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By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State on Saturday, August 1, 2020 was blessed with a brand new State Chairman that was produced from the 2020 State Congress in the State. He is Engr. Charles Ugwuh; technocrat, administrator, industrialist, politician, former governorship candidate for Imo PDP in 2007, former Minister of the Federal Republic. Indeed, he’s former this, former that as they say, but today, by the grace and will of God, he’s current State Chairman of Imo PDP!

Ideally, he doesn’t need introduction; at least not to informed and enlightened Imolites and Nigerians that have passed teenage. To those, he’s a household name. Let it suffice, therefore, to say that he has been former this and former that in Imo State and Nigeria as stated earlier. He’s the elected State Chairman of Imo PDP. And since he assumed office after his inauguration on August 3, 2020, he has brought to bear some of the fine qualities that must have motivated his aspiration and encouraged delegates to the 2020 State Congress of the party to elect him as the State Chairman for the 2020-2024 political year.

First thing that must be underscored about the emergence of Engr. Charles Ugwuh as State Chairman is that it’s a sacrificial answer to a clarion call to rebuild the party that in the previous four years before his coming had experienced various forms of subtle quakes and quivers, shakes and shifts which, though didn’t disintegrate the party, no doubt loosened some of its metaphorical nuts, joints and bolts. It wasn’t unexpected. Nobody or group goes thus far without some bruises, wear and tear.

The happy ending of the rather tragicomic realities of the immediate past State Executive Committee is the irony that Imo PDP, in the spirit of its very resilient national body, is today still very much alive, intact, big, strong and reliable with Engr. Charles Ugwu, a man of character and integrity, at the helm of the affairs of the party in Imo State.

Prognostically, in the wisdom of the stakeholders and leaders of Imo PDP, the office of State Chairman was zoned to Okigwe sub-geo-political zone of the State in the 2020 State Congess. Engr. Ugwuh is from that zone. Some other five aspirants also expressed interest in the office. All were much younger than Engr. Ugwuh. Initially, there were clashing and conflicting opinions about the candidature of the former Minister. While some people saw positive sides, some saw negative sides. There ensued expected political strategizing, scheming, negotiations, persuasions and other ingredients of political horse-trading.

After all political intrigues, after all said and done, with the instrumentality of the State Congress, the ayes had it that Engr. Charles Ugwuh was most suitable at this time to lead Imo PDP. A lot must have been taken into dispassionate consideration. His age, his education, his adroit political philosophy of politics without bitterness, his occupation as a successful, reputable industrialist, his wide network of state, national and international contacts, his vast experience in public administration, and above all, his honesty, integrity and fear of God! All of the above must have been accorded due regards and earned him the eventual massive acceptance, support and votes of the leaders and members of Imo PDP to emerge State Chairman.

Yet, it couldn’t have been an easy decision for the Obowo-born administrator, technocrat, professional, and politician to accept such an offer to embark on another rescue mission operation for Imo PDP, so to say, after his first historic mission in 2007, and indeed even since the birth of PDP in 1999. His compatriots and contemporaries in the service of Imo PDP right from inception, including Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Dr Alex Obi, Dr. Josiah Odunna, Barr. Peter Mgbenwelu; Chief Mike Ahamba and some others are still very much around, and actively serving the party via the esteemed Imo PDP Elders Council. Interestingly, these incontrovertible political juggernauts must have been elated to see one of their own accepting to tighten loose nuts, bolts and joints of their party, our party at a time like this.

In fact, as a matter of fact, during the inauguration on August 3, 2020 of the State Executive Committee now led by Engr. Ugwuh, a leader of the party, Board of Trustees (BoT) member, and Chairman, Imo PDP Elders Council, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, during his speech, as much as said that “for the first time in many years, the baton of leadership of Imo PDP has been handed to a reliable and dependable core PDP member in body, soul, and spirit.” Toasting to that happy development, Chief Iwuanyanwu indemnified Imo PDP leaders and members, assuring them that with Engr. Ugwuh in charge, the party is now in for the best leadership it required at this time. He urged the new State Chairman to give the new assignment and task all the best for which he has been known, which encouraged the party to nominate him as their governorship candidate in 2007.

