By Emma Uzor
In what looked like the marriage of the snake to the monkey, Chief Martin Nwanchor Elechi, the immediate past governor of Ebonyi State entered into a late relationship with the All Progressives Congress (APC). It was not just bad enough that the 76 years old man, after announcing his retirement from partisan politics, made such suicidal political move, it became worse that of all his trajectory speeches, he chose to cast aspersion on the quality of leadership, which he brazenly denied the people of Ebonyi State during his unpopular reign.
I don’t want to believe that Elechi actually said there was no democracy in Ebonyi State for obvious reasons, which I know for sure the old man either lacks knowledge of what democracy really is or that age is telling on him, hence such fallacious claim. In his eight-year reign as governor of Ebonyi State, Elechi never practised democracy.
Elechi figuratively equated himself with God. One typical example of his understanding of democracy was his charge on his newly appointed commissioners, where he said and I quote: “I am the god who brought you out of Egypt, only me you shall serve, for I am a jealous god, you are forbidden from holding town hall meetings in your respective communities.” This statement above was made by same Elechi at the Women Development Centre, Abakaliki in 2010 yet, he claims to have practised democracy. Haba!!!
With the above statement credited to Elechi, Nigerians should now know between Elechi’s era and Governor Umahi’s regime, where democracy is domesticated, which one is better?
Apart from Elechi’s arrogance, he had lived like king Nebuchadnezzar and had in so many places described himself as god. Another typical example of Elechi’s arrogance and negative disposition to rule of law and democracy was when he described himself as the Pontiff of Ebonyi State and each time he made any autocratic statement or pronouncement, he would say “the pontiff has spoken”; in a democracy?
However, Elechi’s cheap propaganda, which he served the people during his visit to the APC national chairman in Abuja and which he instructed his supporters to circulate on social media and published in some national dailies is confirmed dead on arrival and could be simply put, statements born out of envy and jealousy, especially when he found out that Governor Umahi’s achievements, within two years in office, have dwarfed his abysmal eight years of reign of terror as governor.
His statement about democracy not being practised in Ebonyi State suddenly after he left office two years ago came as a tragic disappointment on so many fronts. He failed to deliver on its core mission of misleading the populace and branding a new era of political fortune and achievements we enjoy in the state bad and bending the minds of the people into believing that at his age, he cannot tell lies.
The tragedy here, therefore, is that while Ebonyians are yet to forgive Elechi for all his failures and tyranny while in office, he came out of his retirement to stir the hornet’s nest thereby bringing the anger of the people on himself for his inability to deliver democracy dividends to the people of the state throughout his eight years tenure.
Now that Elechi’s tirade is a colossal failure, as it failed to offer a new insight into his failure to impose his brother-in-law on Ebonyi State as governor in the last governorship election, his new found love and possibly ploy to evade prosecution in the hands of the anti graft agencies are all aimed at misleading the people and tarnishing the image of the present administration under Umahi.
Thank God Elechi knows that Umahi has performed beyond explanation within just two years. The infrastructural development and the fly over bridges that adorn the landscape of Abakaliki, the beautification and construction of internal roads across the state capital, construction of roads in all the 13 local government areas and lighting of Abakaliki to meet international standard and many other projects may have elicited this envy but, one can just say, “Umahi” has done well.
While it is still a wonder on whether the prolonged campaigns against the developmental strides of Governor Umahi hasn’t run long enough, Elechi took up the challenge and opened a rather pitiable pathway to rancour and prejudice in his puerile statement where he alluded that the people of Ebonyi State were not given chance to choose who their leaders should be whereas Elechi at his age should have known when the masses make their choice and stood by it.
That the Ebonyi State rejected his imported godlike party, LP and all attempts to foist his brother-in-law on the people as governor should have been enough lesson for the elder statesman to know that the people have their right to choose their leader through the ballot and that they have done and they are indeed happy they did.
In fact, Elechi’s epistle on how and why he left PDP and seeming fixation with the blatant lie that his people have moved to APC as a result of lack of internal democracy could not fly because even at the moment, almost 90 per cent of his former aides are back to the fold of PDP.
He did not say the obvious fact, which is that Ndi Ebonyi and Nigerians in general know that since inception of Governor Umahi, that the state has become one of the fastest if not the fastest growing economy in the country.
Honestly, one does not begrudge Elechi’s new obsessions and hero-worship for APC, but it is necessary to note that his attack on the current government in Ebonyi is borne out of envy, especially having been overwhelmed by the visible development in the state under Umahi elicit.
• Uzor writes from Abakaliki.