(Being a Speech presented by Dr Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh at a Consultative Briefing & Official unveiling of his Legislative Agenda, Campaign Website and NUJ Correspondents Chapel Media Parley, January 7 – 2023)
Historically, the journey to nationhood from state requires transformative leadership that can forge a nation out of distinct ethic groups. Without such
deterministic leadership available, citizens will continue to see themselves as members of clans, religion, and ethnic groups first before nation states. This is the bane of African states in the so-called bottom billion that is populated by disease, hunger, violence, and despondency. This bottom billion is the failure of humanity. Our own Chinua Achebe affirmed this when he concluded some decades ago that Nigeria’s challenges are simply the failure of Leadership.
Nation building ultimately depends upon the choices made by political leaders
which ultimately influence how smooth or tortuous the journey from a modern state to nationhood would be. Side by side is also the place of historical changes. A
time comes when providence drives such changes. The rise of Arab spring, the youth bulge in Africa, EndSARS in Nigeria, etc have brought changes, albeit unplanned to Africa and indeed Nigeria.
African with the highest number of frustrated human beings has come to a
deterministic point in history where changes must happen. Indeed, these changes
are sweeping across Africa, propelled by the youths who Act is poised to become the kinetin for electoral changes whose impact will be like
that of the 1964 Civil Rights Acts in USA.
And so, the 2023 election in Nigeria will be a referendum on a tiny, irresponsible, disconnected, narcissistic and rent seeking political elite who saw the discovery of oil as assurance that they can take care of themselves, not the country, not you, not me.
For these tiny few, prebendalism is a state religion. This is the point we are, and when you see the violence, threats, intimidation, and outright killing of opposition; it is the political class afraid of change and perhaps using the only weapon that always worked for them: Violence, Religious and ethnic divisions and above all hunger as a bargaining chip when all else fail.
After over 20 years of democratic governance in Ebonyi state, the verdict is
heartbreaking, we are the poverty capital of Southern Nigeria, the 3rd worst state
in Human Development Index, one of the most acidic political environments in Southern Nigeria. Our politics have stripped a once proud people into a wretched of the bottom billion. We are indeed the “North of the South East”, with poverty, disease and hopelessness boldly written in our report cards. Our politics like the rest of Nigeria is broken, we need to fix it and urgently we must. `
I have reluctantly come to terms with the fact that politics is a game of interests. But if we look at countries that are developed, we see that they did so by balancing interests with equity and justice. The Economic interest of slavery, for example, had to give way to civil rights and justice, else America would be a lie. In Nigeria, many so called statesmen and leaders conveniently ignore equity but mouth off “national
unity”. This fallacy cascades down to the sub-regional politics of states and
constituencies, we say what conveniently serves our immediate interests. I am
deeply troubled by this, and it is indeed one of the compelling reasons some of us have joined politics.
Paradoxically, we are no longer just talking about leadership failures, but living its
impacts on our environment.
• 133 million fellow citizens in multidimensional poverty,
• 20 million out of school children,
• a state dominated by violence,
• a weakened state that has no dominance over use of force but shares it with
various faceless groups,
• a state where faceless people issue order and citizens obey,
• a broken-down health system,
• brazen corruption,
• impunity and celebrity mediocre,
• citizens hunted by both bandits and its security forces.
We have become in the words of Prof Kingsley Moghalu “a country that hangs on edge, supported only by comedy and laughter while the economy dies. Poverty thrives, and safety is a lottery ticket; ethic groups below the elite class pull each other as in a basket of crabs.
He went on to ask a soul-searching question – What is left? It is my thesis that this
is a time for a different kind of politics, we must build hope, we have to agree that we have failed God and Nature, we have to turn the page or become Somali.
This is where elite consensus comes in. This where you, invited here will play a
major role. We have to agree to move Nigeria forward, move Ebonyi State forward and indeed Izziland forward.
