By Dr. Harris Chuma-Odili, FCMsp (Ogene Ogbunike)
On Sunday, March 27, 2022, I was privileged to attend a meeting entitled “Ogbunike Political Agenda”, held at Sir Elo Gwacham’s Country home, Ogbunike. I wouldn’t bore you with the definition of the word “Agenda”, but in a common man’s language it literally means “something to be done”, a plan or things to do. The Ogbunike Political Agenda was an interactive forum specially designed to chart way forward and ensure Ogbunike’s political survival in the general scheme of things. The meeting saw participants who spoke extensively on the contemporary issues bedeviling the growth and development of Ogbunike.
Many were of the opinion that the previous state government reneged on their campaign promises made to ndi Ogbunike. Also, it is believed that the infamous roles of self serving politicians of Ogbunike extraction, saw her begging for dividends of democracy since return to democratic rule.
The Political summit witnessed participants, calling on the new crop of politicians vying for various elective offices in the forthcoming 2023 general elections, to remember Ogbunike, when they get there. The meeting presented the opportunity to revisit the past, how Ogbunike used to be the political headquarters of Oyi/Ayamelum, and Anambra North Senatorial District; how the town had produced Deputy Governor, Senate President, Minister, Commissioners, and most recently a Firstlady, and other political appointees. The emotionally charged audience wriggled on how Ogbunike lost it all, and queried the precarious political situation prevalent at the moment.
Consequently, issues bordering on mentorship, and lack of succession plan has been fingered and presumed as the major setback. It was adjudged, that most of the political big wigs in the past, had failed in the area of political mentorship, thereby creating an army of political green horns, parading the town like sheep without shepherds. The big question on everyone’s lips today is who would take a leading role in the renewed effort to restore Ogbunike’s lost glory. Who would take Ogbunike to eldorado? Who?
The urgency of now demands people of uncommon courage to step into the ring.
I wish to call on every onye Ogbunike, to rise up, stand to be counted, lend your voice in the renewed agitation, the call to bring back the lost glory of Ogbunike, especially as it concerns local and national politics. It has become imperative that Ogbunike needs a political rebirth, with a special focus on political socialization. Conversations on revitalizing Ogbunike’s dwindling political fortunes, should kickstart in ernest.
Firstly, Ogbunike’s numerical strength should be improved. Ogbunike should have more than two political wards. Take a look at the town’s urban landscape; the population of people at the densely populated Azu Ogbunike, the various international markets situated in the village. We must harness these socio-economic opportunities for political benefits. We must find a way around it, Ogbunike deserves more than two political wards.
It’s no longer news that Ogbunike is saddled with leadership issues, but whatever the challenges, it’s in the power of the people to overcome them. Right now, the major issue is “leadership” which is not peculiar to Ogbunike alone. But if our “kind” of leadership brouhaha is homegrown, we can surmount it, if we choose.
We must get the space before we fight for the mat. Ka anyi zòta godu ani, tupu anyi azòba ute. We need some form of liberation but we must prove naysayers wrong that we are a viable community.
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