Imo PDP, Uzodinma And Paid Pipers
By Henry Ekpe
Defection, otherwise called Red Tapism in political Books, is allowed in politics. This is when a politician abandons his/her former political party and pitch’s tent with another party.
It is a global norm, but that of Nigeria assumed a scandalous dimension due to the way and manner Nigerian politicians have bastardized the matter.
Before now, it was celebrated whenever one politician ditches his old political party for another one. But today, it is no more an issue because politicians even brag about spending life in three different political parties before his/he four year tenure runs out.
In the days of yore, politicians changed parties either for ideological differences or serious issues. But now they move out in search of easy lucre. Simple and short.
As usual, Imo PDP has been hit again with some high profile defections lately, especially members of Imo House of Assembly elected on the platform of PDP.
Some others in search of “Greener pastures” have also followed the train, berthing in All Progressive Congress, APC for no other reason but selfish interests.
However, my major concern is the way and manner some people have been predicting the death of PDP in Imo State following this “Anual movement” by Normadic politicians.
Many have even mocked those remaining in Imo PDP now, predicting doom for them and the party.
Certainty, if men do consult history before speaking or writing, they will realize that history, especially in Nigeria, always repeats itself.
In the first place, PDP is the oldest political party today in Nigeria, and therefore not a mushroom party you can wave aside.
And indications are that PDP strives more in times of “Tragedy”. Despite what anybody may say, the party remains the largest party in Nigeria, even though it is the opposition party in Nigeria now.
Apart from the ruling APC with the highest number of States in its grip, PDP still has a large chunk of States in its Kitty.
In Imo State, PDP has remained the ruling party since the current Democratic dispension arrived in 1999.
At all times, despite what critics may say of Imo PDP, the party has constantly remained in power in the State, in some cases with a different Baptismal name, but same in structure and Body.
In 1999, Chief Achike of PDP assumed office and ruled for eight years.
In 2007, Dr Ikedi Ohakim, a pioneer member of PDP who succeeded Udenwa, simply moved over to Progressive Peoples Alliance PPA to clinch the Imo Governorship diadem. And he later returned to the PDP fold months after, with members of PDP incharge till 2011.
In 2011, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, another pioneer member of PDP, who nearly picked the party’s Governorship ticket in 1999, became Governor.
Okorocha had to move to All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, to actualize this fit after several efforts to rule Imo State under PDP usually failed at the primary levels.
When Okorocha arrived in 2011, majority of his top Aides were all of PDP stock, before he decided to nurture his own structure by bringing in some budding and young politicians.
Till date, despite worked under APGA and APC platforms, Okorocha is much remembered politically with his exploits in the political terrain during his PDP exciting days.
On May 29, 2019, it was the same PDP people, as Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha was sworn-in as Governor of Imo State.
He held sway for eight months, with the entire PDP machinery fully back in authority remescient of the Udenwa Eight years era. This was after the party waxed strong, but failed to return to Douglas House during Okorocha’s eight years.
Unfortunately, on January 2020, another set of “PDP people” sent out one of their own, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha through the Supreme Court Battle led by Senator Hope Uzodinma.
However, since Uzodinma assumed office as the 6th Civilian Governor of Imo State, I have been reading a lot of foul languages and mockery against Imo PDP and its teeming members, and ironically from “PDP Men” now in the Uzodinma Government as APC members. They speak as if there is no tomorrow. Like we do not know them from yesterday.
There is no name these men, who rose to their political Pinnacles after having benefited stupendously from PDP have not called the party.
Either they are running their mouths to attract the attention of the Governor or acting like “Tough Men” forgetting that in politics, you can only be sure of where you are sitting at any material time at any given time.
Unfortunately, while the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma has maintained calmness and humble in office, including watching his Language, but those around him believe they have conquered the world, and the rest of us are now captives.
In fact those in PDP are now seen as the enemies that must be dealt with, forgetting that almost everybody in the present Imo Government were once bonafide members of PDP who only reincarnated into a new political platform called APC for the sake of political power.
Now let me begin from Douglas House Owerri. The Governor Senator Hope Uzodinma was a former Board of Trustees member (BOT) of PDP, a two time Senator under PDP and earned various lucrative privileges under PDP.
His Deputy, Prof Placid Njoku was appointed the Vice Chancellor of University of Agriculture, Umudike, Umuahia, Abia State under PDP Government.
The present Secretary to Imo State Government, Chief Cosmos Iwu, was my senior colleague in the Expanded Imo State Executive Council, where he functioned on the same portfolio now under the PDP Government of Dr Ikedi Ohakim.
The Chief of Staff, Chief Nnamdi Anyachie was a former State Chairman of Imo PDP.
The Deputy Chief of Staff, Administration, Barr Mbakwe Obi Jnr, is the son of a former member of Imo PDP Lawmaker for Ideato South constituency, Hon Chief Mbakwe Obi, who was also a former National Officer of PDP.
The Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, my good friend Emeka, remained a member of PDP until he moved with his Principal to APC.
Now, among the Commissioners, Chief Raph Nwosu (Works) was in Gov Ikedi Ohakim’s administration as Works Commissioner too, the present Commissioner for Finance, Mr Chuck Chukwuemeka as at last week remained a PDP member.
Chief Iyke Njoku (Environment) was Ahiazu Mbaise LGA Chairman under PDP, Chief Tony Umezuruike served as Imo Liaison Officer Abuja under Udenwa’s era, Bar Cyprian Akaolisa, the Attornye General, a friend of mine, began his political career with the position of Senior Special Assistant SSA, Cabinet Office during the Udenwa era, and later chairman of Orsu LGA under Ohakim. He was for Legal Adviser Imo PDP.
Chief Rex “Sokom” Anunobi, one of the political “Necessities” of Imo State made his political gains in PDP where he worked as Special Adviser SA, to Ohakim, after being chairman of Nkwerre LGA many years back.
Chief Kingsley Ononuju was a PDP man and was incharge of NEPAD under Ohakim era. Hon Declan “Lumbas” Emelumba joined politics under PDP platform as Media Aide to Udenwa, and later moved to Imo House of Assembly still under PDP platform. He is Commissioner for Information now.
Chief Enyinnaya Onuegbu, my brother from Ngor Okpala, became a Transition Committee Chairman of Ngor Okpala, and later was elected Chairman. All that was under PDP. Infact, he was the Secretary of Imo ALGON. The last time I checked he has not resigned that post yet.
Dr Fabian Ihekweme (Omu), another good friend of mine, only joined the “Uzodinma faction” of PDP a few weeks before the Supreme Court debacle. Has he now registered for APC?
Lady Love Ineh, the beautiful woman of Imo PDP, has now joined APC. But her face remains a memorial in Imo PDP and cannot be erased. She always stood behind Senator Ifeanyi Araraume. I did not even know when she moved on.
Is this Lambert Orisakwe not the former Comissioner during Udenwa’s regime?
Or the one that took over from late Hon Agaptus Egbeogu from Isu State Constituency?
Now let us check the Special Advisers; Doris Anyanwu was in and out, a PDP fellow, Canis Moore Nwachukwu, my man, the Omogo Na Orlu, is and was PDP main Man, Chief Gibson Onyiga Achonwa began his politics in PDP after leaving Federal Job, my brother Blyden Amajirionwu was chairman of Development Centre Ngor Okpala, and importantly a PDP State Spokesman, and now says he is APC. Madam Social Nnoham was Imo PDP Woman Leader, Mrs Nkechi Mbonu was also Imo PDP State Woman Leader, Wilson Nwafor, My Friend too, was in PDP, so, he has left? Chief Sam Osuji former Chairman of Isiala Mbano LGA under PDP is now in APC?
What of Imo ALGON chairman, Mrs Ruby Emele, who fought like a Lioness to upturn the sack of her colleagues by the Okorocha regime.
Chief Kingsley Ufere was the chairman of Imo Petroleum Task Force during Udenwa’s PDP regime.
My person, Macdonald Ebere, ex Owerri Municipal Council Chairman under PDP is now SA Environment.
Going through the list of Senior Special Assistants SSAs and the newly inaugurated Council Interim Management Teams, they are all of PDP stock.
These are members of PDP who pulled out with Senator Hope Uzodinma during the Markarfi/Sherrif saga. How many years have they spent in APC to now forget the party that made them? And how is APC in Nigeria?
Politics is fluid. Those who use bad words against others now must realize that politicians are like a moving stream. They flow. They don’t remain stagnant.
Therefore, my advice to those who mock PDP is to realize that the present Government organagram in Imo is made up of people once in PDP. And nothing is certain in life except change. Therefore, when the current youths write about Imo politics they should ask questions.
There is a likelihood that all those trooping in now into Imo APC, may as well run back to PDP in future.
When the power game reassumes around 2022, it is then we can arrive at any conclusion. But for now, anything can happen because politics is fluid and unpredictable.
APC is a reactionary party, made up of strange Bed fellows, who simply pulled their resources together to remove the PDP, thinking that things will get better. But it has not. PDP days cannot, realistically, be compared with APC era now.
How much is a bag of rice now, school fees, Housing, Security even infrastructure compared to PDP days?
APC has hard-hearted grandees who have no milk of kindness in their hearts.
But PDP is “chop make I chop”. In APC one persons “Chops” what would have gone round a million people.
For sure, these Imo PDP members who went to look for political space in APC will surely return to their abode, PDP, when APC implodes in 2023. For now, they are on sabbatical.
Imo PDP, Uzodinma And Paid Pipers