Date Published: 12/06/09
Ohakim, Chasing Shadow On Maximus Uba By Odimegwu Onwumere
One can kill as many journalists as he wants but he will never kill journalism that is deep-rooted in justice, equity and fairplay, except that which has a pedigree in injustice and inequality. That is to say that the Imo State governor, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim and his Imo State House of Assembly, are chasing shadow on Journalist Maximus Uba and Dr. Orji Kalu, leaving the real issues besetting Imo State and its people, following the reportedly immediate arrest warrant given to the Nigeria police to apprehend the duo.
Before I go on in this article, let me correct one notion here: I don’t know Maximus Uba in person and don’t split anything in common with him. Except that, as a writer, I have been following his expedient articles on politics and social issues since the days of the tyrant-democrat Olusegun Obasanjo was in power: 1999-2007. And for Ikedi Ohakim, I also don’t know him in person and don’t have anything in common with him. I came to hear about Ohakim when his Osuh-Owere people of Mbano regarded him as a very PROUD man. That was in the heydays he was Commissioner under the now late Evan(s) Enwerem, then governor of Imo State.
After the 2007 elections, which saw the emergence of Ohakim as governor of Imo State, I was reading unprintable things against Uba on the pages of the newspapers from Ohakim boys. One of Ohakim’s boys who was mad in that practice was one Ethelbert (Okereke), who I disgusted his column then in The Sun due to oversight and incongruities of a PhD holder. Second was Steve Osuji, whom I enjoyed his Column in the embattled New Age newspapers, when he was anchoring as the editor. Though, Osuji was economical in writing against Uba, but Ethelbert was mad with whatever their problem was, just to protect his job? (But where are Ethelbert and Steve today?). Is anyone hearing much about Dr. Amanze Obi?
Because of what I was reading against Uba, who rarely rejoined their war of attrition hack-writeups, I followed the trend and fought Uba. Well, I didn’t fight Uba much. I aired my mind on him in just one article, and I am not regretting that fight today because the impression then from Ethelbert and Osuji was that Uba was working with Arthur Nzeribe or Ifeanyi Araraume for them to continue the Old Order.
While I wanted change, especially from the Obasanjo boys, I said it will be rudely nonsense should Araraume who rarely or did not do anything for his Okigwe Senatorial zone, for eight years he was in the Senate, to become governor. Among all this, it was later that I find out that Uba was neither working for Nzeribe nor Araraume for them to mount the saddle as governor of Imo State, but he was fighting for a just course. After all, he’s Ohakim’s friend. But what went wrong today? Ohakim doesn’t like to hear the TRUTH, which Uba stands for.
Much as many of us abhor the recycling of buffoons called Nigerian politicians, I was among the many Nigerians who really craved for CHANGE. I didn’t want a stooge of their Onwa Amaifeke, Orlu, Chief Achike Udenwa, whose eight years of stewardship as governor of Imo State in 1999-2007, only brought political war in that state. The same mediocrity of Udenwa, he has extended it to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, where he holds sway as Minister, with many Imo indigenes calling for his recall. One thinks, they should take Udenwa to a psychiatrist to examine him if he uses hashish. He behaves in a manner only best for beasts.
The recent challenge to Udenwa was the call by Nzeriba asking the hand of Udenwa for a street walk in Imo State, perhaps to see whom Imo people would pelt. Well, Nzeribe is not even better. If not that Udenwa plotted a democratic coup against him, he had vowed to rule the Orlu Senatorial zone he comes from till thy kingdom come. Nzeribe’s disgrace by Udenwa saw to the emergence of Osita Izunazo, who is today Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
However, as far as Imo State was concerned, Maximus Uba is fighting a course only known for the brave hearts: Justice. Uba is fighting a just course, just with pen, against the injustices of Proud Ohakim and his surrogates in Imo State. Though, Araraume was not even better and would not have been better did he become governor from the example many Imolites saw in him when he was senator for a good number of eight misgovernance years, but they are regretting the choice of Ohakim instead of Ugwumba 1 of Ishiebu, Mbano: Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Araraume.
As the Imo House of Assembly has called for the immediate arrest of Uba, it will lengthen its hand of fellowship for my own arrest since anyone who told Ohakim the TRUTH should be hounded for. What one expected the Imo House of Assembly to do was first arrest the 90% problem of job employment in that state; problem of underdevelopment; the governance of sentiment by Ohakim; the state of the road in Imo State; the problem of Ohakim’s deposition of any traditional ruler he perceived was aligning with Araraume; etc.
This Ohakim’s House of Assembly forgot to arrest Ohakim first, for spending Imo State fund on debasing projects. When he defected to the PDP from the PPA on whose ticket he became governor, little was expected from him in Imo State by joining a party once described by Wole Soyika as a “Nest of killers”. This does not mean that PDP only kills its political opponents, as wont in 1999-2007, but everything good in Nigeria, PDP kills. Just look at the PDP’s democracy for ten years now! A show of shame.
Ninety percent of Imo people are suffering in that state. And this could be why Maximus Uba said: Not when Ohakim is charging poor parents fees of N8000 a term, yet there is no new blackboard in primary schools. Not when Imo has received over N5 billion excess crude funds, over N10 billion in LG allocation and the rural areas are in such squalid condition. Not when Owerri has no pipe borne water and some one is dredging Nworie River with N8 billion, not when there are no drugs in Imo hospital.
That is Ohakim for you!
Odimegwu Onwumere is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State. +2348032552855. firstname.lastname@example.org