One of the reasons that our political representatives have not really fared well in bringing dividends of democracy to the constituents is that most of them are cowardly or ignorant of their powers and rights as legislators, while many of them are just selfish and only support legislative motions and businesses that favour their personal interests, hence, looking the other way while projects and issues that affect their constituencies are either overlooked or diverted to personal pockets.
Over the last 24 years, Ideato Federal Constituency has had very wonderful individuals as her representatives, but none has been as bold and courageous as Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere has proven that he will be, even before his election to the Green Chambers. Ugochinyere has proven beyond any doubt that the voice of Ideato will not be drowned by any force on earth and he has left no one in doubt that he is going to the National Assembly to make a difference and not merely to stand for himself or to make money for himself. It is obvious that if money is his motivation for seeking to represent Ideato Federal Constituency, then he certainly has made enough money for himself, given his age, that he could quietly walk away or even negotiate some personal deals with any level of government or political bloc in the country. But, apparently, he is driven by a more selfless vision than any personal or financial ambition.
A few months past the age of forty, the son of a school teacher and thoroughbred public servant, Chief Onyinye Ikeagwuonu, Ugochinyere set forth early in life to pursue his dreams in leadership and a life of service to the people, at enormous risks to his own life and freedom. Obviously, his patterns wouldn’t have gone down well with many people at various times, but like Henrik Ibsen did observe; “The strongest man in the world is he who stands alone” and “A forest bird never wants a cage”. Ikenga moved on even when it was obvious that the steam he swam in is riddled with sharks and many demons. He was nevertheless, unrelenting.
For more than seventeen years, Ikenga has stood up to be counted. Creative, courageous and strong-willed, he has challenged the most devious authorities and played roles in every political project, since, at least, 2007. His stance at various times might have been at variance with certain political divides and some vocal, therefore mistaken as popular, public opinions. But what cannot be taken away from the young political strategist and consultant is that, even with bruises, he mostly comes out smiling. A history of his political activism is not the subject of this Intervention, maybe, at the appropriate time, we shall bring that to the fore.
When Governor Uzodimma’s hawks and thugs took the ill-advised path of attacking Ikenga, I told some of them clearly that they were fighting a lost battle. Even though I had a different candidate I was rooting for at that time, I told anyone who cared to listen that Ikenga came into this contest prepared, and it would take more than some unusual political magic for him to lose this election. Then, there was a very slim opening that a certain candidate could puncture his chances, but the madness of the Imo State government happened.
Governor Uzodimma might have launched attacks on Ikenga, hoping that he could break his spirit, but what he has inadvertently done is to strengthen the young man’s resolve to fight this out to the end. He has lost an uncle, some staunch supporters and multiple millions of Naira in assets, but he owes it to posterity that he does not pull out or slow down on his campaign because it is no doubt that the aim of all the attacks on him is to scare him away to enable them to install a willing stooge who would represent their interests rather than the interest of Ideato people.
Ndi Ideato has shown an unmistakable readiness to resist these invaders and occupiers whose sole aim is for Ideato to continue on the path of underdevelopment and insecurity, while opportunities meant for the development and prosperity of the people are commercialised by a group of usurpers to their own aggrandizement.
Ikenga has certainly come to change the narrative in Ideato and like every revolutionary idea, the young man is contending with the forces of darkness and their agents. I am joining the majority of Ideato people and indeed everyone who truly wishes Ideato’s voice to be heard resoundingly in the 10th Session of the National Assembly to align with Ugochinyere Ikeagwuonu, and we will stand behind him to fight for our freedom from the hawks.
MAY IDEATO WIN!
BY ONWUASOANYA FCC JONES
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