2019 Senate: Major upset looms in Orlu Zone

The search for who becomes the next senator for Orlu zone in 2019 has begun in earnest. Interest groups and candidates have been engaged in one move or the other to win support. As expected, some of the candidates are facing serious opposition which is the normal thing in a democratic contest.
However, some of the opposed candidates seem unruffled without making any soul-searching or introspection as to evaluate whether they are truly qualified to contest in the first place, especially based on issues of equity and credibility for the coveted office.
From the perspective of equity, there is a strong opposition brewing against candidates who are from areas that have had dominance in occupying elective offices to the detriment of others. As serious as this issue is, it seems that some of the contestants from areas that have enjoyed a seeming monopoly or dominance are bent on going to the ring without considering the ultimate consequence of their desperation.
On the issue of credibility of candidates contesting for the Orlu senate, there is a serious argument in the zone that the exalted office of a senator requires a person found worthy in character and learning vis a vis equity, to occupy the position. In other words, whereas sound character and education are considered very crucial in determining who occupies the exalted office, equity is also considered very important to avoid creating the picture of a hegemony or undue domination of others, because no clan or group in Orlu has the monopoly of providing qualified candidates than others. It is an outrageous fact, so painful that the Orsu clan has had monopoly of the office of the senator for Orlu zone since the first republic with Senator Francis Arthir Nzeribe holding sway for more than three times, but for the strong resistance given to him by the people through the instrumentality of Orlu zurumee with the strong backing of then governor Achike Udenwa. Even when it became obvious that he regarded the office and his personal property, the people of Orlu in their unanimous message of rejection of his monopoly of the office, went to the extent of carrying mock coffin for him. That collective approach brought to the fore, the unanimous belief of Orlu people in the laws of equity which collective pursuit in respect of Nzeribe’s personal grip to the office led to his demystification. Nzeribe’s abdication of the office paved way for Senator Osita Izunaso from Oru West. Senator Hope Uzodinma took over from him and enjoyed and undisturbed two terms which ends this year.
From this record, it is not incontrovertible that Orsu clan has untimely occupied the senatorial seat for too long, necessitating the justified clamor for another clan to have a shot at the seat. The Isu clan sees 2019 as their year of settlement with the position of Orlu senator as they complain that they have been disdainfully treated since the second republic, though some many argue that they have not shown a strong interest, except this time when Barrister Solomon Kelechi Nnadi of the Accord party from Isu Njaba, in Isu Local Government Area and Hon Jones Onyereri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have shown strong interest. Most particularly the strong entrance of Barr. Nnadi form Isu Njaba has gladdened the heart of Orlu people who insist on equity and capacity.
Supporters of Barr. Nnadi hinge their argument on his intellectual capacity and track record of excellence not only as a successful lawyer, but also as a young man whose leadership star started shinning very early. It would be recalled that he received the award of Best Student Activist when he was a student of law at the Delta State University. His stunning record at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries in 2011, when he aspired for the Federal House of Representatives ticket for Nkwerre, Njaba Nwangele Federal constituency, when it was alleged that he was robbed of victory marks him out.
In fact, his teeming supporters believe that it is time to give him the opportunity to display his legislative and leadership skills to give Orlu zone a fresh breath, a fresh blood that flows in the veins of a vibrant and dynamic personality.
Given the fact that the 2019 Orlu Senatorial race is most likely to be a straight fight between Governor Rochas Okorocha, Hon. Jones Onyereri and Senator Osita Izunaso, Barr. Nnadi is seen as the option needed to give the zone the required voice, because there is the growing fear that no clear winner could emerge from among the three foremost contestants for reason of their antecedents as persons who have already held public offices from the zone and possibly may have offended many.
Apart from the urgent factor of equity which every Orlu man that loves justice supports strongly as a key factor in determining who would represent the zone at the senate, other contentious variables working for or against the candidates need proper examination.
There is a logic buying currency in Orlu zone today as elsewhere in the state, that elective position is not the preserve of any particular person or group since nobody has the monopoly of wisdom as to be allowed to repeat old chorus, when there are more persons who are even more qualified waiting to be given equal opportunity.
Again, irrespective of whatever odds that may play out against the three foremost contenders, Orlu zone has set a precedent by insisting that no one man will occupy any elective position especially the senatorial seat more than necessary. This was demonstrated when the zone unanimously clipped Nzeribe’s wings. Even when former Governor Achike Udenwa vied for the senate seat, the zone did not give him the chance and Senator Hope Uzodinma understood this very clearly, hence he did not insist on a third term.
The above reasons are most likely to work against Governor Rochas Okorocha in his Senatorial bid, even in the face of the confusion trailing his candidacy where the National Leadership of APC punches him mercilessly in addition to his suspension by the Marcel Nleemigbo Care taker committee of Imo APC. Even in the absence of confusion trailing the Okorocha senatorial ambition, there is the assumption among Orlu leaders that Okorocha has not done any tangible thing for the people of the zone would be hard to be reached if voted as a senator going by his record so far. His deep seated animosity for Senator Hope Uzodinma is also an indisputable hitch toward his ambition. His innuendoes and unprintable words against the APC Governorship candidate are signs that his ambition is dead on arrival.
There are two odds against Senator Uzunaso’s ambition. First and foremost, some Orlu leaders and many other stakeholders who helped him to win the position in the past are not happy with him for fighting them immediately he became Senator. It is not likely that they will support his ambition again considering the fact that efforts were even made to by Orlu people to recall him from the senate, for the intervention of the then Governor Ikedi Ohakim and Professor Maurice Iwu who was INEC chairman.
Another factor likely to work against him is the misgiving entertained against him by majority of members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA over the alleged role he and Araraume played in putting the party in disarray in the state. APGA faithful in Orlu zone may have resolved to vote for Barr. Kelechi Nnadi as a victim of APGA manipulation because they still see him as one of their own. They may have resolved to follow him as a way to compensate him and teach the supposed oppressors lesson. Barr. Nnadi growing mass support is not solely because of what the invaders caused him in APGA, nor because of the fact that he comes from Isu clan, whose turn it is to produce the senator, but his disarming humility, accommodative spirit and silent sense of philanthropy are credentials going for him.
Izunazo’s victory will also give a lot of momentum to Senator Ararume’s governorship ambition and spell doom for Senator Hope Uzodimma since the people may not accept to have both the Senator and Governor come from the same old Local Government Area.
Another visible contender for the Orlu Senate seat is Hon. Jones Onyereri of the PDP. A great odd against him is that his support for Emeka Ihedioha as the governorship candidate of PDP would make Senator Uzodinma and his group to mobilize against him to ensure that he did not find ground to support Ihedioha. A victory for Jones Onyereri will give Ihedioha a lot of mileage going into the governorship election
On paper, the contest is between Rochas Okorocha, Osita Izunaso and Jones Onyereri, but recent developments indicate that Barr. Kelechi Solomon Nnadi could cause a major upset in Orlu zone
Until the D-day everybody will keep his/her fingers crossed.

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