The journey to self-emancipation of a race, gender or any socially stratified group needs focus and a determined, elastic and creative lead and tempo. This fundamental need necessitates a leader and leadership which qualities parallel the realistic conditions of living and visions for change or transformation of the self-emancipation seeking sect. And as a former Catholic Pontiff, Pope John XXIII admonished, “consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”
These realities necessitate as well, a listening ear and decoding capacity unto the echoes of time, which bellow the burning desires of the people, and bear corresponding solutions for the problems generated by social mobility and change, and the yearning for a messianic leader to take the group out of existential quagmires it lives in.
The little analysis above typifies the present conditions of the Igbo nation as an integral part of Nigeria, where realistic evidences prove the alleged marginalization of the most industrious race in Africa- the Igbos in Nigerian politics and administration. Igbos since after the July 1966 coup have suffered different degrees of consistent maltreatments in forms of reprisals, genocides, economic and political repressions and psychological savagery engineered by projected conditions to bargain for individualism than collective interests of the ethnic nationality.
Of a truth, the worst enshrined structural framework for the perpetuation of these maltreatments is the contents of the various manifestoes of the political parties that have stirred leadership in the country- NPN, PDP, APC, etc. None of these thought of durable and realistic measures that would take the nation out of the problems the various component ethnic nationalities are facing, as well as the constant sinking and dilapidations of social institutions in the country.
Unfortunately, political parties that have practical solutions for the country’s problems and programs for accelerated national development, are never given chance to survive as politics is a game of numbers. Today, the story has changed, beginning with the electoral realities around the last general elections in the country wherein the party in power was overthrown by a new political party with realistic needs of the country enshrined in its manifestoes. It is on this backdrop that the All Progressive Congress came up though as a grand merger and ousted the outdated political manifestoes of the then ruling People’s Democratic Party.
Today again, the Untied Progressive Party (UPP), ably led by its founder and National CHAIRMAN, Dr Chekwas Okorie (Ojeozi Igbo Nigeria) and the South Deputy National Chairman, Hon. Chief Chris Ejike Uche, and the entire leadership of the party in Nigeria and Imo State in particular, have come up with the most updated and realistic party manifesto, fit and meant to solve the entire problems of the nation in a glance.
As Walt Disney said, “the way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” What the Nigerian electorates need and desire is realistic leadership pattern and manifesto that would solve the immediate and future needs of the State-community and nation at large. And this, the UPP has done for the nation and Imo State in particular, being ready to take over the mantle of leadership come 2019.
The UPP has come up with redefined new weapons of theory to take care of the nagging multi-ethnic squabbles embedded in the body politic of our great nation Nigeria. It is Dr Seuss that once said, “Only you can control your future.” The today’s UPP has in its manifesto, such controversial issues as the restructuring of the country, fiscal federalism, devolution of power, etc., which takes absolute care of the present and future problems of Nigeria.
Though these have national outlooks, yet they can be replicated in the ethnic nation, its self determination and emancipation struggles, and independence, as well as in its component States and races scattered in neighboring Southeastern States. The UPP and its Imo State chapter has for barely 48 months of its existence, come up with pragmatic ways of taking the State out of its present regrets and quagmires, to the visions of its founders. This confirms the sayings of a former American President, Abraham Lincoln, that “in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
It is highly plausible that this great son of the Igbo race has like very few ethnic icons such as Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Mallam Aminu Kano, founded two surviving political parties for their ethnic nation’s emancipation- APGA and UPP.
He has joined forces with other significant Igbo leaders to make such concepts as self-determination, resource control and devolution of power no longer treason in the mindset of the federation. It is on this note that Malcolm X noted that “nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.” The national chairman of UPP has shown that he is a true freedom fighter, in this era that he has many allies, he shall not misfire.
Similarly, as a prominent Italian artist, Leonardo da Vinci remarked, “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” Consequently, it is highly compelling that Igbos would only survive when they have one mind, a united front and indigenously consolidated political party that dominates power in the South East and its environs, and unto this draw federal negations that would certify the Igbos’ agitations could be reached.
However, it is time for every Igbo- Home and abroad especially in Imo State to devise modalities of joining and consolidating the visions of this new political manifesto and the UPP, and therein seek for its emancipation or alternatively have a positive outcome for its self-determination strives. The UPP has molded the desired and opined consensus of the Igbos, and is the party to beat come 2019, if Imo State, the Igbos and Nigeria in general really need advancement. As Martin Luther King, Jnr., said “a genuine leader is not a searcher of consensus but a molder of consensus.” The road is said for change in Imo State come 2019.
This is also where Chief/ Sir Chris Ejike Uche popularly known as Dimkpasaa falls in. As the Deputy National Chairman of UPP, he is saddled with the responsibility of doing things the right way. As a leader of note, he has demonstrated that genuine wisdom is usually conspicuous in the ability of a leader to follow another leader-this is political humility.
I must confess that ever since DIMKPASAA together with the erudite law Professor and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (Prof. Francis Dike SAN) and their followers from APGA joined UPP, the structure and the integrity of the party has increased. This article is the total reflection and summary of the vote of thanks given by Chief Chris Ejike Uche at the recent party convention in Awka Anambra State. UPP- Love and Unity!