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Victor Umeh and the 8th Assembly



Victor Umeh and the 8th Assembly

Goodbye 8th Assembly, welcome 9th Assembly. May God guide all of you with His wisdom.
I was in the middle of penning this article when someone brought to my attention write up laced with rage, furry and psychosis titled ‘Demystification of a failed consultant; the story of Clem Aguiyi written by one Chukwuebuka Ufondu, which was a rejoinder to my previous essay captioned ‘Why is Victor Umeh so much disliked in Anambra Central?
Perhaps the writer who wanted me to pummel Umeh was drawn to the article by the caption only to be disappointed to find out that the reverse is the case as my verdict was that Umeh is not disliked, he is loved as a man of the people.
Ordinarily, I do not join issues with my readers especially those who disagree with me for the fact that having read me, they are entitled to their counter opinion. More so, most established writers will tell you for free that not every comment deserves a response. The said rejoinder in my opinion fell within this category.
Again, let me assure Mr. Ufondu that I bear no ill feelings towards him. I respect his right to his opinions. However, contrary to his assertions, I wish to correct that I do not maintain any online platform titled, Total Politics. For emphasis I am a writer and columnist with Saturday Sun and New Telegraph Newspapers where I contribute weekly opinion articles. It is through these two mediums that I publish all my essays on politics and current affairs including the very piece that probably got him excited, hence his rejoinder.
He also made several other misleading assertions on the basis of which I offer the following clarifications for the sake of some individuals whose names were recklessly mentioned and the great future they have ahead of them.
Elijah Onyeagba whom Ufondu claimed I consulted for in his HOR bid in 2019 was never my client for the purpose of managing his campaign and election.
For emphasis, Mr. Onyeagba whom I consider a decent gentleman commissioned my firm to conduct a SWOT analysis and Strategic Action Plan to guide him. We conducted the study and delivered same to him. Significantly the conclusions we reached supported the outcome of the election. The scope of our interaction did not exceed the conduct of the SWOT analysis. I never managed his campaign and was not involved in executing his strategic actions.
Hon. Dozie Nwankwo contrary to the claims of Unfondu was not my client as I did not render any professional service or advice to his campaign in 2019, and as such I cannot claim any direct or indirect credit for his success or failure.
Prince John Emeka whom he claimed failed election under my watch was my client in 2011 when he ran for Senate to represent Anambra North Senatorial District. John Emeka is a nice and decent gentleman. Together, we ran a very exciting and successful campaign. He won and was declared winner by INEC. What happened in court between him and former Senator Alphonsus Igbeke was a pre-election matter that has no relationship with my service to his campaign as a political consultant.
Senator Uche Ekwunife was my client in 2010 when she ran for governor in Anambra State under the platform of PPA. Though vibrant and full of energy, she stood little or no chance against such political heavyweights like the then incumbent Governor Peter Obi of APGA , former Governor Chris Ngige of ACN and former Governor Andy Uba of PDP who were then at the peak of their political career. Despite the odds staked against her, we ran one of the best campaigns at the time. The sacrifice and efforts we made established her as a force to reckon with in Anambra politics. I remain proud of what we achieved together during the period.
I am happy she is doing well for herself and has good people like Ufondu on her side. I didn’t decamp from her, I only moved on to other exciting turfs, being the nomadic life of a consultant, win or lose.
On Chief Victor Umeh which Ufondu claimed I consulted for in 2019. I interacted closely with Umeh for the first time about three weeks to the 2019 general election. I was sympathetic to his cause because of his accomplishments and the fact that he came across to me as one of the most misunderstood politician in the state. He is a brand I would have loved to manage but as of the time our path crossed it was too late to be of any professional assistance to him. Though not his consultant I was proud to be associated with him, hence I had joined my ward to pitch for him.
Win or lose, I believe in Victor Umeh. He convinced me of his love for the Igbo. The 9th Senate and Anambra Central will miss him. They will miss not just his long red cap of Igbo identity but his vibrant spirit, poise, eloquence and intelligence.
When I wrote that the Umeh I met is a nice family man who loves his wife and children, I expected to be disputed with contrary evidence that his wife is not active in his politics and other endeavours.
When I wrote that Umeh is a great communicator, I expected to be told that he didn’t make intelligent contributions on the floor of the Senate.
When I wrote that that Umeh attracted constituency projects spread across the Senatorial Districts, I expected to be refuted and be told that he only focused on his community or that he was transactional.
When a man does the right thing I expected him to be commended irrespective of political differences. Umeh’s 10 months in the Senate can only be describedin superlative terms. What happened to his re-election is a temporal setback. As a comeback kid, he will be back soon. The resolution of his pleadings will be one of the legal classicus that will enrich our electoral jurisprudence.
As the 8th Senate bows out in a blaze of glory, I give Umeh the same ‘gbozaas’ that I give to Saraki, Dogara and all the legislators of the 8th Assembly who made the last four years exciting and eventful for Nigerians. The 8th Assembly was the best so far in the legislative history of Nigeria. They had men and women who were bold and audacious. They proved their independence right from the emergence of their principal officers which they insisted is their inalienable right in accordance with section 50 of the 1999 Constitution. They held sacrosanct the hallowed doctrine of separation of powers as propounded by Baron Montesquieu. They were also highly productive having passed the greatest number of bills into Acts of parliament than any legislature before it.
They were not beholding to the antics of any political party. When the ruling party attempted to exhibit its whimsical and dictatorial tendency, the members of the 8th Senate resisted it at the risk of their lives, families and properties. Their leaders were harassed, intimidated, framed and humiliated yet they stood tall, unfazed and undeterred.
I will urge the 9th National Assembly to take a cue from the 8th Assembly by upholding her independence, courageously speak truth to power and making laws that are for the peace, order and good governance of Nigeria.
The National Assembly must understand that cooperating with the Executive does not mean surrendering her independence or becoming a rubber stamp of the Executive. As representatives of the people they must rise with their oversight functions and be ready to act as true representatives of the people.

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