By Paulinus Anuforom
The story of the liberation of Imo State from what was termed “familiocracy”, cannot be complete, without mentioning the name of Prince Eze Madumere, the former Deputy Governor of Imo State.
In fact, without Prince Eze Madumere, Imo would probably have become a family business of sorts, as was intended by the former Govenror Rochas Okorocha, who wanted to foist his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, on the people of Imo State, against the wishes of the people.
The falling out between Prince Eze Madumere, and his former best friend, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, started longer than the Imo Govenroship election.
It went back to policies of the former Govenror, which didn’t go down well with his deputy, and which Madumere voiced his concerns over those issues, and for that, he was seen as an enemy to the administration.
Certain issues didn’t go down well with Prince Eze Madumere, such as the issue of pensions and the demolition of Eke Ukwu, and he voiced his disapproval of these policies and more to Okorocha, who didn’t take it kindly that Madumere did not support his policies.
For that, Prince Eze Madumere was almost annexed and cut off as Deputy Governor. Madumere’s office before then, was not properly funded, and the little that was even coming to his office before he stood up against those policies, were totally withdrawn. His people in Mbieri suffered the highest, as their roads were abandoned by the Okorocha government, all in a ploy to turn his own people against him.
Even the roads to the former Deputy Governor’s residence was not tarred. These were all done, to paint him in bad light before his people.
But despite every ploy to slow Madumere down, his profile kept growing to the chagrin of Okorocha.
When Okorocha brought out his son-in-law to replace him, Prince Eze Madumere was one of the first to challenge that move, and jumped into the ring to wrestle power from Okorocha and his family.
For daring to go against Okorocha’s biddings, he was persecuted. Pressure was put on the State Assembly to impeach him. His state funded security was withdrawn opening him up for attacks and possibly assassination.
But Imo people stood for Prince Eze Madumere. Night and day, youths from all over the state, stood guard at Prince Eze Madumere’s residence to defend a champion who stood for the people when they needed him the most.
Until he won the case against the State Assembly, and upturned their Okorocha sponsored kangaroo impeachment (a verdict which Okorocha appealed, despite being warned against), which saw the return of Madumere’s official security detail, Imo people came out to protect him.
Even during the party primaries, it took the support of Prince Eze Madumere, to ensure that the primaries was not hijacked, and his efforts, saw Senator Hope Uzodinma emerging as the flag bearer of the APC in Imo State.
Madumere had the option of getting the APC Senate ticket, which Okorocha begged him to take with an ambush along the way, to rubbish and humiliate Madumere politically, because of his fear of Madumere’s rising profile. Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi should be grateful to Madumere, who understood what was going on, and gave Onyewuchi the chance to go to the Senate. Had he been selfish, and backed Okorocha’s plans, the coalition against Okorocha would have crumbled, and Okorocha would have had his way in Imo State.
Prince Eze Madumere’s stand against nepotism, liberated Imo State, and set the state on a path toward that development that had been starved the state for a very long time.
During an interactive session with journalists sometime in 2019, Madumere stated that his passion wasn’t for self, as he has achieved everything he could ever ask for in life, rather, his passion was to ensure the people of Imo State get the best in good governance and representation at all levels.
It is worthy to note, The world Bank assisted programs in Imo State, including NewMap, FADAMA III (additional financing), RAMP and a lot more, were singlehandedly attracted to Imo State by Prince Eze Madumere, who travelled far and wide, and did all the leg work to ensure Imo was not left out in all those programs and projects, before he left office.