˜ͺ˾THISDAY, THE SATURDAY
Time to Unveil Madumere Judith Anyanwu
here was a big rally in Owerri, the capital of Imo State on Wednesday, February 7. The activity seriously affected vehicular and other forms of movement, and made public and private activities to suffer temporary setback as the organisers marched through the major streets of Owerri. The rally was a gathering of Imo sons and daughters drawn from four key local government areas of the state. In attendance were more than 3,000 participants and the aim is one thing – to persuade the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere to contest the governorship of the state come next year. The pro- Madumere protesters drawn from Mbaitoli, Ohaji/Egbema, Nkwerre and Nwangele local government areas of the state not only wanted to register their solidarity for him, they also wanted to impress it on the deputy governor to see himself as the primus inter-pares, the one most qualified in the Rescue Mission camp to step into the shoes of Governor Rochas Okorocha when his tenure expires in May 2019. The protesters displayed different placards that read stuffs like: “For Imo governorship 2019, ask for Mr. Integrity, Mr. Incorruptible,”; “Vision 2019, Madumere all the way,”; “It’s Madumere or…among others.” The leader of the mammoth crowd, Chief Chidi Nwaogu who addressed the media said the solidarity match was planned to urge Madumere to join the governorship race, because “he is the most qualified among all the aspirants.” Nwaogu’s words: “According to the Governor’s criteria, Madumere has the capacity, he is competent, an administrator per excellence; he is humble, loyal, crises resolution expert, man of the people and most importantly, he has got the cognate experience in Nigeria and in the Diaspora. He has been tried and tested and he delivered at all times. “Please Madumere join the race for consolidation. We are urging you to come out and we advise all Imolites, other friends of Madumere and lovers of good things to identify with the vision. “The crowd has come to identify with Mr. Perfect, Mr. Home Boy, who understands the heart beats of the polity and the people of Imo. “Madumere fits into the 12 points criteria released by Governor Rochas Okorocha for aspirants of the exalted position, and with Madumere, APC is assured of victory come 2019 general elections. Nwaogu was not alone. The member representing Mbaitoli in the House of Assembly, Hon. Ifeanyi Nnataraonye described the solidarity march as unique, and that Madumere’s humble, peaceful and loyal dispositions with experiences in both private and public sector are enough qualities to warrant him stepping into Okorocha’s shoes.
Chief Chris Nwaike who commended them for identifying with Madumere with such gesture even while was unavoidably absent. Nwaike reiterated that Madumere is eminently qualified for any political position in the state in particular including governorship, and Nigeria at large, given that, “his contributions to the peace and development of Imo is second to none.” He urged the people to continue their support for Madumere and his vision, because “the state would be in safe hands with him.” When Okorocha announced in October 2017 saying, “I have looked at those with me and I have seen what they can do. I look at their qualities. But I am likely to narrow it down to one person,” not a few Imolites would mistake the person he has in mind to be the man after his heart - Madumere. Okorocha said: “The qualities are: one, I want that person to have vision. You must see what I am doing now and think far how to take this state to the next level better than what I have done. “Another one is the temperament of the person; he must be somebody that will be able to control his anger, so that he will not cause damage in the state. And that person must not be one-sided. He must not be greedy. Finally, he must have the fear of God.” In January 2018 Okorocha clarified that his successor would be a member of his Rescue Mission who would uphold the philosophy and legacies of his administration. Madumere Said he: “The issue of who takes over the mantle of governor of the state in 2019 must The lawmaker said Madumere’s resultcome from the Rescue Mission political family oriented contributions to the development of and not an outsider. This is because the person the state are reasons all Mbaitoli people and already knows the driving philosophy and others from other parts of the state are appealwould sustain the legacies of this government. ing to him to join the race for the governor. “As a politician, I can authoritatively tell To Ekweremba Princewill from Ohaji/Egyou that any politician that gets into any politibema local government, Madumere’s contribu- cal office based on zoning will be a clannish tions to the peace of the Council, particularly in leader, because he will channel all his energy the oil producing communities speak volume. in doing things that would satisfy his people. He said the youths of the area are solidly “But when a politician is elected on popular behind the deputy governor and cannot wait to demand, devoid of zoning, he will see the hear that he will flag the APC flag. entire state as his own and treat every zone “We support Madumere because he is equally in the scheme of things.” humble and humane. Most of those parading Even though Okorocha has left hanging themselves as leaders in the state APC and his choice of successor, but it does not rule out Rescue Mission family were mentored and Madumere who popular commentator and guided by Madumere, including some of them public relations icon, Dr. Chuks Osuji says that are jostling for both governorship and Okorocha trusts after his wife. other political positions. It is important that Okorocha is talking “They seem to have forgotten where they are about a successor who would sustain the coming from and how they started…. We love legacies of his government, and even surpass justice, equity and fair play and we cannot afit. It is also important that such successor must ford to do evil against our brothers from other have been schooled in the Rescue Mission zones. We think it is the turn of Owerri zone to mantra. produce the governor and it is unquestionable. Continuity in government if well thought There is no controversy about that,” was how out will always be in the interest of the public Nwafor Isaac from Nwangele summed up his and the society. Analysts know that whatever solidarity speech. has made Lagos State to be ahead of other The protesters later besieged the Deputy states in the country in terms of planning and Governor’s office where they were addressed development dynamics is nothing other than by his Special Adviser on Political Matters, the idea of Bola Tinubu to institute a succes-
