By Hon. Barr. Luke Chibueze Adonwe (Ogodoekwanri).
In the immediate past eight years of doom and gloom that defined politics in Ebonyi State, Dr. Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh emerged as one of the bright lights of hope. Money, muscle and sycophancy defined what has come to be described as the draconian leadership of the past leaders in the State presumably and almost generally agreed by the ruled.
Not many people expected that the recent general elections in the State would be peaceful, issues-centred and competitive. However, two political happenstances helped to raise the hope for a lift in the dour climate that pervaded the State. The hope-inspiring events included the election of a technocrat as Governor of Anambra State and the emergence of the Obidient Movement across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
It was against that background that immediately Dr. Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh, popularly known as Immaculate, stepped into the political space, keen watchers of Ebonyi politics perceived that something different was in the offing.
The emergence of Dr. Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh on the scene occasioned a movement powered by forces of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. It all began with when the Oxford-trained entrepreneur threw his hat in the ring for the gubernatorial contest. From the time he contested for the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Governorship primary to the time he joined Mr. Peter Obi in the move to Labour Party (LP), Dr. Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh kept hope alive for the young demographics who desired something refreshing in the politics of the State.
It was therefore not surprising that immediately Dr. Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh clinched the Labour Party’s (LP) ticket for the Abakaliki-Izzi Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, he drove his campaigns around interestingly different style, focusing on critical issues as well as delivering his messages in beautiful touch points.
Dr. Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh amongst other things chose a well known grassroot politicians inclusive of myself Hon. Barr. Luke Chibueze Adonwe (Ogodoekwanri) to be the Director-General of his campaign council christened “Ifegachi” (light must reign supreme).
Also, while the protracted legal tussle around the Ebonyi State LP Governorship ticket lasted, it was common knowledge that Ezeh literally became the face of LP cum the Obidient Movement in the State. That in fact, explains why Dr Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh is popularly called the “Peter Obi of Ebonyi State”.
It was therefore spectacular that he became the rallying point for the mind-blowing mobilizations and strategic engagements before and during Obi’s visit to Ebonyi State for his Presidential Campaign. The unparalleled level of acceptability Dr. Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh attained among the people, especially women, youths and new voters is also not unconnected to his outstanding personal qualities and the many lofty feats that he had hitherto achieved in the areas of entrepreneurship, self-improvement and scholarship.
Generally, Dr. Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh comes off as a man who epitomizes the virtues of uprightness, meekness, generosity and hospitality. That in addition to a unique dose of patience, have enabled him to groom young talents from scratch to finish. Top of those qualities is Ezeh’s infectious simplicity, even amidst prodigious affluence, make him a man of the people. Of course, his knack for treating everyone with utmost respect irrespective of socio/economic status, racial or religious persuasions commend him to many.
But, one thing that tended to stand Dr. Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh out as an emergent leader is his exploits in entrepreneurship and scholarship. As a young man who set forth at dawn, these qualities confer on him an intimidating aura, which stirs up envy among opposing political interests. That Dr. Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh became a victim of gang-ups and high-level conspiracies among entrenched political entities, both within his constituency and beyond, is not far-fetched.
These enemies of novelty and innovative leadership became embittered that the young man was coming to encroach on their lifelong “line of business.” And so, roused by the fear that the well-heeled Dr. Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh holds the potential of “displacing” them through his disruptive and innovative leadership style, the old political merchants threw all manner of obstacles on his path. But, come to think of it, some of these detractors were heard wondering who wouldn’t tremble at the emergence of such a big fish like Immaculate on the political space.
Yet, Dr Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh, just like Mr. Peter Obi, sees himself as simply an entrepreneur and a political interventionist. But, the Oxford-trained business mogul is a witty scholar that holds a multiplicity of academic qualifications in diverse specialties, including DBA (Entrepreneurship and Innovation), PhD (Global Trade), OMP (Lagos Business School), a specialist Degree in Organizational Leadership (GPOL – University of Oxford), amongst several others.
Is therefore understandable how these astounding strings of academic records and personal qualities effortlessly placed Dr. Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh over and above his peers thereby exposing him to darts from envious contemporaries. The gang up among the traditional politicians, who were determined to stop him at all cost attained a maniacal level during the recent general elections. The satanic opposition to Dr. Ezeh’s aspiration continued after the election. For instance, the surprise attempt at destroying his well-ordered petition at the Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja came up as the acme of their desperation.
In their recent press statement, Oganihu Ebonyi Movement, a civil society group, recalled that rumours became rife some weeks earlier that many of the cases at the Ebonyi Tribunal would be struck out based on trumped up technicalities.
It is possible that having known the level of gang-up against their client, Ezeh’s legal team should understand that all the gimmicks are intended to destroy his petition. Not that alone, great efforts may have been mobilised never to allow Ezeh’s petition to go into trial, especially given the belief by pundits that the case is so meritorious that even Senator Bulkachuwa’s yoke may not sway the hands of justice.
The challenge for Ezeh now is how to manage his supporters more so, when he has become a source of hope and courage to them. The good people of Abakaliki/Izzi Federal Constituency should take solace in the fact that Dr. Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh has stood his ground, and pressing against all odds to recover the mandate they massively entrusted on him during the polls.
The final good news is that God is not a man and He is still saying something. Let all our supporters, keep hope alive.
Hon. Barr. Luke Chibueze Adonwe (Ogodoekwanri)
Director General, Immaculate Grassroots Movement Campaign writes from Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.