By James Ibechi
One of the finest persons I have been privileged to know is Ugaba Emmanuel: the man has a clean heart, he is completely incapable of malice, and in the face of all odds, he has a sunny view of life, add to that his incandescent mind, his absolute brilliance from which has poured forth a prodigious volume of creative write ups, and a reputation as a public intellectual of the very first rank.
Emma, as I call him, although he is more popularly known as Ugaba among the up-and-coming generation of writers and politicians, is also an incurable idealist, very firm to a fault with his idealism and this is where we oftentimes ironically agree.
He has been insisting to my hearing for more than six months since the job of assisting the Benue State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon (Chief) Odeh Ageh, has brought us together as colleagues, that one of his ambitions is to become the Governor of Benue State one day and knowing Emma’s frame of mind and constitution, I always laughed this off as a big joke, urging him to face reality and not behave like his lawyer brother from Obi LGA (name withheld).
When Emma is hooked on an idea, it is difficult to separate him from it, moreso as he has the mental capacity to develop any subject at all into a grand, compelling concept. And that is what he seems to have done with his obsession with being the Governor of Benue state in future.
It is a daunting task for any man who is not a Tiv in Benue state to dream Emma’s dream, if we recall to mind that in the political history of Benue state, no other tribe has ever thawed Tiv’s ice on the state’s governorship seat. No. Not once.
But Emma seems to have began taking the bull by the horns yesterday, when he fired off a blistering text messages to thousands of eligible voters in Obi LGA, wooing them to vote for him in the forthcoming Local Government Election.
He titled the text messages as “To be the Speaker of Obi Legislative Assembly”. If you are an Obi indigene and you have not received the message, you can avail yourself of the opportunity of this piece. To be a speaker, Emma first needs the votes of the people of Obeko Council Ward in Obi. You’re urged to give him your support to win a councillorship seat, as he kickstarts his journey to Benue People’s House from Obi Legislative Assembly.
The text message and his campaign poster have been well circulated in the media and particularly online but I don’t think any gladiator in Obi LGA is aware that one of their best gifts in Benue is eyeing speakership seat in Obi Legislative Assembly.
I’ll be surprised if Governor Samuel Ortom, Hon Samon Okwu, Hon Nick Eworo, as well as Chief (Hon.) Odeh Ageh and the following political gladiators and power brokers in Obi are aware of Emma’s declaration; well perhaps they are not yet informed, but now that they know, they are very much likely to show interest in this special aspirant.
Some of the other gladiators, whose support is very crucial to the realization of Emma’s aspiration include:
4. Bar. Jacob Ajene.
5. Hon. William Edor Ogbole
6. Hon. Edor Egboja
7. Revd. Pinot Ogbaji
8. Hon. Agama Opogwu.
9. Hon. Patrick Aruta
10. Hon. Augustine Abe.
11. Hon. Augustine Ikeke
12. Hon. Lawrence Edu.
13. Hon. Moses Egbodo
14. Mr. Agbogbo Ode
15. Hon. Sunday Ochege
16. Hon. Alex Ikwe
17. Hon. Ken ogo Okpabi
18. Mr. John Ogbu
19. Mr. Jonah. Igabo
20. Mr. Abel Aja
21. Mrs. Jane Aja
22. Mrs. Lilian Inmo
23. Mrs. Rachael Imeje
24. Hon. Peter Agaba
The next Local Government Election holds in the second quarter of 2016, and already the jostle and the hustle is on, with many persons already seeking APC nomination and PDP is also strategizing.
Out of all the aspirants that may emerge, Ugaba Emmanuel is likely to be the most enlightened, honest and cultured, and the most articulate but it is also for these same reasons that he may not be the Obi speaker or Governor of Benue State in future.