Party politics is not all about waiting in the wings to grab power when the opportunity arises, it is about working consciously to build the Party and encourage her members to stay steadfast with the Party. This takes a lot of work and resources, and it is not always about the wealthiest Party man or woman, but about the one who is a disciplined and committed Party man.
There is hardly any member of the PDP or its candidate that has faced as much persecution from the Imo State government as Ugochinyere Ikeagwuonu has faced in the last few weeks and months, and there is no politician in Imo State who has stood up to the harassment of the State government as that young man has done. It could only take a reasonable and listening leader to understand that Ugochinyere’s travails in the hands of the 3R administration is not really about himself or his political aspiration per sey, but his resistance against unnecessary harassment is to the benefit of the opposition and all critics of government in the State. If Ikenga had cowered like they wanted him to, it would have exposed the entire opposition to more attacks and harassment.
His Excellency Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has shown that he is not merely interested in grabbing the PDP governorship ticket like his opponents would accuse him of, but is committed to the survival and victory of the Party, whether during elections or out of election cycle. He provides moral support to Party members who are in need of it, just like he has done to Ikenga, at this time when he is literally on house arrest and had to even resort to wearing bulletproof vests because of the desperate attempts on his life, allegedly, by agents sent by the Imo State government.
What Ihedioha has done holds a lot of significance to his leadership in Imo State PDP. No matter how much people like us decide to hate or even envy him, we cannot deny the fact that Ikenga has successfully secured his place as the poster boy of the opposition in Nigeria, and the biggest thorn on the 3R administration in Imo State. Ihedioha could have kept quiet and allowed Ikenga ride out this storm alone. After all, his election is later in 2023, after Ugochinyere must have won or lost his own election. So, he could decide to wait, and buy off delegates to win his own primaries when the time comes. By choosing to show solidarity to his Party man, Ihedioha has shown that he does not see Party members and potential delegates as mere commodities that can be priced and bought off during elections and discarded after the elections. He has shown a good quality of leadership which is mostly lacking among the political class, especially in Imo State.
Ihedioha was not afraid of being hit by a stray bullet, he didn’t fear that those seeking to harm Ikenga could also waylay him on his way and do him some harm and he didn’t feel that he was too busy with lots of activities lined up for the Yuletide to go visiting a “troublesome young man”. He put everything on hold, and just before the last year expired, he joined the many youths and women of Ideato to show solidarity to his Party member and encourage members of his Party in that area that “Ikenga is not alone”. He has also sent a strong message to the APC and anyone trying to hurt Ugochinyere that the Party is aware and that the Party will not keep quiet should anything happen to their colleague. If this is not a clear show of leadership, then, nothing else is.
Other leaders of the Party and candidates at various levels should follow Ihedioha’s example by going to Akokwa to solidarise with the man who is taking the bullets to ensure that the Imo State government and her agents do not succeed in shutting up the opposition especially, as the 2023 elections is barely seven weeks away.
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