BY IKECHI MERE#
As the 2019 governorship elections draws near, an unpalatable development seem to have crept into the political arena. And this fuels the curiosity of political analysts and observers who are worried on how messy the political terrain will become before the 2019 elections in the state.
Last week, a frontline governorship aspirant on the platform of the PDP, Hon. Tony Nwulu’s billboard was destroyed. The billboard which conform to standards and did violate any law was situated close to the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport. The destruction of the billboard came barely few weeks the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA in Imo State had also raised an alarm alleging that its signposts mounted at strategic corners of the state were also destroyed.
The latest demolition of Hon Nwulu’s bill boards amounts to political intolerance that is dangerously sneaking into the political lexicon of the state. It is the height of political intimidation which will certainly not augur well for the State. It is unfortunate that less than a year to the elections, there is a gradual and slow return of barbaric acts in the State that tend to undermine next year’s election. At a time the whistle is yet to be blown to signal the kick off of the political contest, it is worrisome that already rough tackles have begun to take place among the contestants. The destruction of Nwulu’s billboard has further reinforced the need for considerable measures to be taken to forestall such ugly scenarios before it gets out of control.
Hon. Nwulu is the member representing Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives in Lagos State. Though a native of Eziudo in Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA, he has proved his mettle in the legislature by guaranteeing effective representation for his constituents in the nation’s green chambers. That he succeeded in shattering the monstrous ethnic cleavages prevalent and embedded in the the nation’s political process by emerging House of Representative member in Yorubaland is indeed a rare political stride and a historic achievement.
One now wonders if some forces are afraid of the budding Imo State born Federal lawmaker who has plunged into the Imo state governorship contest to replicate his fine exploits in the House of Representatives in the State. Enumerating his achievements in the House is not the purpose of this piece but it is important to state that those factors that discourage well meaning sons and daughters from participating in the political process in the state and seek for elective office should not be encouraged.
Nwulu represents the new breed of politicians who are in short supply in Imo State. The state is in dire need of those who will offer responsible and responsive leadership after many years of lack of clear cut leadership that has led to the under development of the state.
In recent times, the state has been plagued by lack of credible leadership which explains the abysmal level of development of the state. It is therefore encouraging that the likes of Nwulu have joined the Imo governorship contest to effect a change. Every son and daughter of Imo state is entitled to aspire for any elective office as long as he or she is constitutionally qualified. Therefore it amounts to a show of shame and a display of political inferiority complex for his billboard to be destroyed for reasons that are not justifiable and tenable.
We believe Imo State has not sunk deep into political barbarism where political intolerance has been elevated to an art. And if this trend continues unabated, it portends far reaching dangers for our dear state.