Who is afraid of Stella Oduah?
One essential element of party politics is “ingress and egress”. A member of a political party is at liberty to switch sides if his interest is not protected where he is. It is all a question of interest. Also, political parties are not military garrisons where only an accustomed class are allowed in.
I read an article by one Ray Okafor entitled ‘APGA Constitutionality and Stella Oduah’, published in The Guardian, and I noticed the gaping holes in his argument. The locus of Ray’s piece was that Senator Stella should not be allowed into the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and should be given the party’s senatorial ticket. It is an uncharitable thing to say.
First, Senator Oduah is one of the most resourceful politicians out of Anambra state. She has contributed immensely to her constituency – Anambra north, and to the state. It is on the record that she has trained more than 1000 Anambra young men and women in various skills and trades. She is one of the few senators from the south-east that have sponsored bills targeted at the development of the region. They are – the South-east Development commission bill, Establishment of the Federal University of Aquatic Studies in Anambra state bill, and the Onitsha Dry Port motion.
I had expected the writer to say “Senator Oduah has not performed well; hence she should not be given the APGA ticket if admitted into the party”. But this is not the case. The bane of our politics has always been sentimental inanities. Politics should be about the delivering the goods to the people.
The writer skirted around political niceties and nuances without looking at “political value”. Senator Oduah has performed well as a senator representing Anambra north, why shouldn’t she be given the party’s ticket to continue the good work? About political value, political parties at the moment are wooing top and valuable politicians into their fold ahead of the 2019 election. Why shouldn’t APGA do likewise? Parties do not build themselves, people build parties.
If eventually, Senator Oduah joins APGA that will be a big addition to the party. It is a big plus, and it is certain that the party will win the 2019 senatorial election in the district. APGA needs politicians that can help it win elections.
In conclusion, the assertion that Senator Oduah has a “moral baggage” owing to some allegations of corruption; hence should not be given the party’s senatorial ticket is insipid.
If we go by this, no politician is fit to stand for election in the country because almost all Nigerian politicians have corruption allegations hanging on their necks. But no court has found Oduah guilty of corruption, and she has not even been charged to court for any offence.
Who is really afraid of Stella Oduah?
Igwe Stanley is a legal practitioner based in Lagos.
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