For those at home with Okigwe politics, the recent endorsement of Rt. Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu for Okigwe Senate by various groups was never a hot piece of news. This is because, long before the pronouncement by these groups, it has been a serious topic of debate that has been discussed at every nook and cranny of the Zone.
On one side of the debate were those who believed that he should go to the House of Representatives in 2015. For them he had the best chance of grabbing that slot if he firmly fixes his gaze on it. Some others kicked against the idea. Those who kicked against the idea for House of Representatives argued that Okigwe needed a strong voice and presence in the Senate which by their reckoning the speaker would provide very well. In a pluralistic society like ours, political never-do-wells will always site Zoning or rotational leadership as excuse to enthrone inexperienced representatives in leadership positions. I have said on record before that Senator Ifeanyi Ararume’s second term in Okigwe Zone was the obituary of Zoning in Okigwe Zone. Sometimes good people can argue on Zoning, but in the case of Okigwe Senate situation and and in the case of speaker Uwajumogu, people are arguing on the basis of merit and I think anybody who wants to carry-on the Zoning argument now has quite significant precedence which has been set against it. So if you ask me I will tell you that yes the argument for Zoning was dealt a serious blow by Senator Ararume second term in the Senate. It is public knowledge that Senator Echerue from Ehime Mbano, Okigwe south handed over to Senator Agunnanne,who in turn handed over to his brother Senator Ararume from Isiala Mbano Okigwe North, who took two shots at the Senate making it three consecutive outing for the Okigwe North people, he eventually handed over to Senator Anyanwu who did one tenure and handed over to his brother Senator Nwagwu that is currently in the Senate and based on zoning principles, the Okigwe South still has one more shot in other to meet up with the North. On this basis therefore the school of thought believes stubbornly to the notion that Rt. Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu is qualified for Okigwe senate in 2015.
GOOD CONVERSATION ALL THE WAY
Both arguments already has pointed out that Uwajumogu has done well as a Speaker. First, the mere fact that the people themselves engaged themselves in that exercise was eloquent testimony that Okigwe Zonal politics has come or age. Again, it also should mean that Ndi Okigwe held their son in high esteem, due to what he has been able to achieve for them since he became the State’s number three citizen. It seems the people by a way of appreciation felt it was their duty to decide his next political destination hence the long and healthy conversion. Clearly, from whoever perspective, it is a pointer that democracy is alive and kicking in the zone.
A very good political culture that should be given every encouragement to survive and thrive due to its numerous good sides. As a politician, the fact that your people unanimously endorsed and are fighting to put one in office makes stewardship in politics a very serious business. At every point in the journey you are always pre-occupied with thought of how to prove to your people that your choice was one well made. It is always the electorate first in whatever action you want to undertake.
Under this atmosphere the electorate enjoys the dividends of democracy and other accruements due to them and people oriented leadership.
In the same vein where leadership is instituted by the people, transparency, accountability and prudence would always be given the front seat so that, at all times, the mandate givers would be on top of the game, like the Chinese would say; ’’when the people in the trust sense of representative democracy elect their leaders what follows is a win-win Situation’’.
In coming out openly to endorse Rt Hon Uwajumogu, his Kinsmen must have done some serious homework. Without doubt they must have putting him on a scale alongside others nursing similar ambition and weighed them objectively. They must have as well critically x-rayed his contribution to the growth and development of the Zone in general and Ihitte/Uboma in particular not only in the two years and some months he has been in leadership position but since he started politics, Surely a lot of issues and questions were tabled and asked with very satisfactory answers before they took such a critical and sensitive decision, Surely arriving at that historic decision was never a tea party.
Since the endorsement hit the public domain not quite long ago, reactions have equally trailed it while a preponderance of these reactions have hailed the courage and patriotic enthusizism of those that made the endorsement, a Sprinkle of opposing voice have also been raised. To me this is natural and in keeping with the tenets of democracy as a government of the people for the people and by the people, it should always be expected that the people would always make input into every issue that comes up. However, the fact that in every argument the voice or decision of the majority always wins the argument is enough inbuilt mechanism for conflict resolution.
Against this backdrop, one is indeed, happy to note that in the on-going process the electorates of Okigwe Zone are tending towards Uwajumogu, so far the collation and analysis from across board seem to suggest that he is in the good book of his people.
