After Ihedioha’s disputable ouster, he called on Imolites to be calm, law abiding and charged them to be committed to progressivism. Ihedioha was down but not out. As Jesus Christ went down trice on his way to Calvary, so also was Ihedioha. He was rudely knocked down from behind. He went down and courageously sprang-up, stood on his feet and, for moments, had pity on his traducers. This is certainly the trouble with his hatchet executioners. They thought he was down and out. Seeing him in the turf again with cheers and applauses from spectators, participants and observers is anxiously causing them sleepless nights.
Nigeria’s soccer historians can authoritatively confirm that the country’s national team does not lose game hence it is scheduled on October 8. The only exception was the makeshift Super Eagles that lost 2-0 to DR Congo in an international friendly on October 8, 2015 in Vise, Belgium.
In all the other six matches decided on October 8, Nigeria either won or drew.
That was the major reason informed football analysts assured Nigerians of Eagles’ participation in the USA ’94 World Cup Finals hence the last game against Algeria in Algiers was billed for October 8, 1993.
As it turned out, Nigeria smiled to the World Cup for the first time after playing a 1-1 draw with Algeria. In what was recorded as the country’s fully fledged international encounter with the name Red Devils on October 8, 1949 in Freetown, Nigeria easily defeated Sierra Leone 0-2 in a friendly encounter.
On the same date in another international outing against Liberia in 1963 in Monrovia, Nigeria got a 2-2 draw but smashed Egypt 4-0 in a 1978 World Cup qualifier in Lagos on October 8, 1977.
Zimbabwe was the next casualty of Nigeria’s October 8 slab treatment as the Eagles walloped their opponents 5-1 in Abuja on October 8, 2005 in a last minute effort to book a Germany 2006 World Cup train.
That hope was dashed following Angola’s triumph against Rwanda same date.
Exactly six years after, same venue, Nigeria played a 2-2 draw with Guinea – and in football, according to the late legendary ace radio commentator, Ernest Okonkwo, anything guinea is dangerous.
Be it guinea pig, guinea worm, guinea seed, guinea corn, etc. And October 8, 2021 is here! Its significance and symbolism are allied on Rt. Hon. Ihedioha’s eight months’ fantastic leadership as Imo State governor.
In a most display of numerical dice, the former governor’s surname is significantly and symbolically spelt in eight alphabets.
What a divine coincidence of demography? In eight months, Ihedioha, just like the Nigerian national team that never loses game on that wondrous date, took governance from the gutters of inanity replete with poverty and chaos to an enviable height of prosperity and orderliness.
In eight months, Ihedioha got Imo working again. His cabinet was stuffed with credible men and women with track records in various disciplines.
Ihedioha brought technocrats, professionals and politicians who knew their onions from all three zones, 10 federal constituencies and 27 LGAs. He encouraged fairness, promoted equity, preached justice even as growth and development was his article of fate.
Ihedioha followed due process. He practised constitutionalism and constitutionality.
In eight months, the youths of Imo State saw a man who had vision and good mision for them and they diligently followed and supported him. At least, the youths felt community or grassroots based developments.
One very dear to them was Ihedioha’s wonderful sports model – his aim was to divert youths’ attention from crime using sports.
Today, most of the world’s richest and most celebrated personalities are sports inclined to wit: Ronaldo and Messi in football, Djokovic and Murray in tennis, Furry and Joshua in boxing, Gaitlin in 100m, Giannis in basketball.
It must be recorded that Heartland under Ihedioha would not have struggled for relegation last season.
Other sports associations would not have been challenged by the present abysmal extinction.
Had Ihedioha still been in power, the insecurity currently threatening the foundation of Imo State would not have reared its ugly head.
This is because Ihedioha would not have made inflammatory statements that certainly caused ripples in some quarters; he would not have invited the military in a clearly civil matter; he would not have tampered with civil servants’ salaries; he would not have treated pension payment with kid gloves;
community roads now riddled with clatters and at various stages of decay would have got adequate attention as RAMP was already in full gear!
Unfortunately, the groundswell and abhorrent event of January 14, 2020 took place. It was politically disgusting, democratically repulsive, and legally questionable!
Yet Ihedioha, a man who believes in dialogue, explored legal and democratic avenues for redress.
His case is in sync with Horatio Spaford, the American renowned lawyer and Presbyterian Church elder whose entire properties were burnt to ruination by the Great Chicago fire disaster, incidentally on October 8, 1871.
Spaford also tragically lost his son, three daughters and wife while they were aboard the S.S. Ville du Havre on a transatlantic voyage.
Relying on God and mustering a high degree of courage, Spaford was reputed to have coined the now famous and inspiring Christian hymn of “It is well with my soul”.
Indeed, it is well with Ihedioha’s soul, body and spirit. After Ihedioha’s disputable ouster, he called on Imolites to be calm, law abiding and charged them to be committed to progressivism.
Ihedioha was down but not out. As Jesus Christ went down trice on his way to Calvary, so also was Ihedioha.
He was rudely knocked down from behind. He went down and courageously sprang-up, stood on his feet and, for moments, had pity on his traducers.
This is certainly the trouble with his hatchet executioners. They thought he was down and out.
Seeing him in the turf again with cheers and applauses from spectators, participants and observers is anxiously causing them sleepless nights. Like Banquo ghost went after Lady Macbeth who cruelly assassinated him, so it is with Ihedioha’s political assassins – his shadows have become an element of insomnia to them.
You know, there is no peace for the wicked. Check it out once more: Ihedioha has attributes of greatness stamped for him at birth. Born in 1965, same year – October 8, 1965 – that London’s Post Office Tower, measuring 581 ft tall was officially commissioned.
It was for several years the tallest building in Britain and one of the tallest till date.
The essence of that building was to provide clear waves for telecommunications and effective transmissions – and I tell you, Ihedioha symbolically sauntered into politics to provide a platform to serve the people for dividends of democracy, political liberation, social advancement and infrastructural development.
He has been carrying out this tasking aims and will still do more.
This is why despite all obstacles he still towers above his adversaries – because he had a fantastic eighth month reign. Like the fabled phoenix, Ihedioha continues coming stronger.