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Opinions of Saturday, 7 May 2022

Columnist: Kenneth Uwadi

Imo State: Ohaji/Egbema House of Assembly 2023, Who will go for us

Nigeria goes to the polls in 2023 Nigeria goes to the polls in 2023

As the 2023 general election gets near, with the spring up of the various aspirants in Imo State, the era of primordial sentiment is beginning to give way to solidity and meritocracy.

Speaking about Meritocracy, the recent appointment of Obinna Ariaga as Coordinator of Egbema North Development Centre is a good call. The appointment of Ujunwa Best Okere as Coordinator of Owerri South Development Centre is also a good call. Both men are among the simplest, most unassuming, humble, dedicated and easy going persons I have had the fortune of knowing. They are solid and good at what they do and I know they will do well. Congratulations to them.

The road to the Imo State House of Assembly is long, expensive, and exhausting. Becoming a candidate of a Political Party is only the beginning of the election process. Successful candidates must both persuade voters that they deserve their individual votes and garner the critical votes of voters in the main election. Persuading voters is the essence of a political campaign. Advertising, theme songs, stump speeches, and even negative campaigning have been around since our country began, and each advance in technology since then has offered new opportunities for candidates to persuade voters.

As the race for the Ohaji/Egbema House of Assembly seat heightens, the question remains , who will go for us. Political pundits have been gazing at the crystal ball. So many people have declared their ambitions. Scrutiny and evaluation of their individual profiles, manifestos, leadership antecedents amongst others are ongoing. Who will get the APC party ticket? Who will get the PDP party ticket? Who will get the APGA and other political party tickets? Who do we send?

Given the importance of politics, it will be expected that good people will participate and lead the political process so that good values, ethics and morality will be the order in society. But unfortunately, the practice of politics across the country has made politics become regarded as a dirty game. Several scholars and philosophers have counselled good people to be involved in politics. According to Edmund Burke, for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. But in actual practice, many bad people have dominated politics such that in some state at some point in history mafia groups and drug barons have taken over the political leadership . The result is always catastrophic on society.

Nevertheless, Ohaji/Egbema will not have a House of Assembly member in 2023 who is fond of making promises he never adhered to. We will not have someone who is not a man of his words, who tells too many lies. We don’t need anyone who is an expert at treachery, who does not keep to agreement and understanding. We have to impress upon those who would lead us that we do care about truth and honesty and that losing our trust is an unacceptable cost of deceptive politics. Shall we, because of the beauty of our girl friend, climb a pear tree that is protected with fetish objects? God forbid. We must call a spade a spade.

We are angry we are from the oil area and the oil companies in our area are refusing us jobs. We don’t want a House of Assembly Member that will not attract a single project for our constituency. We don’t want anyone who does not even pick his calls, who does not reply to messages. Politicians are like goldfish. They have no hiding place. Their actions are scrutinized every minute for various reasons and for different purposes.

We don’t want a House Member who will go there to serve himself alone. We say No to anyone who will not sponsor any bill. We should be able to draw a clear line between jesting and genuine ambition. We don’t want anyone who will not fight for the welfare of Ohaji/Egbema. Anyone who will not be concerned about the welfare of his followers is not needed. No more my family-my family alone.

When it is time for election some persons will start eating akara by the road side, bathing Almajiris on the street, drinking pure water on top of dirty gutters, controlling traffic, pushing trailers, driving Keke, buying Suya and eating corn publicly just to hoodwink the people. We don’t want any stingy person to represent us in 2023. Any man who is not generous should stay clear. A generous man will prosper, he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed (Proverb 11:25-28). A Chinese philosophical saying goes thus: “He who obtains has a little, he who scatters has much".

We don’t want any Baba Sallah Nkwobi and pepper Soup House of Assembly member in 2023. If we know what is good for Ohaji/Egbema, no petty minded person should be given the reins of authority for such a person would abuse it to our chagrin. We must not even allow them to ascribe leadership onto themselves on our behalf as they lack the sterling values of leadership. I will talk about the current Ohaji/Egbema House of Assembly Member and some of those who have indicated interest for the Ohaji/Egbema House of Assembly seat next week.

-Kenneth Uwadi lives in Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria.