Partisan politics in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State remains one of the most peaceful in the entire state, particularly in the Ikwerre ethnic nationality. Special tribute must be paid to the leader of Emohua Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Andrew Uchendu.
Hon Uchendu, the member representing Ikwerre/Emohua Constituency at the Federal House of Representatives has been the fulcrum with which Emohua politics revolves. For one thing, the first indigenous Managing Director of Risonpalm Limited, has maintained sharing formula between the constituents of the LGA.
The LGA is majorly peopled by two distinct groups: the Rio and Ishimbam groups. The communities in each of the groups have similarities in their dialects but all subsumes under the Ikwerre language. Most importantly, both the Rio and Ishimbam are large enough to own their local government councils. It is against this backdrop, that Emohua LGA has developed a harmonious sharing formula.
Chief Uchendu has always maintained that preference would be given to communities that have not produced the chairman of Emohua LGA to ensure harmonious zoning system. That is why communities that have never had occupied the chairmanship of the council may heave a sigh of relief. There is no doubt, whatsoever that Uchendu, would remember those communities in order to sustain the formula that had been put in place in the LGA for quite a time.
But interestingly, the elective positions in Emohua doesn’t only consist of the chairmanship position. There is the House of Assembly seat as well as the House of Representatives seat which is often alternated between the two LGAs.
However, the odds favour communities like Egbeda and Ubimini in the present scheme of things, especially as none of them has produced the chairman of the LGA via a general election.
Again, if the zoning formula is anything to go by, these two communities have never been given a chance to occupy an elective position both at the LGA level or the state level.
It is only, Ubimini that has served at the caretaker level. Hon. Allen Nmah, the present PDP chairman in Emohua, who hails from Ubimini had once served as the caretaker committee chairman of Emohua council. Kudos to the Ubimini community, especially as Nmah remains till date, the PDP Chairman. Interestingly, however, Ubimini used to be ruled by the Nye-Nwe-Ali Egbeda/Ubimini communities, who hailed from Egbeda. But the small community seemed to have grown tremendously in politics since the demise of His Royal Highness J. A. Didia. They have a ward to themselves, PDP chairman, former caretaker chairman, among others. Ubimini has been playing Brother Jacob to Egbeda, which Egbeda has become a sort of Esau.
But not to worry, Ubimini may not be the problem of Egbeda as they are the closest neighbour. One thing is certain, in the game of politics; it is a game of numbers. It is for a greater majority of the people. Except otherwise, where majoritarian politics holds sway, the odds favour Egbeda.
Egbeda is decidedly the largest single Ikwerre community. Consequently, it is a community that ought to be wooed by different parties.
But in the present political dispensation, Egbeda is the most maligned among all the communities in Ikwerre ethnic nationality. Workers of iniquity have continually portrayed Egbeda as anti-Amaechi. Pathetically, Egbeda has not done anything to underscore the allegations. The game plan is to totally sideline Egbeda throughout the tenure of Governor Chibuike Amaechi, who is their son.
The question is why should Egbeda be anti-Governor Amaechi who is their kinsman? The allegation doesn’t really make sense. It is blatantly nonsensical. Fine enough, Governor Amaechi’s mother hails from Obohia in Egbeda community. Besides, Governor Amaechi had spent holiday in Egbeda as a boy. I am sure that the Governor remembers his kinsmen whom he spent time with in the good old days. He might not find it easy to forget his friends in Egbeda.
One thing is sure, those who have tried to exacerbate rift between the Governor and his kinsmen through blackmail would obviously not erase the fact that he forever remains the kinsman of Egbeda people, even when he leaves politics. The truth is certainly hard to bear. There is, no doubt, that some Egbeda persons are followers of Celestine Omehia till date. A preponderance of people remained loyal to Governor Amaechi, while he fought his battle at the Supreme Court. There is no community that supported Governor Amaechi enbloc. One wonders why Egbeda people should be worse for it for following Omehia.
It must be pointed out that many politicians and their in Egbede groups did not flirt with the K-12 political camp, yet the entire community was maligned as been loyal to Omehia. What about the leaders of Ikwerre Youth Movement (IYM) and their followers in Egbeda. Most importantly, staunch IYM members like Mr. Bright Ikonwa, who remained loyal to Amaechi, while he fought his battle at the Supreme Court.
Throughout the Supreme Court matter, Mr. Bright Ikonwa continued to be the pillar of IYM in Egbeda. His contributions to the sustenance of the IYM have been phenomenal. Ikonwa has often demonstrated his love for Governor Amaechi in different ways. There is no gainsaying that thousands of youths belong to IYM in Egbeda.
On the other hand, there are other faithful members of the IYM group in Egbeda. The incumbent Vice Chairman of Emohua LGA, Hon Enyie Friday Enyie, has also contributed his quota to the growing number of IYM faithfuls.
Another prominent faithful is Mr. Chinedu Ikonwa, who has also done his beat in the political camp. The list is endless. The truth of the matter is that politics is a game of interest; those who followed Omehia in Egbeda were able to produce a commissioner, despite the brevity of the tenure.
Governor Amaechi should be rest assured that Egbeda people are surely supportive of his administration but he cannot get hundred per cent support from Egbeda just as he cannot get the same from Ubima, his native home. That, ofcourse, is the beauty of politics
In politics, there is no permanent enemy, but permanent interest. It must be appreciated that even the Egbeda people who supported Omehia could be adjudged the best friends of Amaechi because they midwifed Amaechi’s victory.
According to the Supreme Court decision, Omehia had not been Governor in the eyes of the law but an agent of Amaechi. An undisclosed principal is still liable for the acts of his agents. The Supreme Court decision couldn’t have been realized if the PDP had lost.
Consequently, those who sweated in the heat of the sun at Akinima and the remotest parts of the state to ensure victory for the PDP deserve kudos because you cannot put something on nothing. The Bible says “everything worketh for good to them that love God and are called according to his purpose”.
Again, what an Egbeda man wants is that his participation in politics should be able to yield fruits. Nevertheless, I urge the indefatigable governor of the state to discountenance the allegations making the rounds that Egbeda hates him. The peddlers of the rumours are interested in marginalising Egbeda throughout the tenure of the incumbent governor.
Another question that agitates the minds of right-thinking persons is why should Egbeda hate their own son, who is capable of drawing development to the area.
Surprisingly, however, the same person was never hated when he spent holidays in Egbeda as a boy.
As the clock ticks towards 2011 general elections, there is, no doubt, that the workers of iniquity may be at their game again. But Egbeda people would remain resolute in their political participation and in their avowed determination to support the present administration in the state.
While the followers of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi in Egbeda continue to do their beat in support of the present administration, they should be rest assured that the politics of blackmail against Egbeda would not last forever. Virtue has its own reward.