By Sampson Uhuegbu, Owerri
I am not a member of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP; neither am I of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, or other parties. Infact, I am a nonpartisan person. But sometimes, we react to important issues that appear to have been relegated to the abyss of absurdity for the purpose of correcting the ills for a better society.
Arguably, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, used to be a political party people admired so much. Even those days the Nigerian economy was booming, any visitation you paid to a political appointee of PDP extraction, be it of high or low position, you would surely come out with a heavy pocket. It was a party to be reckoned with in terms of unity of purpose among its members; and strongness of the party was commendable.
It believes in “giving”. That was what made this party to hold power for Sixteen (16) good years before the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) won the 2015 Presidential election during which the then incumbent, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was floored by President Muhammadu Buhari.
From the year 1999 when the democratic system of government came to bear, PDP was the first to assume power across the country of which other political parties were overshadowed by its reassuring slogan, “Power- to- the-people”.
Certainly, the Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and Sen. Samuel Anyanwu are both Peoples Democratic Party strong chieftains that I respect so much. The duo have contributed meaningfully to the advancement of the party- both in Imo and nationally. It would therefore be anormally if these party cacaus should drag the platform (PDP) that made them what they are today to the mud.
Former Governor Ihedioha has built and sustained PDP in Imo State; while forming alliance with relevant stakeholders in the party. He is a good party man and a competent administrator who understands leadership, followership and mentorship. Emeka Ihedioha has a high market value due to his outstanding performance as the governor of Imo State for seven (7) months. His performance in office still speaks volume.
National Secretary of the party, also, Sen. Samuel Anyanwu, is not greenhorn in politics. Having became Local Government Chairman of Ikeduru, Samdaddy had represented the State Constituency in the Imo House of Assembly, he is not a pushover in the system. He also represented Owerri Zone at the Senate. Samdaddy and the Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha had really funded the People’s Democratic Party and made it formidable.
Seeing the former Governor and the PDP National secretary being at loggerheads over who controls the party in Imo is uncalled for; and does not warrant them dancing naked in the market square over their gubbernitorial ambition in 2023/2024 that is still far away from now.
Albeit, Imo PDP has overcome the challenges of who becomes their flagbearers- in the Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives’ seats in the 2023 general election. Uche Onyeaguocha for Imo West Senatorial District, Emmanuel Okewulonu for Okigwe zone and Jones Onyereri for Orlu district.
Members of the party and its stakeholders should always think out ways to develop the State. The Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives; and subsequently became Speaker cum Governor before he was removed from office by the Supreme Court; while Sen. Samuel Anyanwu had held various elective positions since under the party 1999.
Rural areas across Imo State are crying out for good roads, quality and affordable health service, rehabilitation of their markets, schools’ buildings, job opportunities for their unemployed University graduates, elimination of hunger and economic sabotage and others. These are the things that should occupy the mind of a selfless leader who really wants to make laudable impacts if elected as Governor of Imo State. Politics of visionary leadership goes beyond knocking horn over superior position.
As a matter of fact, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Imo State chapter, was a party for all before it was allowed to be highjacked by forces that torn the party apart. The overall interests of people of the state should ever be the priority of any guber hopeful that wants the people’s mandate.
It would amount to a comic relief if the “soul” of one political party is being battled for by two big heads of same political units (Imo East Senatorial District) for the seat of Governorship in 2024. Despite the fact that power is not given, but taken; there supposed to be orderliness and a high sense of responsibility considering the class of people involved.The stand-alone Imo Governorship poll is counting down. But it appears many aspirants are likely to eye the forthcoming poll because the party has thrown its Guber ticket open jettisoning zoning formula.
Indeed, Ihedioha and Samdaddy are known to be the most tactical politicians in Imo PDP. The duo talk alittle, but plan big.They are strategists. Instead of shooting each other on the leg, they should package their grievances and move their party forward.
The horrible battle between these men played visibly played out in the 26th May, 2022 National Assembly primaries that took place at the Aladinma Shopping Mall Owerri, where aspirants raised alarm over manipulation of the results. Samdaddy had projected his preferred candidates; while Ihedioha pushed for his men to be given tickets for State and National Assembly seats. Though, flagbearers had emerged. They should move forward.
Imo PDP has to put its home in order. The party has been rocked by avoidable crisis that could have been amicably resolved by the leadership and the aggrieved members. State Chairman of the party, Charles Ugwu has never called spade, a spade as far as his position is concerned as number party member in the state. Many party men are aggrieved over not being carried along in the scheme of things regarding the affairs of the party.
I started hearing about Chief Charles Ugwu when I was little. His name was ringing bell then as an industrialist of note. Therefore, he should exhibit that leadership qualities he ganered for years in the Imo PDP.
The die is cast. Parties are now strategizing and restrategizing to take over power from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC – ably led by Governor Hope Uzodimma. The political parties participating in the forthcoming polls are expected to remain formidable in their bid to be in the corridor of power.
Sampson Uhuegbu is an Owerri-based Journalist. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org