A community leader, Engr. Edozie Richard Imah has called on the people of Mbala Isuochi in the UmunneochiLocal Government Area of Abia State to wake up from their slumber and participate actively in the build-up to the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.
Engr. Imah spoke at the first Mbala political summit which held recently at his palatial home at Umuobasi MbalaIsuochi, in the Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State.
He said it is regrettable that Mbala people have been crying of marginalization by both political representatives and successive governments in Abia State and yet, the people and indeed those who matter in the community hardly show little or no interest in political activities in the state.
Imah, who is the founder of “Support Our Own Initiative”recalled that it was in line with the spirit of supporting Umunneochi people in their political exploits that the Support Our Own Initiative platform was formed to promote the political aspiration of Hon. NkeirukaOnyejeocha of the Federal House of Representatives during the 2019 general elections.
“Every day we lament that we are marginalized, that we do not see any government presence in our area. Yet, when it’s time for politics, you don’t see our people. And the small number that comes out, is often maligned, castigated and run down,” he said.
Imah, who is also a renowned politician and mobiliser in Umunneochi LGA recalled that in the past, Mbala used to be Isuochi political pacesetter, dictating the political direction of the town as well as laying claim to producing some of the finest politicians in the area.
“In the past, Mbala set the pace in politicking in Umunneochi. It was the time we had a generation of politically active people who saw political power as the fastest enhancer of community development and economic empowerment.
“Today, we have regrettably abandoned that path. And that is why I convened this political summit so that we can honestly tell ourselves the truth, look at where the rain started beating us; and then chart a new political course.
“The political summit is the first in the series lined up this year. My aim is to galvanise as well as mobilise our people to take active part in all political activities taking place in Isuochi, Umunneochi and Abia State as we get ready for 2023. We have both the intellectual and financial wherewithal to make this happen; and that journey must start now,” Imah charged.
In a keynote address at the occasion, former governorship aspirant in Abia State, Surv. Ike Orika recalled that it was the ‘I can do it’ spirit in Mbala people that drove him into coming out to aspire to become the governor of Abia State at the return of democratic rule in Nigeria.
Surv. Orika noted that the greatest challenge faced by Mbala people in the politics of Umunneochi and indeed, Abia State is the people’s apathy towards politics and insisted that as long as this attitude is sustained, Mbalawill continue to lag behind in Umunneochi nay Abiapolitics.
“Mbala is blessed with both the human and financial resources needed to become a political power house in this part of the country. What we need is for our people to always show interest in politics, participate in political activities and support our sons and daughters who emerge for elective positions,” he said.
Citing his experience as a case study, Orika enjoined Mbala people to eschew politics of bitterness, and the pull him down syndrome synonymous with politicians and their followers in Mbala and admitted that a politically united Mbala would once become a political force in Umunneochi.
“My experience while aspiring to become the governor of the State was quite sore. I suffered character attacks from our own people. Some people went out to collect money from our opponents to fight their own brother and sabotage our efforts.
“We told other parts of Isuochi and Umunneochi that an Umunneochi person can aspire to the highest office in the State. We were focused at achieving our goal then in spite of the opposition coming from our own people then, he said.
Surv. Orika, therefore, called on Mbala people to close ranks irrespective of political affiliation and sponsor and support candidates of Mbala extraction in the leading political parties in the next general elections billed for 2023.
Others who spoke at the summit include the traditional ruler of Umucha Autonomous Community, Eze Obi Egbo, Chief Richard Ikpe, Chief Mbaraonye Obialor, Hon Mike Ezeh, Sir Richard Imah, Major Sam Ejim (rtd), Comrade Ibe Obialor, Hon Chimaoge Ibeh among others.
The summit was chaired by His Royal Highness, Eze Obi Egbo, Chatu 1 of Umucha Autonomous Community and was witnessed by other dignitaries including Chief Kingsley Madu (Ohamadike) and politicians from across the different political parties in the State.
SDP Hints Nigeria’s Imminent Collapse
With the current crises confronting Nigeria, the country may collapse anytime soon if urgent and guided actions are not taken to salvage it, Social Democratic Party (SDP) has said.
Chairman of the party in Anambra State, Webster Okonkwo, at a press briefing in Awka at the weekend, said the foundation for a new and prosperous Nigeria laid by the party on June 12, 1993 had been totally destroyed.
“Today, the corporate existence of Nigeria is under increasing threat as the foundation for a new and prosperous Nigeria laid on June 12, 1993 has been totally destroyed, dismantled and shattered.
“The aftermath is hunger, starvation, poverty, banditry, religious extremism, insurgency and other vices competing fiercely with one another to destroy the very fabrics of this great nation.
“But, in the midst of all these, a new Nigeria is possible. It is possible to rebuild the foundation of this country on the stronghold of justice and fairness. It is possible to enthrone honesty, transparency and good governance in this country.
