Emeka Umeagbalasi and Chinwe Umeche
Fielding Barr Mrs. Bianca Olivia Odinaka-Onoh Odumegwu-Ojukwu as the Senatorial Candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for Anambra South Senatorial District and her possible popular emergence as Senator-Elect for the District in the 2019 National Assembly Election in Nigeria will go down in history as the only correct or positive political decision taken by Governor William Maduabuchukwu Obiano of Anambra State since he assumed his elective office as Anambra Governor on 17thMarch 2014. This singular act being demanded from the Governor, will gladden our heart and attract open commendation, if heeded, and serve as a consolation to him, especially now that his risk of ending up thousands of miles away from the Hall of Fame as Anambra Governor is thickened as days go by.
This, clearly, is in contradiction to the Governor’s genocidal roles in the 29th and 30th May 2016 massacre in Nkpor, Obosi and Onitsha of no fewer than 110 innocent, unarmed, nonviolent and defenseless citizens and maiming of over 100 others, many of them, unarmed and nonviolent pro Biafra activists. The unwise and conspiratorially murderous act of the Governor has negatively and unforgettably gone down in history as the most atrocious and incorrect political decision taken by him. Recall that Governor Willie Obiano’s vicarious involvement in the massacre was on account of his full knowledge of the impending massacre and failure to stop it as the Governor and Chief Security Officer of Anambra State. He is also culpable by way of accessory before the fact and accessory the after the fact of the crime.
Among other litany of politically incorrect decisions taken by the Governor is cheapish, unpopular, needless and unwarranted political warpath between his Government and the former Administration of Peter Obi which has put most, if not all the gains recorded by the State in jeopardy, inclusive of diversion of the State’s hard earned external investments to other parts of the country such as Ogun and Enugu States.
Apart from recent diversion of Budweiser/Hero Breweries to Ogun State, the Indian owned Golden Oil Industries Limited (makers of vegetable oil, etc) located along Atani Road part of the Harbor Industrial Layout in Ogbaru is most likely to be relocated or have its major facilities diverted to Enugu State where we understand the Company was recently allocated with a large parcel of land (about 20 acres) by the Government of Enugu State for expansion of its rapidly growing industrial outlet. The Ogbaru Plant of the Company is most likely to be dismantled and skeletally retained as a mere “Sales Depot” with attendant workforce retrenchment.
Another of the Governor Obiano’s litany of incorrect political decisions is flooding of his cabinet with irrelevant and idle political appointees in their tens of hundreds. Included in the swelling ranks of these over-bloated cabinet members are “internet warriors” in their hundreds. They not only have little or nothing to contribute for the development of the State but also bent on distracting and deceiving the Governor; with capacity to turn him into “the second Mbadinuju of Anambra State” or another dishonorable governor in the history of the State, when he must have completed his eight years tenure in the next three and half years.
Apart from the fact that there are no credible traces of the magic foreign investments of Gov Obiano, which his Administration puts at “over $4b” anywhere in the State, not to talk of verifiable records of their outputs (i.e. number of employed graduate and unskilled jobs, products being produced by the “investments” and amount paid into Government coffers as taxes), few ones attracted by the former Administration in the State are allowed or frustrated into being lost and diverted outside the State.
By the “over $4b foreign direct investments” falsely claimed to have been attracted into the State by the present Government of Willie Obiano; using the 200 graduate and 670 unskilled job statistics of the recently diverted $300M Budweiser/Hero Breweries in Shagamu, Ogun State for each $100M investment or 600 graduate and 2000 unskilled jobs for the $300M investment; the Obiano Government’s “over $4b foreign investments” would have created a total of 8000 graduate jobs and 26,800 unskilled jobs for Anambra youths and other young experts; if such investments truly existed anywhere in the State.
We therefore make bold to say that the candidacy of Barr Mrs. Bianca-Onoh Odumegwu Ojukwu under the platform of APGA as well as her possible popular emergence as Senator-Elect for Anambra South Senatorial District will also be an indication of first and only move so far by Gov Willie Obiano to immortalize late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu.
