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Anambra Poll: Dear Guber Candidates, Ihiala LG Is Not For Sale; Not For The Highest Bidder | By Chris Ezemoyih

Chris Ezemoyih 

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on www.currentnewsreporters.com on Friday October 10, 2017 ahead of the November 18, 2017 guber election in Anambra State. The views expressed in it are those of the writer and does not in any way represent those of Current News Reporters.

Let me begin this piece by making some clarifications. First is that I write as a private citizen who is constitutionally entitled to hold and express opinion and personal convictions. In doing so however, my reader might come across where a spade is called a spade; as this writer is not very talented in political correctness. 

Secondly, this is a message to politicians hoping to buy the votes of the Ihiala local government electorates. And to our people of Ihiala local government, we have collectively endured neglect and this election presents before us, an opportunity to reassert ourselves as equal partners in the Anambra project.

Ihiala local government area, arguably the largest local government in Anambra state is no doubt blessed and endowed with sufficient human and material resources. We are home to countless well lettered and refined personalities, world class professionals and administrators, successful businessmen and entrepreneurs, widely referred scholars in the academia and a highly politically conscious population. With our voting population and strength, we are no less than what in American political parlance, is called battleground state or area. This battleground state is used to describe an area with a massive voting strength that goes to influence the outcome of elections. Ihiala is a battleground local government when it comes to elections in Anambra and must be regarded as such.

Aware of all these, one wonders why and how a people that is naturally destined to be equal citizens with others have been reduced to second class citizens. We must reject and refuse to accept to this new status being covertly ascribed to our people by our brothers from other parts of the state who, sometimes disdainfully dismiss us as people who are not even supposed to be in Anambra, owing to our location on the map.

While this claims by some fellow Anambrarians are laughable and ignoble, it is pertinent to note that it is also a pointer to their perception and attitude towards Ihiala people or anything Ihiala. 

Sadly, many in our area have come to accept this identity as ascribed to them by our brothers from other parts of the state and consequently, have develop the mindset that we must have to prostrate and worship those in power if we must attract dividends of democracy which is our natural entitlement but which has eluded us in recent times due to outright neglect. While I am not against lobbying and forming alliances as helpful political actions, we must guide against putting up the posture of a people asking for what they don't deserve or seeking for a patronizing pity.

I was recently shocked by a supposed "educated" Ihiala youth who in what was obviously a paid political ad, wrote a lengthy article in an online forum claiming that our people are ungrateful for not dancing and clapping for an administration he claimed gave us a commissioner and several other "political appointees". He didn't stop there. He went as far as claiming that the same government and party also gave us two representatives in the state assembly. While I have no intention of engaging in any form of partisan debate or project any political party as good or bad, I refer to this incident to buttress what I earlier said about the mindset of some of our people. Even the least informed among us can tell from the young man's assertions that he is not well informed enough to inform us.

My understanding of politics and politicking is that its end product must manifest itself in visible improvement in the welfare of the people we are privileged to represent. Success in it is not to be measured by the volume of personal wealth we acquired during the period we were given the mandate, success in it is measured by how well we use the opportunity given to serve the interest of those in whose thrust we hold political office. If my assertion here is true of all time and places, it is therefore safe to conclude that our people have not been so blessed with such crop of politicians with a "people first" mindset. I stand to be corrected.

But all hope is not lost. This election year in our dear state is yet another opportunity for the leaders of our people to rise to the occasion, form a common front (if possible) and bring us a fair bargain from whoever we shall settle for. And we must ensure that such bargain is not a cover up to enrich some selfish, self-serving politicians posing as leaders of the people.

While I hope that they will heed to this call, we the youths of Ihiala must rise now and shape our future according to our specifications. We have a duty to educate and sensitize our people that never again shall we be used and dumped by people we are better than. Never again shall we beg for a share in a project in which we are equal partners and that never again, shall we sale our vote for a paltry N1000 or N2000 and suffer outright neglect for the years to follow. Only a psychologically defeated people do things like that. Our people are not in any way a defeated people.

The least we deserve in this year's guber election in our state is deputy governorship candidate from the leading political parties but even that proved to be beyond our reach despite our electoral value as a battleground local government where candidates fight tooth and nail to win.

As usual, our space will be free and conducive for candidates to come and market themselves to our people during this campaign period. But I wish to remind our people that nothing but the best is good enough for them. To our youths, we must come together to act now using our only available arsenal (voters card) to enthrone a government that must respect and serve our deserved good. To the candidates, while we wait for our leaders to guide us to a generally accepted and right cause of action, I wish to let you know for the time being, that our local government and our votes are not for sale.

Chris Ezemoyih is a journalist, blogger, and author. He is the President of Rising Leaders Foundation - a nonprofit committed to helping young people discover their talents and maximize their potentials.             

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