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Ideato North House Of Assembly: Akataobi And His Endorsement By Arthur Egwim And Matters Arising

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By Onyebuchi Nwankwo

Recently, Imo State based tabloids and social media platforms were awash with the news of the endorsement of Hon. Ugboaja Victor Chinedu, popularly known as Akataobi Ideato, by the member representing Ideato North State Constituency in the House of Assembly, Barr. Arthur Egwim.

The endorsement, however, elicited mixed reactions from the public particularly, political gladiators and watchers of Ideato extraction. The finest aspect of the diverse outbursts was that none disfavoured the candidacy of Akataobi, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA), House of Assembly flagbearer, and his chances of clinching the plum job of being the next man to be in the State Assembly for the good people of Ideato North LGA.

Another heartwarming side of the said reactions was that it cut across party leanings. Even stalwarts of the so called mega political parties with House of Assembly Candidates in Ideato North, were not left out in the beautiful drama.

Not a few were of the view that the endorsement by the incumbent representative would add no spice to the already settled victory of the APGA candidate, even as some raised eyebrows over the likelihood of a “godfather” taking the glory of a project conceptualized by the youths of Ideato North.

As I perused the reactions with great excitement, in one of the popular Ideato Whatsapp groups, my mind veered off to a recent piece christened; ‘LIKE PETER OBI LIKE AKATAOBI IDEATO’.

While reminiscing on the referenced opinion article, I came to terms with the author’s postulations when critically juxtaposed with the scenario in Ideato North LGA. In the race for Nigeria’s next President, Mr. Peter Obi, ex-governor of Anambra State, is the only candidate with supporters devoid of party delineation. Nigerians want Mr. Obi as President for obvious reasons. This universal acceptance of the man behind the OBIdient movement, unarguably, did not foreclose the importance of consultations.

Dear reader, you will agree with me that Mr. Peter Obi has been very busy, traversing the nooks and crannies of the country in search of more supporters, not necessarily hinging his hope on such individuals, but to give honour to whom is due. Mr. Obi has reached out to past Nigerian Presidents and Heads of State, to garner advices and encouragement. This move is not out of place.

Ditto to Akataobi Ideato. It’s no longer news that Hon. Ugboaja Victor Chinedu is the topmost contender in the race for Barr. Arthur Egwim’s job. He is, undoubtedly, the most favoured, particularly, by the youths of the area. And the youths of Ideato North are poised to fight it out with whoever that decides to challenge them on this. As contagious as the youths’ support for Akataobi is, the entire landscape, and households, now bears the colours and sing Akataobi choruses.

Again, this is not enough to treat political elders with contempt. Akataobi, naturally, is a very humble fellow, who never relegates anybody created by God, how much more disdaining a man sitting on a seat he wants to occupy.

Akataobi has received endorsements from past and present political leaders in Ideato North. Even traditional rulers and renowned business moguls who would not want their names in print, have also given their blessings. But no news was made out of those endorsements.

Now, one would want to ask the rationale behind the reactions that trailed Barr. Arthur Egwim’s stamping his seal on Akataobi’s aspiration to succeed him.

Firstly, Barr. Egwim is a serving legislator, a firebrand one for that matter, and has a name that makes news. Secondly, the honourable member is the highest political office holder in the LGA, and should be consulted by any free minded seeker of political office in the area.

Then, thirdly, Akataobi, we all know, played roles that would not be forgotten in a hurry by Barr. Egwim, towards the political successes recorded by the Isiokpo-born lawmaker.

Therefore, it would be absurd and unlike Hon. Ugboaja I know, to circumvent the person of Barr. Egwim, probably because of familiarity, and forget to do what is needful. Akataobi gave what Barr. Egwim deserved and got what he wanted. Akataobi has no godfather. In his words on one occasion; “My godfathers and godmothers are the youths of Ideato North”.

However, I would not lose sight of the fact that most people who reacted were on personal vendetta mission against the lawmaker. Possibly, because Barr. Egwim is yet to meet their “expectations”. To these my brothers, I want to draw your attention to the fact that imperfection is synonymous with mortals. Calm down great folks, as what goes around must definitely come around.

Finally, I want to solicit the understanding of Akataobi’s opponents especially, those who sought Barr. Egwim’s endorsement to no avail, to throw in the towel and work with the APGA candidate. Barr. Egwim went for the man who can do the job. All that is important is to move Ideato North forward.

Ka Chineke mezie okwu.

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