I write with patriotic zeal of an Nnewi Man. I write as a citizen imbued with the rich history of this ancient town. I write with high regard for the Personalities, financial and material resources of my people. Indeed my heart bleeds each time there was struggle for governorship seat of Anambra State. I pity Nnewi for being blessed with everything, including business and academic top notchers, yet none of her citizen ever occupied Anambra executive seat since its creation 25 years ago.
My thought puzzles with difficulties as November 2017, draws nearer for another gubernatorial election. I don’t know how Nnewi people are gearing up for his great political assignment. I don’t want to dwell on the comment that Nnewi man was only born to be ruled irrespective of his financial muscle. Our critics believe that we are the architect of our political misadventure by not working as a team. That we don’t have solid framework devoid of personal interest, that intrigues and subterfuge are affecting our common affinity.
Truly, Nnewi is blessed in all ramifications. The town is lucky to have monarchal tradition with humble and kind-hearted Igwe as traditional ruler. Nnewi people are endowed with native intelligence; they are skillful both in business and academic. They are in so many places doing so many things. They are well known as adventurers who love taking risk to survive. The average citizen is known for his resourcefulness and hard work, the people are affably disposed, a trait which when added to their resourceful spirit made their outstanding success in commerce and industry possible. It was an age-long foundation laid by their progenators- Francis Nwokedi (first African Rep. on UN Congo operations) Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu (first African Millionaire) Dr. Nlogha Okeke (World who’s who on Thoracic Surgery) Dr. Nnodu Okongwu (first Igbo Ph.D in Education) Dr. Akwaeke Nwafor – Orizu (first Indigenous Senate President) the list is exhaustible including the living legends – SPC Okongwu, Dozie Ikedife, Justice Ubaezonu, Prof. Aghaji, Ibeto, Ufodike, Okafor, Ubah, Etiaba, Cosmas Maduka, Nwosu, Obiaga, Ofomata, Uzodike, Momah, Obienu, Ozoka, etc.These are men of connections, these are political heavy weights, and these are people with lofty ideas and ambitions.
Yet, Nnewi remains dabbling in political wilderness. Since the creation of Anambra state, no Nnewi citizen apart from Mrs. Virgy Eliuba’s 3 months temporary grasp, ever occupies the governorship seat, the closest being December 27, 1999 when Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju stopped our son, Prof. ABC Nwosu from mounting the saddle. Indeed, the likes of Chief George Muoghalu, Chief Dan Ulasi, Engr. Ajulu Uzodike, Barr Emeka Etiaba, Dr. Patrick Ubah have all tried their best and lost.
What was the reason behind their failures? Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s unbiased suggestion may perhaps help us. “Nnewi history is not based on a common ancestor. We are not offspring’s of the same mother, we are not brothers as such, and each quarter guards jealously its own socio-political leadership structure …”
No wonder each time an Nnewi politician declares his governorship interest another citizen will rise up campaigning for same seat. No matter their efforts, and robust campaigns, the pull-me-down syndrome always hinders their progress. Right from village up to community, the wholesome attack within offers our critical neighbours the ample chance to kill our guber ambition.
And now, what shall we do to get it right? We just have to bury the past and forge ahead. We must endeavour to institute group interest, a selfless approach aimed at lifting Nnewi to real cosmopolitan business city via political power. Both the rich and common citizen must see the project as collective task. We must ignore individual mudslinging, internal feud, and pull our resources together for a single credible candidate. We must swallow our ego, eschew voracious appetite within, and march in unison to grab the power. Nnewi united front, no doubt, is a big threat to any other candidate in Anambra State. Interestingly, the current political and economy power of the town still rest on the citizens, which is an impetus if well utilized. The time for this gambit is now!
•Udeh, Author and commentator on national issues wrote via firstname.lastname@example.org