The moneybags are here again. These old names who have been on the scene for a long time are desperate to continue to Lord it over us just for pecuniary gains. They have nothing new to offer and are only out to feather their political nests while the masses continue to yearn for quality representation. They are bereft of new ideas but all the same, they want to remain on the saddle for the purpose of amassing more wealth and for other mundane considerations. That they failed in their previous positions does not matter to them. What matters is that they still want to remain politically relevant whatever the consequences on the long suffering masses who bear the brunt of their numerous misdemeanors.

The problem with out nascent democracy is that those who have tasted power at various levels never wish to leave the scene for those with fresh ideas to take over. Our youth are the ultimate losers because they remain leaders of tomorrow on the lips only. We are where we are today because this sit tight syndrome has continued to stifle our hard won democracy. These gluttonous politicians are today perfecting their strategies and updating their rigging machinery in their desperate bid to oil their way into political positions of their choice. With their thugs and other unholy allies on the prowl, they are gearing up to snatch power from the masses once again. But we sincerely believe that this time, it will not be business as usual. The onus therefore lies in us to defend our votes so that our preferred candidates will emerge to serve us better.

As the contest for the senate seat of Orlu senatorial zone continues to gather momentum, it is our sincere hope that in the end, the best candidate will win. In a recent article in this column, I had outlined reasons why those who have been at the arena for long should give way for those with new ideas to emerge at various levels to give the masses a new lease of life. While we know that they will not heed to this timely advice, we continue to hope and pray that the forthcoming elections will be free and fair so that the best will attain political positions. But is this really practicable in our peculiar brand of democracy where might seems to be always right? A desperate situation they say, needs a desperate remedy. This is why we need to defend our votes this time to avoid a repetition of the events of the past. This is the battle that lies ahead of us.

Power is transient and this is what our politicians have failed to understand. The maverick politician of old, Senator Arthur Nzeribe who holds the record of being the longest serving senator of Orlu zonal extraction at a stage in his sojourn in the senate declared that he would remain there for life. But it is worthy of note that when the will of the people prevailed, he gave way for others. This “I know it all and must remain there syndrome” still persists today among our greedy politicians who erroneously believe that privileged positions are made for them only.

The top contenders for the senate seat of Orlu zone presently are our embattled governor, Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha of APC, Senator Osita Izunaso of APGA, Honourable Jones Onyeriri of PDP and Comrade Precious Uwadikaechere Nwadike of UPP.

It is a well known fact that among these four contestants, Comrade Nwadike stands out as the best based on every available indices. If we should call a spade a spade, Comrade Nwadike amply qualifies as the only person that will deliver because others have failed the people in various ways. They have lost relevance in the eyes of the people for obvious reasons.

Does Governor Okorocha deserve to be in the senate based on all that we know about him today? With one leg in APC and the other leg in AA in his unprecedented desperation to remain on top in Imo State and beyond.Governor Okorocha is a failed politician who is neither here nor there and has nothing more to offer. Will the people of Orlu zone entrust their collective destiny in the hands of an unrepentant bully who is still fighting dirty when he knows that he has lost in all fronts? This is the pertinent question that is begging for answer.

Another contender, Senator Osita Izunaso was a one time member of the House of Representatives before he became a senator subsequently. In his bid to go back to the Orlu senate seat, he contested again in 2015 and lost to the incumbent senator, Senator Hope Uzodimma who is today the gubernatorial candidate of APC in Imo State. Why Senator Izunaso should remain a perpetual contender for the Orlu senate seat is known only to him and his allies.

Hon. Jones Onyeriri is presently a two time member of the House of Representatives representing Nkwerre/Nwangele/Isu and Njaba federal constituency. This time, he wants to climb a step further by contesting for the senate seat of Orlu zone. He is presently the House committee chairman on Banking and Finance. Surprisingly, for sometime now, banks in Orlu Town have been closing, shop by 2pm everyday. This is against what obtains in other places. Why should this be so when a son of Orlu zone is occupying such an important position in the green chambers?

By every available record, it is an indisputable fact that Comrade Precious Nwadike who is a committed democrat and a highly acclaimed and revered human rights activist is the only contender among this lot that rightly fits in, based on his well acknowledged antecedents. As a pure humanist who feels the pulse of the people whose problems are his problems, Comrade Nwadike remains the best that Orlu zone can boast of for now.

Though neither a money bag nor a master rigger like the others, Comrade Nwadike is well loved by the people of Orlu zone especially the youths who are the greatest beneficiaries of his benevolence and large heartedness. They are yearning for his emergence as a senator so that he will continue with his good works in the zone. These youths and others in the zone who are tired of the old names and voices in the zone are clamouring for a breath of fresh air. A former President of Orluzurumee Youths Assembly for two consecutive terms of three years each, this young man of impeccable pedigree who has always scored first in all his endeavours remains the best bet for this position unless we allow them to rig him out. Hopefully, they will not get that chance. This is therefore a clarion call for the youths of Orlu zone whose choice is clear to rise and defend one of their own when the chips are down.

An adage has it that he that lives in a glass house does not throw stones. Having been a celebrated human rights activist and a dogged defender of the masses for years, Comrade Nwadike will never engage in any underhand deal that will soil his image. This Imo State co-ordinator of OurMumuDondo movement, a movement founded by the Area Father, Charlie Boy Oputa to fight for the democratic rights of the much maligned and cheated masses of the country at all levels have gone through fire in his bid to defend the masses at all times. In this process, he has incurred monumental losses but remains unbowed in his stoic resolve to continue with the battle to liberate the masses from the grips of egocentric and barbaric leaders who are only out to milk them.

Having promised to change the way things are done in Orlu zone if given the mandate, we know that he will deliver because his word has always been his bond. In a release recently, this senatorial hopeful opened the eyes of Orlu people on the issue of constituency projects and how the money meant for this has been going down the drain over the years. For the records, constituency projects are the inalienable rights of the people in any democratic dispensation but our people hardly know this.

The stupendous amount of money released for this through the relevant budgetary provisions yearly if channeled properly would have gone a long way in changing the lives of the people. Sadly, this money is regarded as a booty by our unfeeling politicians who put the money into other personal uses. We know that Comrade Nwadike who has won uncountable number of awards for his stand on issues of public importance and activism will utilize the money meant for constituency projects judiciously if elected as a senator. He doesn’t play to the gallery like other politicians who jettison their long list of promises when they attain power.

Comrade Nwadike’s catalogue of achievements in the area of youth empowerment remains unassailable. It is an indisputable fact that he will do more if he is elected into the senate. The numerous skill acquisition programmes he initiated for the benefit of youths of Orlu zone has changed the lives of many and this will continue in a broader dimension if he succeeds in his quest. His campaign promises are legion and we know that he is a man of his words, unlike his fellow contenders who speak from both sides of the mouth. We need a new name, an untainted name in the red chambers of the National Assembly and Comrade Precious Uwadikaechere Nwadike is our choice.

Dr Chiemeka Durunwa,a columnist and political analyst writes from Ohaji Egbema