by Cyril Aririguzo, KSM
As I sit down to write this piece, I cannot but be amused by the unwarranted and very unprofessional aspersion directed to the personality of one of our finest medical practitioners of high repute, democrat and a quintessential politician of the first order, Dr. Josiah Odunna for what he revealed to Imo people during Team Ihedioha’s Inauguration at Owerri municipal recently. I am particularly worried because in Igboland it is a sacrilege to condone evil or abuse an elderly person when he is not telling lies without fear or favour.
I have also read with reservation, comments credited to Senator Samdaddy Anyanwu in obvious reaction to an percieved comment said to have been made by Dr Josiah Odunna of the Abamaragu fame to the effect that the Senator Samdaddy would not win the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship nomination in Imo State and that if he (Samdaddy) eventually wins Imo PDP governorship ticket, Odunna threatened to go on exile. The elder statesman Dr Odunna went further to also posit that should Samdaddy pick Imo PDP gubernatorial nomination and clinche the governorship seat he and his family would precede on self exile.
But going through Samdaddy’s reaction recently via a press release from his Media Assistant, Kelechi Eke, one could easily conclude that the Senator clearly over reacted and was not careful with his diction. Samdaddy in his reaction which is trending in Print and social media platforms, failed to prove himself as one with right temper or temperament to govern an enlightened state like Imo. For him to throw unnecessary tantrums at the personality of no other person than Dr. Josiah Odunna by referring to him as “one expired Dr. Josiah Odunna,” and “the old... Odunna”, could be a tip of what to expect should by chance Senator Samdaddy takes over Government House Owerri. Apart from the fact that he exhibited his lack of good sense of purpose, it appears he deliberately chose to malign, bastardise and tarnish the image of the revered elder statesman Dr. Odunna for calling a spade, spade in politics.
To start with, Samdaddy has exhibited sheer lack of respect for old-age and the elderly, inadvertently portraying himself as one who possesses disdain for Senior Citizens even when he (Samdaddy) has an old mother in the house. The question in the lips of many senior citizens of Imo State as at Wednesday, April 3, 2018 when Samdaddy’s old-age jibe against Dr Odunna was published was whether the Owerri Zone Senator does not wish to get to old age. Infact some retired pensioners who were discussing Sammdaddy’s comment were miffed that if a man who aspires to be governor could make such careless remarks at a respected personality like Dr. Josiah Odunna, only God knows what will be their fate vis-a-vis payment of their long forgotten pension assuming Senator Anyanwu or Samdaddy becomes governor eventually. One of the elderly men queried whether Samdaddy and his media assistant did not know that old age remains a special grace and privileged that the Almighty bestows on whom he wishes.
But as reflections on Samdaddy’s tantrums on Dr. Odunna continued, issues such as Samdaddy’s negative remark on the professional competence of the Ogwa Mbaitoli born Medical Doctor propped up. Samdaddy had in his Wednesday release against Dr Odunna remarked; “Odunna has forgotten how he was rescued from Onitsha, rehabilitated and given political relevance when his hospital at Onitsha became desolate due to unprofessional conducts...”. Again Samdaddy dispalayed his lack of analytical content and what looks like a shallow or gross lack of academic depth. First Odunna is an accomplished professional medical doctor, and every well bred citizen of Imo and Nigeria appreciates what it takes to train a medical doctor especially, in those good old days when going to the university was exclusive preserve of few privileged persons. So the question is, while Dr. Odunna is an acclaimed medical practitioner, what is Samdaddy’s academic qualification or professional history outside being a former local government Chairman and House of Assembly member which is no profession.
Secondly, what was Senator Samdaddy doing for a living before some political godfather handpicked him for Ikeduru council Chairmanship in 2003/2004? Samdday has to tell Imo people his academic qualifications including higher or university courses or programmes he studied including his employment records before casting aspersion on respectable Dr. Josiah Odunna’s person. Because Imo state is a very interesting state for its antecedence to always be at the forefront of improving it political consciousness simply because of our politicians who well known for masking their true identities just to deceive our people on what they are not. I think we have come to the point where we must now know everybody’s true background before any other thing else.
I think the fear of Hon Ihedioha who Dr. Odunna was supporting is the root of the ravaging political epidemics in our political circle and especially in Imo PDP. The development which followed immediately after the recent trend which has pitched Hon Ihedioha as not just the man to beat in PDP governorship primaries, but man who has what it takes to kick the incumbent, Governor Okorocha’s proxy out of office in 2019. While the All Progressive Congress (APC) is grappling with internal crisis of who replaces Okorocha and tackle the colossus in Imo politics, some runaway PDP members are colluding with Senator Samdaddy to run riot out of fear of their past actions against the party. This renewed media onslaught against a perceived supporter of Hon Ihedioha of which Dr. Odunna is one, will end up in futility because the guilty are afraid. We all know it is geared towards stopping Rt. Hon Ihedioha who has been fighting to keep the party alive during the crises period before God used the Supreme Court Judgement to compensate his efforts. Today the theory seems clearer and we are seeing the architects of the propaganda against Hon Ihedioha. Cheap propaganda like; “Stop Emeka, He cannot win” “He is from Mbaise” has been their password and anybody supporting him must be branded as evil and attacked using the media but we are watching the trend carefully.
I have always said that politicians who have nothing to offer will always use this toga against Mbaise and this is manifesting already as I’m writing. Take it or leave it, it is their “stock and trade”. They used it in 2015 and succeeded because it was taken for granted. It is old, out-fashioned and evil to disparage Mbaise nation on petty issues. This type of propaganda cannot work again because Owerri People are wiser now and would not want to suffer again or make the mistake of working against Ihedioha based on such mundane nonsense of where he is from and not looking at his capacity. It is clear to every intelligent observer that amidst those jostling for governorship, Rt. Hon Ihedioha has been singled out as target of attack for no reason. Even the incumbent Governor Okorocha has always recognized him as the sole portent contender come 2019 and that is why they are using stooges in PDP to fight him. This calculated campaign of calumny which is devised to distract Hon Ihedioha using Dr. Odunna fundamental right of expression on Imo of today is either to make the likes of Dr Odunna to be demoralized or not to speak out again.
This ploy is laughable, immature and an act in futility. It is ridiculous that people can sit in the comfort of their home and pen down such ridiculous piece just to tarnish ones image. It is unfortunate that while Hon Ihedioha is busy consulting, building political bridges in LGA and mobilizing and inaugurating his foot soldiers some people within the ranks of the PDP are bent on how they can scuttle his move and instigate crises within the party. Such plots can only encourage the sponsoring of unintelligent articles against a man who has refused to engage in the politics of name calling and mudslinging. Hon Ihedioha is campaigning on his merits and not running under any man’s shadow. In every generation, God produces a Joshua to show leadership and point the way forward and by implication help to restore peoples lost heritage and hopelessness and show his supremacy over the affairs of men. Hon Ihedioha is the Joshua of Imolites whose time to lead has come. He is coming at the appointed time of God to deliver his people from miseries and sufferings in the hand of APC bad leadership come in 2019. This is a good radiance for PDP and Owerri zone to decipher who is actually working against them as the battle for 2019 draws closer.