Incontestably, since Imo was created in 1976, Okigwe zone have been very active in political affairs of Imo state. Equally it has been lucky. First on the creation of Imo state, Okigwe zone produced the first civilian governor to drive the affairs of the new state forward. Indeed, it has not been overly short changed in the affairs of Imo state.
The first civilian Governor of Imo state, Chief Sam Mbakwe, apart from the fact that his administration was cut short by the rampaging military administration of Mohammed Buhari after successfully completing the first phase, up till today, the contribution of Sam Mbakwe are still visible. Remarkable, Chief Sam Mbakwe follows the line of the last premier of the Eastern region in the person of Dr. M.I Okpara. Sincerely speaking, Mbakwe pursued an agrarian policy which ensures steady and stable development of the society throughout the area.
Agrarian policy is the fulcrum upon which the development of any society rests. Because according to Ginny Tatar the longest living American President who himself was referred to as peanut president once remarked, “A nation that cannot feed its citizens generally cannot develop.” Thus in his wise sense, Chief Sam Mbakwe embraced agrarian policy. Some major highlights of his agrarian policy were the establishment of Agro-base industries such as Avutu-poultry, farm settlement in all the provinces, rubber and palm plantations in old Imo. Without that, agrarian activities apart from being a veritable source of food sufficiently, they are bye products of other items and materials for other developments.
Although Okigwe zone has a challenging terrain including some hilly and rocky places, it has a mixture of soils which could produce different types of agricultural products. In Okigwe North, the people can produce rocks, gravels; sands of different textures for building and in some part of Okigwe North which share boundaries with Ebonyi, their lands could produce maize, rice, millets, etc. In central Okigwe area their soil produces a lot of gravels, stones for building. Now in Okigwe South particularly in Ehime and IsialaMbano, they have opportunities of producing agricultural produce such as palm kernel, palm oil and other material which come out of palm tree for different uses.
By and large, the people who come from Okigwe have produced many intellectuals, lecturers, educators and top technocrats who have helped to build Okigwe. I remember with nostalgia when we were growing up as primary school pupils, there was a song which sang thus, “obodo nile emepechala oforo
Okigwe na Orlu” but today, is that song still applicable and sustainable? Many may say yes and some may say no to that but to my mind, nobody can proudly sing that song with meaningful result.
One may be proud to point out that what Okigwe people lack is not the production of manufacturing agriculture products but it is the lack of cohesive political unity which is an essential ingredient for a society to develop. One American author once said, “A society without unity, cohesion and togetherness cannot develop as fast as it may wish.” That is why in the forth coming senatorial election the people must come together to select from array of candidates to select one that can continue to make development especially in an agrarian government, having it uppermost in his hearth.
Therefore, I want to associate myself to the clarion call by Chief Tony Chukwu (Enweghi ihe kariri Chineke) to the people of Okigwe to support the candidacy of Sir Chukwuma Francis Ibezim.
Although he adduced solid reasons why Frank Ibezim should be elected as senator of Okigwe zone (Imo North), apart from his amassing and possessing academic qualification and a lot of experiences particularly in the area of developing agriculture, Sir Frank Ibezim is a knowledgeable person in human capacity building with great zeal in youth and women development.
Fortunately, to my mind, people of Okigwe including Sir Frank Ibezim takes interest in agricultural development and agrarian education.For example; it was an Okigwe erudite professor, Martin Ijere, who initiated a lot of youth education in agriculture and co-operatives in old Eastern region by publishing several books on agrarian developments. Up till today, his message and initiative in agriculture are still revered in Okigwe nay the Eastern region hence he was made commissioner for agriculture and co-operatives development in East central state.
Okigwe people are very lucky to have sir Frank Ibezim who has zeal of comfort for agricultural education and development particularly for women and youths having served as Hon. Commissioner for agriculture in senator Rochas Okorocha’s first tenure government as commissioner.
Sound with good personality, Sir Frank Ibezim is a team player with imposing personality, senatorial bearing and voice. Indeed I strongly believe that Okigwe people are so enlightened and educated to know that with Sir Frank Ibezim at the senate will be highly productive for which the people of Okigwe nay Imo state will be proud of. A man from well grounded family background. Frank is frank and will always be frank. He will be frank with the people of Okigwe to the glory of God.