By Ade Joseph Otor

It is instructive, pertinent and timely to say that the many controversies surrounding the 2019 election for Oju/ Obi Federal Constituency have been put to rest by the appellate and the terminal court (the Appeal Court).This has safely given legitimacy to the rightly elected person into the House of Representatives. Thus, the judgement has also transmitted authority to INEC to issue an authentic Certificate of Return to Hon. Samson Okwu of the PDP and has also beckoned on the leadership of NASS to immediately admit Hon. Okwu into the hallowed Green Chambers. Let me therefore congratulate Hon. Okwu on this electoral and judicial feat.
Without arrogating the monopoly of any knowledge, this writer herein attempts to situate some of the factors that have placed Evang. David Ogewu on a lower electoral pedestal on the footing of Oju/ Obi federal constituency. Inasmuch as this piece may not be exhaustive, it may not be completely irrelevant and ignorant. You may therefore peruse through the prism of idealism while doubting its realism.
Incidentally, some of us are from the same ward with the APGA candidate, Evangelist David Ogewu who had severally confessed that he had willfully stayed away from Igede for 27 years. This means, he had never been registered as a voter in Igede prior to this contentious moment. By implications, he has no contribution towards the sociopolitical development of the people he wants to represent. This has attracted some levels of skepticism in the minds of voters.
I have stated earlier to the chagrin and indignation of some persons that, there is no perfect leader anywhere in the world. Leaders are humans who can help mitigate their flaws and seek to correct them. Hon. Samson Okwu might have made some honest mistakes in his representation of Oju/ Obi Federal Constituency in the past 8 years. This does not, however, obliterate his achievements within the past 8 years of representation. Therefore, those who have been beneficiaries of Okwu’s magnanimity and representation stood by him. Again, Hon. Okwu is seen as having the requisite legislative experience with robust political network which can be leveraged on.
When Evangelist David Ogewu returned home on the red chariot of charity or philanthropy, not many of people were swayed. They would have been influenced with emotions and not political passions, if he had kept politics out of charity or charity out of politics. For the emphasis, this writer has previously stated somewhere that ‘ the meaning of philanthropy is lost the very moment the people know your motive. When the motive is to use ‘coated’ charity to win an election, the discerning and non gullible fellows like this writer copiously refused to be swayed. electorates saw this as a deceptive strategy.

For umpteenth time, many felt it would have been a great disaster if they had allowed this trend to succeed or take precedence. The Igede voters asked genuinely why they should give the highest available position in Igede to someone they seldom know? The Ogewu’s protagonists rather thought that a third term is a worst disaster given how politically disadvantaged we are in Igede. Whichever way you thought, a cursory observer could reasonably project that with Ogewu’s ascendancy, Igede politics will be susceptible to a dispensation of ‘cunning charity works’. Believe me, there are people in Igede that have done more community development works without a sinister ploy at politics. Even if such individuals have political interest, it shall speak through the maturity of time and not a hasty type.
For those who propagated and painstakingly advanced the agitation for the zoning of House of Representatives to the zone A bloc of Oju LG, the relevance of zoning was lost immediately Ogewu emerged as the only serious candidate from the zone. This position is predicated on the truism that even within the Zone A (Adinu), the position does not rightly belong to Owo Council Ward where Evangelist David Ogewu hails from. Hon. Agi D.O from Owo was elected twice into House of Representatives. Zoning should be equitable and fair. It is not a matter of Oju LGA against Obi LGA. Since the essence of zoning has been decimated, many felt it is better Hon. Samson Okwu returns now so that in 2023, the proper component: either Iyeche or Oboru/ Oye ward can take the position. Indeed, these sentiments counted.
The proponents and advocates of the above proposition therefore firmly held or stood their grounds as we ought not to disrupt the zoning at both macro and micro levels. The two levels are to ensure equity in the rotation of political offices. Some of us felt that it is immaterial whether Hon. Sam Okwu is from Obi while Evangelist David Ogewu is from Oju.
The issue of a conceited and a secret ‘personal profile’ of Evangelist David Ogewu remains a prime factor. The credentials of every politician should be in the public gallery. An approach that makes it look as if we are not worthy of knowing the pedigree and the antecedents of he who seeks to represent us is quite unfortunate. Most persons refused to be caught in the speculative web of Ogewu’s concealed identity. The palpable fear of the unknown gripped us to the marrows.Very unfortunately, Ogewu’s wife, an Igbo woman added to the many political minuses as it worsened the genuine suspicion of him becoming hijacked by external forces while still much very prone to the abandonment of the home front like he did in the pre-election 27 years.
Closely related to the above, academic issues affected Ogewu. His highest academic qualification as submitted to INEC is Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE). His promoters have argued that he has higher qualifications. Many have asked the question: if he has, why holding it back? Instead of reducing the quality of our representation in the constituency, many felt it is better to enhance capacity.
The vendetta approach of Evangelist David Ogewu is quite alien to Igede politics. The many allegations of kidnap and trumped up accusations of attempts to kill were bewildering elements that sparked emotional issues? Many persons truly believe that inasmuch as they hold reservations against Hon. Samson Okwu, he Okwu is harmless with a soft mind who appreciates political issues and their oscillating vicissitudes. Political issues are terminal issues. You don’t send whooping dogs against those with differing interests as if u hold the end ace in politics. These same people might be your saviours tomorrow.
Political amateurism as displayed by the Ogewu’s media Goliaths was counterproductive. Instead of making efforts at adopting culpable measures on how to get votes, they rather became complacent with the market- day popularity of thier principal. Pertinently, since you don’t know what your opponent is up to, you do not in a hurry report your strength and showcase the areas of your control. When election had not commenced in most polling units in Obi LGA, the Ogewu’s media handlers were everywhere reporting results in polling units where Ogewu had tight control and wide marginal victory. It may not be out of place to posit that such reportage had hurriedly cushioned the psychology of the Obi voters who had to vote only for the candidates from Obi LGA ( Hon. Nick Eworo and Hon.Samson Okwu). Just imagine the dismal votes Evangelist David Ogewu had from Ito.
Unfortunately too, the court is not a father Christmas who gives reliefs not sought. Instead of Ogewu pleading for a rerun in areas were elections were not either conducted, cancelled or supposedly flawed, he asked that he be declared winner based on the “OJU DECLARATION”. At the end, a rerun became an Ogewu’s resort. That couldn’t hold at the Appeal Court as it was not an issue before the Tribunal. It is now I have come to grapple with the construction of appellate courts as ‘ courts of records’.
From these issues, Evangelist David Ogewu should take his fate in faith. He should learn politics more; make amends where necessary and open his heart to the flexibilities and uncertainties of politics. Where necessary, he should construct or deconstruct while attempting to sustain himself both in the political and the philanthropic circles in Igedeland. The future wears some fabrics which colours we may not know through the usual lenses now. It is time to heal every wound this issue has caused in Igede. We expect Hon. Samson Okwu to be magnanimous in victory. On this note, let me congratulate my brother, Evangelist David Ogewu for his gallantry, doggedness and passionate pursuit. Undoubtedly, he has put up a good fight. I am now proud of having a brother that can fight political ‘wars’ like this. Only the future shall tell!
★Ade, commentator on political issues, wrote in from Makurdi.


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