IMO PDP, HER FORTUNES AND SENATOR SAMDADDY’s MAGIC WAND
By Ikenna ONUOHA, mnipr
After the 2019 general elections, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) emerged victorious in the Governorship poll. Annoyingly, over-excitement and shortsightedness robbed her off the victory.
Regrettably, since the political tsunami hit the party, most people expected to carry the party on their hands have deserted. The most pathetic is that those elected under her platform no longer see any good thing in the party again, let alone sponsoring PDP in Imo. The cases of Christmas and New Year are typical example of the abandonment.
A party that was reckoned with yesterday has become the shadow of itself. Reason being that those that made their way through the party in 2019 via crook or hook with well garnished destructive gossip against other opponents have turned against the party today. This is where the Igbo proverb of “Amatakwam”, meaning “Had I known” comes in.
While the purportedly selected state exco, LGA Chairmen and their Ward executives are crying foul that they have been abandoned, those that benefited from the party in 2019 flagrantly ignored them to their fate.
However, when Senator Samuel Anyanwu threw his hat into the political ring from his striving private business to contest the PDP primaries for Ikeduru LGA Chairmanship election in 2003, many people did not reckon with his capacities and capabilities.
At a time when most leaders and major power brokers had pitched their tent with one aspirant or the other in the battle to clinch the party ticket, Samdaddy Anyanwu’s entrance was largely seen as an attempt by another outsider who had come to taste the waters.
As a dogged personality with clear cut idea of what he wanted and determined to prove a point, Senator Anyanwu heavily relied on the political tutelage he received from his mentor and father, who was a one time Vice Chairman of the then Mbaitoli/ Ikeduru Local Government Area, as well as the experience he garnered when he was the State Secretary of Imo Youth Organisation(IYO).
The energy and resilence he deployed to his campaign structure within weeks of expressing interest turned his campaign structure to a destination of choice. He did not only win the admiration and support of most party faithful but also gave the party a name in Ikeduru thereby emerging at a record time as the rallying point of the party.
Surprisingly, Senator Samuel Anyanwu defeated all comers to clinch the party ticket to the chagrin of many is to state the obvious. He did not only win the party ticket but he went ahead to defeat the then ANPP candidate in a keenly contested election that has remained a watershed in the political history of Ikeduru.
Immediately after his inaguration as the Executive Chairman of Ikeduru, Senator Samuel Anyanwu went to work bringing fame and fortunes to both his Ikeduru Council Area and his political party, the PDP. Its is important to emphasize that throughout his tenure as the Chairman of Ikeduru, PDP became the dominant party in the area and no candidate of the party across all levels lost any election in the area. His exploits, capacity and doggedness in government administration and party politics were legendary and most of his admirers prefered to called him “Action”.
Senator Anyanwu became a figure in Ikeduru politics and it is on record that most contemporary politicians from Ikeduru and beyond owe their political ascendancy and relevance to “Senator Daddy”. This is on the record and very glaring to behold by a doubting Thomas.
A history maker, Senator Samdaddy became the first man in the history of Ikeduru to win election straight from a Local Government Chairman to a member in the State House of Assembly after he overwhelmingly won the 2007 State Assembly election under the same PDP. He further made history by becoming the first Ikeduru man till date to serve two consecutive tenures in the hallowed chambers of the State House of Assembly after yet another successful election in 2011.
In his two tenures in the State Legislature, he was a household name and one of the three famous and quintessential three wise men. His views were not only respected, he was one of the stabilizing forces in the House. He was the Chairman House Committee on Commerce and Industry and at one time became the only House member to head two Standing Committees when he was also called upon to chair the House Committee on Finance. He sponsored several people oriented bills and motions which include the bill to amend the Imo State Customary Court law and the motion to relocate the timber market at Wethedral road to its now permanent site at Naze. His sagacity earned him the leader of Owerri Zone caucus in the State Assembly.
No doubt, the same measure Senator SamDaddy deplored in bringing political sanity and capacity that brought victory to PDP all the years in both Ikeduru and Owerri zone at large can still be replicated to secure assured future for the dwindling Imo PDP. The question remains that if a man does not protect what is given to him on a platter of gold, how long does he wish to receive another one? Remember, opportunity does not come all the times! No until this is done, PDP will continue to remain as eye sour in Imo.
It is significant to note that Senator Anyanwu’s magnanimity to the party was a talking point throughout his eight years in the State Assembly and the then officers of the party could not stop talking about his impact to the electoral fortunes of the party. It will be recalled that at some period in his representation in House of Assembly, Senator Anyanwu payrolled selected officers of the party across the State. This effort did not only promote hard work in the PDP but also boosted the morale of party members. Same thing can still be done again only if everyone can come together.
The election of Senator Samuel Anyanwu to the Senate in 2015 to represent Owerri Zone under the platform of the PDP is perhaps the most significant political decision the people of the Zone ever made. He focused his unwavering commitment and energy on the cardinal areas of his campaign promises which is centred on youth employment, skill acquisition, women empowerment and infrastructure development.
His foremost motion that passed a vote of confidence on the Senate leadership led by Dr. Bukola Saraki did not only bring stability to the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at that time, but also brought the name of Owerri Senatorial Zone to national limelight, as well as endeared Senator Anyanwu to the leadership of his political party both at the State and National levels.
This courageous motion and endearment unknown to many kick-started a flurry of positive narratives that is told in Owerri Zone today. Senator Anyanwu was one of the most consulted Senators in the Senate. His competence and courage also earned him the Chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Petitions and Vice Chairman Banking Insurance and other Financial Institutions, etc. Senator Anyanwu leveraged on these privileged and strategic committees to attract the dividends of democracy to the people of Owerri Zone. No wonder all efforts to blackmail him with NDDC projects could not sail!
Senator Samuel Anyanwu’s entrance into the gubernatorial primaries of the PDP was seen by many as the game changer. His ambition literally revived the PDP in the State. This position did not come out of nothing.
In life, reward for hardwork is more work. Senator Anyanwu’s political profile spread like a wild fire because of his hard work, rich democratic credentials and humanitarian dispositions which made Imolites to admire him, and not strictly because of any human being. His charming charisma and enormous goodwill have made him the toast of Imo electorates.
It is indeed true that politicians in the mould of Senator Samuel Anyanwu do not come often in a generation. His doggedness and fighting spirit even in the face of opposition, propaganda and blackmail distinguishes him as an uncommon politician.
He is tested and trusted in democratic struggles and his innate and rare abilities in building bridges of friendship clearly define him as a consummate politician with human face. These are some of the assets the PDP needs to harvest from him in order to improve on her electoral fortunes.
By so doing, we shall be expecting Imo of our collective dreams!