– Columnist. Tony Awusaku
– Barr. Kissinger Ikeokwu
– Chief. Osita Chidoka (Ike Obosi)
In the past decades, Politicians sets up a Foundation, with an office along a major road in the State Capital decorated with a ten by eight bill board boldly displaying his picture and the name of his foundation. Nobody knows what this foundation is about, and no one will ask.
Everybody that will visit the ‘Foundation’ knows where he is going to – the campaign headquarters of the next Governor of the State, a political ‘foundation’ set up to avoid the wrath of INEC, or is it impending Electoral Act (as amended) which has yet to lift embargo on political rallies and campaigns.
They could be gubernatorial, senatorial, representatives, state legislators or local government chairmanship aspirants. They are found in all categories, even councillorship contest, same characters, warped ambition, erected in deceit. At every election they arrive, participate, partake and disappear. Nobody hears about them again, no one benefits from their ‘Foundation’, and no government feels their presence or critique, until few months to the next election.
Almost all of them, from the beginning of this political dispensation, including the few that eventually won, do not live in the State. They do not know the landscape very well, they do not understand the topography of the State. Neither do they appreciate the feelings of the citizens. Sadly too, they do not know the problems of Imo State or how to solve it. And, of course, they cannot envisage what should be the priority of government and governance. But, they come with political gospels of how the man they wish to unseat has run the State aground or how he has taken the state’s resources to South Africa, Europe and the Americas.
They tell us that they have been successful in their careers and business, and that they are enlightened and exposed, emphasizing that they will bring their wealth of experience to bear on governance if voted into office. Hardly do any of them know how many primary or secondary schools we have in the state, talk more of pupils and teachers. Tall order for any of them to know the status of the health institutions in the state or what should be done to OCDA or Old Stadium along Tetlow Road for the benefit and betterment of the State and its citizens. For sure, they know Douglas Road, Okigwe Road and all the ‘fork and fuck’ factories in Owerri, but they do not know that Ohaji can house, not just one, mechanized farm estate or that an ultra-modern international fabrics, electronics or shoe market can be located in the valley of Okigwe with a massive multiplier effect.
Yet, because they come with, or are thought to have, the financial wherewithal to prosecute an election, our grass root leaders, the political middleclass and our party bigwigs, embrace, support or are intimidated into adopting these money miss-roads as our possible flag bearers
It is still the credible among the elite that can drive it in Imo. Let our grass rooted and middle class politicians and leaders begin to re-invent their will power, to reject these strangers, these election visitors, and political adventurers. Let us begin to embrace the man that lives and earns in Imo, the man who knows how many potholes there are along Relief Market Road or that Chukwuma Nwoha is not motorable at the first drop of the rain. Because of tomorrow, let us deliver Imo State from ‘Governor Aspirant’.
(Reference: Columist Tony Awusaku)
Kissinger Ikeokwu said, and I agree: “Once you declare to run, you will forget the little business that fends for you and your family: Churches would start inviting you to their harvest and fund drive for building projects: You will consult all the Eze’s before trying to campaign in their communities with mmanya karaka (strong wine) and envelope: You must consult some political leaders and Edi abalis with envelope: You must ‘kwoola ose’: You must have a war chest to at least be giving those who work for you to go home and buy garri for their family:
You must seek to enjoy the support of the PDP or APC leader in your area by lobbying his wiffy and kids with some goodwill. You must stop bye and give youth and those that heard I have drinks.
If you don’t do this; you might end up getting 7 votes which wet journalists does not record”.
Vote purchasing should be condemned in Nigeria. The concept of Politics or rather Democracy in Nigeria has been defeated. In the mind of every politician, by the syndrome of “instead of them to rig me, we will rig them”. Today, rigging has form part of the characteristics of our elections. Politics in Nigeria is a red eye affair and it is done the hard way.
Osita Chidoka OFR NPOM (IKE OBOSI) said: “Our political parties can build their ideologies around the strategies for achieving our national goals. The question every Nigerian should pose to our office seekers and elected officials should be:
o On critical national questions, where do you stand?
o On the role of government in the economy, where do you stand?
o On Federal government devolving more powers to the States, where do you stand?
o On fiscal federalism, where do you stand?
o On transparency and compliance to due process, where do you stand?
o On increased derivation in revenue sharing, where do you stand?
o On reducing the size of government, where do you stand?
o On Local Government autonomy, where do you stand?
Do not let any political party or aspirant deceive you with promises of bridges where there is no river, insist that the existential questions confronting our nation must be answered by those who seek to lead us.”
Except by political revolution, Imo State cannot get good governance. Power must have a base, it is either by the political elites or to the people. The way of the people produces the said accountability in governance.
The salvation lies in the hands of the people. The politics of today should be disrupted and a new politics should be created.