Why I will be joining Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s Camp
By Prince Ejeh Josh
This may come as a huge disappointment to my people. The news may not be received by my friends, fans and allies with sweet taste. I Know it’s going to be distasteful. But I’ve taken a stand according to conscience dictated by reality. I know all men of goodwill will walk along the same path with me. Apologies to my people from all the contending camps. Prince Ejeh Josh* has taken a stand! No apologies!
Politics is all about interest. Every human being is guided by rationality wrapped in interest. The pressures are much. The calls bombarding my phones from old faces and new allies are presenting new facts and realities. Calls, talks and dialogues could be compared to the shelling and heavy bombardment from Ukraine’s invasion by Russia. The political nuclear weapons are been positioned. Armoured Personnel Carriers are lining up like Russia’s Ukrainian borders.
There’s intense lobbying surreptitiously finding leverage. External influences from Abuja and other states are puffing in like NATO, China, North Korea, Turkey, etc. Internally, there are protests on both sides; for and against, just like the two-sister countries. In the midst of this, I’ve found my footing. A new bride. A beautiful one for that matter. My new journey is borne out of my love for the good people of Enugu state. The decision is mine. I take responsibility for all my actions.
You see, I was told that Senator Ike Ekweremadu is the most competent career politician in Enugu state. I was told his competence and responsive acuities made him a three times Deputy Senate President. I was told he would protect my interests and that of my allies. I was told to “TURN AROUND IMMEDIATELY” and join Ike’s camp, and once done, my life, destiny and level would never remain the same. People are saying I’m an asset untapped, and the asset will be materially put into use once I pledge my allegiance to the Enugu West Senator. They said Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has abandoned me to the riddle of fate, and is reaching out to others. But that the senator so much loves young people with the intellectual grits to make things happen. Who am I to resist the offer? “Interest first. Politics is a serious business. Before talking about integrity, one should be able to boast of some measure of success,” the incision directly hit me like the 13mm Gyrojet bullet.
It was a hard decision to make. But finally, I want to make it clear, even to the disappointment of those that have given me the audacity of assurance that I’m walking the path of conscience, consciousness, and competence. I’ve found my oar in the oasis of hope for Enugu state come 2023.
Please, don’t cry for me. Nobody should be bereaved for me. It’s a decision I’ve slept over time and again. Let me shoulder my cross. Every decision is mine and I did it for the good people of Enugu state. Before I will accept to join Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s camp, I have some gray areas I would want them to clarify me. Once that’s done, I will paddle towards his romanticised political ambition.
1. COMPETENCE: Mr. Senator sir, I heard that you’re being driven by competence as your reason for bending on thwarting the peace Enugu people have been enjoying over the years. I have no issue about that. Kindly tell me, as a god of competence, when you spent 12 years as a Deputy Senate President on the floor of the Senate, what happened to the federal roads and infrastructure under your senatorial zone and under your watch as a man superintending over the Southeast zone.
You have been touted of a man of absolute competence, yet the whole Southeast has suffered deficiency and mortifying disdain of federal presence in the Southeast especially when then former President Goodluck Jonathan who saw you as his political son was in power. What happened to Enugu/Onitsha Expressway under your nose? For 8 years as Deputy Senate President under the PDP, you couldn’t fix just one lane. What happened to the constituency projects’ funds?
It would be recalled that the road served as a major campaign strategy yet what we saw there before the arrival of Buhari’s Presidency were trips of sand and stones creating the impression that work would soon commence, year out, year in, but to the disappointment of the people of Enugu state in particular and Southeast in general, it turned out to be a hoax and a deliberate attempt to hoodwink Ndiigbo.
The road was one project recurring too many in the budgets. What happened to it, sir? Why couldn’t you use the competence you’re touting to fix the road? Why has the road remained a deathtrap? It would be recalled that Barr. Sullivan Chime, then as governor, had to fix the alternative road, willfully putting your competence to test. It did appear you failed the test. I will switch to your camp if you explain how the funds went.
How about Enugu/Port Harcourt Expressway? As a Deputy Senate President for 12 years under the PDP where you were akin to a god and rated as the highest public officer of Southeast extraction, and the relationship was rosy between you and the Aso Rock power, why couldn’t the road get fixed? Sir, you would recall that you were using the mandate of the entire Southeast zone the seat of the Deputy Senate Presidency having been zoned to the region. The roads, strategic to the advancement of the Southeast economy and growth, were treated with abject abandon despite your over-competent fever being echoed by you and your media boys. Sir, the people of Enugu state and Southeast are curiously waiting for explanation from you. What happened to our collective interests and mandates?
