Significances And Implications Of Tinubu’s Courtesy Visit To Uzodimma
OGU BUNDU NWADIKE, M.A
On Friday, June 17, 2022, the brand new presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 2023 general elections, His Excellency, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma.
The visit, which was at the Imo State Government House in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, saw both leaders, together with some leaders of APC in Imo State and Southeast Zone, exchanging pleasantries over the successful Special Presidential Primary Election Convention, that produced Asiwaju Tinubu as the Presidential flag bearer of APC.
In many salient ways, the visit has further defined how APC at the national level regards the place and roles of Governor Uzodimma in the party, and in their decision-making, decisions, actions and activities. It’s a very good visit with imirimious significances and implications.
It’s unarguable that Imo State is the strongest foothold of APC in the Southeast geopolitical zone. And evidently, the party’s fortune in the zone has been witnessing rapid increases in all of the five states in the zone, viz Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo, since Governor Uzodimma assumed office as the governor of the Imo State.
Furthermore, Governor Uzodimma has proved to be a very good party man, whose humility, discipline and loyalty has continually passed the integrity test of the party, as he accepts all activities of the party that are assigned to him, from time to time, and delivers creditable performances in all cases.
The visit, therefore, can be qualified as a mark of honour to one APC’s most active and very loyal leaders, in recognition of his very visible committed service to the party and to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In his brief speech, the vivacious august distinguished visitor and National Leader of APC said: “We came to appreciate you for the democratic conduct of the 2022 APC Presidential Primaries, which produced me as the winner and candidate, of which you served well as Chairman of the Convention Committee”.
“My government has the resolve to achieve an all-round development of the nation, including the South Eastern region. I, therefore, appeal to Igbo to lend us their support, so we can work fully with the region among others.”
In his response, Governor Uzodimma said: “We quite appreciate your recognition of the contributions of Igbos in the scheme of national politics and the Nigerian federation. We will appeal for you to build unifying bridges across the nation. You can be assured of the support of our region”.
Expectedly, as hinted above, the visit has some positive significance and some implications. It established that fact that the candidate is a very experienced political player, who understands the need to leave his royal palace to visit consequential stakeholders that played one role or another to make the Special Convention a success.
And Asiwaju Tinubu recognizing Governor Uzodimma as the Chairman of the Convention Committee is significant and implies that the candidate is careful and alert to the principles of first things first. The visit was a mark of regard and respect to whom regard and respect is due. It was a masterstroke decision by the candidate. The future looks very bright for him and his party.
Then, the visit is also significant because it showed that after any primary election by a party, real politicians, both winners and losers, put the intrigues of the election behind them, close ranks and regroup to collectively till ideas and marshall out tactics and strategies to execute the general election in ways and manners that will earn the party votes, victory and success in the election.
With the executive visit, both the candidate and his host have sealed a sort of memorandum of understanding for concerted efforts to win the 2023 presidential election. Old things have passed away and behold all things have become new! Forward ever, backwards never!
As highlighted in their respective speeches, Asiwaju Tinubu seized the occasion of the visit to declare his resolve to partner and work with the Southeast geopolitical zone for the development of the zone and Nigeria as a whole.
Similarly, Governor Uzodimma’s assurance to his guest of cooperation and collaboration by the Southeast geopolitical zone both during and after the general elections is very significant.
The implications include that the balls are now in the courts of both the Presidential candidate and the leaders and people of Imo State in particular and the Southeast geopolitical zone in general to fulfill their mutual promises to each other.
Ceteris peribus, the ground is being set for the ruling APC to retain Imo State and win more States in the zone, to pave way for the zone to play national politics away from the previous regional and sectional politics that kept the zone away from the mainstream politics of Nigeria, with sad and unfortunate consequences. May affliction never arise a second time! APC! Everywhere You Go!!