The first two names above really do not need much introduction; they probably will be amongst the most trending in Nigerian politics at this moment, thanks to the fierce controversies surrounding the dethronement of Mr. Emeka Ihedioha and the coronation of Mr. Hope Uzodinma. Those two men indeed have a lot in common; just look with your senses alert, you will definitely see the semblance.
I will still unveil the mystery guy: the third man on the thread- Anjofe. Before then, let us refresh our memories about “their Excellencies”.
Enter, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the Re-build Imo apostle. He was returned as the elected governor of Imo state in March, 2019 amidst protests about the constitutionality of his return. He was eventually issued a certificate of return and later sworn-in as the Executive governor of the Eastern Heartland. For me, part of the things that impressed me about Ihedioha as his short-lived reign lasted was his humble disposition and connection with the people. However the essence of this write-up is not to score the performance of the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Reps or the incumbent governor of Imo state but to show the common factor in their governorship as I stated earlier.
I do not even want to mention some “miraculous” election results from some constituencies for both men, not even the controversies of their primary elections where the more you look the less you see politics took place. Where delegates list was not known by a major contestant in a primary election your guess about the outcome is as good as mine, or when the chairman of a primary elections panel disappears before daybreak on Election Day with incredible results later surfacing, please try fill in the gaps!
The purpose for this piece is the people; the governed; the led.
As soon as it was getting clearer that Ihedioha would be sworn-in as the governor, he became almost the only industry in the state! Religious leaders, unions, individuals and other organizations were all taking their turns to congratulate the then ‘Governor-elect’. Even after his inauguration, the solidarity grew while his predecessor, Rochas Okorocha was always a subject of bashing. Many wanted to identify with Ihedioha obviously, not necessarily based on principle or conviction but because he was the Anjofe of those days!
Even Acho Ihim, the Deputy Governorship candidate of Action Alliance AA that fielded the son-in-law of Ihedioha’s predecessor, Rochas Okorocha as gubernatorial candidate abandoned his benefactors for the PDP, Ihedioha’s party. He was quoted as saying: “There is an end to litigation. God has chosen Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha to lead and move Imo forward and there is nothing anyone can do about it.“Having come to this after consulting my conscience, my family, and my constituents, I have chosen to drop the litigation going on in court today. I am here to tell you that I am not part of it”. That was on the 6th day of June, last year during the inauguration of the ninth State assembly. Chiji Collins had to defect from APGA to Ihedioha’s party, the PDP in order to become the Speaker of the house. Other members also jumped ship to identify with Ihedioha.
Our Lord Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:28 aptly capture what happened under Emeka Ihedioha and what is happening presently under Governor Hope Uzodinma. Jesus said: Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. Let us try to make it more contemporary: our people; politicians and non-politicians alike mostly gather around the one who has food! An average Nigerian politician mostly gravitates towards power for obvious reasons.
Now, Uzodinma’s billboards are springing up here and there in Imo state, Newspaper congratulatory messages are also flowing. State PDP chairman has even resigned his position and it won’t surprise me if he joins the APC (that is if he hasn’t already done that). House of Assembly members’ ability to jump is activated with reasons from flimsy to the ridiculous! As I write the news of the Speaker moving from PDP to APC with seven other House members just emerged. Forget those reasons they give for defecting, Uzodinma is now Mr. Anjofe, no longer Ihedioha who use to be.
So, let us unveil the mystery man: Mr. Anjofe. To many of my comrades from South West Nigeria [oh how dearly I cherish my Yoruba heritage], Anjofe is not a mystery; it is a name or term used to describe a person who has loads of friends and well-wishers simply because he is well to do and liberal. People naturally flock such men and sadly do not mostly tell them the truth but flatteries. As a result such men become conceited and difficult to advice. No wonder ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. But let me advise, To Whom It May Concern: when people flatter to deceive you, please do not deceive yourself, biko!
However, as soon as the attraction, power or wealth, is no longer there Anjofe experiences legendary desertion. Make no mistake, many of those who protested for Ihedioha and PDP after the Supreme Court Judgment that sacked him as governor will most likely be dinning with Governor Uzodinma now or in no distant future whenever the present reality dawns or begins to bite. I remember the story of a politician who supported Ezekiel Izuogwu in 1999, on principle that had to eat the humble pie when hardship pummeled him, and submitted to Achike Udenwa, joining his party and getting an appointment later in Udenwa’s government.
My question is how popular is a man in power or one with wealth? The answer is not far-fetched; as long as he is the custodian of the goods, most people will flock around him, not because of him but for the goods’ sake. But when the goods are no more the vultures will leave.
Ihedioha should have realized that by now. Uzodinma should not wait until he leaves power or power leaves him to know and live in this consciousness. He has started out somehow humbly; he should remain humble and think of the welferistic legacies to leave behind whenever his stay in office will come to an end. How I wish every political, family, religious, traditional, corporate and other leaders, including followers [in case you think your are left out] will live with this consciousness of leaving behind a lasting legacy and not just be satisfied being Anjofe.
What I say to one, I say to all; including myself.