For a long time Igbo people in Lagos have sought for a credible political leader in the mould of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who they felt would be a rallying point, harnessing their thoughts and aspirations for the ultimate good of his people. Honourable Jude Idimogu, showing consistency as a lawmaker has come to fill the gap. Southwest Editor, JOHN SILAS and CYRIACUS NNAJI write.
Unarguably, the Igbos in Lagos have had other leadership groups such as Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Eze Ndigbo, Market associations and so on, but the absence of a political leader which ordinarily should be a sine qua non in their existence was conspicuously lacking in.
According to sources, Igbo Apex leadership which was run by some individuals since the return of democracy in 1999 were unable to understand the pros and cons of their position, unconscious of their responsibilities, thereby leaving the grassroots unharnessed. This singular state of affair consciously or unconsciously always placed the Igbos in Lagos in opposition to the government party in Lagos Politics, thereby depriving the people of their rights and privileges in Lagos State.
No wonder, Honourable Jude Chukwuemeka Idimogu, the Lawmaker representing Oshodi/Isolo Constituency 02, currently the only Igbo man elected into any position in Lagos was made the Apex Leader of Ndigbo in APC, Lagos, especially as there was need for the party to garner every desirable vote in Lagos come 2023.
The New Igbo political Apex Leader Lagos State, Hon Sir (Dr) Jude Chukwuemeka Idimogu, has also received his Certificate of Confirmation from Igbo Community Lagos.
Speaking at the event, Idimogu assured Ndigbo that they would continue to enjoy peace and unity in the state throughout his tenure as Apex Leader. He further said that the era of “winner takes it all” is over. He said that he would continue to reach out to Igbos at the grassroot as their Apex Leader.
The Apex Leader, also pledged to continue to engage all parties as his administration would continue to operate the transparent and result-oriented government for the general progress of Ndigbo. He also vowed to continue to serve with fear of God, adding that “Ndigbo in Lagos would continue to be in hand of God.”
The cream of dignitaries that honoured the epoch making program were, HRH Eze Christian Uchechukwu Nwachukwu, Chairman Council of Ndieze Lagos, Eze John-Greg Okey Ezebuadi Ezeudo (Supreme Traditional Head) the Secretary Ndieze Ndigbo, Lagos. Ohaneze Chairman, Chief Solomon Aguene Ogbonna, Chief Earnest Nwamkpa, Chairman Ndigbo APC Lagos, Chief Anslem Udoka Orogbo Omo Aregbe, Ndigbo APC National Leader, Chief John Uche, Akpati Isiegbe, Leader and host of others.
Idimogu has antecedence, as a lawmaker, he was elected into the Lagos House of Assembly under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015; he later joined APC, and in 2019 he still won the election for the second tenure as a lawmaker. This great feat made him a preferred candidate for the position of the Apex Leader of Ndigbo in APC, Lagos.
Honourable Idimogu has been relentless in relating to the grassroots in his constituency. He has not only given jobs to the unemployed, he purchases JAMB and WAEC forms for candidates. During Christmas and Moslem celebrations he distributes gift items and money to the less privileged. He has buses which take students and pupils thro and fro school. Idimogu also cares for the widow. During the present Coronavirus pandemic which brought about Lockdown of Lagos, Hon. Idimogu has given out millions naira worth of palliatives to the indigent people in his locality.
He has also attracted government presence in his constituency ensuring that major roads are rehabilitated and tarred. He has moved motions in the House which include building of overhead bridge at Toyota Busstop along Oshodi/Apapa Expressway.
Married to a Yoruba Lady Osodieme Roseline Enitan Idimogu (From Kuku’s family in I jebuode), Jude Idimogu is a round peg in a round hole.
Idimogu’s selection to replace Joe Igbokwe which took place at the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Secretariat in Surulere by Igbo Stakeholders in APC, was ratified and unveiled by all the Eze Ndigbo in Lagos, led by their Chairman, Eze (Dr) Christian Uchechukwu Nwachukwu (Eze Ndigbo of Lagos).
Speaking at the occasion, Nwachukwu noted that lack of genuine mobilisation among the people was glaring in the last election when the Igbos went all out against APC in the state.
Lamenting the constant friction with the traditional and political authorities, Nwachukwu blamed the development on Igbokwe’s style of leadership, which was self-serving and demeaning of others, stressing “The Igbo will not allow an individual to give us a bad name in APC.”
Extolling Idimogu’s leadership qualities, Nwachukwu declared, “We can see in his humility, self-respect and dignity, which irrevocably guarantees that a new leader has emerged. We said it, we believe it and will defend it because we need restructuring in Ndigbo APC in Lagos State.”
On his part, Idimogu said he was always saddened that the Igbo were not getting their due in the state, even as he assured that the development was a new beginning for the Igbo in Lagos and Ndigbo in APC.
Idimogu, who is the Chairman House Committee on Wealth Creation and Employment, was unanimously endorsed at the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Secretariat in Surulere, Lagos by all the Eze Ndigbo in the 20 local governments and the 37 local council development areas.
The selection was ratified by virtually all the Igbo leaders in Lagos, among who are the Eze Ndigbo of Lagos State and Chairman, Igbo Council of Ndieze in Lagos Christian Uchechukwu Nwachukwu, Eze Guy Nwajiofor (Ajeromi), Eze Ofordile Nwajei, Eze Orji Okafor, Eze Nnaemeka Agbo, Eze Ohaegbo Policap, Eze Ohazuluike Omereoha and a host of others.
Idimogu spoke further, “The truth is I have not been happy towards the Igbos performance in APC in Lagos State especially during election.
“Every success of a party lies in the leadership. I know quite well that the position is for me. Now, I’m ready to take the bull by the horn.
“Most Igbos tend to vote against our party because the leadership of the Igbos don’t reach out to them on time. And my people are very proud people who are self dependent that cannot be lured or bribed. Now is the time to win them over by giving them reason why they should support the party and not wait till election is close before we go to them and win them over,” said Idimogu.
The lawmaker stressed “Now that I’ve emerged as the Apex leader, I am particular about sacrifice because that is what leadership is all about.
“I am ready to sacrifice for my people and I’m here to protect their right. I also want them to know that nothing goes for nothing, they should obey the laws of the land because we are strangers in the land and we do not argue with the fact. We also have to thank our in-laws, the Yoruba who are very accommodating.”
Idimogu has also visited different groups in APC including his colleagues in the Lagos State House of Assembly who has also congratulated him on his great achievement.