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The ‘arrogance’ in Ihedioha

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We should be looking ahead, Imo is too great a state to be left in the hands of people who do cash and carry. Ours is a place of honour and development which should attract global investment.

Ihedioha

There is this talk of Governor-elect, Emeka Ihedioha, being  a bundle of arrogance. I am not in a position to confirm it, since I guess, I have only seen him once. That was in 2003, as he walked around the Abuja office of COJA.



I am more interested in making Imo work and whatever he was in the past, I am going to look at him from a different angle. Progress is important and I will task him with the job of doing what Dr. Michael Okpara did in the Eastern region and Dee Sam Mbakwe followed, in the Second Republic.

Ihedioha should not spend all his time fighting Rochas Okorocha. There is a lot of work to do. It will be a huge mistake to reduce his early years to Owelle accountancy. Government must go on while the courts do their bit. As the first Mbaise person to be elected governor, Ihedioha cannot afford to fail.

Air Cdre. Luke Chijuba Ochulo became the first governor of Mbaise extraction in 1991, when Gen. Ibrahim Babangida made him pioneer governor of Delta State. Ochulo, is more known as one of the pioneer Air Force officers in the country.

This feat by Ihedioha did not come easy. Right from the Second Republic when Steve Evuleocha tried to enter Douglas House, Owerri to Chris Anyanwu’s attempt, it did not work.

Mbaise is blessed with bigwigs. We have had Eze Desmond Aguguo, Eze Dennis Abii, Chief Innocent Nwoga and Professor Fabian Osuji. In the National Assembly, we all remember Senator Tony Anyanwu, Eze Isidore Obasi and Independence Ogunewe.

The truth is that Ihedioha is the highest ranking Mbaise politician ever. Not many of us remember that he did not leave Parliament as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Ihedioha was Speaker of the House of Representatives briefly in June 2015. Substantive Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, had vacated office to assume duty as Sokoto  governor..

Tension gathers in Imo, over control of state funds

In other words, this man is not coming into government as a green horn. Achike Udenwa came from the private sector as an accountant with Monier Construction Company [MCC]. Ikedi Ohakim emerged from the confusion that engulfed PDP and APGA in 2007. Rochas toed similar path to oust Ohakim.

Governing Imo State should be made serious business. We do not expect the Ihedioha regime to be spending nights partying and populating hotels with ladies from all over the country.

Imo means a lot to the Igbo nation. We may not be counting cash in zillions, what we have is good name, and of course, brain. We have more professors than the whole of Central Africa put together.

There is therefore, need to hit the road running. A formidable economic team is necessary at this time. There is oil, there is land for agriculture. Ihedioha must bring good heads together to make Imo a global destination point.

Imo is the Igbo Heartland. A strong economy is all he needs to attract investment. Oguta makes a lot of sense if Ihedioha is willing to diversify. A corridor to the ocean means a sea port is viable.

Ndigbo abroad are a huge community of investors. They just need the enabling environment to thrive. We must not allow our children to be running to Malaysia, China and South Africa, let the government engage them at home.

Imo also needs an advisory council. I have in mind such tested sons as Mr.Paschal Dozie, Dr. George Obiozor, Prof. Uzodima Nwala, Dr. Walter Ofonagoro, Col. Herbert Obi-Eze, Prof. Maurice Iwu, Chief Mike Ahamba, Cdre. Emma Acholonu and Mr. Philip Oduoza.

All these are men who have seen Nigeria. Imo is not for redundant .‘Any Government in Power’ [AGIP] politicians. Ihedioha has to change his circle of friends if some of them belong to the ‘Chairman and Otimkpu’ era.

There are two important things that should be on Ihedioha’s mind and they have to do with Mbaise. I need to remind him. We are asking for a new Imo State.

Ahiara Declaration is our working paper. That is the spirit of the Igbo man. He does not need to ask questions. I have recommended Nwala and Obi-Eze. They will put the governor-elect through.

We are exceptionally brave if we are committed to a cause. Mark Odu, is from Nguru, Mbaise. At 22, in 1967 and as an Estate Management student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, he was part of a mission that gave Biafra its first air plane.

I never met with Ihedioha —Uzodinma

Led by Captain Ibi Brown and Sam Inyagha, this man diverted a Lagos bound Nigeria Airways flight from Benin to Enugu. He ended up at Kirikiri, Prison Lagos when explosives meant for Jebba Bridge, were found on him in Ibadan.

Mark Odu is still very much alive. His elder brother, Paschal Jacob [PJ] Odu, was Chief of Operations, Biafran Navy and is remembered for refusing to surrender to his buddy and course mate, Akin Aduwo, after a sea battle in Bonny.

Sports can move Imo too. We are the best in Nigeria. Nigeria’s first Olympic gold winner, Chioma Immaculetta Ajunwa, is from Mbaise. The best boxer ever to come out of the country, Dick Tiger Ihetu, hailed from from Amaigbo, just like Atlanta ’96 Olympics soccer medalists, Celestine and Emmanuel Babayaro.

The first Nigerian to coach our senior national soccer team [1954-56], Dan Anyiam, was an Nkwerre man. The first Nigerian professional footballer [1953, SwindonTown], Titus Okere, was from Ngor Okpala. Chidi Imoh, the first athlete to retain the 100 meters at the World Universities Games has roots in Aro Ndizuogu.

And this: Ihedioha, as an Mbaise man, should change the name Douglas House.  In 1901, Capt. H.M. Douglas administered Owerri for the British. In 1905, the Mbaise of Onicha Ezinihitte, resisted colonialism and killed Dr. Stewart Rogers.

A year later, a retaliatory force led by Captains Brian Douglas and Harold Hastings, invaded Mbaise.

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