By Amby Uneze, KSJI
Politicians come and go uncelebrated but there is one politician who even when he finally retires in future he would remain a rallying point to his numerous admirers. That politician is no other person than Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.
This assertion might be controversial but the truth is that Ihedioha is a politican’s politician. Before I made this conclusion which is a reality, I had considered so many indices that could qualify a thorough-breed politician.
If you talk about consistency, he is there; integrity, Ihedioha is second to none; sensitive and articulate to political issues, he is easily called upon to intercept such matters.
When it comes to respecting the seniors in the game, especially the elder statesmen and women, Ihedioha is there to stoop low to get the desired advice he seeks.
But most of the time, people misconstrue his inability to accept ‘no’ to an answer as harshness and ignorant. To the best of my knowledge, Ihedioha is a team-player, that is, why he operates one of the most flourishing “follower-ship or political structure” in the State today.
Ihedioha admires excellence, hardwork, intelligence and intellectualism as his best practices. Therefore, he likes to work with those who possess these attributes instead of mediocre that offer little or nothing to his believed course.
In as much as he finds it difficult to associate with failures, he does not also take excuses because he always wants perfection. Hence, his inability to take certain pieces of advice is mistaken to as being arrogant by some people, especially his opponents and political foe.
Having being very close to Ihedioha since 2001 when he was a political aide to former vice president Atiku Abubakar, it is enough period to study him. That is, why I can write volumes with authentic information about Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.
In the actual sense of it I would have been his Media Adviser while he held sway as a principal officer at the national assembly.
My relationship with him grew much closer when I worked as the INEC adhoc staff as the Returning Officer for Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala federal constituency in 2003 election during his first slot in an election. So I declared Ihedioha as the winner of that election.
It did not end there, Ihedioha was appointed as the Chairman, Maritime committee in the national assembly. There, he performed excellently well as such his going back to the national assembly in 2007 was just a formality.
Having been reelected his second tenure, he worked to become the chief whip and thereafter went back the third time to grab the deputy speakership of the national assembly, and finally ended up as a sit-in speaker when Tambuwal Lawal the substantive speaker was elected the governor of Sokoto State.
Because of his political prowess, his colleagues were afraid of him due to the fact that he could single handedly manouvre the system to the benefit of the overall. He did it by making sure Tambuwal was elected speaker. For the first time in the history of the national assembly, Ihedioha was elected the deputy speaker unopposed. Such is a great feat.
Coming back home, his contributions were immeasurable. As a federal legislature, Ihedioha’s constituency was the entire Imo State. It was beyond the Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala federal constituency. This is a feat no legislature or senator had done in Imo State.
At a time, Ihedioha became the sole financer of Imo State PDP. When others fled to other political parties and a few that pretended to still belong to the party were junketing with one leg in PDP and the other in APC, Ihedioha was solid, gidigba in PDP making sure the party does not die.
By the grace of God, his effort manifested to becoming the party’s Governorship candidates in 2015 and 2019. His effort was crowned in 2019 when he was overwhelmingly elected the governor of the State. Unfortunately, after about seven months of robust and development-oriented regime, the enthusiasm of the people was caught short by that infamous and inglorious Supreme Court ruling of January 14, 2020 that sacked him.
To say the least and with all sense of modesty, Ihedioha has left a very big shoe that would take several years to find whose leg that would fit it.
In PDP, I weep for the party. It is also very obvious to say that Ihedioha has taken away the key of success of the party. For now, PDP is dead in Imo State and until something miraculous happens, it’s burial would follow.
Therefore, I urge the third force, the indefatigable Labour Party and her ever-bright ‘Obi-dient’ movement to step up and fight harder in order to give a soothing and people-oriented alternative in the State. May God make way for His people for a much more secured Imo State.
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