-Collins Ughalaa KSC
We have followed recent media outings from the office of the newly enthroned Director General of the PDP New Media, Prince Collins Opurozor, and we really understand the pressure he is going through. In fact, we empathize with him, and by extension the opposition in Imo State. Since Opurozor’s appointment he has come under intense pressure – the type that is capable of breaking one’s back – to prove he can do the job assigned to him. He is under pressure to prove that those who appointed him did not make any mistakes.
Considering how busy that office was with the duo of Duru kizito and Lancelot Obiaku at a time, and lately Ambrose Nwaogwugwu, one can actually understand why Opurozor rolled up his sleeves and began punching the air.
Opurozor’s first outing got us wondering. As a graduate of Political Science he should understand the import of strategic communication in political engagements. But what can Opurozor do, seeing the odds are stacked against him?
That was why, for want of what to say he issued what he called a “quit notice” to a government that is just a little over one year old – and a performing government at that. Governorship election may hold in Imo State late 2023. The incumbent would be serving out his first term in office on January 15, 2024 and would be taking his oath of office for the second term in office.
What other meaning does the so-called “quit notice” hold besides confirming our suspicion that Opurozor has surrendered to undue pressure to please his appointers. Would he otherwise get up and arrogate to himself powers which he does not posses? Would he otherwise imagine that by his appointment as the DG, PDP New Media, he poses some kind of threat to the Governor?
Sadly, we live in a clime where those who say they are playing opposition politics are too ordinary in their public engagements. The only thing that excites them is anything that presents itself as anti-government. That is how ridiculous the opposition has become in Imo State.
We understand the pains the opposition is passing through. It is not easy to take a piece of meat from someone’s mouth. If you succeed, you should expect the person to at least react. The PDP has since January 2020 been reacting to their ouster from office.
They cannot live with the fact that Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma is now Governor, and that he did not breach any law in becoming Governor. Rather he refused the temptation of taking laws into his own hands by making the state ungovernable for the PDP. He chose to approach the court to correct the anomaly in the results of the 2019 governorship election, where votes accruing to him were unjustifiably rejected after they had earlier been accepted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 388 polling units and wards across the State.
He told the court that if his votes were counted he would have been declared Governor. He asked the court to accept the 213,695 votes from the 388 polling units as legitimate and add them to the 96,458 votes already allocated to him by INEC.
The Supreme Court found merit in his prayers and added the figures, which made him winner of the election. Adding 213,695 votes to 96,458 votes, Uzodinma polled 310,153 votes, against 273,404 votes scored by Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP.
This was why, even though Uzodimma did not win his case at the Tribunal and Court of Appeal respectively, a minority judgement by Justice Fredrick Oho of the Court of Appeal described him as the “the duly elected Governor of Imo State”. It takes a man of equity and clean hands to go this route.
Opurozor should keep his personal grudges and prejudices in check and not elevate them to the status of party policy. The PDP has been quarrelling with how Uzodimma became Governor and Opurozor has inherited it. He has also brought with him his grudges against the emergence of Prof. George Obiozor as the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.
He is not happy that the man he supported for the position of the PG Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. Chidi Osuagwu, did not make it. This is the reason he would hide behind the toga of opposition to cast aspersions on the credible process that ushered Prof. George Obiozor in as the PG of Ohanaeze Ndigbo at this auspicious time the Igbo Nation needs a man of his caliber in contemporary Nigeria.
While Opurozor argues that it was against equity for an Orlu man to have emerged the PG of Ohanaeze Ndigbo irrespective of the man’s towering credentials, he however conveniently leaves out the fact that the office of the PG, Ohanaeze Ndigbo is not Imo State governorship. It does not rotate among the three zones of Imo State.
Prof Obiozor was selected by the Elders Council of Ohanaeze Ndigbo as their consensus candidate. What the Governor did was to adopt him, since he did not want to interfere in the selection process.
