics of Legislative Opportunism

Ikenga Ugochinyere
Ikenga Ugochinyere

Ikenga Ugochinyere narrates the disloyal and selfish nature of majority of politicians, whose only objective is to fill their pockets

The judgment of the Supreme Court voiding the lawful election of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha (who scored 276,404 votes) and awarding questionable votes to declare Hope Uzodimma of the APC, who scored 96, 458 votes as governor of Imo state is highly irrational, unfounded, a provocative product of executive manipulation and a recipe for crisis, which should not be allowed to stand.

The Supreme Court, as presently constituted under Justice Mohammed Tanko, has become heavily compromised, lost its credibility and is now annexed to execute ignoble agenda of the APC-led Federal Government against the Nigerian people.

With the verdict, the Supreme Court executed a coup against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the people of Imo state, as well as other Nigerians.

The verdict, however, also brought back the age long politics of party defections and legislative opportunism to Imo state, the Nigeria’s capital of political runs men and food is ready politicians.

In Imo today, honour, consistency, value and respect to friendship is now irrelevant, thanks to the new political gangsters that have taken over the stage in the last two decades or so. It’s now the politics of follow him if he has bread in his bag and betray him if his bread has finished.

From 1999 to 2007: The lack of alternative means of survival has turned 80% of Imo politicians into shameless politicians who eat their vomit. They wined and dined with Dr. Achike Udenwa and immediately the succession process started, they broke into aggressive camps ready to sink and destroy the man who fed them for eight years.

Some followed Araraume, slept at his Isiebu mansion but few seconds after Charles Ugwu was announced as the chosen one, they left Araraume and started praising Charles Ugwu who never won the primaries and left Araraume to stand in the cold and they stopped going to Isiebu.

Enter Chief Martin Agbaso: Immediately Martin Agbaso of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was announced as the chosen one, these same men moved without shame to Agbaso and started chanting “Ochudo, the God sent”… After the election was declared inconclusive and a new one set, they jumped ship without waiting to finish the fight.

Enter Chief Ikedi Ohakim: Immediately Ohakim was announced as the consensus/compromise candidate under the PPA platform, these same men from PDP, APGA, ACN etc all flocked to the camp of Ohakim and the chant of “Ochinawata” rented the air and they suddenly claimed that Ohakim was the messiah they had been waiting for.

Gang up against Ohakim: Immediately the bread and butter did not spread well, some of them now discovered that Ohakim was not the messiah and the kick-him-out mobilization and propaganda started. They moved from one alliance to another, from ACN to APGA and some back to PDP at last minute to collect money to remedy what they had already destroyed.

Enter RochasOkorocha: Rochas from a distant third rating, he emerged victorious in the midst of these confusions and the same people who preached against Owelle didn’t wait for swearing-in to jump ship again and started worshipping Owelle in search of the their usual bread and butter.

The Dishonorable Honorable: The era of Owelle came with the emergence of empty stomach honorables who couldn’t wait for the House to be composed before decamping and abandoning the party on whose platform they were elected. With due respect, this era started with late Benjamin Uwajumogu and his gang of ‘food is ready’ honourables

Before Owelle could finish his first term and immediately after the 2015 election whatever that was left of these elements both from PDP, to APGA etc all emptied into Owelle faction of APC and even formed their Agburu camp.

Rochas’ last moments: In furtherance of the new Imo political tradition of anything goes, immediately succession time was announced, they broke into dangerous camp ready and willing to kill themselves. The fight got messy with Hope’s last minute entrance into APC and before you could say jack, decampment and counter decampment was all over the air driven by selfish interest clothed under the guise of public interest.

AA to the Rescue: Majority of them moved to AA in a bid to enthrone the anointed son in-law while the rest went to Hope, Ihedioha etc. Same people who praised Owelle as god, took campaign mic to tell us how evil their master, once their benefactor was, some honourable members who passed budget without seeing the content for Owelle’s sake now saw him as an evil man because their interests had been blocked. By the time election was over they had all destroyed themselves and their name but could not emerge winner.

Enter Ihedioha: With emergence of Ihedioha, these same men who campaigned against Ihedioha could not wait for swearing-in before jumping ship and praising Ihedioha in search of their bread and butter. The Speaker then, Acho Ihim who decamped to become Owelle’s choice for Speaker and decamped to Action Alliance to become Uche Nwosu’s Deputy Governorship could not show any public restraint in dumping his guber candidate who was at the tribunal in decamping to PDP including other honourables and so called politicians of note.

Ihedioha was the beautiful star and they all crawled from their hideout to join him including the newly elected AA and APGA honourables decamping to join his party

Enter Uzodinma: With the Supreme Court installation of Sen. Hope Uzodimma as governor, before he could reach Owerri for his swearing-in, these same Imo politicians have started flocking around him and telling stories of how they were the ones who delivered the non-existing 388 units.

Before Uzodimma could reach Owerri in company of the same Okorocha and his anointed in-law that Hope claimed he came to rescue Imo from their hands, the honourable members in following with the new tradition of ‘whereever belle face na front’ have dumped their parties and joined APC from their PDP, AA and APGA platform all in a bid to secure their big stomach and ensure food flows under the usual talk of supporting government to succeed. The usual cross carpeting is just starting with even the prevously unknown PDP state Chairman whose only aspiration was to be Transition Committee Chairman of Okigwe LGA under Ohakim before Ihedioha helped install him as PDP Chairman. He has now abandoned the party he once led just a couple of weeks after losing at Supreme Court. The likes of Acho Ihim who crossed from PDP to APC to AA to PDP was seen again at the APC rally for Princess Onuoha crossing to APC again.

Across the state, these men of bread and butter whose only hope of surviving and feeding their families is to without shame follow anybody in power and eat their vomit in a bit to remain relevant have started their seasonal game which will continue to expand until the occupant is out and they will return to knock on the door of anybody as long as you hold the carrot of governance.

Party defecation in Imo state is time-worn, hence the young ones are now learning very fast that in Imo politics honour is for the dogs and the few who keep faith and follow are seen as ‘mugu’. When I look at myself and the over 10 years I have put in opposition politics and consistency to friendship; yet and I am alive and do not beg for food, I ask my fathers and brothers in Imo and the masters of the new but shameful political culture in Imo, when will this dance of shame stop?

*Ugochinyere is the spokesman for Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP)