Date Published: 11/16/09
EMEREONYE: WHAT MANNER OF LEGISLATOR By Maximus Uba
Time it was when the landscape called Ahiazu Mbaise was the political headquarters of what used to be Eastern Nigeria. At the time in question, the political actors in the entire East be they Amanze Njoku, Nnanna Ukaegbu, Mark Egbu, Nwodo or the Emutchay’s used to congregate in Ahiazu Mbaise home of several political elite to chart not only their political future but those of the Igbo man. This feat was to continue even under the Military when the likes of Chief Donatus Onu, P. O. Nwoga, Tony Anyanwu (Snr) and N.D Ukah ensured that with their elite background Ahiazu Mbaise was not placed in the back waters, but in notable corner of the political map of Nigeria. But that was yesteryears in that today politiking and political representation concerning Ahiazu Mbaise has become a caricature of some sort, a laughing stock with unknown actors/fellows who have neither academic nor civil service background mounting the stage to drag back the fortunes of once elite environment. For instance with the flag off of the General Abubakar transition in 1998, the people had expected that the tradition of excellence left by the founding fathers’ of Ahiazu Mbaise would be reenacted in the choice of who to represent the people at the State and National Assembly. While the people got what they desired at the National Assembly in the person of Hon. Barr Tony Anyanwu who apart from being Lawyer of International repute came from a good political background, the same can also be said of the man who corned the Assembly seat to go to Owerri, Mr. Noel Agwuocha also a lawyer. Although many said Agwocha gave a good account of the sovereignty relinquished to him by the people of Ahiazu, this writer does not believe so as the period the lawyer sat in the hallowed chambers was divided between his ambition to become Speaker of the House and that to be a “good boy” to Achike Udenwa, perhaps that can accounts for why after being a legislator and a Speaker, Agwuocha ended up his political career becoming a Commissioner, and an undercurrent spokesman for a regime that cannot account for its eight year in office. If Agwuocha representation can be described as a minor joke that pushed personal aggrandizement at the expense of the people, the fellow who took over from him can be likened to one who did not know the calling of the office of the legislator, did not have any manner of experience both in private or public sector and was even said to have acquired only a Secondary education at least this much was revealed by a group known as Ahiara pillars who in an advertisement in 2002 challenged the fellow Nnanna Igbokwe to produce his degree and NYSC discharge certificate, a challenge he is yet till date to honour. In essence, Hon Igbokwe’s four years in the house produced nothing, targeted nothing and was a mere hipopshow, thus it can rightly be inferred that the people of Ahiazu lost the years 2003 – 2007 at Imo Assembly to mediocrity, money politics, crass ambition, and desire of little people to jump into fray unqualified, ill equipped and unprepared. A glimmer of hope however came in 2007 when an erudite lawyer with over thirty years experience at the bar, Pius Nwoga (JNR) was elected as the man to represent Ahiazu Mbaise community, however the political intrigues which has more to do with hatred of the Nwoga clan by the people caused his early departure from Imo House of Assembly but the truth remains that in his over 24 months in the hallowed chambers, analysts say Nwoga gave a good account of himself as he caused a lot of projects to be allocated to his constituency, unfortunately Hon Nwoga was replaced mid 2009 by a certain unknown fellow named Benjamin Emereonye of APGA. Although many say Emereonye is just putting in less than five months in the hallowed chambers, observers including his constituents are wondering what Mr Benjamin Emereonye is actually doing in Imo State House of Assembly in the last few months especially considering his poor quality debate ability, his total ignorance of legislative duties including committee work which he has not given a good shot. Add this to his neglect of his constituency, ineffective consultation with leaders, and undue arrogance which he is now exhibiting to the very people that ran the risk of their lives to ensure that the courts did not throw away his puerile legal papers, infact it has gotten to the stage in the House that the leaders now make fun of his English, his poor grasp of legislative functions as well as his poor carriage in which in no small away is affecting the self esteem of the average Ahiazu Mbaise constituents. But ironically rather than address these anomalies, the legislator is carrying on as if he dropped from the moon, and so everybody must crawl before him . As I write, he is yet to call one single meeting of political leaders in Ahiazu, yet to move one single motion and yet to be listed among legislators that are helping the cause of legislation via bills now talk of a man with no ambition, with no target and one who is desirous to revert to the years 2003 – 2007 when Ahiazu Mbaise representation was a huge caricature and a laughing stock. From what this writer learnt, a recall process is hanging over the neck of this man pushed by several Ahiazu Mbaise elite who are disappointed by his legislative outing, his arrogance and lack of gratitude. Insider sources say the leadership of the Imo House has already flagged off the process of recalling the fellow while INEC is already putting house in order to accommodate the yearnings of Ahiazu Mbaise people who feel utterly disappointed at the man Emereonye and his representation. In the foregoing therefore the expectation of many Ahiazu constituents is that both the leadership of the House as well as INEC in Owerri and Abuja should fast track the recall process so that Ahiazu Mbaise shall in the next couple of months have a new representation at the Imo House of Assembly if not for anything to recover for the people the lost nine years of poor quality representation which started in 1999 and has continued ingloriously till this date. We need not say more.
Maximus Uba lives in Mbaise Nigeria.