By Law Mefor
Once more, posterity beckons on Senator Ken Nnamani, the man who stood firm and strong for Nigeria when 3rd Term reared its ugly head in 2007. Then, Senator Ken Nnamani was Senate President when the 3rd Term was smuggled into the constitutional amendment process and made it a precondition for success of that exercise.
As at that time, the nation’s mood was that power should shift North; just like today’s national sentiment favours the South. If the 3rd Term agenda had succeeded, President Olusegun Obasanjo (as he then was) would have been the first beneficiary. That fact was pitted against the nation’s prevailing sentiment and the convention on rotation of presidential power between North and South Nigeria.
Senator Ken Nnamani saved the day by the way he navigated the Senate on the 3rd Term agenda and averted an upheaval that openly held out some national cataclysmic consequence. He doubled as the chairman of the National Assembly and by that courageous ruling, which went against the vested interest of the sitting president, established himself as a firm, fair and patriotic leader, which instantly gave him national acceptability and visibility. When leadership duty beckons, wise people do not hesitate to look in the direction of their own that are tested and trusted, such persons who have proved themselves in the past as unwavering and sure-footed.
Such a moment is here before the nation and the APC. The ruling party has its National Convention slated for Saturday, March 26, and has, as usual, zoned its national offices to reduce rancor and latitude for confusion and conflict. The Party’s office of National Deputy Chairman South is zoned to Enugu State. Beyond doubt, Senator Ken Nnamani is supremely qualified for the position, being the most top-ranking party leader from the zone with great savvy and national appeal as a foremost detribalised Nigerian. For instance, he chose a northerner as his chief of staff while he was senate president.
Ordinarily, Ken Nnamani is so established that he needs no case to be made for him on a matter such as this. Like the Eiffel tower, he stands head and tail taller, and without reproach. But the South-East is a funny place where everyone believes he is king, and blindly pursues an ambition just for personal gains and without any regard for the Igbo collective.
While granting that one who possesses the extant minimum qualifications or requirements for any given position can vie, a people’s strategic interest and other far-reaching considerations can make an individual’s minimum qualifications quite secondary or less important. For instance, political parties in Nigeria, particularly the two main ones, namely; the APC and the PDP, created the office of Deputy National Chairman North and the same for South for strategic reasons.
Apart from these two, there also exists a National Vice Chairman for the 6 geopolitical zones. But the office of Deputy National Chairman for North and for South is meant to balance power, with each ensuring that the interests of the divide he or she represents are fully taken care of. For the avoidance of doubt, the occupier of the office of Deputy National Chairman South, which is zoned to Enugu state, is essentially the leader of the APC in Southern Nigeria and the main representative of South Nigeria in the APC National Executive Council. In other words, he or she represents South-East, South West and South South as a power block in Nigeria and in the political party.
This explains why while rejoicing that the South-East has somebody eminently qualified for the post in the person of Senator Ken Nnamani, the best export from the East to Nigeria and the world, evidence has also shown that spoilers are already up and about. What is more, such characters are being pushed by some forces, notably a governor. These forces have created the crisis yielding the faction rocking Ohanaeze till date and forging the insecurity in the South-East zone in particular. Adding to the misery, these centrifugal forces do not care whether the zone progresses or perishes.
One has to acknowledge that the likes of Emma Enukwu, who curiously changed his name to Emmanuel Ikechukwu Joseph, may not even nominally qualify for the post of Deputy National Chairman South let alone stand Senator Ken Nnamani in a fair contest. However, it bears repeating that since the zone has Ken Nnamani who is head and shoulder taller than them all, it will be by far, more honourable that the zone presents him (Ken Nnamani) to the APC family unopposed. That way, Igbo collective and indeed the entire Southern Nigeria, will be showcased and enhanced, and greater honour and respect given to the zone by the rest of Nigeria.
The rest of APC Nigeria knows the man in Senator Ken Nnamani and is not likely to prefer the rookies who want to go ahead of him and rock the boat. But in politics, the wise leave nothing to chance. People who have nothing to lose have been used by persons playing God in Nigerian politics to mess things up. That way, they enthrone toxic and mediocre leadership to which the nation owes her underdevelopment and backwardness.
Though posterity will always not forgive, when our best is bypassed for the worst, the dire consequences are suffered by all. Prevention is therefore better than cure. It is therefore necessary to call out the APC South-East and indeed APC Nigeria to shine their eyes. Even his enemies would agree that Senator Ken Nnamani is peerless and a firm and fair leader. He is one unfailing strong bridge linking North and South Nigeria. His dependability and integrity is needed yet again as the ruling party braces for the 2023 Presidential Election by putting in place a solid national executive that can weather the storm and give the APC the edge to retain power as a ruling party.
Lest we forget, Senator Ken Nnamani saved democracy in Nigeria by stopping 3rd Term agenda. We cannot imagine what Nigeria would have been today if he had not demonstrated that courage. If one may ask: who among those vying for leadership can boast of comparable sacrifice and dedication to Nigeria as Senator Ken Nnamani?
- Dr. Law Mefor is the author of the book, ‘The Senator Ken Nnamani Portrait’; email: email@example.com; tel.:+234-905-642-4375; twitter; @LawMefor1.