BY: I. Onyekachi
In a big family there are times when bickering, strife and misunderstanding come up. It is natural. This is because such large house harbors people of different nature and shades. People of dissenting views on critical issues of the family.
How the squabble is handled goes a long way to define the content of the characters of the players. It will either fester the misunderstanding or rallied divergent views and foster unity once again.
All Progressive Congress (APC) in Imo state is a big family that is prone to all the challenges of a great home. Even the Bible says that in a great man’s house ‘there are vessels unto honor and vessels unto dishonor”.
Therefore the purported APC congress in Imo has become a litmus test of the big APC family and has clearly revealed the nature of those who should be in charge. The test has clearly shown the betrayal tendencies of ‘trusted allies’ of whose latent motive is to drag the party down.
There is nowhere for them to hide anymore. Contrary to their expectations, the party has come out stronger than it was. I do not intend to bore you with narratives on how the ward congress, which was the genesis of the strife, was bungled by the seeming APC members who were eventually nicknamed ‘Allied force’ or ‘Coalition Group’ by the media.
It is already in the public domain that this group made of Senatior Ifeanyi Ararume, Ben Uwajumogu, Osita Isunaso, Hon Jasper Nzuatalam, Prince Eze Nmadumere, T.O Ekechi and some others had perfected plans to take the party away from Imo people and put it in their pockets for selfish reasons.
They pulled resources together, connived with INEC officials and hijacked sensitive electoral materials prior to the commencement of the ward congress election. Their intention was to control the party structure either by hook or crook.
Again, it is everywhere including the social media, how the issue attracted the attention of the governor, His Excellency, Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who mobilized and moved to the home of one of the members of the coalition group, where to his dismay, he caught all the accomplices, including his ‘trusted friends" working perfectly well to subvert the congress against the interest of Imo people.
The intervention of the governor and other well meaning party loyalists should have thwarted their effort. But the group is hellbent on actualizing its orchestrated plan. It went ahead and generated ward congress result from nowhere.
Hardly hard the dust of their unholy behaviors settles down than they made effort to organize local and state government kangaroo congresses. Not even court orders directing that no state congress should hold at a scheduled date was obeyed.
In flagrant disobedience to the law, they produced results they claimed were from the congress and excited themselves in jubilation. Another court order which stopped Chief John Oyegun, National Chairman of APC, from inaugurating the purported chairman was also flouted.
These flagrant disobedience to court rulings made rational beings in the state to start thinking if we are living in banana republic where might is right and law counts for nothing.
However, the unfolding scenario shows that the whole event played out for the good of Imo APC.
True party members quickly rose to posses their party. Notable women group, professional bodies, organizations and uncountable number of party faithful went in wide protest to the Police, DSS, INEC and other relevant agencies to condemn such heinous act of the coalition group.
The youths were also not left out. From that moment the party returned to the people.
The striking thing is that the party has been properly galvanized under the leadership of the Imo state acting Chairman, chief Hon, Chris Oguoma.
Chief Oguoma has brought in unusual leadership quality that has revived those APC members who were lukewarm during the reign of Dr Hilary Ekeh as the state chairman. The party has never being as boisterous and focus as it is today.
The administrative dexterity, management prowess and the force of mobilization blended with the power of moral suasion which chief Oguoma brings to Imo APC has drastically turned the party around in the positive direction.
Across the wards, local governments and state, APC is fully back again! Those who are averse to the queer leadership style of Dr Hilary Ekeh have jumped into the party fold rallying their support for the dynamic leader-Hon. Chris Oguoma.
The leader of the party in the state, governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has received encomium from all quarters for spotting this rare gem and installed him as the acting party acting chair.
As the saying goes, ‘all things worketh for good to those that believe’, if the coalition group has not committed this error that was propelled by self aggrandizement, who would have known that Imo has a son of such insight, knowledge and unrivalled leadership skill as in Chief Chris Oguoma.
For the avoidance of doubt, those who are still waiting to see when APC under Chief Oguoma will collapse should wait no more, because the party has moved on. It is moving within the speed of due process and will not falter. The stray ones should rather find their way back home.
For those who may not know, Chief Oguoma was properly chosen to lead Imo APC in acting capacity. He has the full backing and support of the party Central Working Committee, the leader of the party in the state and state Excos. His emergence was done in accordance with proper proceedings.I had to explain this explicitly to clear the confusion in the minds of many who lack information on the proper order of the event.
I hope Imolites have not forgotten that shortly after the controversial ward congress, a court of competent jurisdiction ruled that there was no election and that the status quo should remain.
Rather than adhere to the injunction of the court, some of the executives such as the party chairman, Dr Hillary Ekeh, who had joined the coalition group absconded and disappeared into thin air.
The party suffered inactivity and headed to collapse. Because nature abhors vacuum, members of the central working committee, who were still remaining, conferred with the leader of the party in the state and unanimously selected one of their own, who was duly elected in a congress, as the acting party chairman.
Chief Hon Chris Oguoma, who before then has performed exceedingly well as the Owerri Zonal chairman of the party became the acting chair of Imo state APC.
Today, those who choose him can beat their chest and heap a sigh of relieve for giving Imo APC faithful and indeed all Imo people the best. Chief Oguoma has made a landmark history as the first APC chairman to superintend over local government election in the state.
The taste of the eating, they say, is in the eating, the dexterous manner in which the local government primary elections were conducted under his watch has left mouths agape.
The transparency was unprecedented. The credibility of the process is not in doubt. That is why I described the coalition actions as a good error because it removed the veil and exposed betrayals, but also unveiled Chief Hon. Chris Oguoma, an astute party administrator, bridge builder and true democrat.
It has therefore become imperative for members of the coalition group to revert to the party. They must shun the temptation of thinking that they have captured the party structure. The real APC in Imo has return to its owners- the ordinary people.
This so because the struggle they embark upon is a futile one. I am aware that APC constitution provides for direct and indirect delegates primary election.
The coalition group who are struggling for party structure cannot be sure of what method will be adopted eventually. It is also practically impossible for the group to succeed with APC in the state by excluding the leader of the party in whatever party project they embark upon.
The governor who is the leader has both spiritual and human mandate on Imo APC, been that he founded the party in Imo. Even the blind saw in the state when governor Rochas Okorocha moved his structure to APC, hence Imo became the first, and still the only South East APC state.
For those who also think that the national APC has whittled Owelle, as I hear from some uninformed minds, it is errror of thought. Even the national convention committee of the party is populated with Owelle men. They include Mrs Josephine Udorji Dr Ihejirika, Chief Charles Amadi, Barr Stev Asinobi and many others.
The summary of my discussion is that Imo APC is up and running, manned by a seasoned party man who has moved the party to a lofty height within the shortest time. There is no going back!
The part is forwarding moving, ever willing, as the acting chairman has expressly stated, to receive back to the fold those who are aggrieved irrespective of their nomenclature.
Chief Hon Chris Oguoma shares the same spirit with the leader of the party. They both have large and forgiving hearts to receive back those who have gone astray but are back to the fold. After all, politics is a game of number. The larger the merrier.