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Politics, even though a social science field, most times can be likened to Mathematics, which incidentally is regarded as the Mother of all Sciences. Politics just like Mathematics requires lots of well articulated calculations if the participants involved, really desire to have landslide victories. It is not a place where emotion actually thrives rather it is place of what you put in, is exactly what you will get. And this unfortunately has been the scenario confronting Owerri zone as regards producing a Governor for quite some time now compared to other zones like Okigwe, and Orlu.
Owerri zone which has nearly a population of 1.5 million and consists of three zones namely; Owerri Municipal, Owerri West, and Owerri North has actually the best brains in various professional or technical areas, savvy, and suave personalities whom have at one time or the other been in the corridors of power in Nigeria, and even beyond her shores. From the learned gentleman, and Federal Minister of Transport of blessed memory, Raymond Amanze Njoku, between 1954 and1966, to the following prominent personalities; Dr. Mrs Kema Chikwe, former Minister of Transport/Aviation, Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho, Joe Ajaero, former Deputy President of Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), and General Secretary of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Kaycee Madu, who is the current Minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Alberta, Chief Martin Agbaso, his younger brother, and erstwhile Deputy Governor of Imo State, Sir Jude Agbaso, Sir Emeka Ihedioha, former Deputy Speaker, Federal House of Representatives and immediate past Governor of Imo state, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, Senator Francis Ezenwa Onyewuchi, the present Senator representing Imo East Senatorial district in the 9th Assembly, and many others like Sir Jude Ejiogu, Philip Ejiogu, Willie Amadi, Dan Ikpeazu still actively involved in the state’s politics. It is also imperative to state here that the Archbishop of Owerri, his Grace, Anthony John Valentine Obinna is equally from Owerri zone just as his elder brother, Paddy Obinna, who was a two-time Adviser on Culture in the Rochas Okorocha administration. Though the Archbishop might be subtle about his interest in politics but the fact is still clear that he commands a powerful influence in the Imo state politics, and this proved to be true when he passed a vote of no confidence on the former Governor Ikedi Ohakim, and he lost his reelection in 2011.
Now, looking at the afore-mentioned big names, which other zones in Imo state could hardly boast of, one would still wonder why Owerri zone still can’t produce a Governor in recent times with their clout that will serve concurrently for two terms. The answer is not far-fetched, and that is, Ndi Owerri play politics of selfishness amidst other things unlike other zones. Let us do a bit of analysis on the above-listed personalities, and the reader will judge for themselves how well or bad each of them has fared as ensuring that Owerri gets the Governorship position.
𝐑𝐚𝐲𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐝 𝐀𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐳𝐞 𝐍𝐣𝐨𝐤𝐮:
A quintessential gentleman, power dresser, loved by women and respected by peers. He was from Emekuku, one of the ancient civilised towns in Owerri zone. He came from a privileged home, and that saw him attending prestigious schools like Saint Gregory’s College, Ikoyi, and later Cambridge University, England where he qualified as a lawyer. He returned to Nigeria and began a successful private legal practice, his intellect and charisma eventually earned him good friendship with the legendary late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and he became a Minister of Transport. When Queen Elizabeth II first visited Nigeria as a young beautiful woman in February, 1956, Njoku was the only man she found worthy to dance with in the dinner party organised in the Queen’s honour, after the young Njoku then in his panache had swept the Queen of the most powerful empire off her feet.
Raymond Amanze Njoku, was a man of exceptional class but had no influential political value even though he was a Minister. And this assertion can be reaffirmed when he contested for a regional seat in 1951, and lost. Perhaps he was more interested in wearing the best of Tuxedo and being a man of panache instead of building his political influence and using the opportunity to better his zone.
