By: Sam. Onwuemeodo.
My initial thought was to caption this diary, “So Short A Letter,” to Martin Agbaso. And after the novel, titled “So Long a Letter,” written by the Winner of the Noma Award, Mariama BA. A Muslim woman, born in Daka, Senegal . A very interesting book. I talk about it next time.
The Emekuku, Owerri North, born Martin Agbaso, could be adjudged one of the finest politicians Imo State can boast of or can brandish.
In his politics , he has continued to take things as he sees them. No skin pain politics. And that could be or might be the reason, when everyone thought, he had gone under or gone beneath in his politics, situation would arise that would see him coming up or springing up again. That’s his portion. His lot. His own side of the story.
I tell you this.
Agbaso has been around in Imo politics. He didn’t start today. A frontrow or front seat Imo politician . He could be said, without mincing words, to have gone through the crucibles of Imo politics . He has Seen the beautiful and the ugly in the politics of the State . His story is a lengthy one and to an extent, sympathetic.
And whether his benefits have been commensurate with what he has put into Imo Politics or what he has gone through in lmo politics, is a topic for another day. We keep that in abeyance.
However, if you seek my opinion, I would say he has not been very lucky or fortunate in Imo politics. He has suffered quantum bruises. A very flamboyant politician.
He was born on April 5, 1959. And at 33 (1992), he had won election to be the Senator representing Owerri Zone in the Red Chambers of the National Assembly. That was on the platform of the National Republican Convention , NRC. In that election, he defeated juggaurnouts like Prof. Rowland Anyanwu and Sir Bright Nwanne.
He didn’t stay. Soon after the election, General Sanni Abacha came in as Head of State . That was the end of that mandate. That mandate was cut short.
In 1998, he again, was believed to have won the Senatorial election also to represent Owerri Zone, on the ticket of Democratic Party of Nigeria, DPN, with Alhaji Saleh Hassan as the National Chairman.
Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu of the UNCP was involved in the election. I grave your indulgence not to go the whole hog to say what transpired. What happened. Long, but an interesting tale or story. But, anyadike je aso ibeya. Onukwufo is a beautiful lgbo name, with imports .
Again, Abacha died. Abdulasalm Abubakar came in and sacked all the elected politicians. Note that Abacha’s coming terminated Agbaso’s first mandate or first election into the Senate in 1992. Abacha’s death also stiffled his election into the Senate in 1998 . lt could also be titled , “what Agbaso had gone through in the hand of Sanni Abacha”.
In 2001, Olusegun Obasanjo, as President then and in his magnanimity, appointed Agbaso Special Assistant on Ecology. He was in that position till 2004. That was a good one.
Agbaso had the most traumatic political experience in 2007. He was the governorship Candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. Who would succeed Achike Udenwa was a serious issue. Udenwa had wanted Charles Ugwuh to succeed him using the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. But Ifeanyi Araraume won the PDP Primary. And that was authenticated by the Supreme Court, at the end of the Legal battle that ensued after the Primary at the Dan Anyiam Stadium.
Udenwa was left with no other option than to support Agbaso. At the end of the election, it was generally held that Agbaso had won. His home at Emekuku became a Mecca for Political Pilgrimage. Trust Imo Politicians. The celebration had begun. But the feast was interupted or stopped when Prof. Maurice Iwu, the then Chairman of INEC and an Imo indigene of Mbano extraction, announced the cancellation of the election. Election, the announcement of Its result was being awaited.
There was fresh election in which Ikedi Ohakim of the Peoples Progressive Party, PPA, was declared winner. Agbaso went to Court. The rest became history. The political pilgrimage to his Emekuku house stopped. The politicians moved to Ohakim. I am telling a story. In a nutshell.
In 2017, Agbaso was announced the National Chairman of APGA. He was very brief in that position. The next was his metamorphosis into the All Progressives Congress, APC. Then, the Labour Party. And that’s the big story with Agbaso. He left APC to join the LP.
ln case you do not know, I have chosen this path to establish the fact that, Agbaso had seen the good and the bad in Imo politics in particular. He has been at home with Imo politics. There is nothing to tell him about Imo politics. He had also nominated his junior brother, Sir Jude Agbaso to be Owelle RochasOkorocha’s deputy in 2011. Okorocha won the guber poll and the young Agbaso, became the deputy governor of Imo State.
It was not surprising therefore that, he, Agbaso, was chosen to be the leader of the Labour Party in Imo. And of course, the head of Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign team in Imo. Appointment well deserved. A case of putting a round peg in a round hole. The essence of this piece. And the Caption “Martin Agbaso, Given the Bouncing Baby To Nurse In Imo”. I know his politics. We had met in his Emekuku residence on certain occasions, on his invitations. And l wish to remind him that what he has been given to carry or nurse is a baby full of life. A baby bubbling with life. lf you ask me, a bouncing baby boy . A very healthy baby. Weighing “5 ounces”. l am talking about the Labour Party in lmo State. And he has two options.
