Sam Nwosu Odokara
The burial and mourning of the best senator from Okigwe so far, Distinguished Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, is gone. As some politicians are covertly and overtly scheming to succeed him, what is really bordering and agitating the minds of Okigwe people is the need for an able successor that will continue with the legislative exploits and to sustain and take to higher notch, the enviable records of the departed Ihitte Uboma born political icon, who left indelible footprints on the sands of time, especially the setting up new Imo State College of Education, which he was instrumental to.
Okigwe people are really worried because since the Nigerian independence, the zone has been ridiculed with inglorious song of: “Obodo nile emepela ofodu Okigwe na Orlu. Ndi na achi Okigwe amaghi akwokwo”, which literally transliterates to mean that other zones have developed except Okigwe and Orlu. What really baffles my imagination is while Okigwe has remained stagnant, Orlu leaders have ingeniously liberated their zone from the fixation of this inglorious song with mega projects.
As everything rises and falls with able leadership, what Okigwe really needs at this thorny and dark era of her history is a senator that will that will not only salvage them from this derisive tag, but equally take them out of the woods, seven years of neglect and backwardness.
This makes Dr. Chidimma’s candidacy highly imperative. This family continuity is inevitable because only a candidate who is well abreast of the late Ben Uwajumogu political philosophy can sustain his peoples oriented agenda. The cap fits Dr. Chidimma Uwajumogu because she has proved her mettle as committed, passionate, confident, honest, gregarious, and qualitative leader with integrity. Her well grounded background as an intellectually sound communicator will make her to be the Senate Cicero that will diligently move important bills and motions to fast-track the socio-political development of Okigwe zone.
Moreover, the goodwill built by her brother will indeed endear her to the hearts of fellow senators, APC party apparatchik and provide the leeway for her to lobby the Presidency, ministries, parastatals and international NGO’s to site landmark mega projects that will genuinely rewrite our history for posterity.
Some apologists of male chauvinism might be wondering why Okigwe masses are clamouring for gender change representation in the National Assembly through Chidimma. They are bent on this campaign because with current wind of change, an outspoken, pragmatic and visionary female politician will stand a better chance to confront the zone’s marginalisation, lack of infrastructure, infrastructural decay, unemployment and positively restore the zones total architecture and socio-political needs of the people.
Those who believe in male representation should ask themselves what the men who previously represented us before the victory of the late senator did for the zone. What did they do with the billions of constituency fund and security votes? While male senators from other zones brought landmark projects, but Okigwe only saw peanut democracy dividends of Keke (tricycle), Okada (motorcycle) wheelbarrows, pure water and empowerment for our youths. Moreover their cut throat politics with bitterness centered petty jealousies, backbiting, blackmail, antagonism helped to reduce the zone as most marginalised in Imo State.
We will not allow this ugly scenario of brother against brother night of long knives, which made the zone to lose Imo governorship to Orlu in 2015 to repeat itself. Because of our campaign for youthful representation, we will not support any form of power hegemony by those who allegedly fought Obasanjo’s third term only to desire fourth and fifth term in Okigwe or will our people support a leader who got governor on a platter of gold with Okigwe total support and lost it like Esau on a platter of gold after alienating Okigwe leaders, who enthroned him. While their political dogfight helped to cement Okigwe’s marginalisation, and backwater, but Orlu has advanced higher with international market, 33 Brewery, Oguta Motel, massive road network, basic infrastructure and health facilities from years of political power monopolization, which gave them about 16 out of 20 years of our nascent democracy.
Owerri zone is not crying wolf due to massive developments in the Imo State capital in their zone. With the aforementioned arguments in mind, Okigwe people must queue behind Dr.
Chidimma Uwajumogu to fundamentally address the zone’s multifarious developmental challenges and other nagging issues. Women have what it takes to redress the misfortunes of a polity and rescue people from Egyptian bondage to Canaan of prosperity.
As compassionate mothers, who know where the shoe pitches most, they are more pliable to the plight of the people, and the best ways to redress thorny issues. This could be gleaned from the lofty legacies of female senators like Daisy Danjuma, Grace Bent, Princess Stella Oduah, Joy Emordi, Olujimi, Esuene, Tinubu, who used their clout and contacts to attract mega projects to their senatorial zones. Moreover, if Jonathan were not defeated, the billions worth mega ring road attracted by Senator Chris Anyanwu would have connected several Mbaise communities. If women from other zones are performing excellently well, let us give this transformational amazon of Uwajumogu family a chance to rewrite Ndi Okigwe through replication of what female senators from other zones are doing.
Sam Nwosu Odokara is a Port Harcourt based public affairs analyst and businessman