A few days back, we read the bombshell letter from Chief Arthur Nzeribe. If you missed it, read it HERE. The Rescue mission we assumed had turned a blind eye to the letter have sharpened their pencils with a bombshell reply. Happy reading.
We have taken cognisance of the media report credited to the three term former senator from Imo state, Chief Arthur Francis Nzeribe vowing that he would resist the re-election of the governor of Imo state, Owelle Rochas Okorocha in 2015.
Chief Nzeribe was also quoted in the widely reported claim that he would ensure that “On May 29, 2015, Douglas House in Imo state will play host to a new governor.”
When we read the report, we delayed responding to it to see whether the Oguta Imo state born politician would deny the report, or to say he was misquoted because we never expected an experienced politician like Chief Nzeribe to vow on who would become governor in the state in 2015 or who would not become governor in the state in 2015, knowing full well that, in a democracy, only the people could decide who governs them or not. And God could also play his role as the lender of last resort.
The truth of the matter is that Chief Nzeribe has never in his politics supported any governorship candidate in Imo to the extent of that person winning election to become governor. And we are talking about when Chief Nzeribe was on the fast lane of Nigeria politics and Imo politics in particular.
In 1999, he was in APP then. The APP governorship candidate he supported, Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu, failed. Chief Achike Udenwa of PDP won. Before Udenwa, he had backed the then SDP candidate Dr. Alex Obi for the governorship and he also failed. Chief Evan Enwerem of NRC won to become the governor of the state without Chief Nzeribe.
In 2007, he did not also play a role to Chief Ikedi Ohakim becoming governor. It was Chief Udenwa who packaged and delivered on that project and indeed, Chief Nzeribe lost his bid to go back to the senate. So, Chief Nzeribe has never contributed to the victory of any governorship candidate in Imo.
In 2011, he was in PDP and Rochas Okorocha came on the ticket of APGA to win the governorship election. Even the APGA candidate is leading the PDP candidate with more than 2000 votes at the moment in the yet to be concluded Oguta state Constituency re-run election.
Yes, Chief Nzeribe is a notable politician in the country who has also paid his dues. He is qualified to be a statesman by all standard. He has the record as being the only Imo man who went to the senate for the third term. The political history of the country will be incomplete without a page being devoted to Chief Nzeribe, it does not matter whether you love him or hate him.
But from all indications, his political fortunes seem not to include making or contributing to someone becoming governor. He does not have such record. And he can not start in 2015 because the Imo electorate demonstrated in 2011 that they have become wiser and more determined to take their fate into their own hand.
So, by 2015 the candidate Chief Nzeribe has in mind will tell Imo people why he wants to govern them and what he has done for them in the past and Governor Okorocha will in the same token tell them what he had done for them before becoming governor and all he has done for them as governor. At that point, Imo people will decide who to vote for and it does not matter who vowed and who did not vow. Vowing is a personal thing. It is not contagious.
To say the least, in 2015, Imo people, with the help of God will elect their governor. Those talking about Rochas Okorocha know why they do so. He is the man to beat if he decides to run again.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media
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