– Says his experience as Town Union President General will count
By Martin Opara
Barrister Henry Chidi Nwuke, an astute and successful constitutional lawyer, community leader and philanthropist who has been under intense pressure by his people to represent them in the federal house of representatives, has accepted their request and formally declared his intention to contest the Orlu, Orsu, Oru east federal Constituency seat, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), come 2019.
He made the declaration in separate meetings with the leaders, stakeholders and supporters of the party in Oru east and Orsu local government areas on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th January 2018 respectively.
Nwuke, who has offered scholarships to several students, empowered many women and youths and as President General of Umuowa Progressive Union, facilitated the completion and commissioning of Umuowa Community and Children hospital, said to be the largest single health facility in the entire south east, rebuilt and transformed the local Eke Umuowa and Afor Ujah markets into well equipped modern markets, among other developmental projects, assured the people of quality representation, transparency, accessibility, even and equitable distribution of the dividends of democracy.
He said, he is motivated to contest because he is touched by the suffering of the people in the midst of plenty and wants to make a difference. “We cannot be blaming politicians without contributing our quota in making the system better. Asiwaju Jerry Alagboso has done his best; I want to start from where he stopped and consolidate. Besides, it is now the turn of the Isu clan of Orlu where I come from and we need somebody, who aside being passionate about the welfare and well being of the people, is also mentally alert, intellectually equipped and consummately in tune with the present political and social dynamics. I believe, I am amply qualified for the job. I also know that I cannot be there with the votes of Orlu people alone. We need the votes of Orsu and Oru east; hence, we have come to solicit your support and assistance. With unity of purpose, courage and dedication, we will make it in the overall interest of our people”.
He urged them to shun politics of the highest bidder and “be conscious of the future of our children and youths, the suffering, hardship, sorrow and agony presently pervading the land as a result of bad governance. Temptations will come and there will be offers but please find out the background of all aspirants before choosing, to avoid mortgaging the next four years because of peanuts”.
He also pointed out, his experience as a practising lawyer for thirty one years, who has handled different types of cases and as President General of Umuowa Progressive Union for twelve consecutive years, gives him an edge because, he understands the needs, vision and aspirations of the people. “I will not be swallowed in the crowd because I have what it takes to stand out”.
He said, though the legislature is a law making body, he will lobby and key into the appropriation act and also make use of his contacts to get jobs for the youths and also ensure that relevant and development oriented constituency projects that will add value to the people are captured and promptly executed. “For instance, if there is steady power supply, the average hairdresser, welder, printer, tailor etc, in the village will make more profit by saving the cost of fuel used in powering the generator, and also reduce environmental pollution that will guarantee good healthy. Insecurity and crime rate will also be reduced because the youths will be comfortably, occupied in their various gainful employments”.
An illustrious and prominent son of the area, Chief Athan Ogo (Ugwumba Orlu) recalled how they all suffered and worked for some people who eventually won and later became failures. “We have been persuading Barr. Nwuke to contest and now that he has accepted our request please, let us all rally round and give him the necessary support because he has what it takes and will surely make us proud. From all indications, he is the most qualified for the Orlu, Orsu, Oru East federal constituency, in 2019. Believe me, I have never deceived you and will not deceive you now”.
A former legislator for Orsu state constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, Chief Emma Dike (Mmiri oma Orsu) commended Barr. Nwuke’s humility in seeking the support of Orsu people and his courage for declaring his ambition now, because there are others who are still contemplating. “We have however, taken note of your request, your experience and profile. Though other aspirants will still come but we assure you that we will do the needful by ensuring that the most qualified candidate emerges through a fair and transparent process. Our party is now, rebranded, repackaged and repositioned for the challenges ahead. The era of impunity and imposition are over.
The apex leader of the PDP in Oru East LGA, and former leader of Oru East legislative council, Dr. Ukachukwu Erisim described Barr. Nwuke as a good and credible person who will no doubt, make the desired difference the constituency needs now. “He is articulate, honest, plain and straight forward. I will use my contacts as the zonal coordinator of Prof. Jude Njoku’s campaign organization in the last governorship election to reach out to the delegates and ensure he wins the primary and the real election, come 2019”.
An Orlu based lawyer, who also hails from Mgbe government station, Barr. C.C Udenze, also spoke glowingly about Nwuke’s attributes, stressing that “he is a round peg that should occupy the round hole. He should wear the cap because it fits him”.
Barr. Nwuke’s kinsmen and illustrious sons of Umuowa ancient kingdom and the entire Orlu zone, Chief Cajethan Nwanebo (Aku si na chi 1 of Umuowa), Rt. Hon. Mike Igboerika, former deputy leader of Orlu legislative council (1999 – 2002), Ichie George Duruji (Egbube Owa) and a former House of Assembly aspirant, for Orlu state constituency, Hon Finbar Mbanaso, who were part of Barr. Nwuke’s entourage said the aspirant is the best and most qualified candidate for their federal constituency. “He is a good, trustworthy and quality candidate, whose performance as President General has impacted positively on our community. He will replicate his zeal for human capital and comprehensive infrastructural development that has enhanced the social and economic development of Umuowa in Orlu, Orsu, Oru East and take the entire federal constituency to the next level, if given the opportunity. He is a man of integrity, unquestionable character, and transparent track record who has showcased compassionate and excellent leadership qualities as President General of Umuowa and other positions of trust and responsibility he has held”.
The Chairmen of PDP in Oru East and Orsu local government areas, Comrade Anayochukwu Nwajiezi and Hon. Stanley Ejiebe respectively, in their separate speeches, thanked the aspirant for deeming it fit to come and consult them. They assured him of a level playing ground and transparent primary election when the time comes. They however urged their members to close ranks, ensure peace, unity and mutual co-existence embark on grassroots sensitization and mobilization. “You should also try to get and preserve your permanent voter’s cards because it is your power to choose and decide whom to support”.
Dignitaries present at the Oru East and Orsu LGA venues of the declaration, include, Comrade Odyssey Obioha (Mma agha), a one time leader of Oru East legislative council and former legislative aide to a past member of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Hyacinth Romeo Ulimba, Chief Eric Ofodimma, Chief Asika Kingsley, Barr. Norbert Agbodike, Chief Nwuke’s personal aide, Comrade Emma Onwuegbuchulem, whose commitment and dedication to the project is exemplary.