By Henry Ekpe
Hon Uche Onyeagocha is the Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Owerri Zone, otherwise known as Imo East Senatorial District of Nigeria, in the 2023 general election.
Recently, Onyeagocha, as usual, was in the news. But this time for his “Covenant” with his beloved Owerri People. Since he won his most contentious PDP primary, a victory which has gladdened the heart of many, he has not “Presented” himself to the people before the election proper.
Therefore, on Thursday October 6, 2022, Onyeagocha “Stepped out” to the full embrace of Owerri people, as he publicly told the constituents in-waiting what he has in stock for them, when they elect him into the Red Chamber of the Federal Legislature.
The occasion which took place at Full Moon Hotel Owerri was brimming with people who left all they were doing in a working day to fill the hall to the seams.
It was a rainbow crowd, as people from other political parties were sighted in the ceremony that attracted the military, clergy, politicians, Artisans, people with Disability, students, market women, non politicians etc.
Onyeagocha, who is a known Orator, as he is an Activist and fearless, “Opened Book” for people of Owerri Zone, where he enumerated what it would take him to fight for the right of his people.
The ceremony termed “Presentation of my Legislative Agenda” by Onyeagocha, was new to the crowd, who felt respected and recognized, for a candidate of a political party to gather would-be-constituents to make a “Covenant” with them without any prompting.
Shockingly, it was not an outing for drinking and eating, or for sharing of money, yet the entire Hall was calm and quiet, listening attentively to the candidate as he made open his “Manifesto”.
As Onyeagocha spoke, those outside, despite the congestion inside the Hall, still struggled to enter to catch the gist.
And the PDP Senatorial candidate did not disappoint the audience, who for sure, came with all their hearts and mind glued to the occasion.
“I am deeply grateful to all who in one way or the other contributed to my emergence as the PDP candidate for Imo East Senatorial District, Owerri Zone” he opened up.
“I applaud immensely the unprecedented solidarity, overwhelming support, sacrifice, invaluable trust and goodwill of my party (PDP) in electing me YOUR Senatorial candidate” he hinted.
It was really “overwhelming support”. Remember, Onyeagocha faced a sitting Senator, and came out victorious. That was really a tough battle.
Onyeagocha told the audience that “I will be your Servant in the Senate”.
No doubt about that. The man Uche Onyeagocha is lion-hearted and as tough a leather. But he has what General Banbangida (rtd) will call “A human Face”.
Much as UCHE, as fondly called by his numerous admirers, walks where Lions dread, it is only when it comes to cheating others or treating others as inhumans because they have no body to speak for them, that you see the MAN in Onyeagocha.
However, in the issue of respect and responsibility, Onyeagocha will be a class in the Senate. Any way, he will not be a novice in Abuja, as he had used his stay in the Federal House of Representatives earlier in his younger days as a stepping stone for the higher position of a Senator.
He is humane, urbane, well read and a gentleman. However, he can also play “Roforofo” if you take him for a “mugu”.
“In my commitment to serve, I shall bring to bear my experience as community Leader, Administrator, International Environmental Human Rights Activist” he said.
I had told us that the Guy has enough in his bag as a well qualified character for the job.
Now having told us how he scaled the PDP hurdle to the stage of being a candidate, and the pedigree to face the task ahead, what next?
This is where the Owerri Zone electorate come in. The likes of Onyeagocha should be voted massively to the Senate, especially now that the Nigerian voters have began to realize their power, following some changes in the electoral Act which will make votes to count this time.
When Onyeagocha was in the Federal House, even as a first timer, his name was vibrating across Nigeria for the right reasons.
That day in the Fullmoon Hotel Hall, Onyeagocha brought back the spirit of Late Senator Ama Iwuagwu. That beautiful son of Owerri Zone who made Owerri proud in the Senate.
The nostalgic feeling could be touched in the Hall, as Nde Owerri expressed optimism that another Loved son of theirs is about to mount the position again.
Uche Onyeagocha was among the patriots in the National Assembly who denied themselves comfort, and shunned easy lucre in checkmating the plot for a third term plot by a former Nigerian President. While some of his colleagues then grabbed the opportunity to increase their Bank Accounts, Onyeagocha was only thinking about the future of his constituents and Nigeria.
Therefore one good turn deserves another. Nigerian National Assembly is where all Nigerians of different Tribes, Religion, and worth gather to fight for their people. Everybody send their first Eleven.
Under this scenario, we must send our best to speak for us. There is a difference between the office of Executive and Legislature. In the National Assembly if you are lilly-hearted, “nothing for you and nothing for your people”.
“Owerri Zone has the capacity to host Ten private Tertiary Institutions and I shall pursue the realization of this initiative. I shall lobby to ensure that Owerri Zone which was excluded from the Federal Government Railway mapping is recaptured. I shall aggressively lobby the Federal Government to construct an Owerri by pass to open up the economic potentials of our Communities” the future Senator declared.
What many people don’t know is that as a Legislator, your primary assignment as Peoples’ Representative is to make laws that will facilitate democratic dividends to reach your constituency. It has never been the job of the Legislature to construct roads or build Houses.
Therefore, with Uche Onyeagocha, Owerri Zone will be fully represented and recognized in the Senate and included in Federal Projects. With a skillfull, experienced, bold and yet humble personality like Uche Onyeagocha to present the case of Owerri in the comity of Senators of Federal Republic, his Colleagues will have no alternative than to bow to superior arguments.
One thing about Onyeagocha is his humility, and strong character, which make him at home both within the rich and poor.
He said it himself “I will remain Manu Oha Nile Nde Owerri Zone”.
While some “BigMen” pretend, Uche does not. At the ceremony, he printed his Telephone number on the Telepointer, and made it clear to the audience that he has only one phone number since Telecommunication debuted in Nigeria.
While electorate fear that many politicians win elections and disappear, that will not be the case with Onyeagocha who is already a “Home Boy”. So, where will he hide? He is easily accessible, both physically and on phone.
“I have secured my party ticket. I offer myself to serve Owerri Zone. I Love Owerri Zone dearly. I am an Owerri Zone patriot. You can vouch that I will defend Owerri Zone. I humbly. I plead for your votes to serve you more” Onyeagocha pleaded. And this attracted a thunderous aviation from the crowd, which signified a concerted affirmation from Owerri voters.
The Senatorial election will take place across Nigeria on February 25, 2022. Indications are that he is the Man to beat in the election. Join the queue now.
Onyeagocha is not a saint, and can never claim to be one, but he is highly regarded as a rare gem of impeccable character, who despite his long voyage in politics has no traces of questions dogging his history.
He hails from Obinze, in Owerri West LGA, and he is a Lawyer by Training, from University of Calabar and De Montfort University, Leicester, England.
As a “Home Boy” he is an old student of Government College Owerri. He is described as “Mmanu Uyoo (MU)”. He speaks the Owerri dialect fluently with a melody in his tongue.
Onyeagocha, if elected on February 25, 2023 will be representing Ngor Okpala, Aboh Mbaise, Ahiazu Mbaise, Ezinihitte Mbaise, Owerri Municpal, Owerri North, Ikeduru, Mbaitoli and Owerri West in the Senate. Aka Mma Mma nu! I yaa!