Either to sustain the baby’s sound health status to achieve or produce the expected goal or to frustrate the growth of the baby. Or, even strangulate the “baby”. But God forbid.
So, he has to subscribe to nursing the baby to produce the expected result and give room for testimonies. That should be his choice. His best and first option. Nothing more . Nothing less.
Anything in the contrary, would be very devastating. He must show leadership. He must dramatize leadership. The Labour Party in lmo is the bouncing baby boy given to him to carry or to nurse.
No doubt, the Party has attracted a lot of lmo People. The youths, women and so on. It has become the party to watch closely by APC, PDP and APGA. The Party to beat . That’s the status or the condition of the baby handed over to him to breed. To nurse or handle. Somewhat a litmus test.
By now , his Emekuku house must have begun to bubble again. lt must have, once again, become lively politically. The pilgrimage must have begun again. This is their chance. Political gold diggers.
When they come, he would begin to hear voices. They would again begin to call him OCHOUDO, because they know that the title sweets him more than his real name, Martin.
And their reason would be to draw his attention. To draw his ears closer. To make him listen to them attentively. They would begin to tell him who to deal with and who to avoid. Who said what and who didn’t say what.
Some would tell him how his long time dream to govern lmo could be achieved now with the Labour party since he is incharge. How he is going to be the next governor of lmo state. How he would be the best candidate to defeat the candidates of other parties.
Some would begin to give him low down or the comprehensive list of all those who had offended him in his politics, in the past.
Incidentally, these voices he would hear and how he would treat or react to them, would ultimately determine how far he would go in achieving the goal or purpose for which the bouncing baby was handed over to him to nurse.
They might arrange birthday anniversary for him for 2023, not minding his real date of birth. They could fix it January or February before the primary for lmo guber.
But he should ask himself when was his last birthday celebration?. At least, since 2007 when he was denied the governorship of the state. He should also ask, when was Achike Udenwa’s or Ikedi Ohakim’s or Rochas Okorocha’s or Emeka lhedioha’s last birthday celebration?. l am also talking to Governor Hope Uzodinma here. All things bright and beautiful God made them all. When was their respective last birthday celebrations since they left as governors of the State.
So, Agbaso should shine his eyes and work hard to ensure that those who handed over the baby to him to nurse won’t have any reason to regret their action.
He should not listen to any voice telling him or suggesting to him to run for the 2023 lmo governorship election. Such voice is leprous and should be treated as such. He should remain the leader he has been made. Leader GBURUGBURU. He should not run.
He should also not have preferred candidate(s). He should show stoic leadership by allowing or creating a level playing ground. He should carry everybody along in the interest of the party and the February 2023 elections. His neutrality would encourage all hands to be on deck for good results.
lt is also advisable that, in the circumstance, he should announce that he won’t run for the lmo Guber. To disarm those who might use the rumour of his ambition to weaken the unity of the party. He should make hay while the sun shines. No stone should be left unturned. What was given to him is a big task. He should not toy with it for any reason.
But do you know that l am neither a member of the Labour Party nor obidient. But all these can be achieved in a minute. What you see or get when you are watching something with “yokometre”. lt does not matter, is the language of shortsighted people. Don’t mind them, is also their language. l am talking here.
Ochoudo should carry other leaders of the party in the state along . He should give them reason or reasons to trust him. He should be transparent in dealing with them. Always tell them the truth because they also know those up there. When he attends certain meetings which other leaders might not attend he should always brief them. Always tell them the truth of every matter especially on the issue of doo. There is extreme hunger in the hand. ln the circumstance, you give every one his or her due . Oke zuo, Ogbuu-alaa. And God would take his glory. l know what l am talking about. Little things that can give the bouncing baby running stomach and the unexpected could happen. Better to nip such situations in the bud. The factors that would help him overcome challenges and achieve the desired result. All eyes are on him.
lf the Labour Party in lmo does well in the Presidential, National and State Assembly elections in 2023 , aside God Almighty, Agbaso would take the greater part of the accolades. He should not allow anything to deny him that . He should drive the party in lmo to achieve success and have his name written in gold. Personal ambition would only narrow his “world view” or cage him. Limit his potentials. This is an opportunity to make history and he should not take it for granted.
Opportunity does not come only once. lt is not true that opportunity comes only, but once. Our God is God of many opportunities. God of many chances as long as he remains on the THRONE. As long as we continue trusting him. God of several chances. Not God of fixated chance.
Martin Agbaso should take this lively and lovely baby given to him to nurse as another chance in his politics. And our own is to tell him some of the things that can propel him to deliver. To also pray for him, to enable him land safely , while we continue to clap for Jesus#