By Ifeanyi Iheakanwa
At my wedding ceremony two years ago at Eastgate hotels Orji, Uche Ogbuagu admonished me and my wife, “if you wish to be successful in life, you will be ready to be thrown stones.”
He continued, “during my own wedding twenty years ago, the most popular person that attended it was the Abia state chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW. But today, Governors, Senators, captains of industries and diasporan friends honour my invitations whenever i call on them. This is not by my own powers but God’s.”
Till date I have held forth that admonition and it had helped me a great deal.
Taking a cursory look at Uche Ogbuagu’s political life, it is filled up with challenges but at each challenge, he comes out stronger.
At the same wedding ceremony, he added, “the more i am being thrown stones, the more i do greater things.”
When he won his opponent in 2019 for Ikeduru House of Assembly seat, INEC refused to declare him winner and ordered for a rerun. He took up the challenge and went to the field again. The loser, at the end regretted going for a rerun because the winning margin was toppled.
In one of Ogbuagu’s jokes of the rerun, he said, “a child who refuses to go home when it’s drizzling will be drenched with a heavy rain sooner than he thinks.”
Till today, Ifeanyi Opara of the then APC who called for the rerun, has deciphered between popularity and obscurity.
Yet, when the story of Uche Ogbuagu and his exceeding grace is told, some people begin to doubt it. Without fear or favour, Ogbuagu is in covenant with God.
Although, his political journey has been rough right from his days in the PDP, he has however proven beyond every reasonable doubt that he possesses the requisite knowledge and expertise to change the narratives in the Nigeria’s political firmament.
He was elected a PDP lawmaker but left the party when he noticed his services were no longer needed.
However, the only sin he committed that has refused to be forgiven by some poisoned hearts was that he left the PDP for APC in search of his political stability. That, to me, wasn’t inconsistency or unreliability as many often tag it. Every other politician would have done same to succeed if need be.
Nobody queried the Aboh-mbaise lawmaker, Eddy Obinna, who should have played along with the Rebuild Imo government of Emeka Ihedioha as the Governor’s representative at the state hallowed chamber. All eyes were on Uche Ogbuagu and all tongues wagged against him.
Till today, Ogbuagu is still making headlines for leaving the PDP – what a name in Uche Ogbuagu!
Almost immediately, he was made the Majority Leader of IMHA, a position he held for eleven months in APC government. Unfortunately, his critics did not celebrate him for holding such a coveted position. They only wished his downfall.
But when he was suspended by Paul Emeziem-led speakership, he made horrible headlines and assumed to have ended up politically. Even when he was serving his suspension, he was still making headlines on the pages of newspapers. What have people seen in this name!
Not comfortable with the modus operandi of the ruling APC, he joined the Peter Obi’s movement with a twist of faith and today, he has found his feet.
A certain illustration will better explain Uche Ogbuagu’s majestic entrance to the Labour Party.
One of the sweet stories told by my secondary school teacher which had remained indelible in my memory was that of a junior student who was so much hated by the school’s Senior Prefect.
He flogged the innocent student at will for committing no offence till the boy’s parents changed him to another school where the little boy improved academically and left the school in flying colours.
Years after, in a job interview where the boy has grown to be the manager of a company, the senior prefect was in a daze to see the little boy he flogged severally being his last hope of securing the job. He was disappointed but summoned the courage to apologize to the boy for all the wrong things he did him in the past, but the boy answered him, “no, you did not wrong me, you made me to find my feet! God used you to show me the way. Immediately i left the school because of you, i improved academically and here i am today as a manager of a company. I will give you the job. If you had not been a thorn on my flesh back then, maybe i would remain in the school and not taking my studies seriously. I thank you so much for flogging me to greatness!”
Uche Ogbuagu has been flogged to greatness and i stand on this assertion till tomorrow.
How he secured the Labour Party ticket with the wind of Obi’s New Nigeria mantra still remains a mystery to his political detractors. Uche, in his wisdom, decided to play down on his alliance with the Labour Party when he was given a technical knock-out at the APC kangaroo primaries.
To make things more pitiable, Henry Nwawuba smartly outshined him by clinching the APGA ticket that was clearly reserved for Ogbuagu. At this point, Ogbuagu was more like the proverbial bat that lived neither on land nor in the sky, but God was planning something bigger for him.