Our politics lacks ideation, it lacks what some have called “grammar”. Deep thinking, a philosophical foundation and above all value systems in our society. This is the reason why despite our rich natural resources, we remain impoverished due to bad governance which originates from bad politics and includes impunity, corruption, nepotism, and sectionalism; weak and dependent institution; absence
of intellectualism, knowledge gaps in public policy and governance, and above all
absence of grammar. In the exact words of Prof Moghalu…#GrammerMatters.
Grammar is not the ability to speak the language fluently. Far from that, Michael
Okpara became Premier in his late 30s, he like Zik of African is an example of a philosopher king. He was one of our brightest administrators to walk the continent of Africa. He was the first African leader to conceptualize an indigenous political-cum-socio-economic philosophy and indeed anchored his development strategy on it. He called it Pragramatic Socialism. Researchers in political philosophy alludes to the fact that Nwalimu Julius Nyerere’s Ujama and China’s Deng Xiaoping’s State Capitalism and to a large extent South Korea’s Chaebols were all variants of Okpara’s Pragmatic Socialism.
Nigeria urgently needs more philosopher kings like Okpara. Peter Obi fits this description. Nigeria needs him urgently. Nigeria last hope of a peaceful revolution ends with Obi-dients Movement. We need men and women who are ready to engage in a different kind of politics. This is our movement; this is our ballot box revolution. If this fails, we should be ready for another Somalia in continent Africa. But Peter Obi cannot do this job alone. He needs massive support from sane minded people, especially those who have hitherto not participated in creating the mess we have today.
This is the basis of my aspiration and contest.
I am not out to seek socio-economic survival or riches in politics because God, by
His grace, has blessed me with a thriving business which I’ve spent time to build
almost all my life. I am into politics purely for service to my people, who have been
so much denied quality dividends of democracy for far too long.
I am about the only National Assembly candidate who has a well set out (and widely
published) Legislative Agenda marked to serve as benchmark for my Accountability
while in office. My legislative Agenda is online at www.ezehezeh.org. This is also our campaign website which we have gone live and unveiled to the public today.
My specific focus shall be to aggressively pursue improvement-of-life for my
constituents (indigenes and non-indigenes alike) through a unique sense of purpose and goal-oriented parliamentary representation. My legislative focus shall
be both on National and Regional issues affecting my constituents. It will be also focus on phenomenal constituency projects such as; The Family-First Initiative, STEAM Education and Youth Empowerment for Productivity.
While the Family-First Initiative shall feature intensive enlightenment and empowerment programmes that would strengthen family institutions within my constituency, The STEAM Education Initiative shall be focused on aggressive
promotion of a unique approach to Education that combines science, technology, engineering, the arts, and maths in guiding students to develop practical problem-
solving skills. The passion from the youths (the “soro Soké” generation is also my
core propelling force in the quest to serve, and I shall stop at nothing in harnessing
the youths of Abakaliki/Izzi Federal Constituency to achieve their dreams and
become men and women the world would be proud of. This is what my Youth Empowerment for Productivity is all about.
I therefore call on my well-meaning constituents and teeming supporters to remain
steadfast till our victory comes at the polls.
Many groundbreaking things are set to happen upon the 2023 elections:
• Igboman will be President of Nigeria.
• Onye Izzi will be governor of Ebonyi State.
• Dr Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh will emerge to represent this Federal Constituency
pragmatically at the Green Chamber of the National Assembly.
This will be great victory and breakthrough for the people.
This is how God shall restore to us the painful years of retrogrades, wheeler dealers,
criminal elites’ promoted class patronage. However, if Peter Obi loses, then, it will be clear that Nigeria is beyond redemption, or that the criminal elites are grater in majority, or better described, Nigeria is a paradise habited by gangsters, and Somalia is a cup we must all drink from.
We shall brace up for every possibility. May God grant us the fighting strength and
Get your PVC now and stand ready for the showers of glad tidings! Get ready to Vote Peter Obi for President! Get ready to Vote Immaculate for House of Rep, under the Labour Party “(Where them draw Papa, Mama and Pikin”).
Join me as we run for the President of Nigeria through Mr. Peter Obi.
Thank you all.
Dr Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh
Labour Party House of Representative Candidate, Abakaliki/Izzi Federal Constituency