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OLIVER OKEKE: The three wise men from the Southeast, Men of lion heart




President Muhammadu Buhari is both the most hated politician in Southeast and the highest infrastructural builder and developer in Southeast

Goodluck Jonathan is the most loved politician in Southeast but the worst President who couldn’t commission even one borehole in Southeast

As they say, “this life no balance.”

This is the prevailing situation in the South East before the three wise men with lion heart erupted and took the bull by the horn. 

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First among the wise men with Lion heart is Orji Uzor Kalu, popularly known as OUK. He was a governor of Abia State for eight years, and an early entrant to the APC from South East. He was formerly of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and later, Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA). He caught the vision of a resurgent Nigeria. 

The second musketeer is Chief Hope Uzodinma, Onwa Onuma, the executive governor of Imo State. He is another lion-hearted man from the South East. He, like others, used to be a member of PDP. He had a ‘Damascus road’ experience like the biblical Saul, who became Paul. 

And comes the man of the moment, Chief Engr Dave Umahi, the current governor of Ebonyi State. Like Orji Uzor Kalu, he has been a PDP man throughout his political career. He was a deputy governor to Martin Elechi for eight years and succeeded Elechi as governor.

According to Femi Adesina, Presidential spokesman, Umahi had always loved and respected President Muhammadu Buhari, and never hid it, though they were of different political parties. His moving to APC is done and dusted after several years of speculation, and only a man with a lion heart can do it. 

According to Femi Adesina, “What Umahi exhibited last month in crossing from PDP to APC can best be described as the heart of a lion. We know how the region he hails from has long been overtaken by the PDP, and with little to show for it. Their roads were dilapidated, bridges rickety, and in fact, the second bridge over the River Niger was built by mouth for the 16 years PDP held sway. Now, President Buhari is building the bridge, and is poised to complete it in 2022. Holy Moses!

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“Why did the South East hold tenaciously to PDP, despite being given the shorter end of the stick? Nobody knows. Till people like Orji Uzor Kalu, Hope Uzodimma, and now, Dave Umahi, began to ask questions, and followed it with pragmatic action. 

“Umahi has displayed a courage of conviction. He said the South East has been let down by the PDP in the last 21 years, so it was time to switch camp. It takes the heart of a lion to change course in such setting. Some people said it was because he wanted to run for President in 2023. And why not? The party has not come out with its zoning formula, but in a democracy, anyone can aspire for any position, as long as he can muster the needed support and momentum for victory.

“I’ve always said it. The South East must play better politics to get the ultimate office in the country. Sleeping and facing the same direction may not be the best option. The Orji Kalus, Hope Uzodimmas, Chris Ngiges, Dave Umahis, Ogbonia Onus and many others, are now shining the light, so that their people can find the way.”

The big masquerades mentioned above are the musketeers, men of means and valor, and men of timber and calibre, who are working tenaciously to take Ndigbo to the center of attraction.

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