Had Ogbuagu made open his alliance with the Labour Party and Mbaike ticket, the same Cain who allegedly paid a former speaker of Imo state House of Assembly to remove Abel as the Majority Leader, would have toppled the price to deny Uche of his ticket at the Labour Party. I guess there is no other better ways to expend this billions of dollars rather than to bring people down politically and suppress them.
There are no good roads in Ikeduru as of today. No commercial banks for traders and businessmen. Many youths in Ikeduru and Mbaitoli are unemployed and eating from hand to mouth but stashes of billions are being wasted on a daily basis for some selfish political interest. At extreme cases, outrageous amounts are donated to the government just to buy the governor’s love. Government which ought to give to the masses.
To the glory of God, Mbaike parades resourceful men and women who are politically conscious and cannot easily be bought over with stashes of millions.
Ogbuagu, like Peter Obi has not given anyone a dime to induce them. He is already on ground with his people and needs not buy them over with money. He is a village man who is in consonance with his people and knows their heartbeat.
This brings me to the prophetic lines dropped on Ogbuagu’s head by Rev. Dr. Uma Ukpai, at one of Ogbuagu’s Mbaike Alive Crusade that, “Uche Ogbuagu is a divine project that cannot be stopped half-way.”
For a man who dedicated the major part of his political life to the services of God and humanity and has sowed in the vineyard of the Almighty by sustaining the popular Ikeduru and Mbaike Alive Crusade for fourteen solid years, should be dangerous in God.
Think about the expenses of assembling powerful men of God from across the nation and providing coaster buses to convey people (coming and going back) to the crusade ground at Iwuanyanwu stadium single handedly built by him.
Also think about the spiritual healing and sanctification of the land of Mbaike through the supplication of these powerful men of God on a yearly basis.
While others were busy swimming in delusions and playing on the intelligence of millions of Mbaike sons and daughters, Ogbuagu was out for monumental projects that will benefit the old man and woman in the village.
I was expecting people to say that Uche rigged the Saturday’s election to lead his opponent with well over 5000 votes. After all the noise and money expended to curry favour from Ndi-Mbaike and several endorsements by the so-called political leaders of Mbaike, one would think Ogbuagu would be a walk-over. But whom God will show mercy. Truly, ‘ezi aha ka nma kara ezi ego.’ Uche has goodwill and everyone knows the truth.
I believe the Saturday 25th February election was a tip of the iceberg of what the Obidients are capable of doing.
Now that INEC has refused to declare Uche Ogbuagu winner of Mbaike election but was compelled to order for a rerun in over 12 wards of Mbaitoli and Ikeduru, the Obidients will still match to the field to give a protest vote of Obi’s denial of his presidential mandate.
And for those who believe that LP is weak after the open and biggest electoral fraud committed by Yakubu Mahmood, i dare say that the party come to stay and is waxing stronger by the day.
I urge all Obidients and Imo electorates to match to the field on 11th March, 2023 with a renewed vigour to vote massively again for the Labour Party. Do not be deterred. Our incoming President, Mr Peter Obi has given us words of hope that he will sit on the throne in due time and aware he has more a million evidences to challenge his mandate, the judiciary, this time, must be the last hope of the common man.
However, on the Mbaike federal constituency rerun slated for same Saturday 11th of March, 2023, we call on all of us to be more vigilant and always raise alarm on any move that may subvert the will of the people.
We shall resist any plan to rig the election. We will stand on our ground and protect our votes till winners emerge through a genuine process. Do not be afraid of the military. They will not harm you as you fight for your right. We should not allow what happened to us in the previous exercise repeat itself.
You can see for yourselves that LP now has over 70 National Assembly members across the country including our dear Imo irrespective of the massive rigging orchestrated by some political desperados.
There are some elections that cannot be rigged no matter the forces thrown to it. Proposed riggers of Mbaike rerun election had better rescind on their plans because the people are out to resist it.
I dare say that election riggers are both unpopular and unacceptable by their people. Ndi-Mbaike, let us shine our eyes.
Iheakanwa writes from Owerri. Tell: (08038386510)