By Declan Anaele
I know a piece of this nature is capable of exposing the writer to more enemies than friends. I am also aware that this piece would give me many names other than Declan Chimezie Anaele which were given to me at birth by my parents or Pillar which was a title given to me by my peers when I was a youth and a football player.
I am also aware that only the political class, the elite, politically conscious persons as well as those who have taken time to either follow the legislative business and activities in Imo House of Assembly since 1999, Nigeria as nation returned to democracy after years of military rule that would see the importance of this piece via Orlu state Constituency.
I am not oblivious of the fact that my immediate constituency, which is the Isu Clan in Orlu Local Government where I hail and as the clan that is supposed to send a House of Assemblymember in 2023, based on the original and the ongoing rotatory system would accuse me of betrayal as one of their sons, in whom they are well pleased but I stand to re-emphasis my unalloyed love and loyalty to the people of Isu Clan and to let them know that at certain points adjustments are made particularly in quest for political power or one becomes a maroon.
To Isu Clan and the entire people of Orlu Local Government, this piece is not meant to cause disaffection, disunity in our Constituency rather for us to join the mainstream politics to enable Orlu constituency and the House members that would be sent to the House subsequently.
It is alarming that since 1919,none of the House of Assembly members from Orlu extraction had got, let me not say a principal position but a reasonable one, I chose the word reasonable since the chief whip position or seat which Three out six of them got since 1919 could be described as good position, or principal position but was it enough? Legislation entails lobbying, at the same time, no one can wish away the role of ranking in the legislative business.
It is high time, we brought an end to this servitude of Orlu people in the house.
Orlu should stop serving other House Members simply because of rotation.
In 1999, Hon Steve Orji from Orsu Clan, Ihioma precisely, was elected to the Imo State House of Assembly to represent Orlu LGA, Like a House member, Steve Orji was the chief whip whose tenure ended in 2003. Orji was still ready, and agile to go for a second term but the Rotatory System stopped him and his brother from Isu Clan, Dr. PI Ukaigwe was elected in, Dr. Ukaigwe, a Medical Doctor by profession and one of the proactive Legislators at the said time, was also relegated to the same seat with his predecessor, that is, chief whip while those that returned from other Constituencies in 2003, got better positions.
I know some persons may raise an objection or attribute reasons why the Two former House members got the seat to Achike Udenwa, who was then the Governor of Imo state and an Indigene of Orlu Local Government hence Orlu Local Government ordinarily, should not expect any position higher than what they had in the State Assembly.
While this appears understandable, Hon Onuora Olumba was elected in 2007,also to represent Orlu Local Government, now Ohakim had taken over from Achike Udenwa from Orlu as the Governor, therefore, Orlu Local Government, was no longer holding the Governorship seat of Imo, powers had exchanged hands, it had shifted to Okigwe Zone.
Instead of Orlu LGA, the Headquarters of the Twelve Local Governments in orlu Zone did not even get ordinary committee chairman let alone any of the principal positions.
Hon Olumba, a young and vibrant politician and a Pharmacist by profession couldn’t get any meaningful position because positions were ranking shared and as first-timer, he could not get any position.
In 2011, Hon Barr Mike Ndubuaku was elected to represent Orlu Local Government after Olumba had finished his four years single term. Olumba, who went through hell in the hands of the then Speaker, Rt Hon Nana Opiah over his loyalty to Achike Udenwa instead of the then sitting Governor was also ready to go back for a second term but was held back by the same routine of four years single term.
Ndubuaku who came in through the platform of The All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, with Senator Okorocha as Governor also got no meaningful position.
It may be argued that the House rules were stepped down which enabled Okorocha’s candidate, late senator Benjamin Uwajumogu to clinch the seat of the speaker even when he was a first-timer, those who were close to the activities in the House then would attest to the fact that, that intensive executive lobbying only singled late Uwajumogu out and made him the then speaker, every other position followed the House rules otherwise, known as the ranking rule.
Ndubuaku, both as a lawyer as well his legislative acumen in the House was able to get Just, chairman, House committee on education, a position that gave him an edge to persuade the executive to bring a branch of the Imo State polytechnic to Orlu.
Ndubuaku’s motions and Bills in the House were so enormous that this idea of a, four years single one term was fought against by certain persons.
In fact, it was the grace of God and this rotation that made Hon Marcel Odunze narrowly got the Ticket of the party against Ndubuaku.