The Elders Council led by Chief Engr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, a chieftain of the PDP and life BOT member of the Party, initiated the process of selecting a credible candidate from Imo State for the position of the PG of Ohanaeze. Iwuanyanwu has explained at different fora that the Elders made the position open for all. According to him, interested persons submitted their CVs which were in turn subjected to screening in order to come down to the calibre of person needed for the job.
While the screening process was still on, many of those who earlier showed interest withdrew from the race. In the end Prof Obiozor was found the ideal man for the job.
He was therefore adopted as a consensus candidate and later presented to the Governor of the State. Opurozor and his choice candidate, Prof Osuagwu, had the opportunity of making their case before the Elders Council of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and convince them that the PG position should be zoned to Owerri Zone or Okigwe Zone. But they failed to do so.
We shudder to think Opurozor could prevaricate on a sensitive matter as the Governor’s call for equity, as if anyone calling for equity has become the enemy of Ndigbo. He tried to make a distinction between equity and the Biafra agitation.
He thought that the emergence of Prof Obiozor as the PG Ohaneze Ndigbo befouled his sense of equity, and that Governor Hope Uzodimma having been declared Governor by the Supreme Court lacks the locus to preach equity. This is all fallacy. While we are worried that the PDP in Imo State has transformed itself to be the opposition to Ohaneze Ndigbo as well, it is our position that all Ndigbo need is equity.
Imo PDP is worried that the Governor calls for equity for Ndigbo instead of supporting the Biafra agitation. As a political party the PDP ought to know better. Ndigbo wouldn’t complain or agitate for Biafra if there was equity for all parts of Nigeria.
Strictly speaking, the agitation for Biafra heightened as a result of lack of equitable distribution of resources, and this also is the reason for various kinds of agitation in the polity, including the agitation for restructuring and President of Nigeria of Igbo extraction, etcetera. The notion that anyone who does not support strictly the call for secession is a lesser Igbo man, is a route a political party should not take.
Unless Imo PDP is saying that they are championing the balkanisation of Nigeria. If they are, why are they gearing for 2023 elections? If Opurozor understands the meaning of equity, we do not think he would support making Ihedioha the governorship candidate of the PDP for the third time in 2023. Ihedioha was the governorship candidate of the PDP in 2015.
He lost the election. He was also the candidate of the PDP for the governorship election in 2019. Ihedioha is also gearing to become the party’s flagbearer in 2023. Where is the place of equity in all of this arrangement, considering that the PDP does not belong to Owerri Zone or even the Mbaise Nation, or Ihedioha as a person.
If Opurozor believes in equity he should demonstrate it by championing same in the PDP. Taken together, Opurozor’s position on equity is not only hogwash and deceptive but a window to the bitterness he harbours in his heart, like his colleagues in Imo PDP.
Opurozor should cure himself of his prejudices against the new PG of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and then key into the vision of the leadership. From the word go, Prof Obiozor said clearly that Ndigbo would sit with others regions to discuss the future of Nigeria, where equity is the watchword.
Few days after his election as the new PG of Ohanaeze he addressed a world press conference where he talked about issues bothering on the Igbo interest, covering the issues of insecurity and existential threat of Ndigbo, the Igbo dilemma in Nigeria, restructuring, economy, education and the Biafra question, etcetera.
He noted: “It is obvious that at this critical time in our history, leadership of Ndigbo ought to transcend partisan politics, make-believe, rhetorics, propaganda and shadow-boxing. In other words, it is imperative that the primacy of Igbo interest, as opposed to self-seeking agenda and mere political ambition should be the bedrock on which Igbo desirable and ideal leadership is anchored”.
Prof Obiozor is a mature and experienced man. He has demonstrated his capacity to build consensus among diversities of opinion and to define and fiercely but reasonably defend the interest of Ndigbo. He has shown wonderful understanding of the needs, pains, grief and expectations of Ndigbo and the task ahead. He needs all hands on deck to get the job done, not dwelling on the politics of zoning, which has since 2011 been jettisoned in Imo State.
9News Nigeria (Owerri)
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