sion plan that is being followed to the letter. Even at that, the Tinubu political family that has transcended the state did not discard the zoning arrangement or rotational structure which main purpose is to give all the zones of the state a sense of belonging in political leadership. Nearly two decades on, Lagos as Nigeria’s commercial hub has seen growth and prosperity because of its clear vision of becoming the centre of excellence and continuity in the quality of leadership running with the vision. Starting from 1999, Tinubu from a different zone kept the dream alive for eight years and handed the baton to Babatunde Fashola, also from a different zone who followed suit for another eight years before the mantle fell on Akinwunmi Ambode, still from another zone. A common denominator in the Lagos model is that every incoming governor strives to surpass the former with development programmes. Regardless of the metamorphosis Lagos had seen in terms of political parties, from Alliance for Democracy (AC) to Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) to All Progressives Congress (APC), the dream of excelling more than other states remains intact. Methinks the Lagos model is what Imo should copy or what Okorocha wants to espouse. However, rather than think that rotational system makes the beneficiaries selfish and clannish in decision taking, Okorocha should see it as a way of helping to entrench healthy political competition and rivalry among the contending zones that make up Imo. If there are cracks in APC, real or imaginary, that could be because of the fear of Okorocha’s insistence on discarding zoning in the governorship or intent to manipulate an existing arrangement that should have rather been the strength of the party. Because political contest suits everybody, both the strong and the weak, an arrangement that engenders sanity like zoning cannot be overemphasized. Many Imolites and outsiders have attested and can vouch for the good nature of Madumere to stir the ship of Imo after Okorocha and deep down the governor’s conscience he knows it as fact. Apart from Okorocha initiating the support for Madumere, Imolites will be at peace with him as their governor and in the fullness of time, the credit will go to the man he refers to as his father, political and otherwise. Therefore, while Okorocha keeps close to his chest his choice of successor, keeping everyone guessing and hanging on to every word that he utters, the news that will gladden the heart of the APC members and none members alike, both from Owerri, Orlu or Okigwe zones will be the naming of Madumere as the party’s flag bearer. By so doing, chances are the APC would have a good outing in 2019 in Imo. –Anyanwu writes from Mbano, Okigwe.
‘Govt Should Employ Diplomacy, Not Law in Tackling Pollution ‘ Abiodun Olaore is a renewable energy expert and the Country Director of Enviroﬁt Nigeria, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Enviroﬁt International that manufactures cooking stove. He Speaks with Omolabake Fasogbon on the challenges of pollution in Nigeria and how it can be tackled by securing the home front
he Nigerian Economy came out of recession in the third quarter of 2017, how do you think the country can consolidate on these gains? I don’t know how they have come to conclude that the country is out of recession when the dividends are yet to reflect in the life of a common man. Yes, reports confirmed so, but can the report be defended if we are to judge by the conditions of the masses? Saying we are out of recession is more or less half theoretical from the banking, monetary policy sides but not in reality. Pollution, especially metropolitan pollution has been a major challenge, consuming a lot of economic resources. How do you think this can be managed? Thanks for using the word ‘Manage’. Yes, pollution can only be managed. A lot of people including the government have been talking about stopping pollution, yet, pollution cannot be stopped, but managed. Definitely, it will be difficult to stop what you have not reduced or managed, at the same time, it is very difficult to stop and it is not easier to manage. Pollution
comes from different sources, including indoor, air out door, the waste, as well as environmental pollution. As a country, we need to decide which one is most important to us and see how we can manage. But the way it is, it is only in cites like Lagos that you see waste being managed and I mean house hold waste. When it comes to air pollution, Lagos is good as not managing at all yet, it contributes heavily to air pollution. From the vehicle we drive, power source and even from cooking. Having to live with these kinds of pollution just in one city could be disastrous. That is why ordinarily in the evening, when the weather is supposed to be cold, it gets a bit hot, because a lot of carbon has been distilled in the air and the mixture is no longer fit for human hence, we manage to survive. However, some sources of pollution are inevitable, for example, the industrial and commercial pollution like the one emanating from trucks. Companies dealing in fast moving consumer goods for instance discharge both industrial and commercial pollution. For any economy, industry is very key, when industries produce, the emit carbon from their machinery and others and when they distribute, they also
emit carbon.This kind of pollution is almost inevitable because it has to do with income generation. But some pollution sources are actually avoidable, these are the ones that come from the home which like lighting and cooking. They are quite avoidable because there are alternatives that can be used to reduce carbon emission from the home.But most often, this area is often neglected.The industrial pollution seems to be getting more attention. For example, the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA ,which duty is to protect the environment seems to have forgotten that pollution emanates from homes as they focus more on industries.There should be efforts to manage pollution from all sides,if one source can not be reduced, then ,let’s consider other sources that are almost avoidable and can be reduced. For instance, a look into the industrialized countries , industries are allowed to emit carbon because of their activities, but they have to find a means to offset carbon being emitted,in doing so, they look for places where they can trade the carbon by looking for countries and communities that can be encouraged to embrace clean energy to reduce their carbon emission so they don’t keep increasing
from household and industries which is what is causing the problem of climate change. In speciﬁcs, how can Nigeria get to balance industrial and house hold pollution? As much as industrial pollution is almost inevitable, concentration should be on the home front most especially through cooking to save the country. You may be thinking how, there are other safe and cheap means we can adopt in doing our cooking ,thus reduce carbon emission. Even at home,we need to consider the implications of carbon emission,a lot of people have died as a result of indoor air pollution,unknown to many because most of such deaths are not recorded. This is why Envirofit has come up with a cooking stove that runs on wood,gas and charcoal. It uses lesser fuel (wood and charcoal) and does not emit smoke.It is such a simple innovation that not only saves money, time , life and forest but reduces carbon emission as well as fuel.The manufacturing companies can invest in this product by way of CSR and buy for their local communities to manage pollution at their ends and by so doing,have been able to offset what they are emitting.