By Uche Nwosu
Face to face contacts with the goings on in Umuahia South State constituency will lead to the conclusion that virtually everything there is going in the wrong direction. The undertakers are on the prowl, while the man who represents the good people of Umuahia South in the Abia State House of Assembly, Hon Jerry Uzosike gallops, wallops, and spins towards a state comparable to psychosis. Is all well in this once opposition enclave? No. Is anything being done to put things aright politically and economically? No.
Instead, Jerry and his cohorts (most of them are voracious politicians) in Umuahia South State constituency pretend that all is well and a repeat game of 2019 will reanimate in 2023. Certainly, it is only the brainwashed dimwit will assume that sports of illicitness will play forever. Considering the sensitivity and awareness of Umuahia South in the politics of the Abia State and the nation, a sagacious politician would have begun to seriously mobilise in a manner devoid of trickery and fakery.
In Umuhia South today, the vital programme of women mobilisation is alien. The youths are left in limbo except now that an epileptic programme of getting them involved in activism via football fiesta is being hoisted. What happens to their mobilisation towards acquiring basic skills? What happens to the old men and women in the villages being made to feel the impact of governance? What happens to farmers who on daily basis ask for fertilizers, seedlings and farm implements? What happens to the unwell and unsound? What happens to those willing to come on board from other parties?
Many families in Umuahia South are at a crossroad over Jerry’s unsteadiness in terms of quality representation. He talks haughtily, makes highfalutin promises, but fulfills little. He walks on a bloated ego. Curiously, his bloated political rigmaroles actually belie what is on ground. Why should a politician add unnecessary air in the midst of daring opposition?
A different scenario will definitely play out in 2023. Recall that in 2019, candidates in all the parties had a field in manipulating their ways through the electoral process. The ambiguity and uncertainty of the Card Reader technological devise provided a veritable platform to defeat the peoples will. The technology offered the podium for its abuse because of its various ill fitted programming, thus encouraging all manners manipulations.
Besides, the skewed guidelines of the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) became a big hitch. INEC provided room for the violation of its guidelines: commencement and cessation of voting were not strictly enforced. The process was close to manual and every candidate took advantage of it to the detriment of the peoples will and desire.
The scenario will not be the same in 2023 when the electronic transmission of election results by INEC will be in full use. The Senate earlier this month made a volt-face on its earlier decision to jettison the process. The upper legislative assembly in order to entrenched credible polls and deepen Nigeria’s democracy, deleted the controversial clause 52(3) of the 2021 Electoral Bill that subjected transmission of election results by INEC to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) . The House of Representatives had early passed the Bill giving legal teeth to electronic transmission of results.
What this means is that the peoples votes will count. The election result will be transmitted as the votes are cast. The real winner will emerge at the end of every election as it is done in other democratic climes. Does this not suggest that all hands must be on deck, while the inane, crass and barbaric method, buoyed by the despicable idiosyncrasies of ‘we’re in charge and nobody will penetrate Umuahia South as long as we’re there’ as showcased by Jerry Uzosike and his cohorts must be given a back seat?
Why should a man who wants to be reelected into the State House of Assembly take the practice of divide and rule as an art? Why should a man who wants to keep pace with the reality of 2023 indefinably and spaciously sidetrack a vital segment of the Umuahia South populace except for that man wants to commit a political hara-kiri? It is clear that he is preparing for a great fall, a fall into a political dungeon?
But that will be disgraceful fall; greater than that of humpty dumpty where, not all his godfathers put together, could help to retrieve him. Jerry struts and gaits on the orders of his godfathers whom he tenders their orchard fields with amazing passion and to his damnation, forgetting that when the chips are down, everybody will on his own.
Ironically, his campaign organisation, Ogechi Ka Nma (God’s time is the best) relies on the gift of the Almighty that must actualise in His due time. But does he really work towards bringing this God’s Inalienable approval to fruition through a process that is all inclusive?
Democracy means government of inclusion. The man or woman who is discarded today may be the joker tomorrow, but he forgets easily. He felt to realise that he crashed woefully in 2015 in his first attempt to represent the people in the Abia State House of Assembly due to arrogance and political hocus pocus.
Now he has come again; displaying the same impious acts that made him kiss the dust 2015. What a way of providing representation in a morbid manner! Good tutorials should have taught him that a segment of the people that is your catchment zone shouldn’t be treated with disdain. Some communities, some personalities etc, should be in a good politician’s sleeves because of their good roles in the past. But instead doing this, he unceasingly trots with personalities who had jumped ship severally and came back, claiming leadership and seeking rapaciously for one political position or the other.
Women’s arm of political activism ought to be taken very seriously through the grass root mobilisation. Research has proven that women are more committed than women and that during election; they are known to cast votes more than their men counterpart. What ought to be done is for any grounded politician to set up in a network of Otu olu Obodo and get them work and feel the impact of governance. Neglecting them is akin to neglecting the eye in a journey into the unknown.
It is also known that Jerry Uzosike dictates, to the bane of everybody, happenings in the Council. The question that should be asked to Jerry Uzosike and his cohorts is: is there any reason any personality in Umuahia South should be sidetracked?
If not for the wise counsels of personalities like: Barr CSL Nwosu, Pastor Emeka Inyama and Architect Benson Ezem, Umuahia South would have sunk to abyss by now.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.