Hardball to arrest Elechi if…

By IAfrica
In Nigeria News Feed
Feb 11th, 2014

How, before you accuse Hardball of reveling in a repast of mischief let us lay out the matter and put it in proper context first. Chief Martin Elechi is the septuagenarian governor of the southeast state of Ebonyi. He is a second-term governor in that less regarded state of the east having won election in 2007 and a re-election in 2011. You are not likely to hear about many major achievements springing from that far-flung end of the orient bordering Cross River and Benue states. And in nearly eight years of his rule, none has accused Pa Elechi of building even white elephant projects. Perhaps in deference to his age (he must be closer 80 years than 70) not many ever bother to pry into the goings-on in that obscure corner. You are not likely to find anything about Ebonyi State on the internet either. Nothing especially about Pa Elechi; not about his age or life history for sure.

But these are not Hardball’s primary concern here today. A small piece of news tucked away in the most remote corners of many newspapers last Monday caught Hardball’s eagle eye. The four- paragraph report states that, “Monarchs endorse Elechi for Ebonyi Central” senatorial seat. This seemingly innocuous little piece of information instantly raised the hackles of Hardball; the same effect it must have had on numerous Nigerian readers if ever they found it to read. The story states further that about 24 traditional rulers in four local councils of Ebonyi Central senatorial zone rose from a meeting last weekend endorsing Governor Elechi to contest for the senatorial seat. They also enjoined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to hand him the ticket.

In the soup-ticket politics of Nigeria, Eze Gabriel Ngele, the monarch of Oriuzor, the town of the sitting Senator Paulinus Igwe Nwagu was in the forefront of the 24 retrograde paramount rulers who have been obviously corralled into mortgaging their crown and conscience. Rationalising their collective perfidy as to why they have become politicians, kings and kingmakers all in one, they said they owed their subjects the duty of providing them with impartial guide as it concerned leadership in the zone.

In the first place, how would monarchs who are the custodians of the people’s culture and tradition expect to be accorded respect when they are ever so quick to desecrate their stools and bring odium on the majesty of the crown? What is the wisdom and rationale of 24 monarchs endorsing the candidature of an eighty-something-year-old to go represent them in Abuja? If a grey-haired old man who cannot stand erect without the aid of a walking stick is ensconced in Abuja, who will tend the Obi at home? No wonder, abomination has become the daily staple of our hinterland these days – all the wise old ones have migrated to Abuja.

It jars the nerves and even good sense that a governor who is yet to serve out two terms of eight years would deploy all the clout and resources available to his office to hijack a senate seat in his state. This has almost become the norm across the country today. If this practice is obscene and abhorrent, Elder Elechi’s current move is akin to a curse on the people of his state. Apart from the fact of his old age, Elecchi has been in government since the First Republic. You see why Hardball would personally undertake to effect a citizen’s arrest on Governor Elechi should he venture to run for the senate seat.

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