Fielding Barr Mrs. Bianca-Onoh Odumegwu-Ojukwu as APGA’s Senatorial Candidate for Anambra South will also bear true reflection of institutionalization of Ikemba’s name and political legacy in Igbo Land and beyond. It is factually correct to say that the late Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu has never received any meaningful legacy attention from the present Government of Anambra State except his name and photo being used selfishly by governorship and legislative political aspirants and candidates to seek for and win elections rightly or wrongly.
Other than the renaming of former Anambra State University (ANSU) to Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu University and erection of his statue at the Onitsha end of the Niger Bridgehead, all under the Peter Obi Administration, no other meaningful immortalization of his name and legacy has taken place in the State or anywhere in Igbo Land. The former Anambra State University now legally referred to as “Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU)” has remained a glorified secondary school since it was renamed and presented with a cheque of N5b in 2013 as its infrastructural intervention and grand takeoff fund by the then Peter Obi Administration.
Also, the so called “Ikemba Emeka Ojukwu Freedom Square” named after him in Owerri by the Government of Rochas Okorocha has either disappeared or have his name deleted. Where his name or statue still exists anywhere in Igbo Land, it is for miniature public interest or selfish/personal reasons.
The Federal Government of Goodluck Jonathan had on 27th August 2012 renamed the Niger Bridgehead to Upper Iweka in Onitsha to “Emeka Ojukwu Way” and unveiled his giant statue, but till date, the present Government of Anambra State has failed to take further steps at ensuring its true reflection as well as replacement of the statue with more befitting one. The area has also become “headquarters of sundry extortion” and other social vices in the State.
Further, the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s lineage is dotted and blessed with several grown up sons and daughters, yet most of them have ended up being “strugglers for Ojukwu’s material wealth or properties”; with none having what it takes to step into his big political shoes. These have further made same to look as if “lion has given birth to un-lion specie”. This is more so when life failure was never the portion of the Ojukwus as the first generation children of late Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu (the billionaire father of the Ojukwus).
They also never got involved in primitive pursuit or accumulation of their father’s wealth, but made good use of the family wealth to be trained in the arts of soldiering, history and int’l relations, medicine, etc inclusive of attending and graduating from the best universities in the world. Against his father’s stupendous wealth and insistence on Emeka Ojukwu joining his billionaire business empire after his university education at Oxford University, Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu turned down same and resiliently fought for his personal independence by joining the Nigerian Army as a private despite his towering academic credentials. His two other brothers, etc also preferred specialist education to joining their father’s business empire.
It was the doggedness, resilience and heroism of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu that got then 22yrs old Miss Nigeria, Bianca Odinaka Olivia Onoh, charmed and attracted to her late bravery husband (nicknamed “Lighting & Thunder”), leading to her affectionate vow to marry and eventual marriage to him when he was 56yrs old. Strongly and irreversibly opposed by her parents (Christian Chukwuma Onoh and his family of Ngwo in Enugu State), Miss Bianca, then 22, stood her ground and exhibited same independence of mind shown by Emeka Ojukwu to his father (Louis); and married Emeka Ojukwu till date. Ambassador Bianca stayed with her husband and stood by him till his death on 26th November 2011.
Therefore, what should be the primary or fundamental concern of the children of Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu is not endless struggle for sharing or ownership of their father’s properties, but protection and immortalization of his name and legacy. This is more so when many of the properties being struggled for are not direct properties of Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, but those he inherited from his father’s today worth billionaire business empire; comprising landed and other moveable and immoveable properties in choice places and companies across Nigeria particularly in Kaduna, Lagos and Enugu.
