As we gravitate to Nigeria’s general elections in 2019, some people in Imo state have already started forming political structures that will eventually translate to campaign organizations for purposes of contesting the governorship stool of the Igbo Heartland state.
The moves cut across the three geopolitical zones of Orlu,Owerri and Okigwe. While Orlu zone with 12 local government areas to their credit seems to be more politically active in the scheming, Okigwe with only six local government areas is also fighting for accommodation in the race to the Government lodge otherwise called Douglas house in Owerri. Owerri zone which houses the capital city cannot be passive, moreso when the people from the area believe that they have been partially marginalized over the years in governing Imo state. They claim that whereas Okigwe zone under Chief Sam Mbakwe and Chief Ikedi Ohakim have governed Imo state for eight years at different tenures, Orlu is rounding up 16 years of governance under Chief Achike Udenwa and Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, the incumbent governor.
As against all these, Owerri zone has had a stint of power for only six months under Chief Evan Enwerem as his four years tenure was interrupted and aborted through a military take-over of power. Since then and in all democratic elections in Imo state, the people of Owerri zone have always fielded candidates who, unfortunately have not been able to make remarkable marks in the race towards entering the government house as governor.
One of the reasons for their misfortunes so far is that the present a candidate that is popular among the two sub-blocs of core Owerri and Mbaise people. The effect is that in every election, starting from the primaries their loyalty has always remained devided and this has always acted to the advantage of their neighbouring Okigwe and Orlu zones. This may not be absolute in all cases. But if it turns out to be true, who is to blame? This is a poser for Owerri regional people.
But one thing is certain. There is one man among the rest, who can bridge the gap and blaze the 2019 governorship election in Imo state, if given the necessary moral and financial support. He is Prince Eze Madumere. Incidentally, he is a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress, APC, from Mbaitoli Local Government Area and presently Imo state Deputy governor under Owelle Rochas Okorocha.
A lot of credits go in favour of Prince Eze Madumere in the area of leadership. Foremost is that he is a good listener, and cerebral advantage over his peers. Furthermore, he is very passionate whenever he discovers that people are not happy. Because of this trait, despite being the second citizen in Imo state, the Deputy governor has a penchant for opening his doors wide open for all shades of people irrespective of class distinction and for listening to complaints dispassionately for purpose of taking decisions that can make for peace in the society.
As a foundation member of Okorocha’s rescue government, Prince Madumere has been part of major decisions that have impacted positively on the lives of Imo people. As Chief of Staff to the governor, Madumere discharged his assignment fruitfully and with absolute loyalty to his boss. Perhaps this accounted for his elevation to the position of Deputy governor when the vacancy arose. Uptil the moment, the Mbaitoli born politician has continued to maintain a healthy relationship with the governor in terms of governance. In effect he has continued to be a good apostle of Owelle Rochas Okorocha and whom the governor can trust as his successor from Owerri zone, if only the people from the region can give him a marching order. Having travelled widely as a young man, Prince Eze Madumere must have had the advantage of under-studying some of the best democratic cultures in the world and if given the mandate to succeed Owelle Rochas Okorocha as governor of Imo state, he is bound to bring added dynamism and continuity in the laudable programmes of government. His love for youths and respect for elders is not in doubt while not sacrificing firmness in leadership or taking major decisions that can enhance the well-being of people at large.
If one goes into detail about the dynamics of Owerri zonal politics, it is easy to re-discover Mbaike, make up of Mbaitoli and Ikeduru, core Owerri comprising Ngor-Okpala, Owerri West, Owerri North and Owerri Municipal Council and of course Mbaise that has Aboh Mbaise, Ezinihitte and Ahiazu local government areas. The local subterranean struggle for power in the zone has always rested between the core Owerri group and their Mbaise brothers.
Many political analysts see the Mbaike sub-group as the bridge -builder for Owerri zonal politics. Incidentally God moulded Prince Madumere at Mbaike and from the foregoing it goes to show that if he is anointed as a candidate for the 2019 governorship race in Imo state by the people of Owerri geo-political zone, he is likely to be accepted without questioning by the electorate in Orlu and Okigwe zones thereby ending up the years of marginalization which the people from Owerri zone have alleged over the years.