Orlu Senate 2023: The Charles Ahize I Know -Jennifer Mgbee
THE CHARLES AHIZE I KNOW (II)
BY: JENNIFER MGBEE
Compelled by the powerful antecedents of the Labour Party Senatorial Candidate for Orlu Zone, Chief Charles Ahize, I did an interventionist piece to render an impassioned testimonial of the Ihioma Orlu-born activist and business man.
For one, it may amount to a great disservice not to honour people who deserve to be honoured. Charles Ahize in all intent and purpose has achieved a lot for humanity and deserves to be honoured. I may not be your regular writer because I have no political or vested interest on any one. Indeed, when it comes to politics, I am absolutely apolitical.
But since I got to know about the senatorial quest of Charles Ahize, I decided pronto that it is high time I considered my apolitical stance. There are people that deserve to be patronized in politics, Charles Ahize is one of them.
Far back in Lagos, I only knew Charles Ahize as an activist and business man; a great rallying point for Ndigbo in Lagos. He seemed so single-minded when it had to do with the Igbo interest. He was ready to go all out to fight any establishment who held the Igbo in contempt.
I was there when Ahize challenged the Lagos State government at the time because the interest of Ndigbo was at stake. He rebuffed entreaties from friends not to challenge the dare for the sake of his safety. But Ahize would have none of that! He remained undaunted and only got emboldened in his resolve to compel the government to accord dignity to Ndigbo and their business interests.
As an activist, Ahize deployed the full arsenal of his Obigbo group, a pan-Igbo socio-cultural organization to defend the Igbo in Lagos. I was a witness to the era when some of his trusted allies sold out and capitulated. But he, Charles Ugochukwu Ahize, stood strong and refused to be bought over.
Several times he received mouth-watering offers to abandon the Igbo cause. Yet several times he rejected the offers as attractive as they were, knowing full well that they were nothing less than poisoned chalice. Charles Ahize held rallies in Lagos to protest some anti-Igbo policies by the Obasanjo government. He did this at great risk for his personal security. He spoke truth to power and challenged the powers that be. Only a few Igbo alive still have the grit of a Charles Ahize.
The most compelling aspect of Ahize’s activism is that fact that there was absolutely nothing personal about it. The sheer strength of the altruism, Igboism and egalitarianism driving Ahize is commendable. As a business man in Lagos, Ahize was quite comfortable, living in his own posh house in Lekki, yet exhibiting rare compassion for those whose rights were undermined.
The Charles Ahize I know is unparalleled when it comes to compassion for humanity. He detests seeing people suffering. He loathes injustice and has capacity to resist it. He acquitted himself so very well with his Obigbo organization. He was a dependable defense for the defenseless amongst our people living in Lagos.
It befuddles the imagination that Ahize did all these without chasing after political positions and the clout that comes with them. He was only after minding his business and using his God-given resources to assist humanity. The Charles Ahize I know has a history defined by the quest for egalitarianism. He redefined activism and reinforced the Igbo cause. At the risk of repetition, there are only a very few Igbo who have his mind.
The Ahize I know is poles apart from other contenders whose individual history cannot be separated from politics. It has become extremely important that the electorate in Imo West understand that Ahize has a rich history of championing the Igbo cause. He has been doing this without asking for anything in return. Today, Ahize’s foray into politics is exciting. It is a decision whose time has come.
For a zone that has been beclouded by crisis and abysmally low representation, Imo West Senatorial District seriously needs Charles Ahize to represent them at the Senate. It is even more exciting when one reckons that Ahize is going for a position that is befitting of his activist antecedents. The Senate needs his kind to speak truth to power. This is because the Nigerian Senate needs to reinvent itself and the time to do so is now.
The Charles Ahize I know has the rare grit to speak for his people. He cannot easily be bought over or tamed by epicurean considerations. He has the courage of a Chuba Okadigbo and the tenacity of an Arthur Nzeribe. He has the Igbo spirit of a Nnamdi Azikiwe and the progressive spirit of a Sam Mbakwe. He is as vocal as a Kingsley Mbadiwe and as industrious as a Michael Okpara.
Let Orlu Zone stand up for Charles Ahize at the polls and we shall all be glad we did. For me and my household, it is Labour Party all the way. I have told my clan, our votes are for Labour Party, the party of the family. I have told my friends and well-wishers that Labour Party is our passport to a prosperous representation and wellbeing post 2023. I have told everyone around me to give Labour Party a chance to prove its mettle. Above all, our brother Peter Obi needs Ahize at the Senate.
Yes, our brother, Dede Peter Obi, needs all Labour National Assembly Candidates in Abuja. They are going to be his fortress at the legislative chambers. And we owe it as a duty to forefathers who fought the civil war to bring back the dignity of the Igbo race. And Labour Party is the sure bet to achieving this noble purpose.
Njoku Macdonald Obinna
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