Mr. Senator sir, as Deputy Senate President, holding the mandate of the Southeast, and as a man of competence, what happened to the Second Niger Bridge; a project that could have inspired genuine economic expansion and also make life relatively comfortable for the Igbo people? You people touted the project as a life-time legacy, yet for 12 years as representative of the Igbo nation, you looked away while the structure decayed in marasmus. However, President Buhari came, despite some adverse reaction to his government and policies, took these projects upon himself, and the works are going in earnest. Some parts of Enugu/Ontisha Expressway and Enugu/Port Harcourt Expressway are now motorable under president Buhari. Any explanation for that? The Onitsha Second Niger Bridge is getting much attention from the Buhari’s and under people that are not even drumming competence. Sir, where then, lies your competence? The only roads I saw were the ones leading to your village, Mpu. Of what economic value?
Mr. Senator sir, how about the Onitsha Seaport? Under your supposed and purported competent leadership, our people have no functional seaport where ships can berth. The Igbo man is, first and foremost, a business man who depends on this infrastructure for ease of business doing. The Igbo man is miserably locked up in Lagos for months trying to clear his goods and wares before moving them at exorbitant rates down to the Southeast. Sir, as a man of competence, under the Jonathan’s presidency as Deputy Senate President, you had the fertile opportunity to turn things around for your people in Igbo land, and wipe their tears. Nay! Their pains even got worsen. Where is that competence coming from? Should we expect another Messiah? “And Christ told them to go and tell John what they’d seen.” Sir, we have not seen anything that would qualify your competence. Convince us, and we’ll join you en masse.
Yet there is an international airport in Enugu state but it was an eyesore during your Deputy Senate Presidency. The structures were almost in a state of collapse when the Buhari’s administration came to its rescue. Do our people even understand the meaning of competence at all? Mr. Senator, kindly explain. Why has your competence not taking the Southeast further in development?
Erudite Professor sir, I don’t know whether you’ve visited the South-South zone in recent times where Senator Omo-Agege, your successor, who isn’t claiming competence, and see what he is doing? He doesn’t claim competence, but the people he is representing are feeling the positive impacts of his representations despite the state of the economy. He has got his ball, and has refused to compromise or corner what belongs to his people into his estate or private heritage.
2. *ZONING*: Mr. Senator sir, I know there’s pressure on you to run just like you’re mounting pressure on some of us to join your camp. There’s no worry about that. Since you said on air sometime ago that you’re still consulting, let me consult you too on zoning before I will finally join you.
Did you superintend over one of the committees set up by the PDP in 2015 to review the PDP’s bloody and embarrassing post-general elections’ defeat? If yes; was the report released in October 2015 bluntly declaring that PDP flopped in the election for arrogantly departing and deviating from the existing zoning formula in the country from you as chairman of the said committee? If the verdict is affirmatively returned; did you recommend or not recommend that the ZONING PRINCIPLE WHICH HAS BEEN THE STRENGTH OF THE PARTY BE STRICTLY ADHERED TO AT ALL LEVELS? Questions for you, sir.
If you could be produced as a Deputy Senate President sometime ago based on zoning and not your much touted competence, why are you now against it because of your political ambition or when zoning is no longer serving you now? In other words, if it was competence that produced you as a Deputy Senate President, why didn’t the same competence produce or return you when the deputy senate presidency slot was zoned to the South-South zone? Recall that you presented yourself to serve for another term as Deputy Senate President, and how it all ended in tears. So, Mr. Senator, kindly explain.
Finally, Mr. Senator, have you benefited from zoning in Enugu state or not? Are you the only competent person in Enugu state while others are daft dummies? Are you the much awaited Jesus Christ? Or are you now equating yourself with God? After getting convincing and objective answers to all the issues above, who knows, we may decide to join you. For now, I’m standing gallantry with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, zoning, and Enugu East Senatorial Zone as a man of conscience, consciousness and competence. Wherever Governor Ugwuanyi tells us to go; we shall follow him. God bless Enugu State, Nigeria.