|Mrs. Kema Chikwe|
By Comrade Chukwuma C. Nnadi
During the recent presentation of “PDP Women in Power” calendar 2013 in Abuja. A member of the National Working Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. (Mrs.) Kemafor Chikwe, said that the PDP would still field President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 Presidential election in Nigeria. The PDP National Women Leader was also quoted to have declared that there would not be any vacancy in Aso Rock come 2015.
Whether President Jonathan would or would not run for the 2015 Presidential Election in Nigeria is not the concern of yours truly in this work. However, I am more interested in the latest possible political fortune and prospect of Dr. Chikwe viz-a-viz winning elections either for herself or for someone else. Interestingly, one of the criteria that made Dr. Chikwe to be anointed a PDP National Woman Leader was because She Failed Senatorial Election in 2011. If she had won the senate seat for Owerri Senatorial Zone in April 2011, the story would have been different.
Be that as it may, there are leaders that are ‘electable’ and also there are ones that are ‘unelectable’. Kema Chikwe was a minister of what some call ‘Grade A’ federal ministries during the reign of Olusegun Obasanjo in Nigeria. They were the ministries of Aviation and Transport. The Owerri-born woman sometime also headed Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB).
However, many who have followed Kema’s activities during her days as a federal political appointee say that she used the said positions only to wrestle power with her then state governor Chief Achike Udenwa, instead of helping her state. It is said that she was highly controversial in Imo State and intimidated people at her home with impunity. As one who was opportune to be a member of the country’s Federal Executive Council then, her said known style was by always dropping the name of the then President Obasanjo in everything with the popular phrase ‘BABA SHI’ meaning ‘Obasanjo said. He nick name later changed from “IGOLO” TO “BABA SHI, BABA ASHILA” she was said to have also been involved in ‘anointing’ her preferred candidates in every PDP primaries, congresses or in Federal appointment etc. It is a fact that all her anointed candidates always fail in the election proper. However, ‘MADAM BABA SHI’ was sent on a ‘political exile’ when she was appointed Ambassador to Ireland and later to Iceland. Interestingly, it could be observed that the above and other political positions and opportunities Kema held were all by appointment.
However, it was Ex-Governor Ikedi Ohakim that brought Kema back from the said ‘political exile’ and ‘lured’ her into contesting the senatorial seat for Imo East Senatorial Zone (commonly called Owerri Senatorial Zone). Prior to the 2011 election in the country, some people including yours truly did not know that this controversial grandmother was a political anathema. We did not know that the 2011 election was going to be a pay-back time for a lot of people in Dr. Chikwe’s home whom the acclaimed embattled ‘Amazon’ allegedly stepped on their toes in her days as an acclaimed ‘influential’ associate of Obasanjo’s government. Incidentally, Ohakim influenced Kema’s emergence as the PDP flag-bearer even against the popular votes of the party. Having missed her there, the next point was to wait for her during the general election.
Before the April 2011 Senatorial Election, Kema Chikwa never did any serious campaign. She was only seen following Ohakim and dancing anywhere Ohakim went to do his own campaign. This she did till the day she failed her senatorial election. May be she thought that it was business as usual where in the past, anybody that had PDP ticket was sure of being rigged into power.
After the 2011 general elections in Imo State, it was also discovered that not only did Kema Chikwe fail woefully both in her maiden and matrimonial home communities, but contributed to the failure of both Ohakim and many PDP candidates in the election during that period. Ironically, one of Kema’s paid writers (Dr. Ethelbert Okere) unconsciously conceded to the above facts in an article published on Friday 23rd of March 2012 edition of Daily Sun. “One of the indigenes of Owere that was thrown up between 1999 and 2011 is Dr. Kema Chikwe, former Minister of Transport and Aviation and who, in fact, doubles as the only Ambassador ever produced by the entire Owerri zone. But Mrs. Chikwe lost a senatorial election in which her (native) Owere people constituted the major determining factor……. Her purported defeat was part of a grand master plan by the external manipulators to deny the PDP of its victory in Imo State. In fact, Aunty Kema’s election was a mere testing ground for a grand macabre dance between April 26, and May 6, 2011. Once the perpetrators succeeded in scaring, Nde Owere with the ‘defeat’ of Kema, the stage was set for the command performance on April 26, 2011, that is at the governorship election……”
Back to Dr. Chikwe’s recent declaration that President Jonathan would not leave Aso Rock by 2015. I know that the only thing that will make President Jonathan stay put in Aso Rock after 2015 is if the Ijaw-born former zoology lecturer wins re-election come that time. With the way things are happening in the country now, I foresee a situation where incidents of rigging in 2015 will not be a general rule as it used to be. If so, how could people like Kema Chikwe who have lost political acceptability, credibility, integrity, dignity, relevance, value and follower-ship at home then win votes for Mr. President or PDP come 2015 in her senatorial zone? It is going to be a mission impossible. I stand to be challenged.
This recent declaration of Mrs. Chikwe was the she and her cohorts made during Ikedi Ohakim’s era in Imo State. This completely deceived Ohakim and made ex-governor declare himself an ‘ikiri’ (a desperate animal) thinking he would win re-election by all means.
Re-election of an incumbent just like other elections is not by power or might. Kema should realize that time has passed when ‘Kashim Fomular’ and rigging no longer hold sway in Nigerian politics. Now, power comes from God and sovereignty belongs to the people. Therefore, if Kema had been wise enough, knew diplomacy and politics very well and wanted to add value to Mr. President’s so called re-election come 2015, she would have realized that Mr. President needs to canvass and beg for votes from the people to be re-elected in 2015 rather than this show of political insensitivity. It is annoying and an insult to the sensibilities of the Nigerian electorate.
As a member of the National Working Committee of her party, I did not expect this kind of statement from Dr. Chikwe. It means that the National Working Committee of the PDP will no longer associate itself with free and fair primaries when the time comes as a candidate is already anointed by the committee for the party come 2015 presidential election in the country.