𝐃𝐫. 𝐊𝐞𝐦𝐚 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐤𝐰𝐞:
An exceptionally brilliant woman, a combination of beauty and brains. In deed, her husband, Chief Herbert Chikwe most be a very lucky man to have married such a beautiful and brilliant woman. Though in her 70s now but she still has her beauty and grace. She was among the most favourite of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s cabinet ministers when Baba was the President. Dr. Chikwe wielded so much influence first as a Minister of Transport and later as Minister of Aviation but unfortunately, she did nothing to better Owerri zone. She was more preoccupied with pleasing her father’s family and her own family. She failed Owerri zone, she failed to use her position to change things for Owerri zone and the entirety of the state.
𝐂𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐄𝐦𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐮𝐞𝐥 𝐈𝐡𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐨:
A fine gentlemen, a seasoned Ship Captain who attained the glorious position in his early 30s, humane and ever ready to help others especially his own people. He was a former Minister of Interior during the time of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. He used his position to better his zone by helping the youths of Owerri zone and Imo state as a whole to secure employment in the Federal civil service. His short stint in government helped improve the lives of the youths and their families in Imo state. However Ihenacho is not a good politician. He allowed sentiments to becloud his sense of judgment when he fell out with Chief Ikedi Ohakim largely because of the propaganda, that was later used to oust Ohakim.
Ihenacho was swayed by Rochas Okorocha rhetoric and was deceived into endorsing him to run against Ohakim in 2011 with the agreement that Okorocha would do only one term and he’ll take over. But Okorocha in his greed didn’t honour the agreement. And this infuriated Ihenacho and saw him contesting against Okorocha in 2015 where he lost. If Ihenacho had been a shrewd politician, the strategic thing would have been for him to endorse Ikedi Ohakim for second term, and after that the teeming Owerri zone people in Ohakim’s cabinet then would have ensured that Ihenacho would have emerged the Governor.
He is one of the most influential Labour leaders that Nigeria has ever produced in recent times. Popularly known as, ‘Nwapere’ in Owerri zone because of his diminutive stature but one of his salient qualities is that he is not a pushover. What he lost in physique, he gained in political clout. He is one of the very few that can very well shut down the entire Nigeria with Union workers and the rest of the masses. A nice man who had empowered quite a lot of young men and women from Owerri zone but quite sad, Ajaero is yet to bring the same national influence he commands in the politics of Owerri zone, and this in reality is not being useful to Owerri zone concerning the issue at hand.
Kelechi Madu is a force to reckon with in Canadian politics. The Mbaise born University of Lagos trained lawyer had been traversing in the Canadian tricky politics for almost a decade. He was an influential member of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta, and later he joined forces with other party stalwarts to merge the party with the Wildrose Party in 2017. A brilliant attorney, and smart politician but unfortunately, Madu has not been useful to his people of Owerri zone as regards the politics of Imo state.
𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐟 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧 𝐀𝐠𝐛𝐚𝐬𝐨:
An American trained Economist, and just like Raymond Amanze Njoku, Martin Agbaso is a man of panache, with handsome features, and often interested in his looks. At some point, in his flamboyance, the legendary ‘Mature’ of blessed memory, Senator Evan(s) Enwere mocked him when they both were engaged in a political tussle that politics is not a, ‘beauty contest’. Apart from Agbaso being carried away in his bid of trying to look or appear physically stunning, he equally has a problem of being trusted as a politician. He is one that is willing to sell out always when the money is right. He did this, when he sold his ticket to Okorocha for one billion naira in cash and the rest in contracts. Agbaso would have redeemed the glory of the Governorship position for Owerri zone after the late Governor Enwerem but instead he blew the chances of Owerri zone for a couple of billions of naira when he decided to sell his All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA) gubernatorial ticket to Okorocha in 2011. He also cut a deal with Okorocha to make his younger brother, Sir Jude Agbaso, the Deputy Governor. Now Chief Agbaso is a bona fide member of All Progressives Congress(APC) after jumping from APGA and Peoples Democratic Party(PDP). Apparently, with people like Agbaso, it will take almost forever for Owerri indigene to become the Governor of Imo state.
…𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐮𝐞𝐝.
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