Date Published: 07/29/10
Governor Elechi's Contract with Ebonyi People By Bassey Chima
There is no gain saying the fact that no other living person epitomizes the struggle for the creation of Ebonyi State as much as the current Governor, Chief Martin Nwanchor Elechi (MFR). It reads like a contradiction, but this quintessence of political savvy, intellectual dynamo and orator par excellence finds joy more in seeing smiles on the faces of those whose mandate he exercises rather than in caressing his personal ego on the faces of newspapers and strut the walkways of political adulation. He knows the tedium of subsistence agrarian life and understands the frustrations of the artisans on the street because he has been there. So, he feels an inner glow when he sees young men in the state dirtied by their engagement in productive ventures, and strives to reduce the trauma by broadening the investment options in the State rather than recline on the couch of ease while his aides reel off imaginary futuristic projects being contemplated to provide job opportunity for the masses.
Over three years into the administration of Chief Martin Elechi, (Ochudo) the domino effect of his style of leadership has become a challenge to scholars who struggle to come up with appropriate canons of political thought to describe it. The early appreciation of the place of attitudinal change and value adjustment in development dynamics appropriates to wisdom that only comes with age and experience. The amount of energy he has invested in enthroning a value-driven development initiative in the state belies the popular assumption that he is far spent in age to cope with the demands of a state in need of some catch-up. This has in turn coalesced in massive solidarity as the people have come to realize the degree of sincerity that drives the affairs of state as well as the unbridled and unapologetic commitment of their Governor to their welfare.
For once, Ebonyi has been spared the disruptive cacophony previously generated by the schism between the so-called Abuja politicians and the State. Even previously antagonistic forces have found it worthy to identify with the cerebral quality of governance the state enjoys. One can say without fear of contradiction that Ebonyi is one of the very few States where even the opposition has logged into the portal of peaceful coexistence with the ruling party. They were not hounded into submission nor compromised into silence. The fact remains that they saw a man consumed in his belief that Ebonyi can work, and whose every step bears eloquent testimony to his sincerity of purpose as well as his genuine desire to have everybody on board; and since most of them aspire in order to impact positively on the people, it was easy to migrate in principle so as not to work at cross purpose since the same destination was indented. It is also a well-documented fact that no politically motivated murder has been recorded under his watch.
One other thing, the immediate past Governor, Dr. Sam Egwu, no doubt played a key role in the electoral fortunes of the incumbent, as attested to at several fora by Chief Elechi. It was widely assumed that having exerted his influence to achieve this, Egwu would be a vital component in the Elechi administration. In fact, the fear was that the insidious incident of godfatherism would become a part of Ebonyi political lexicon, where the Governor would have to kowtow to the whims of his predecessor. It was a possibility, even though it sounded absurd, that a major plank of the impulse that gave birth to the State would now become a pilgrim to the shrine in which he should be a priest: the question was, more or less, who was a mentor to whom? Subsequent events have proved the fears unfounded as not only has the incumbent Governor discharged his onerous duties to Ebonyi people with uncommon grace and unalloyed dedication to the common good, he has also maintained a salubrious relationship with the political elite in the State without necessarily pandering to external influence.
There is no need to go into the physical transformation of Ebonyi under Governor Elechi, (Ochudo), which has been adequately documented; moreover, the he has on numerous occasions reiterated his desire to be judged by Ebonyi people rather than media analysts and political commentators. So, the 2011 Governorship election provides a platform for the people to echo their conviction and confidence in the leadership style of Ochudo. The beauty of democracy rests in the multiplicity of viewpoints, but where there is unanimity of opinion, democracy truly transforms into a mandate from the gods. Come 2011, Ebonyi people will speak again for peace, progress and a perpetuation of the silent breath of attitudinal change reverberating across the land. And if it is not contested that tomorrow belongs to the youths of today, then the youths are in a vantage position to know which option will best serve their interest. In the light of this, the Ebonyi Youths Assembly, Abuja Chapter finds no hesitation in endorsing without reservations a second tenure for Ochudo. Our conviction is well-founded, our resolve iron-clad. The group extends hands of fellowship to all progressive youth forces in every hamlet, village, community and zone in Ebonyi to stand and be counted in this clarion to entrench visionary leadership, accountability and, above all, peace in our land. For Ochudo we stand come 2011 Governorship Elections.
# Bassey Chima, Coordinator, Ebonyi Youth Assembly, (Abuja Chapter) writes from 65 Nandu Plaza, off Michael Okpara Street, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja