When Ike Ekweremadu launched his so-called political group and baptised it Oganiru, Enugu people, especially youths had a good laugh. Oganiru would loosely translate as progress, innovation, enlightenment etc. For Ike Ekweremadu, who has loomed large in the politics of the country for close to forty years – Local Government Chairman of Aninri, Secretary to Enugu State Government, Chief of Staff to Governor Chimaroke Nnamani, Deputy Senate President and fifth time Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – for such a person to represent Oganiru for Enugu people in year 2022 amounts to not just self-mockery but nomenclatural contradiction
How can a Senator who has never sponsored a bill to better the lots of Nigerian youths or stood up on the floor of the Senate to defend the cause of women represent Oganiru?
In modern politics the world over, Oganiru is largely about women and youth inclusion? If Ike Ekweremadu is given a gubernatorial ticket today, can he make a woman his running mate? Some women have been sitting out at the National Assembly for weeks now demanding 30% women inclusion, why hasn’t Ekweremadu come out with a position? Ekweremadu is a conservative, dyed-in-the-wool politician. The only agenda that appeals to him is self-agenda. Oganiru Enugu is nothing but his political self-survival.
Lest we forget! All the years former President Goodluck Jonathan was in power, Ike Ekweremadu was the highest ranking politician of Igbo extraction.
As Deputy Senate President he was the fourth most powerful politician in the country. And he belonged to the party in power! The destiny of the entire Igbo nation was in his hands. Pray, what did he do with it? By the time Goodluck left, there was no major road in the South-East that had seen the faintest mark of a caterpillar. All the things that came his way were squeezed into Mpu, Ekweremadu’s immediate community.
Today, the busiest business route in the South-East, Onitsha – Enugu Expressway is in a state of total disrepair. Yet we had someone at the centre, who could get these things done at the flip of a finger. In all those years Ekweremadu displayed appalling political myopism. It is Mpu or nothing!
Yesterday, March 11, 2022 at Best Western Hotel, Nza Street, Enugu, Ekweremadu stood before some media persons to declare for governorship. One of his remarks is that he did not want to be a ‘zonal governor’. How funny! Was he sleep-talking? His antecedents show otherwise. I challenge any of Ekweremadu’s fans to show me any mark of the Senator in Awgu, Udi, and Ezeagu. Are these LGAs not part of his constituency? For Ekweremadu Enugu West is Mpu, no more no less. How can a Senator who reduced everything to his village tell us he will not be a zonal governor?
Ekweremadu’s biggest goof, however, is in his total ignorance of where Enugu State is standing. Some of the media people present actually burst into derisive laughter when the Senator said he will make IMT a degree awarding institution. IMT had long been upgraded into a degree awarding institution by the present Administration. Isn’t it difficult to square up this degree of ignorance with the concept of Oganiru?
What is more worrying is the elitism of Ekweremadu’s mind-set. He thinks of development, in terms of pleasing the elite, the big people in the State Capital. He told the media assembly at Best Western Hotel that he will reconstruct the roads leading to the State Capital.
To be sure, about 70% of Enugu people, including youths live in rural areas. Are these ones not part of his Oganiru? Where is the agenda for the common people? And for the local economy? Frankly speaking, it takes exceptional courage to take development to the rural people as the present Administration is doing. Those who benefit from rural development are not on Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram, but leadership is not about playing to the gallery.
Ekweremadu should go back to the drawing-board, or throw up his hands in graceful capitulation. His manifesto does not include women and youths and rural people. As always, and for all intents and purposes, he has no agenda!