In his speech at the inauguration of the new executive, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON, KSC, FNIFST, FNICS, concurred that the general acceptance of the choice of Engr. Ugwuh as State Chairman of Imo PDP was very significant, stressing that his acceptance of the call to serve the party at this time was even most significant. He eulogized the past State Executive Committee for returning PDP to Douglas House, challenging the Ugwuh-led State Executive to sustain the victory run and even surpass it because certainly overtake is allowed. Rt. Hon. Ihedioha, speaking further charged leaders and members of the party to remain focused and faithful, reassuring that sooner than later, PDP will return and continue the rebuilding of Imo State from where it was suspended.

In his acceptance speeches immediately after the 2020 State Congress at Kanu Nwankwo Stadium, Owerri on August 1, 2020 and after his inauguration on August 3, Engr. Ugwuh thanked every leader and member of Imo PDP for keeping the party alive in spite of the efforts of enemies of the party to kill the party. He commended the immediate past State Executive Committee for working assiduously and ensuring that PDP reclaimed Government House, Owerri. He appealed that all hands of all leaders and members should be on deck to further the fortunes of PDP in Imo State. Significantly, Engr. Ugwuh, prognosticated that Imo people look up to PDP for good government and good governance in the State, urging them to support the party and the State Executive not to disappoint Imo people in their great expectations.

Of course, Engr. Ugwuh has since assumed office and started work. And with the prompt and decisive precision of an experienced administrator, he has begun to display some of the go-getter qualities for which he emerged as State Chairman. Yet, he just clocked three weeks in office. For example, he has directed that the physical environment of the party State Secretariat, at 98 Okigwe Road, Owerri be cleaned and tidied up. And work has visibly commenced on that. The near 100-meter stretch of perimeter gutter in front of the State Secretariat, attached to the motor road has been evacuated of a large lodgement of waste and refuse which seemed to have been there for months and most probably years. Landscaping of the open space of the Secretariat is ongoing. Renovation of the Secretariat building, outside and inside, lighting and painting, with instructions to mount brand new, bigger national and party flags and a lot of work in progress right now. It’s the belief of pundits that by the end of the month of August, Imo PDP State Secretariat will wear a new better beautiful look that will situate the image in a new light of the newly inaugurated State Executive Committee. Engr. Charles Ugwuh is justifying the notion that he’s a man of good taste!

With the by-election for the vacant seat of Imo East (Okigwe Zone) Senatorial District coming up in few weeks time, precisely on October 31, 2020, Engr. Charles Ugwuh has already signalled the readiness of Imo PDP to reclaim the seat at the polls. He has assured that rule of law and due process would be deployed in the primary election coming up soon to produce a credible candidate. Thereafter, he charged, concerted efforts would be made by all leaders, members and support in the State, particularly in Okigwe Zone to clinch victory on October 31. Coming from Okigwe Zone himself, the Imo PDP State Chairman, has a task before him on the forthcoming bye-election. It’ll be a sort quick litmus test for him in his political domain. And from his body language, there’s no cause for alarm. He dreams and envisions victory. Vital reconciliation of aggrieved leaders and members of the party in Okigwe Zone has been undertaken with far-reaching success.

Already within his first three weeks in office he has been meeting with stakeholders and leaders, consulting with those to whom it may concern. First was his meeting with the State Working Committee (SWC), which holds every Thursday. That was followed by the meeting with the elected current Chairmen/Chairperson of the party in the 27 Local Government Areas (LGA). There has also been a meeting with Chairmen/Chairperson of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the RebuildImo administration that was led by Governor Emeka Ihedioha as governor of Imo State.

On August 18, 2020 the State Chairman inaugurated the State Organizing Committee for the unique Imo PDP Youth Football Championship for all the 27 LGAs. It has been instituted to identify sports talents, harness and empower Imo youths in the meaningful use of their God-given talents in sports and football.

From all indications, there’ll be more such meetings with various shades of leaders and stakeholders. There’ll be more programmes. There’ll be post-congress reconciliations. There’ll be tours of the LGAs and Wards. There’ll be conventions and congresses. There’ll be party primary elections. There’ll be general elections. Yet, in all of that, Engr. Charles Ugwuh and his team appear more than conquerors.

It’s believed that with the grace of God, with good health, sound mind and all-round motivation, Imo PDP will continue to win elections and remain the only political party that Imo people know and have. To God be the glory.

For the records, the membership of the current 2020-2024 State Executive Committee of Imo PDP, those that will work with Engr. Charles Ugwuh, include the following:

1. Engr. Charles Ugwuh – State Chairman.

2. Sir Martin Ejiogu – State Deputy Chairman

3. Sir Chidi Dike – State Vice Chairman – (Zonal Chairman, Okigwe)

4. Chibuisi Obido Magnus – State Vice Chairman – (Zonal Chairman, Orlu)

5. Hon. Paschal Uzoh – State Vice Chairman – (Zonal Chairman, Owerri)

6. Nze Ray Emeaña – State Secretary

7. Hon. Kizito Onuoha – Asst. State Secretary (Owerri Zone)

8. Mr. Njaka Duruiheoma – Asst. State Secretary (Orlu Zone)

9. Hon. Mrs. Amarachi Owuananam Asst. State Secretary (Okigwe Zone)

10. Barr. Josiah Eze – State Treasurer

11. Chief Chidi Uka – Asst. State Treasurer (Owerri Zone)

12. Hon. Timothy Obodozie – Asst. State Treasurer (Orlu Zone)

13. Barr. David Abanihie – Asst. State Treasurer (Okigwe Zone)

14. Nze Law Biaduo – State Organizing Secretary

15. Chief Benet Mere – Asst. State Organizing Secretary (Owerri Zone)

16. Hon. Kelechi Duru – Asst. State Organizing Secretary (Orlu Zone)

17. Mr. Chukwuemeka G. Nwokeke – Asst. State Organizing Secretary (Okigwe Zone)

18. Barr. Bede Ojimadu – State Financial Secretary

19. Hon. Emmanuel Okoronkwo – Asst. State Financial Secretary

20. Ogubundu Nwadike – State Publicity Secretary

21. Mazi Nmeregini Emenike – Asst. State Publicity Secretary

22. Barr. Kissinger Ikeokwu – State Legal Adviser

23. Barr. Azubuike Ilokasi – Asst. State Legal Adviser

24. Greg Nwadike – State Youth Leader

25. Mr. Chisom Ojukwu – Asst. Youth Leader (Orlu Zone)

26. Aham Onyenobi – Asst. Youth Leader (Owerri Zone)

27. Emmanuel Onyedikachi Nwebo – Asst. State Youth Leader (Okigwe Zone)

28. Mrs. Maria Mbakwe – State Women Leader

29. Hon. Mrs. Obianuju Ihejiagwa – Asst. State Women Leader (Orlu Zone)

30. Mrs. Esther Aguwamba – Asst. State Women Leader (Owerri Zone)

31. Hon. Mrs. Ruth Nsoma Nwokeocha – Asst. State Women Leader (Okigwe Zone)

32. Chief Godson Nwaobasi – State Auditor

33. Cornelius Okere – Asst. State Auditor

34. Hon. Georginia Anyamela – State Ex-officio

35. Mr. Anozie Udenwa – State Ex-officio

36. Mrs. Ogazi O. Dorathy – State Ex-officio

37. Clifford Ahanaku U. – State Ex-officio

38. Hon. Cecilia O. Chukwukere – State Ex-officio

39. Mrs. Ozioma Agu – State Ex-officio.

Power to the people!!!

*Nwadike, the State Publicity Secretary, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Imo State, wrote in from Owerri.

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