Joining Chekwas Okorie and the Quest for the Presidency in Nigeria
I have been affianced to the Nigerian project to the best of my abilities for over 30 years, my journey to the Americas for education having not been a hindrance. While I have worked with Nigerian embassies and organizations abroad in service to our compatriots, I have also supported and worked for the election and success of leaders who can now be found scattered among the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
During this Hamattan season in Nigeria, I took leave from my engagements in the United States to see my aging parents. A glorious thing happened while I was at Lorji, Aboh Mbaise with my folks. Chief Chekwas Okorie (Founder and National Chairman of the United Progressive Party) called and invited me to help him as the Director General of his (Chekwas Okorie) Presidential Campaign Organization (COPCO). It was like rain in a Harmattan season – unexpected.
There is a season for everything, and Chekwas Okorie has convinced me that this is the season to restore the tripod in Nigeria’s geopolitical configurations. His very campaign for the presidency in Nigeria is also much like rain in a Harmattan season – it was unexpected and a challenge to orthodoxy. Living out the Igbo saying that Mgberede ka eji ama dike, Chekwas stepped up to fulfill the United Progressive Party’s pledge to field a Nigerian patriot from the South East as a presidential candidate for the 2015 general elections.
Conscious of the work ahead, buoyed by the conviction that the voice of Oha is indeed the voice of Chukwu, and inspired by the metaphor of a tiger that must rise from its tranquilized slumber, I accepted the invitation. My acceptance of the invitation from the one known as Ojeozi Ndigbo comes from the purest tradition of volunteerism. I did not want to read about the 2015 contest in newspapers and on line. I coveted the idea of actually getting involved because the bell tolls for all patriots. One simply has to put his body and soul where his consciousness lies.
What COPCO lacks in funds, we make up with a message and the good will of our people. Our people say that the flight for life never gets tiring. There can be no greater guarantee of the interest of our masses than the control of political power at the center. We have phrased the 2015 presidential campaign as a contest between Chief Chekwas Okorie, President Goodluck Jonathan, and General Mohammadu Buhari. We would love to win, of course, but our strategy is to do so well that the UPP’s involvement in a necessary post-election Unity Government would be a fait accompli. I don’t see an outright winner on the first ballot, which will necessitate a Unity Government to prevent the center from falling apart. We believe that the UPP will be a more effective and more honest broker of Eastern Nigeria political interests than any other permutation out there now. Even if “Ndi Eze” are not with us, we believe that Oha (our masses), in the main, will be with us. By “Ndi Eze” I don’t mean traditional rulers necessarily; I mean the few elite fat cats that have clogged up the arteries of our relationship with the power at the center with gorged unaccountable eating habits.
The UPP and Chekwas Okorie need your help in reaching our masses. Hold telephone conferences with folks at home. Organize home-based discussion groups with friends and family all over the world. Compel every community group to which you belong, to devote some time discussing the upcoming elections. Send N100 or more, here and there, and asked that it be deposited in the presidential account of the UPP (see www.chekwasokorieforpresident.org). Vote UPP and the tiger head. In other words, please send us more rain in this Harmattan season and look for us in the whirlwind come February (a month dedicated to Black History in the United States of America).
The writer, Dr. Ugorji O. Ugorji, is the Director General of COPCO.