By Emperor Iwuala
Recently, there is this propaganda that the Nigeria former Minister of Interior Capt. Emmanuel Ihenacho is not really running for Imo State governorship race for 2015 election but was ‘planted’ by Governor Rochas Okorocha in APGA to destroy APGA.
Regrettably, it is now an accepted culture that the only way to campaign for political positions in Imo State is through blackmail, destructive propaganda, image smearing and malicious criticisms.
Captain Ihenacho is said to be among the most mature and civilized of those aspiring to rule Imo State come 2015. Incidentally, he has shown all these qualities in his campaign strategies. He has said it severally that the only way to take power from an incumbent is not through insults and condemnation of all that the government in power does. Any good aspirant must respect a constituted authority to show that he is a good statesman also.
When Achike Udenwa was a governor, the likes of Senator Ifeanyi Ararume who wanted to take over from the Orlu-born ex governor never respected Achike as their governor. Also they never revered the position he was occupying which they were longing for. At the end, the position eluded them. During the time of Ohakim, the scenario repeated itself and it ended with the same result.
During the 2011 electioneering period, while Ex-Governor Ikedi Ohakim and Senator Ararume were busy blackmailing each other, Owelle Rochas Okorocha was busy ‘selling his product’ which was the so called ‘free education’.
Be that as it may, for the fact that Capt Ihenacho appreciates few things done by the present government does not mean that he is working for Governor Okorocha. For the fact that the former minister does insult the governor and does not lead campaign of calumny against the government of the day in Imo State does not mean that the government of the day is doing well.
It is instructive to note that Capt Ihenacho has always said that the Okorocha-led government in Imo State has done better than some of its predecessors especially in the area of infrastructure and roads but that there ‘is still a big missing link between what the government is doing and real development’. He has also critically condemned the Okorocha Administration stating that ‘people do not understand many of its policies’.
In one of the radio programmes he featured, the Chief Executive of Integrated Oil and Gas had this to say; ‘…Good and visionary governance should be practical and workable that will be able to link to development. For example, if ‘round-about’, free education or building is provided by the government, people should understand how and when those things can create jobs or add value to the state…’.
In the same programme, Capt. Ihenacho also said that the 2011 election in Imo State was only a demonstration that people’s voices must count in the election of their leaders contrary to the old practice. However, he said that 2015 would be a different ball game wherein people would improve on what happened in 2011 by refining democracy further to produce honest, visionary and experienced leaders whom he said would have the solution to the problems confronting the state.
Captain Ihenacho while showcasing the superiority of his programmes over that of the Okorocha Administration has brought out his blue print which he said is aimed at attacking the major problem facing the state at present. The celebrated problem he says is unemployment. The former minister has also gone a step further to elucidate on how he would achieve the blue print:
‘Industrializing our little state will create serious employments for the people and will alleviate the suffering of the masses. We also need to empower our youths with major skills and real life experiences to tap into the world information technology and make a living out of it. Therefore, my blue print intends to declare a state of emergency on unemployment and make sure that all policies in Imo State are aimed at … creating many employment opportunities into the job market…’.
In the blue print, the governorship hopeful has listed some areas for job creation in the state to include building of sports facilities and sponsorship of female and male teams in the various sports, tapping into agricultural abilities, creation of the enabling environments for international and national entertainment events to be held in the state to offer youths the chance to showcase their talents.
On education, the former minister has always said that his blue print would not only sustain the free education programme as approved by the Federal Government but would raise the quality of education. He also posited to build finishing schools that would attract local and foreign exchange programmes to expose the youths and also attract more private universities and polytechnics to the state.
Captain Ihenacho obtained the formal academic qualification of Masters Mariner, Master of Science Degree in International Transport at the University of Wales and Master of Business Administration in General Management from the University of Bradford all in the United Kingdom. He is well known and respected within and outside Nigerian shores as an erudite scholar and a maritime management specialist of international note. As an intellectual, he is a subject specialist of maritime economics, international shipping and general management. Apart from the achievement of his current position as the Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Worldwide Shipping, he also sits on the board of several blue ship maritime and energy sector companies.
The Emekuku-Owerri-born international mariner has built a reputation for honesty, forthrightness and personal integrity in his business career and has also been an unwavering champion of the concept of capacity and merit as the key and appropriate determinant in the appointment of managers to the public sector, enterprises and institutions. He was a member of the Federal Government 22-member Committee that fashioned out the modalities and practicalities of Nigerian’s participation in Crude Oil Shipping.
In politics, he has practiced politics without bitterness’’. As a politician, his particular interest is in the emancipation of Ndi-Igbo. During his stint as the Nigerian Minister of Internal Affairs, he courageously employed over 4000 youths from Imo State into the Immigration, prisons and Civil Defence services, a feat no public officer before him could accomplish. By so doing, he put smiles on the faces of parents whose children were unemployed after years of graduation. He also made sure that an Imo woman who merited to head the Nigerian Immigration then was appointed a Comptroller General of Immigrations. He also made sure that many Igbos in the parastatals under his then ministry who had suffered injustice for so many years got all their denied entitlements restored. He would have done more for Ndi -Igbo if his detractor did not cut short his ministerial appointment.
Capt Ihenacho has also used his oil and shipping businesses to employ many thousands of Igbos and Imo indigenes.
Therefore, it could be seen that Capt Ihenacho belongs to different class from where Governor Okorocha is and it will be an irony for an intellectual like Capt Emmanuel Ihenacho to be used by such a Governor Okorocha whose policies have defied all known scientific, progressive and civilized hypothesis.
However, blackmail is the cheapest commodity for those without facts. The former minister should expect more of such campaign of calumny and blackmail because nothing good comes easy. In other words, nobody should expect Capt Ihenacho to win Imo governorship election on a platter of gold. He must sweat it out just like every other aspirant, including the incumbent. ‘You cannot make omelette without breaking of eggs’. ‘Gold is polished with fire’. Oh yes.
(Iwuala can be reached on: 08037247295)