Nigeria: Anambra 2014 guber: Desecrating Azikiwe and Ojukwu

By IndepthAfrica
In Article
Dec 6th, 2013

In the last three months, only one voice has represented APGA in all public outings- the National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh. He is the secretary, the organizing secretary, Image maker , treasurer and name it. And why not. He fought a battle with his party men to retain his headship of his party; a battle many say is not over. You can jolly-well say he is enjoying the spoils of

war, for as long as it lasts..

In the course of that battle, many of his executive deserted him to the opposing camp within the party. When he fought, he fought alone. Luckily he fought in a terrain where the numbers do not count, as much as issues. He fought in court, and legally speaking, he fought in a battle which was his to lose, courtesy of the hasty actions and unpardonable errors of his traducers. He won! At least he got the war medal . Do not ask me about the followership.Do not ask if he won the peace.Or perhaps, thats what he thiks he is doing now.

Do not ask also if he has another fight ahead for him when the party is over, because the gentleman claiming his position is around the corner, in the courts, waiting for Umeh to finish running around with the hare and the hounds, so that he can do the victory lap. But even Umeh who has been chairman for approximately 10 years is not worried as long as the bargain he made for this retirement benefit and sealed with a man-to-man kiss is kept intact.

Was it not in protection of that deal that Umeh conspired with a resident electoral commissioner that has no business still remaining in Anambra State to issue out customized pack of agents’ tags belonging to a political party to another party ,simply because the party pulled out of the illegal supplementary polls of November 17, 2013 and November 30, 2013.And did anyone successfully deny that N5.76 billion deal which seeks to return Anambra State to the days of Mbadinuju,when the state bled for godfathers and fought shy of its responsibility to workers is alife and green?

This is the basis if the enthusiasm, sometimes over-enthusiasm that you find in Umeh’s current ubiquitous delivery. The other basis is something I mentioned before. Umeh won his case in the Appeal Court four months ago. Since then, APGA has not had a National Executive Committee (NEC), nor a meeting of tits Board of Trustees. Those opposed to him in the internal crisis of the party mentioned the fact of Umeh acting alone in the midst of elected officials of the party as one of their reasons for wanting to remove him.

True or false, politics is a game of the possible. But one thing is clear Umeh is a one-man band who does not distil ideas, or network intelligence from any corporate body to act. And if he could act alone when he had a 29-member executive to work with, how much more, now when owing to defection to other parties, mainly the APC, he has only a rump of that ‘elected executive made up of about nine persons-not enough to form a quorum?

The major problem with going to engage more sophisticated and corporate external political opponents from this background is that Umeh thinks serious minded political parties also tailor their activities after the one-man lame dance where talking and pushing the wind and sometime, outright con-artistry do it, better than an elaborate ground game.

It is not that I do not recognize APGA as a PDP outpost in the South East, just like PPA. and LP in the South West, but whatever corporate underpinnings should have guided Umeh to more serious actions has petered out to PDP’s own internal contradictions.

So, Umeh who along with Gov Peter Obi, relied on one powerful segment of the PDP who played a great role leading to the stage-managed masculine kiss of our time to rob Anambra State of the right to choose their governor on the birthday and burial day of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe has travelled to Nnewi a record fourth time to generate news in absence of any using the travesty of associating the name of Ikemba Nnewi, Dike Dioranma Ndigbo with electoral heist. It does not matter whether in his entourage were men who wore Safari Suit, with the Igbo red hat placed firmly on their head. Alu melu!

Where are the elders of our land? Where are the clergy? Where are the inteliigentia that gave and to a diminishing extent still give Anambra State a profile? Where are the moulders of ethical views? Where are they, while a loose canon is unleashed on the sanity of a people? Is this an opportunity for Ndigbo to identify their new and true leaders to take the out of a new Egypt being foisted upon them?

The desecration of Ojukwu’s name is phenomenal in the sense that if the man Ojukwu wanted to be a beneficiary of the brigandage that Umeh is carrying to his grave, he could have braved it in 1983, when he legitimately sought o represent one-half of today’s Anambra State in the Joseph Wayas led Senate. He could have, changed all the figures with the armoury and skill at his disposal and damned everyone to go to court. But he did not. He life was founded on higher visions and patriotism for the Igbo Nation. He was not by nature and discipline a negotiator of 10percent or N5.76 bn.

When those who do that in his two generations of dominance went to the dark corners to speak in low tones, Ojukwu poured out the intellectual content in him to society, drank his wine and went t sleep so as to dream further dreams for the good of Ndigbo. Who can say that of those who try to profit from his name without following his example? Who can say that of Umeh? Who can say that of Obi? What about Sylvester Nwobu-Alor? I can jolly well leave Biaca, who openly serves a PDP government out of this,because a time will come in future for her to announce her personality to her people.What can the average growing Igbo youth learn from these people to add to the institutional wisdom of the Igbo nation?

The value that someone is about to inculcate in utter error is that all one needs to demonstrate that one is an apostle of Ojukwu , which does not prove to much in the Igbo worldview that abhors personality cult is to steal, commit murder or heresy and run to Ojukwu’s mausoleum. as if it is an evil garage,whether or not it was created out of garage.

If the laws of the spirit remain what we are told they are,Umeh and his cohorts are taking a grave risk, which can only thrive in a land that is caught between two cultures, trying to individually exploit the best of both.

However, the risk they take with their eyes wide open is not the focus of this piece any more than the need to caution Umeh, APGA, and Obi to understand that the name Ojukwu is bigger than them. He may have died a card-carrying member of APGA, but having played roles in dominant events in the nation for nearly two generations; Ojukwu was and is beyond APGA. His stake-holding base is too broad for the Igbo nation to watch private profiteers harvest from without ethics.

What is at stake now is Anambra State, nay Igbo land, which the whole nation has taken up is that elections have been mercilessly rigged by those who profit from the name of Ojukwu, working in concert with those who profit equally from the name of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe on the birthday of the latter,–November 16- which by some providence has also the day he was buried and the spirit of Nnamdi Azikiwe joins that of a few other Anambra sons among a bewildered nation to wail for justice.

Little wonder, Umeh did not speak of going to Azikiwe’s mausoleum, which ornamental structures has been under construction since 1996 in the neglect of those who should not and which work was recently resumed by the efforts of Senator Chris Ngige.

There must be other creative ways of raising a diversion from this justice that Anambra State, Nigeria and the world crave than ephemeral desecration of the Igbo patriarchs.

And I ask from the heart, beyond partisan politics, if anyone attacks the legacy of Azikiwe and Ojukwu together-two legendary figures of born in the same town, one generation apart for God’s reason, what is left of Ndigbo without their history?

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