If you ask me I would say that the good people of Okigwe seem set and determined to throw in their first eleven in 2015 by this laudable action. First, as all of us know, legislative representation is so unique and elevated that experience is always the key that unlocks the doors of opportunities in that arm of government. What this translates to, is that every zone or constituency that sends an experienced legislator to the Chambers automatically stands shoulder and heads above those not being represented by similar caliber of person. To start with in the distribution and sharing of offices like principal position and committee chairmanship positions. The Senate house compulsorily stipulated in their rules to allocate such offices to ranking members. The good thing about this policy is that legislative business is seen as one and the same thing across the three ties of governance in the country, the logical consequence of this feat is, a local government legislator in the state house of Assembly automatically becomes a ranking member. Ditto a state lawmaker at the national Assembly.
From the foregoing it is Crystal clear that Rt Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu is automatically a lawmaker in both chambers of National Assembly once he is elected in 2015. Based on this he is sure of securing a principal position or in the least assigned headship of a juicy committee, of course every Okigwe son or daughter can be sure that in his usual think-home style of leadership which he has demonstrated since 2011 more dividends of democracy would come their way.
Talking about attracting dividends of democracy, this is one area in which the Speaker has dutifully excelled. Yes nobody can say everything that should be attracted has been attracted. A lot still needs to be done, but one thing that cannot be deaved nor disputed is that Uwajumogu has commitedly used his office to try to impact his zone positively. In the course of the struggle a lot has been achieved in practical terms and as well acknowledged by the good people of Okigwe Zone.
Take the issue of infrastructure for instance Okigwe zone has been in the forefront of receiving all its fair share of physical infrastructure as promised by Gov. Rochas Okorocha. All the six council areas and their electoral wards have benefitted from the 305 schools project. Rural roads have received considerable face lift under the massive rural roads scheme. Abandoned to its fate for too long even when it is one of the designated urbanities of the state Okigwe town has been given a new look that dramatically boosted its status and standing, housing units and modern hospitals has also been attracted.
But discerning patriots have been united in their verdict that the attraction of a higher institution is the best of his efforts. This sentiment is altogether understandable given the transformative power academics and institution of higher learning brings on their immediate environment. It radically alters the socio-economic landscape of its environment through the creation of economic activities for the people as well as job opportunities. These and more are what the zone stands to gain with the coming of Imo college of Education (Technical) billed to take off this year, Naturally Speaker Uwajumogu has equally rated that, as the greatest legacy that he would be leaving for posterity. By the attraction of this institution that may be upgraded to a polytechnic status in future, he has succeeded in stamping out the insignia of educational institution Marginalization that held the zone down since the creation of the state.
If Okigwe people push through this laudable idea in the next few months it would further proof their soft spot for the man’s endless humanism. Since the return to democracy in
1999 we have always seen politicians whose stoke in trade is to talk non-stop about their public Spiritedness when the search light is beamed on these claims, you often discover to your consternation that they are mainly empty claims. A rolling stone they say gathers no moss. On the other side of the divide are the likes of Rt. Hon. Uwajumogu. Those given to doing more and talking less, though he is not always disposed to keeping records of his good deeds nor go about talking and trumpeting for everybody to hear. He is perceived as a man who is ready and willing to do anything legitimately right to put similes on the faces of people especially women and youth through empowerment and employment.
That for instance is reason why in his educational empowerment scheme over 500 indigent but gifted students and undergraduates have seen the light of hope at the end of the tunnel. In the same breath, exactly that figure or a little less of women have become breed winners of their families through wise investment of the financial assistants the speaker has been offering them.
But even better than empowering Ndi Okigwe and other electorate elsewhere, is the issue of open door policy. From my findings this desire was the major consideration for his endorsement by groups to run for Senate in 2015.
As the speaker of the state House of Assembly, analysis holds that open door policy has been part and parcel of the Uwajumogu leadership.
His office is also always open. As one who has on three occasions had cause to go to the speaker’s office am always struck by the ease with which you see him.
Parading these clean words of representation, it is my take that Okigwe people are on the right path. They seriously need a senator that would always connect and reason on the same frequency with them. Digital senator if you like the parlance of ICT.
As Nigeria political landscape changes, so also should those involved in it. Okigwe zone seems to have announced this impeaching change with the recent endorsement of Rt. Hon. Uwajumogu for Senate.
Written by Chinomso Osuagwu