· As Nwadike cautions against politics of bitterness, betrayal
The plot by Chief Athan Ogoh, a former Chairman of Orlu Local Government Area to impose his personal aide on Orlu people, once again, fell like a pack of cards as four out of the five ward chairmen who attended the meeting convened by few leaders of Isu clan who are mainly loyalists of Chief Athan Ogoh voted against the latter’s preferred aspirant, Finbar Mbanaso.
It was gathered that since Isu clan which is laying claim to the Orlu House of assembly seat, come 2023, based on the age-long zoning agreement between Orsu and Isu clans of the Local Government , the leaders of Isu clan decided to organize a mock primary session aimed at making the ward chairmen from Isu clan to agree on casting their votes in block for the emergence of a sole candidate of Isu clan, extraction.
A source who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity said, “Orlu L.G.A has 13 electoral wards while Isu clan has 6 electoral wards, out of which five ward chairmen attended the meeting. Four out of the 5 ward chairmen who attended the meeting maintained their stand of voting for the best, most qualified and credible candidate voted against Finbar Mbanaso, Chief Athan Ogoh’s personal aide who he has been projecting and campaigning for.”
“When it became obvious to Chief Athan Ogoh’s loyalists that their principal’s preferred aspirant had lost, they quickly got in touch with him and he instructed that all present should vote. This scutted and negated the initial arrangement which was that only ward chairmen should vote.”
The grapevine also has it that Chief Athan Ogoh, had on 1, May 2022 invited the ward chairmen to a meeting at his Owerri residence where he attempted to cajole them into adopting his personal aide, Finbar Mbanaso as the sole candidate of Isu clan in respect of the Orlu state assembly seat in 2023.
On this, the source said, “the ward chairmen who seem to have vowed to be resolute in their decision to ensure that the best person represents Isu clan and Orlu L.G.A at the house of assembly, come 2023, unanimously told Chief Athan Ogoh that his boy Finbar Mbanaso who he is desperately projecting and campaigning for has not for once convened a meeting to inform the ward chairmen of his intention to contest the 2023 election, pointing out that until he convenes such a meeting and informs them officially, they will not take him serious.
Responding to the series of attacks and blackmail on his person by Chief Athan Ogoh, Comrade Precious Nwadike said, he finds it extremely difficult to join issues with Chief Athan Ogoh who he respects as an elder.
He however advised him, “to desist from engaging in politics of bitterness and betrayal, which is counterproductive, and an ill-wind that will ultimately blow no one good.”
He posited that, “contrary to rumours being peddled by the former Orlu local government area boss, that I hardly carry him along as regards my political aspiration and other tissues of lies he peddles, the crux of the matter is that as a principled person, I do not blow hot and cold at the same time. I also do not under any circumstance betray people, especially those who repose confidence in me.”
“Chief Athan Ogoh’s major grouse against me is that, in 2009, when Chief Ikedi Ohakim and Chief Achike Udenwa who handed over to him as governor of Imo state had political differences, which made them part ways, “Chief Ikedi Ohakim led government, through Athan Ogoh who was the Sole Administrator of Orlu local government area and other government appointees rattled Chief Udenwa by resolving to carry a mock casket. They wanted me, as the then President of Orluzurumee Youth Association, to help them mobilize youths for the exercise but I refused to either do that or participate in the exercise in any way because I felt there was no reason to run Chief Udenwa down. Besides, we as Orlu people should protect our illustrious son and not run him down. When they eventually went ahead to carry the mock casket for former governor Achike Udenwa, Orluzurumee Youth Assembly under my leadership distanced and dissociated ourselves from the exercise, which I considered absolutely unnecessary and uncalled for.”
I also publicly condemned it by issuing a press release that was published in many newspapers, in addition to calling on those involved in the reprehensible act to stop projecting Orlu leaders in bad light in their desperate quest to score cheap political points.”
“As God would have it, towards the end of that year, I was among the leadership who paid former President Goodluck Jonathan a courtesy visit at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja on 14th December, 2009. This further enraged Chief Athan Ogoh who could not hide his feelings. He called me on phone at exactly 10am on 15th December, 2009, which, incidently was the day after our visit to former President Goodluck Jonathan at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja threatening that, as the Chief Security Officer of Orlu L.G.A, he would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the government of the day dealt with me decisively . He also accused me of working hand in gloves with the enemies of the state government to destabilize the Ohakim administration”.
Comrade Nwadike also posited that, on his arrival from Abuja, he wrote security operatives in the state, informing them of Chief Athan Ogoh’s threats which he considered very serious.
It would be recalled that it was Chief Achike Udenwa who brought Athan Ogoh to limelight when he appointed him as his Special Adviser on Economic Affairs (Foreign).
“But when Chief Achike Udenwa’s tenure as governor of Imo state elapsed, Ogoh quickly jumped ship and joined Ikedi Ohakim who appointed him Sole Administrator of Orlu L.G.A.
“Chief Athan Ogoh also quarreled with any person who for one reason or the other refused to join him in singing Ohakim’s praises, the same way he is presently quarreling and finding fault with those who have for personal reasons refused to support his preferred candidate for Orlu state assembly seat in the Imo state house of assembly.”
The source further stated that Chief Athan Ogoh has become so overbearing, aggressive since he left his Principal, Chief ThankGod Ezeani (PhD) who he served as Campaign Director.
Some Orlu leaders who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity advised Ogoh to imbibe the habit of treading softly and allowing people to freely and willingly exercise their franchise.They describe him as an unstable politician.