By Chima Ogbuokiri, Ahiazu Mbaise
I was watching videos on YouTube the other day, and a video came up, bringing with it, the memories of Imo liberation.
It was that famous video, where the former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere, stood before the world and made his stand with the people of Imo State.
It was a very expensive stand for the Mbaitoli born technocrat.
But what people of Imo State didn’t know, was that Madumere have always taken a stand with the people of Imo State, even at his own personal losses and detriment.
When there was no voice speaking for the people, Madumere was that voice that counselled Okorocha to do right by the people of Imo State, a stand that made him an enemy to the entire Okorocha family.
Yes, the entire Okorocha family turned against the same man, who stood by their father even at his worst and lowest moments in life, simply because Eze Madumere wanted them to do right by the people of Imo State.
He was verbally abused by members of Okorocha family, his office as Deputy Governor, which was barely funded when he took over, was totally cut off from every entitlements due to it, and Madumere had to run his office as Deputy Governor of Imo State, from his own pocket.
The height of the persecution came when a kangaroo impeachment was paid for, and almost executed against Madumere, by Rochas Okorocha, who even tried to install a replacement; a move that would be halted by the court, who sacked the imposter and upheld Prince Eze Madumere as the rightful Deputy Governor of Imo State.
What were Madumere’s crimes against Rochas Okorocha?
* Opposing the demolition of Eke Ukwu Market, a move which Okorocha went on with, and led to the killing of little Somtochukwu.
* Opposing the non-payment of pensions. Madumere, a product of pensioners, understood the importance of pension and how it would better the economy of the people of the state, but Okorocha, who didn’t study financial economics like Madumere did, and who didn’t understand the importance of pensions, refused to pay those pensions, and saw Madumere as his worst enemy for telling him to pay Imo people what was their dues.
* Opposing substandard projects was yet another issue that earned Prince Eze Madumere persecution, by Okorocha and his family. Madumere was opposed to the quality of work along the Nwaorieubi/Orlu road axis, and voiced his displeasure when the road was collapsing while the so-called engineers were on site. Not only were Mbieri roads abandoned to make Madumere look bad before his people, the roads to Madumere’s home were also abandoned by Okorocha, as punishment for speaking up.
* Opposing the conversation of Imo State, from a democracy to “familiocracy”, through the installing of his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu as Okorocha’s choice. This was when the entire Okorocha family declared open war against Prince Eze Madumere.
But Madumere was not bothered by what Okorocha thought. Madumere believed, that he who was with the people, was with God. He was right and God fought alongside Prince Eze Madumere and the people of Imo State.
Despite every persecution against him, despite all his loses which included the non-payment of his security votes throughout his stay as Deputy Governor, Madumere today stands victorious with the good people of Imo State.
I saw somebody refer to Madumere as a champion. Watching that video, I saw the people’s champion, the face that removed Rochas Okorocha and his family from Douglas House.
Losing Madumere, has probably remained Okorocha’s highest regret of 2019.
It was Madumere, who singlehandedly led the charge against former Govenror, Dr Ikedi Ohakim, and former president Olusegun Obasanjo, that forced the PDP Federal Government to turn against the Ohakim Govenrment, and delivered Okorocha as govenror.
Some people will argue that without Prince Eze Madumere, Okorocha would never have been Govenror of Imo State, and if you ask me, it is true.
Prince Eze Madumere made Okorocha Govenror and when Okorocha went off the rail, and started treating Imo people badly, Prince Eze Madumere stood with the people, and removed the Okorocha family from Govenrment House.
Prince Eze Madumere’s stand with the people of Imo State earned him persecution, but in the end, his sacrifices led to Imo’s liberation.
Prince Eze Madumere so far seem to have retired to an advisory role, offering direction to Senator Hope Uzodinma as best as possible, but if you ask me, I think Prince Eze Madumere should come out from retirement and assume a role where once again, he can always speak firmly for the people of Imo State.
I’m looking at the National playing field where he is a seasoned player in, a move which attracted projects such as The world Bank assisted programs in Imo State, including NewMap, FADAMA III (additional financing), RAMP and a lot more, which Madumere singlehandedly attracted to Imo State. Madumere did all the leg work, travelled far and wide, to ensure Imo was not left out in all those programs and projects, before he left office.
i think somebody like this shouldn’t be left to retire to private life, while those who cannot even attract borehole to their people occupy public offices.