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Posted April 7th, 2009

By Elvis Agukwe.

Fear is an emotional state which renders a man temporarily impotent. It is usually triggered off by an event or series of events which product might not be favourable to the man, hence the fear. When it is applied in the positive sense, like the fear of God, the effect is salutary. But when negativism drives it, the consequences are really disastrous, to the extent that it might even consume the victim. Among several categories of fear is that of the unknown. Man being a primitive and rebellious creature is only put in check by the fear of the unknown. The fear of being caught deters the would be robber from acting on his devilish impulse.

However some fears border on paranoid, such that the action of those involved translate to hatred towards the victim. The result is often of cataclysmic proportion hovering between life and death. In the game of politics, this fear of the unknown has seen friends part ways and enemies become inseparable. It is ruled by self-interest whereby politicians agree to work together to crush a common enemy who might pose an obstacle towards the realization of group or cabalís interest. Anybody identified even remotely of being responsible for the blurring of the groupís vision is hounded and blackmailed into submission. No scruples. No qualms.

It is on this score that the avalanche of opposition against Governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State can be located. In spite of the March 23, 2009 Ohakimís Appeal court victory over arch rival and kinsman, Senator Ifeanji Ararume, the opposition is still restless. All of them are now united in the vain hope of making something out of the watery case of the defeated APGA candidate, Chief Matins Agbaso. Ohakim, more than any other governor in Nigeria recorded the highest number of cases challenging his election. Out of the record 18, he has triumphed over all of them, leaving the little distraction of a cancelled election which was rocked by unprecedented violence in the history of Imo State.

Some political pundits have been at pains to know why so many people should be against a single man who through divine providence emerged the governor of Imo State against their wishes. It is not that hard to know why. Ohakim was not the candidate of those who have held Imo State on the jugular since its creation in 1976. He is the candidate of the poor masses who have had to suffer in silence ever. He represents a new face of hope for the hopeless, a new face of development where waste and under development had reigned supreme. He is the antithesis of the ruinous past; the years the locust had eaten. That explains the vicious and vengeful attack and struggle against a visionary whose policies and programmes have brought back smiles to the faces of hitherto disillusioned populace.

Right from the time Ohakim declared his intension to contest the governorship of Imo State, the establishment was fearful of his emergence. They knew him to be too independent minded, ideas driven and fearless. He did mot appear to be controllable. They wanted a pliant fellow they could use to raid the treasury of Imo State. It was not surprising when they took up arms against him.
Fortunately for the people of Imo State, the story of Jesseís sons played out. The supposed strongest who caught the eyes of Samuel was rejected. The lad who had been left in the field, tending to animals was sent for and anointed. And it came to pass that he became the greatest leader after the heart of God. Thatís exactly the Ohakim phenomenon, why the anti people will not let him be.

But being poor students of history, they failed to grasp the basic maxim that you cannot stop an idea which time has come. Ohakim arrived on the scene when there was a deep yearning for an enduring and sustainable transformation of the entire polity. He came when Imo people agreed and voted overwhelmingly for a regime change driven by development and not corruption. They were now ready to abandon clannish, partisan politics for a bi-partisan, all inclusive arrangement that will re-focus the state. That explains why the governor who is of the minority PPA has been able to work harmoniously with the ruling Peopleís Democratic Party legislature without friction. That is why Imo State has leaped from a docile and dormant economy to the fastest growing economy in the country. Ohakim has even exported his progressive and 22nd century driven economic ideas to the federal level.

Now this is where the fear of the unknown begins.. At the rate. Ohakim is galloping, one does not need a prophet to know that the man is unstoppable in 2011. all those contrived court and election petition cases were made to distract him from the performance of his duties. The game plan was to ensure that he lacks concentration and thus fail to deliver on his promises to Imo people. By so doing, they will have something against him in 2011. Tragically for these daydreamers the plan has fallen flat. Ohakim within the last two years has demonstrated in practical terms that he is a born leader with the innate abilities to analyze and prosecute projects that have direct bearings on the welfare of Imo people.

Apart from changing for the better the infrastructural base of Imo State, Ohakim has actually rebranded the State in all ramifications. He has restored the confidence of the people on their ability to soar above their peers in all spheres of human endevour. He has gingered them to dream those dreams that inspired Martin Luther King and produced Barrack Obama. Until today, people are wondering what magic wand the Imo State governor employed in bringing back the world acclaimed writer, Chinna Achebe who had stayed away from Nigeria in the last 15 years. For Achebe who left the country in protest against bad governance and even rejected a national award to accede to the request of Ohakim to come home, means that he saw a star among the suffocating darkness in the country. This he even acknowledged when he delivered the prestigious Ahiajoku lecture by counseling other Nigerians to buy into the Imo project which he believes is profitable. To the ordinary, the statement may not worth anything. But it is instructive that it represents the thinking of majority of Nigerians that Ohakim should be watched.

Indeed, when last year, a High Court Judge in Enugu State told a gathering at the coal city that Ohakim will be the first Nigerian president of Igbo extraction, not many took him serious. That was after a highly provocative and thoughtful lecture Ohakim delivered charting a way forward for the economic recovery of Nigeria. That was even before the advent of the economic meltdown in the world. Now, in retrospect, people are beginning to see sense in the ďnonsensicalĒ statement by the erudite jurist.

That Ohakim is steadily rising in national stature and international acclaim will naturally attract envy and jealousy. It may even excite hatred towards his person. It was alarming that even those who worked towards the emergence of Ohakim in 2007, aligned with opponents and enemies to cause him to suffer defeat at the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt. Because they were no longer comfortable with his rising profile, they joined forces to shoot him down. But our God who elevated him through the prayers of Imo people never allowed the enemies to triumph.

With the demolition of the Araraumeís case, the coast is clear for Ohakim to keep his rendezvous with Imo people. What is left in terms of opposition is so infinitesimal and inconsequential that 2011 is already a forgone issue. And that is why people are afraid of the Ohakimís phenomenon

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