The purported selection and imposition of Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, erstwhile Minister of Health, as the gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State by Governor Martin Elechi cannot be reprehended and reproached enough. For one thing, that imposition is against the letter and spirits of the PDP constitution and the guidelines released by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Party for the 2015 elections. Again, the arbitrary selection is flawed on the ground that Chukwu is not a member of the PDP. He has no PDP card anywhere in Nigeria and he is unknown even in his own ward, at all material time he was a Civil Servant at the Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital and a University Lecturer here in Abakaliki before his appointment as Health Minister few years ago by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Chukwu’s own unguarded utterances and arrogance must also be condemned with vehemence as he stated unequivocally, severally in different fora that he was not in Ebonyi State to take part in the primaries of the PDP but to take over from Governor Martin Elechi, thus portraying the President as a man who is working behind the doors to sabotage free and fair elections in 2015.
No Nigerian or the international community will believe Chukwu’s insinuation against the President and the wrongful use of his name to seek political favour in Ebonyi State under the guidance of the Chief Executive of the State. For him to also claim that three of the seven Ministers who resigned their appointment recently to seek elective offices including him have been directed by the President to take over as governors in their different States without primaries is to say the least a dangerous political trend.
This is a clear display of political ignorance by Prof. Chukwu and it has shown him as a man who is not tutored in the art of liberal democracy. This is because Chukwu ought to appreciate the fact that we are in a democracy and that in a democratic setting, elective offices are not given out at anybody’s whims and caprices but that candidates for such positions emerge after a democratically organized primary in which all contestants are given a level playing ground to vie for the ticket. Ebonyi State has no anointed candidate. There is no place for political anointment or imposition by godfathers of questionable political credentials, integrity and probity in Ebonyi State. The fact that Governor Martin Elechi, a non foundation member of the PDP and a political decampee from the defunct ANPP where he once contested the Governorship ticket and failed was brought through the back door as PDP’s gubernatorial candidate in 2007 by Ex-Governor Sam Egwu is no reason why Elechi should also bring another non member of the PDP through the back door as an anointed or consensus candidate of the Party.
By seeking to impose Chukwu on Ebonyians the governor, Elechi is only perpetuating sectionalism and primordial politics in Ebonyi State. The days of people whose ancestral history and background dominating the governance of Ebonyi State is gone forever. A true Ebonyi Son should this time Govern Ebonyi State for the first time. Ebonyians are wiser now and more determined to reclaim their State. Besides, Elechi should be reminded that Historians and Archeologists in Ebonyi State may not favour his true identity of Ebonyi State. Elechi should realize that the Igbos are very much aware of the ignoble role he played against the Igbo Race during the Civil War. We do not want to recall history but anyone who fought against independence or interest of his brothers and sisters of Igbo origin cannot claim to be a friend of the Igbos.
The hidden agenda of Governor Elechi is to enslave and colonize true Ebonyians forever my making sure that they do not have a stake at the Governance of Ebonyi State the reason which led to the anointment and proclamation of Chukwu as a consensus candidate of PDP in Ebonyi State.
It is sad commentary that an octogenarian of Elechi’s status should descend to the uncivilized manner of describing a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chairman of Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Distinguished Chief Senator Igwe Paulinus Nwagu as a “Mad Man” during a press conference at Government House Abakaliki recently simply because the Senator is exercising his political right and franchise as guaranteed in the Nigerian Constitution by seeking to be the next governor of Ebonyi State, shows Elechi’s lack of political decency and decorum.
It is the general expression of Ebonyi people that at his age, Elechi should learn to play politics without bitterness, rancour, acrimony and recrimination. a little more decorum in his conduct and speech will serve a useful purpose and it is hoped that Ebonyians will join hands together to save our nascent democracy from the strangulation of political god-fathers and people who do not think good of the future of the State. Ebonyians must stand strong and defend their rights to freedom of expression, association and choice of who leads them in 2015 and thereafter. The time is now.
- Okenu is SA Media to Fountain of Unity Campaign Organization, Abakaliki