Mike Ndubuaku, in the company of good number of Leaders, spoke at length on the need and importance of abrogating this arrangement, but as one of the Democracy tenents, the minority would always have their say while the majority would have their way, this was exactly what played out in 2015 which hitherto paved way for the entrance of Hon Marcel Odunze, in 2015.as House member to represent Orlu
In the House of Assembly, same ranking rule was maintained and neither of the principal offices got to Orlu.
Hon Odunze managed to get the chief whip of the 8th Assembly during his second year in the House following the resignation of Oshimiri, the member representing Ideato South in the House.
Today, Hon paschal Okolie is the member representing Orlu State Constituency, and as usual, could not get any principal position, because positions in the 9th House were rankingly shared,
All the principal offices were shared by ranking members including the speaker.
The tendency is there except God says otherwise, Paschal Okolie is likely not going to get any principal position.
Available information revealed that Hon Okolie withing one year in the office has Billed to his name as well as motions.
I chose to write on this even when I am aware of the implications, I also chose to enlighten our people now that we have three years ahead of the next elections to enable us to meditate over this.
If we can achieve this feat, I know it will not favor the present House member, that is Paschal Okolie, but the person that would come after him, that is if Okolie goes the second term would reap from it and Orlu people in general.
The reason is not far fathomed, Sen.Hope Uzodinma certainly would want to go for a second term after he finishes with the present term and as a man from Orlu zone and Orlu Federal Constituency, Okolie would not get both the speaker and the deputy speaker’s seats but can clinch the position of the majority leader.
Then after second term Uzodinma, the seat of the Governor is likely going to shift to either Okigwe Zone or Owerri, and any House member from Orlu, irrespective of the fact that the person is coming as first-timer must either get the speaker of the House or the Deputy, and this person would come from Isu Clan that is if our postulation is taken.
While we regurgitate over this, it’s also important for us to let the Orlu people particularly the Isu clan as well as the Government to note that anytime the Government of Uzodinma is set and ready to conduct the Local Government election, it’s an indisputable fact that Isu clan would get it,
I commend Governor Uzodinma who out of his own wisdom adhered to the rotatory method of sharing political positions in Orlu by appointing an Isu clan person as the Chairman Interim management committee for Orlu Local Government
Same way, Governor should also allow Isu Clan to also produce the elected Chairman of the council anytime, they are set for the council election.
I will even suggest to the Government and the APC to consider the Interim Management Committee chairman, Mrs. Ifeoma Ndukwu for elected chairman, that is if she would want to run.
My reason for this suggestion lies in the fact that people from Orlu have not stopped to commend her administrative acumen in the council since her appointment
Similarly, the APC and the Government of Imo State should also consider the people of Orlu Local Government and Isu Clan precisely for the seat of Orlu, Orsu, and Oru East Federal Constituency in the 2023 election.
The reasons for this request are not far fetched, before the reasons, I would want us to pause and observe a minute silence for Two of our illustrious sons, late Dr. Godwin Uche Dibe and Chief Eddy Iheanacho who lost their dear lives in pursuit of justice.
Let me use this medium to console the people of Orlu Federal Constituency, Orlu Local Government and Isu Clan for losing their giants, philanthropists”obuta obieas” to the cold hand of death, may their souls and souls of departed ones rest in the bossom of Lord Amen.
Now back to the reasons behind why Isu Clan should take the seat of the federal House of Representatives in 2023.
One, in 2015, it was the turn of Orlu Local Government and in that Orlu Local Government, it was the turn of Isu Clan because Hon Mayor Eze who hails from Orsu had taken the turn of Orlu and Orsu before 2011
Now Hon Jerry Alagbaoso had taken the turn of Orsu Local Government in 2011.
Then in 2015, it was the turn of Orlu since Governor Hope Uzodinma who hails from Oru East was serving as the senator representing Orlu Zone hence it would be out of place to cede the position to Oru East.
Now that Jerry Alagbaoso is concluding his outright uninterrupted Three Terms in 2023,and Governor Uzodinma by God’s grace may want to go for a second term, he has bridged any person who may want to run from Oru East, hence the thing still shifts to Orlu and Isu Clan precisely.
2023’would be a time for both The Governor and all the political parties to choose their candidates from Isu Clan as a way to console them for losing two of their Giants,
It is only through this form, that both Iyi of Umuna who could be described as the winner of the 2015 Orlu Reps election as well as Oku yirimba would rest perfectly in the land of the dead,