Date Published: 10/02/09
IMO: IS AGUKWE OVERREACHING HIMSELF By John Ekemezie
That the military was in power in Nigeria for over thirty years out of over forty nine years of Independence is no longer a reference point, what is bad news about Military incursion into our body politic is that it attempted a destruction of Nigerian political foundation leaving with it irreversible sore point that has continued to draw down the progress of Nigeria to date. Thus rather than encourage men of letters as was the case with Colonial Masters, the Nigeria Military instead encouraged mediocre to come forward and takeover veritable space in our politics. From the North to the East down to the West, examples are abound of how certain fellows who should not have held public offices even at the local government level today constitute themselves into a political brigade of some sorts almost constituting a nuisance to themselves and the society. A clear case in question is one fellow who goes by the name Elvis Agukwe, currently the Director General of New Face of Imo State, a political contraption owned by Mr. Ikedi Ohakim, the stamped into office Governor of Imo State. In retrospect, nobody can actually give a good account of how he came to be, the only available information on him being that he had left Imo state in the mid 80‘s to learn a trade in Jos. As the account continued, Agukwe later found his way to Abuja at the flag off the Babangida transition in 1990, and began hanging around politicians doing one errand or the other. But the Abacha coup of 1993 brought to halt his dreams to properly entrench himself politically and so without a good academic qualification, there was little he could do to survive other than becoming a land speculator in the Federal Capital Territory. With the Abacha’s dream of transmuting into a civilian head of state flagged off, the Agukwe of this world busied themselves with all manner of scheming not for Abacha to get the mandate but to survive the economic climate however the sudden death of the man put paid Agukwe’s ambition to run for the post of Council Chairman of Kuje Area Council. He thereafter headed back to Imo State in 1999 to try his hands on the Council seat of his native Orlu Local Government. But the ambition couldn’t fly as he was largely unknown, did not have academic nor good family references to support his quest to be chairman. As luck will have it, a kinsman of his, Mr. Achike Udenwa became Governor of Imo State and had him appointed as Imo State Deputy Liaison Officer at the Federal Capital territory. But the man would not sit down to work, would not discipline his finances and would not carry himself well as a government appointee prompting the Liaison officer then Mr. Soni Hart Ibe to write a report on his person and activities culminating in his removal by the Governor. To get back at Achike Udenwa, Agukwe left PDP, changed over to Alliance for Democracy and stood election for House of Representatives seat of Orlu/Osu, Oru East and not only had his fingers burnt politically, he came out of the said election almost indebted to every of his friend. A lucky man he has always been, his plight was noted by Chief Hope Uzodinmah who then encouraged Agukwe to pick the pieces of life and later got him a job at the twilight of Udenwas administration as Political Adviser and what did he do there, he created political enemity between Governor Udenwa and people who are known to be Udenwas best of Friends and these include, Sen. Arthur Nzeribe, Hope Uzodinmmah, Ifeanyi Araraume, Tony Ezenna and Festus Odimegwu. But not a few know then that the action of Agukwe was deliberate as he targeted to pay Udenwa back in his coins by creating so much eneimies for him such that it would be difficult for Udenwa to put in a successor in 2007. With the 2007 election approaching . Agukwe once again made himself relevant and shuttled around several Governorship as well as Senatorial candidates gypping them of resources and claiming he had the ears of Achike Udenwa as his political Adviser. Having gained what he felt was enough resource to pilot his own political project he quickly resigned his position as Political Adviser to the Governor but forgot he was not popular again and then lost deposit to a much younger Eze Mayor Chukwudi two term council chairman of Orlu Local Council in an election adjudged as the freest ever. Thinking that Udenwa compounded his woes the second time around, he opened up line of discussion with Udenwas arch political rival, Senator I. G. Araraume but Araraume knew the man Agukwe too well to do business with him. Thinking Araraume will not play ball, he quickly crossed over to Festus Odimegwu and after one week again moved in the direction of Tony Ezenna, in all these shuttles, that game plan was simple make as much money as possible, destroy Udenwa’s name and create political relevance for himself using a political platform called Orlu Peoples Consultative Assembly, an organization that operate from his All Seasons Hotel Room in Owerri.
But the above is not the worry of political observers, their worry lately is that in the past few months that he was made Director – General of New face of Imo, a political contraption owned by Mr. Ikedi Ohakim, Agukwe has been carrying on as if Imo State is a private property jointly owned between him and Ikedi Ohakim. For instance it is a notorious fact that the Imo State Liaison Office situated in Wuse Abuja has become a brothel of Some sorts for use of Mr. Agukwe and his hirelings, that’s not all, the guest House of Imo State located at Gwarimpa Estate, have become an abode for his numerous flings and this is several months after he was relieved of his duty as Liaison Officer. More annoying is the fact Agukwe Commandeers cars at the Liaison Office at will and is known to be sending staff on errands unconnected to the briefs of the Liaison Office prompting the staff of the Liaison to write a petition back to Owerri on his status in Imo Government. But a recent past time of Mr. Agukwe is that he has suddenly become a political Godfather claiming he is the power behind the throne in Owerri and that he can put anybody in office whether it is for election or appointment. For instance in far away America when he attended World Ibo Congress, many Ignorant and greedy Imo people were said to have lost huge sums of money to the politician over promises that he was going to bring them back and give them appointment in Ohakims administration. Locally here, there has been stories of the man collecting huge sums of money from would be aspirants to support their various ambitions in 2011. A clear case is that of one Ambassador from Obowo who have lost millions of Naira to Agukwe on the promise he was going to make him a Senator for Imo North come 2011, there are several others in Agukwe’s deceptive boat questing for councillorship, legislative and other seats come 2011. Aside fronting for Ohakim, Agukwe has also designated himself as an errand-boy fellow of Maurice Iwu the INEC Chairman and is also claiming to have the ears of Vin Ogbulafor, the PDP Chairman and can give anybody his likes the PDP ticket whether in Zamfara or Kogi not to talk of Imo State where he claims to be in charge, and in all these several Millions have continued to change hands leaving of course victims here and there but the irony of this boastings is that the same man claiming connections in Wadata plaza is still struggling around political offices in Abuja hoping to get himself a house of Assembly ticket come 2011 .
But the question on the lips of many include, how long will Agukwe continue in this unwholesome act ? who will be his next victim and won’t Ikedi Ohakim and others like Iwu and Ogbulafor call him to order before he destroys their names but we ask again, Isn’t Agukwe over reaching himself in the name of playing politics of money, or do we take it that integrity and honour has no place again in Nigerian politics, We hope not.
John Ekemezie wrote in from Orlu, Imo State.