— Despite his recent magnanimity in sharing cars of various brands to select leaders of his party in his Orlu/Orsu/Oru-East Federal Constituency of Imo state, a cross section of his people spoken to by our correspondents showed that Rep Asiwaju Jerry Alagbaoso may not have his way easily in his aspiration to return a third time into the House of Representatives.
Alagbaoso who won the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives in 2011 and a controversial return ticket again in 2015 is seeking another third term in office to run from 2019 to 2023; an ambition that is said to have angered many of his constituents, especially those from Orlu Local Government Area of the constituency.
Speaking to one of the leaders who received a Sienna flex-branded and already registered car given to him by the retired Custom officer-turned-politician, gregnwadikeblog.comgathered that the sharing of cars by the generous lawmaker was not an issue of consideration to his return to the National Assembly.
“I am not in any way bothered about promoting another aspirant from Orlu while having Asiwaju’s car parked in my compound. The car is a repayment of previous jobs done in delivering him during his first term in office. At that time, most of the people he gave cars even worked against him. I am just receiving mine now.
“What however we are talking about is that 2019 is for Orlu Local Government Area of the constituency to produce the next representative. We have a gentleman’s understanding of this thing. Slots are taken amongst Orlu, Oru-East and Orsu Local Government Areas. By my records, Orsu has taken more than 16 years while Orlu has taken only one term through Honourable Mayor Eze. Oru-East has been off consideration because they have a senator from there.
“So, if we Orlu people now allow Jerry to return for another term it means Orsu would have been going for about 20 years with other Local Governments just watching. We are not going to allow that happen. He managed to snatch the 2015 ticket from the late Iyi of Umuna who won that primary election. Equity demands that Orlu be supported to produce the next Representative for the constituency”, the leader who spoke in anonymity told our reporter.
Also, on the Social media, especially on the facebook, comments against Alagbaoso who declared his third term ambition at Amaifeke; the hometown of former Governor Achike Udenwa Thursday have remained on the increase with many of the contributors urging him to drop his ambition and allow a much younger new breed.
Abor Omennu Ojikwerearuji boldly posted his rejection by calling on the lawmaker to stop wasting his resources for the dream. “Hon. Jerry Alagboso pls don’t waste your money o. 8yrs is enough!”, he had posted on his wall on Friday 7th of April 2018.
Another commentator, Chikaire Godwin Emejuru simply asked “Is he trying to contest for House again?” while another added “Never! Enough is enough”
On another social media group platform, commentators criticized the Orsu-born legislator for his abhorrence to empowering younger leaders but prefers giving them stipends and handouts.
“Asiwaju does not encourage youths to develop in politics. He believes he knows it all and does not support any youth from his area that has bright future in politics. Tell me who he has made in politics? Even his DG who is my childhood friend goes about in Abuja with empty pocket. And didn’t you see how he chased our brother, Chigozie Eusebius out of town just because the guy has future in politics and was growing in his area? How many of his constituents work with him at Abuja except outsiders whom he is relaxed would not grow to his level?”, a contributor with an airtel whatsapp number posted.
It would be recalled that the Orlu Political Action Committee (OPAC); a socio-political organization from Orlu zone made up of youth activists, professionals and media practitioners had about three weeks ago warned all elected officers from both the legislature and Executive angling for a third term in office to drop their ideas.
The statement obtained bygregnwadikeblog.com states in part that OPAC “frowns at the discovery that most of our elected representatives, both at the executive and legislative arms of government who would have by 2019 completed two terms in office are already agitating, lobbying and campaigning for third term in office (either directly or by proxy), without regards and considerations to equity among component local governments/clans/zones. This is even as evidences abound that most of them have under-represented their people in their respective offices and become gods to themselves.
“OPAC as a group will mobilize youths and our parents to rise against these selfish politicians who believe that they can always buy our people with their monies. We are therefore asking them to honourably quit the stage, and do not seek for third term in offices already occupied by them.
Where this appeal is ignored, OPAC shall adopt all legitimate means possible to enlighten, raise awareness and conscientize our people on why these people must never be trusted to represent them again”, OPAC published in their communique on some dailies.
But investigations by this medium showed that Chief Alagbaoso in six years has contributed immensely towards the development of his constituency. The Chairman, House Committee on FERMA has brought about the repair of several roads within his constituency to be proud of. For example, the lawmaker has been reported by this medium to have repaired bad spots on the Ihiala-Orlu-Anara-Umuahia road; repairs critics however said were concentrated only on his Orsu Local Government axis.
Jerry Alagbaoso has also attracted many constituency projects such as schools, renovation of select local roads, boreholes and group empowerments to his party members and constituents since he came into office.
He has also maintained cordial working relationship with the Governor of Imo state, Owelle Rochas Okorocha who he once invited to commission most of his road projects in his constituency prodding in some quarters that he was working for the governor.
But Uche Adindu from Amiri in Oru-East insists that Oru-East would produce the next House of Reps member. According to him, “Jerry Alagbaoso’s declaration is for him and his family only. We don’t even care about that because he does not even recognize or represent us from the beginning. If he or twenty others like him wish let them declare. All I care is that he is not going back to Abuja. Oru-East is producing the next Rep for this constituency”, he said.
At the last count of aspirants seeking to represent the constituency from the PDP, Hon. Mayor Eze; a former member of the House of Reps from 2007 to 2011 still desires to go back to the floor of the Green Chambers for a truncated second term.
Barr. Chidi Nwuke is from Umuowa in Orlu LGA, and a strong contender too. Analysts however fear that both Eze and Nwuke do not possess the financial muscles to match the splashes coming out the Alagbaoso’s pockets. Nwuke; a new breed is currently being tipped for considerable chances even as many still see Hon. Eze as having enough political craftiness, intelligence and connection with some leaders in Orlu to outsmart others.
How these play out in months to come will remain subject of interest to political pundits.