“It is also possible to re-establish the bonds that held us together as a nation and rekindle our hopes and aspirations for greatness. Yes, that possibility is alive in the SDP,” he said.
Anambra PDP Governorship candidate, Godwin Maduka, bags Michael Okpara Leadership Prize
Reporters: Ugonna Anejionu and Bruno Okeke
…Others, including H. E. Duoye Diri and Bala Mohammed, Governors of Bayelsa and Bauchi States, respectively; Bukola Saraki, former Senate President, Minister of State for Petroleum, Mines and Steel and Power, two former Inspectors General of Police-Okiro and Smith ; Senator T.A. Orji , and Obiora Okonkwo,Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines receive Leadership Prize in Honour of Rt. Hon. Dr. Michael Iheonukara Okpara, GCON, late Premier of Eastern Nigeria, in Abuja, June 3, 2021.
Godwin Maduka, a renowned medical doctor and front-line PDP governorship aspirant in Anambra state received the prestigious Michael Okpara Leadership Prize as Philanthropist of the Millennium on Thursday, 3rd June, 2021, at the Sheraton hotel and towers in Abuja.
Maduka who has also acquired reputation for touching lives of many people and families in his Umuchukwu town, in Orumba South of Anambra state, was honoured by Michael Okpara Foundation as part of the Centenary Celebration of Rt. Hon Dr, Michael Okpara, Premier of former Eastern Nigeria and a renowned a heart surgeon.
Maduka stole the show at the investiture ceremony when he announced a donation of N50million at the occasion as support for the establishment of Michael Okpara Leadership Institute and explained to the audience how Okpara inspired him to become a medical doctor, touch lives, go into politics and spend fortunes on developmental projects.
In words that attracted loud ovation, Maduka , who holds doctorate degrees in Pharmacy, Medicine and a professorship in medical science also presides over affairs as Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Pain Institute and Medical Centre, a multi billion dollar medical and pharmaceutical conglomerate in Las Vegas, USA, Said this about Okpara, his role model:
‘’I have never seized from admiring Dr. Michael Okpara, the great leader, nationalist ,politician and Medical Doctor like myself . I am inspired by Okpara’s developmental legacies and life as a medical doctor who embraced politics and used opportunity of his elevation to the status of premier to make the Eastern Region of Nigeria, one of the fastest growing regions in the world in the 1960s. I will do all I can to follow his style and make Anambra the number one state in Nigeria if I win the upcoming governorship election in the state. I am donating a total of N50million to support what the Okpara Foundation and Verbatim News Network Limited is doing , in honour of our late father and leader, Michael Iheonukara Okpara.’’
Dr Maduka said he feels highly honoured to be considered as philanthropist of the millennium , and explained that he keyed into the project immediately it was brought to his notice because of his respect for the man Okpara who he said was a legend.
Maduka further explained that his life as a growing young man was shaped by Dr Okpara and his success in life which prompted him to study medicine as he saw Okpara as a role model.
He further said that he sees himself as a replica of Dr Okpara judging from the very humble backgrounds which both of them had, the scholarships which the both received to study and medicine which they both studied adding that he also has some inherent qualities of Dr Okpara like resilience, commitment, candor, humanism and love for the development of his immediate environment.
He added that these were the reasons why he decided to offer himself to serve the good people of Anambra state as governor emphasizing that he is resolved to transform Anambra and take it to the next level like Dr Okpara did in the old eastern region as the premier.
A number of prominent personalities of South East origin stood by Maduka while he made his landmark pronouncements at the occasion . These include former Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Chairman of the Occasion and Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Senator Theodore Orji , (Ochendo Global ) and Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Dr.Uche-Ogah.
Reasons why Godwin Maduka was presented with Okpara Prize as Philanthropist of the Millennium was adduced by Tobs Agbaegbu, Publisher of Verbatim Magazine who headed the event organizing committee. In an interview with journalists in Abuja, Agbaegbu explained:
‘’There was a committee that looked at the credentials of Dr. Godwin Maduka, his vision and accomplishments. Maduka has done much that are verifiable, in areas of human capital and infrastructural development. He is a giant in academic achievement. But the committee wanted to appreciate him more in what he did in touching lives, the philanthropy and human angle. Maduka is also a giant in this area. What he has done in years past and what he is currently doing are too numerous to talk about here. ‘’
Maduka was not the only recipient of Okpara Leadership award on June 3. Other recipients include Sen T.A Orji, Professor Ofo Iwe, Vice chancellor of the Michael Okpara university of Agriculture Umudike , Dr Bukola Saraki, former president of the senate, High Chief Ikechi Emenike and two other governorship aspirants from Anambra State, Obiora Okonkwo and George Moghalu. Other personalites who were honoured include, Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Governor Bayelsa State, Duoye Diri and Goddy Jedy-Agba, Minister of State for Power.