Late Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was never known and respected in Igbo Land as a moneybag or questionable billionaire, but as a heroic thinker, protector, and liberator, revolutionary and visionary statesman. It is a settled saying that “a child of well-to-do parents who fights dirty over his or her parents’ properties as his or her only lifetime achievement or means of survival is a failure of inestimable magnitude”. That is to say that heroism in the great house of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu appears to have departed from his direct children and reincarnated in his beloved wife (Bianca-Onoh Odumegwu-Ojukwu). It is most likely correct to say that the absence of “heir apparent to Ojukwu’s name and legacy leadership has landed Bianca Odinaka Olivia-Onoh Odumegwu-Ojukwu with the status of heiress to the same name and legacy leadership”.
Ambassador Bianca Odinaka Olivia-Onoh Odumegwu-Ojukwu is also eminently, traditionally, legally and constitutionally qualified to vie for or represent the Anambra South in the Senate if popularly and credibly elected. Those opposing her aspiration and possible candidature on these grounds are either intellectually clannish or legally uninformed. Apart from being traditionally and legally married to late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, she is also constitutionally eligible especially if proven to have resided in that area of the State for a specified period of years, assuming she is a resident of Anambra State, residing in Anambra South Senatorial District.
Other than need for consolidation of the immortalization of the Ojukwu’s name and legacy, time has also come to professionalize art of legislative representation in particular and elective public offices in Igbo Land in general. The present political space must be rescued from its present corruption and bastardization. Politics is not meant for political traders and questionable millionaires and billionaires; but for people of nobility and those who have prepared themselves for humanity service and upright societal leadership.
Since it is a settled fact that “nothing will make a First School Leaving Certificate holder to become a university lecturer” or a “Passing Six Prayer Warrior to become a teacher in a Seminary School”; it is therefore a collective insult of the highest order for a “Passing Six” or “Secondary School dropout” with a makeup O’L Certificate to be allowed to continue to represent Anambra State and her genius People in part or in whole as State or Federal legislators. It is also collectively or socially sacrilegious for the State to be so represented by persons of tainted character or educated political touts.
It saddens our heart that many, if not most of the present Federal legislators from the State and those in the State law making chambers are strongly suspected to be products of the named soiled category. Politics particularly art of law making at the Federal and State levels is too sensitive and important to be left in the hands of political quacks and interlopers. This explains why the political offices in the State and the State’s legislative slots at Federal level have suffered endless commercialization, brutalization and bastardization.
Call to serve humanity through elective and appointive public positions is not an all comers affair, but meritoriously and solidly reserved for those who toiled and worked very hard to prepare for same. That is to say that a trader with limited education who desires for humanity service through political election or appointment must dutifully, patiently and meticulously be prepared and armed with requisite educational qualifications and upright character including honesty and decency in the line of his or her business dealings and other social interactions or activities.
Resorting to lawlessness or engaging in questionable and dirty business dealings for purpose of amassing criminal cash/wealth to buy or procure appointive and elective public positions and attached abusive influence, power and authority is totally reprehensible, roundly rejected and a must fought against by all and sundry. Institutionalized culture of “jack of all trades and masters of nonentity” in the politics of Anambra State must be made a thing of the past.
The Government of Anambra State and its State ruling APGA is hereby called upon to ensure that Barr Bianca Olivia Odinaka-Onoh Odumegwu-Ojukwu is fielded as the Party’s Candidate for Anambra South Senatorial District. This is more so when other parties are at liberty to field their own candidates for same election. It is a settled opinion of ours that one of the striking ways to resonate and immortalize late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s name and legacy in Igbo Land and above is by allowing her beloved wife and heiress to his nuclear family’s political empire and institution to fly APGA’s senatorial flag for Anambra South.
Ambassador Barr Bianca Olivia Odinaka-Onoh Odumegwu-Ojukwu is also called upon to ensure unique and quality representation, if cleared and popularly elected, not only for the people of Anambra South but also for the entire Igbo Race and Nigerians in general. She must at all time bear in her mind that she is representing the name and legacy of her irreplaceable and iconic husband, a name and legacy he laboriously and untiringly worked and died for.
Umeagbalasi is the Board Chair, Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law; +2348174090052; firstname.lastname@example.org
Umeche, Esq. is thr Head, Democracy & Good Governance Progragram; email@example.com