It is apparent that the success or failure of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha's administration as the 6th executive governor of Imo State lies partially on who emerges as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Imo state assembly.
The position of the state apex lawmaker has already witnessed series of debacle in the past week, on 28th of May Hon. Acho Ihim decided to resign after moves to impeach him was perfected by 21 lawmakers out of 27, this culminated in the temporary emergence of Lawman Duruji, the house member representing Ehime Mbano as the speaker, who also resigned 48 hours citing personal reasons for his action.
Now as time edges closer for the inevitable decision on who is to be the next Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Imo 9th Assembly, there are whisper's from the grapevine that Hon. Uche Ogbuagu former special assistant to Imo Ex-Governor Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha is among those that has thrown their hat in the ring for the deputy speakership position and is also on the consideration list of the governor which is of great concern to the political think thanks in Imo Diaspora Forum.
If the present Governor of Imo State with his body language influences the emergence of Hon. Uche Ogbuagu as the next deputy speaker of the state, he will be overseeing the most polarized house of assembly in the history of Imo State, as the in-fighting that will result out of this might even lead to his impeachment as the end result.
Leadership and the diplomatic acumen required for it in this century transcend egotism, arrogance close-mindedness and self-importance which are the traits believed to have morally discredited the Ikeduru born Comedian, and equally resulted to him silently falling out of favour from most of his colleagues unknowingly.
On the ground of equity, Ikeduru has enjoyed the position of speaker in recent times precisely during Chief Achike Udenwa's administration in the person of Rt.Hon. Kelechi Nwogu, at the same time they held office of the federal house member in the person of late Rt. Hon Bethel Amadi, so this should be the time for Mbaitoli or Owerri North for deputy speakership since the position of SSG has gone to Owerri West and the three Mbaise LGAs and Ngor Okpalla are out of consideration for the position.
On the ground of intellectual capacity, what Imo needs now are elites and technocrats to steer it out of 8 years of misrule hinged on mediocre assuming leadership position via nepotism, this is something that this new administration needs not consider in any form at all.
Moreover Hon. Uche Ogbuagu's perceived constant exhibition of lack of respect for his fellow house members via attending meetings late, ignoring most of their familiarity meetings without regards, nodding of head as response to greetings from some of them and disregarding gestures like a handshake from those he believes are below his class are generally unwelcomed by his colleagues.
The height of his action that led to his falling out of favour with most of his colleagues was his negative behavioural conduct during the burial of Rt. Hon. Bethel Amadi in which he was being selective of the house members that will enter his sitting room, thereby locking out other house members that he deemed not of his financial level and therefore not fit to dine with him, this action irreconcilably tipped him downwards against the majority of his colleagues.
A man that imbibes culture of intolerance and segregation to such height, cannot be able to command the level of attention and respect needed to effectively lead , control or manages issues in the house , because his belief in segregation ultimately denies him ability of reaching out to the other side when there is an ideological divide.
Hon. Uche Ogbuagu's ascension to the position of Deputy Speaker will be likened to the governor strengthening and arming his opponent to the teeth as Hon. Uche Ogbuagu has not hidden his ambition of becoming a governor of the state in the shortest time possible, so such a principal position as deputy speaker in this time of extensive political manoeuvrings will go a long way in determining how short Hon. Uche Ogbuagu will have to wait for his Douglas House dream and pen-ultimately how long Gov. Ihedioha's reign may last pending the circumstances surrounding the yet to be resolved issues around his electoral victory that might warrant power being handed over to the leaders of the Imo Assembly for a period of time, if there is to be a rerun as its being rumoured.
Finally we are not against assigning of principal positions for those that sacrificed for the long fought victory of PDP in the last election but the Governor should endeavour to fix each of them where they fit in order for imolites not to be denied the quality of leadership needed in every sphere of this administration, this will go a long way to save the state from impending doom, If Hon. Uche Ogbuagu deserves a principal position in this administration let it not be denied him, but the position of deputy speaker is too sensitive for one with his behavioural traits and already out of love and favour from most of his fellow lawmakers.
Dr. Chukwuemeka Ugwu
Imo Diaspora Forum