Some of those who spoke at the event included Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; former Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki; and Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo.
In their speeches they implored political leaders to toe Okpara’s path by emulating his selfless and visionary leadership, and deepen good governance in the country. They also said Nigeria was in search of heroes like the late Premier.
Dr. Onu eulogized Okpara for providing quality leadership to the former Eastern Nigeria. He said: “Dr Okpara was a man of great vision. He built long lasting infrastructure. Politicians should emulate him. He was selfless. For us as a government, we are working hand-in-hand to build infrastructure for a great economy. We must remember that a part of this country, the Eastern region, was the world’s fastest growing economy in those days, about 50 to 60 years ago. This gives us hope that the Nigerian economy can boom again not through commodities but human capital.”
In his keynote address, Saraki described Okpara as one of the greatest leaders Nigeria ever produced. He recalled that the agricultural programme of Eastern region under Okpara the most ambitious at that time.
Saraki, who was represented by his former Chief of Staff, Ladi Lawal, noted that Nigeria needed more Okparas in all its regions – East, West, North and South.
“We need more individuals in our public service like Sir Michael Okpara, who had foresight; we need leaders that seek solutions to pressing issues of the day. We need men and women in positions of influence, who approach governance with a clear vision, a sign of unwavering courage to do what is right and the clarity of thought and accuracy in action to develop policies and execute them to better the lives of our people,” he said.
Okonkwo, governorship aspirant in Anambra State, said Okpara never had a political godfather, but was able to situate developmental projects across the region.
He promised to replicate Okpara’s legacies, and even do more, if elected governor of Anambra on November 6, this year when the state governorship poll would come up. “I am fired by the zeal to change the narrative in Anambra State and the South East. Our people seem entrapped. They seek a new leadership; one that will inspire them to do more for themselves and their various communities,” he said.
Uzodimma Okpara, son of the late Premier who spoke for the family, noted that one of the most outstanding achievements of their patriarch was what he did in the area of economic development through harnessing the agriculture potential of the region.
Okpara, the late Premier of Eastern Nigeria was a medical doctor and former member of Eastern Nigerian House of Assembly on the ticket of the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC). He replaced Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as Premier of the region and served in that capacity from November 1959 to January 1966. A native of Umuegwu-Okpuola, Afugiri, Umuahia North Local Government Area, in present day Abia State, Okpara died in December 1984.
Governor Aliyu Is A Liability To PDP – Wike Blasts Colleague
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike In Monday blasted his colleague in Niger State, Babangida Aliyu for being a liability to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Wike also described Aliyu as a mole who contributes nothing to the progress of the PDP.
The governor said this while responding to a comment allegedly made by Aliyu that Wike was a dictator and that the problem of the party’s national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus was connected to his coming from Rivers State.
But Wike, who did not mince words, said, “Yes, I read it in various newspapers. But what makes a man is when he is bold to say I am referring to Mr…. not to hide on the background that that you cannot say it is you I was talking about. So, that shows you the character that Aliyu Babangia is.
“With utmost respect, I believe that this period is very tight for us. Problems of insecurity, how we are going to make sure Nigeria moves forward. But one has to react based on the kind of insinuations he (Aliyu) may have made.
“One, there is no political dictator in Rivers State as far as PDP is concerned. That is why today, if there is one state that PDP is sure of winning any day, any time in this country if the election is called tomorrow, I am sure that it is Rivers State.
“That is not the case with Niger State. Babangida Aliyu is a political liability in PDP. He is not an asset to PDP. Now, this is a man who came out to the public to say that he sabotaged, he worked against the PDP in winning the Presidential election in 2015. I can quote him well, he said we, Northern Governors worked against President Goodluck Jonathan.”
But also according to Wike, Aliyu’s claims were denied by some northern governors including a former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang and a former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido.
Wike said, “Of course you saw the reply of the former President to him. He (Aliyu) is a rabble rouser and perpetual blackmailer. He is what you call a chronic liar, a serial betrayer. The funny part of life is that the same Babangida Aliyu in 2017 was one of those who opposed Secondus to be chairman of the party.”
“People like Aliyu are just moles. He is one of the moles we have in PDP. These are people who get information and in the night they go back to the ruling party to give them information.
“What can he contribute to the PDP? So, he has no job as it is today,” Wike said.
Noting that Aliyu called him a dictator, the Rivers State governor continued, “He called me a dictator, I challenge him to go and hold a congress in your state. Can he make PDP win in Niger State? As I speak to you, no state congress has been held in Niger State because of his dictatorial tendencies. He does not want the people that the masses want.”
Denying that there was a rift between him and the PDP national chairman, Secondus, Wike said, “If there was any problem with Uche Secondus, he would have said so. Nobody should take Babangida Aliyu seriously. He is a political liability to our party. This is a man who publicly said he and other northern governors worked against former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.”
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