Hon Ogazi on Arise TV: Hand of Issau, voice of Jacob?
Hon Daniel Ogah Ogazi, member representing Kokona East state constituency at the Nasarawa State House of Assembly was guest on Prime Time on Arise Television Wednesday night. He appeared agitated and irreconcilable. This is understandable especially in politics where things may not turn out as one may have wished.
If indeed Hon Ogazi was angry then he should know where to direct his anger. He should be angry with himself for even trying to challenge a system that made him who he is today.
Could this be the hand of Issau but the voice of Jacob? Could Hon Ogazi be dancing to the tunes of hidden puppet masters adroiltly pulling the strings? Certainly, you could sense his agitation over the impasse at the Nasarawa State House of Assembly but has the matter gotten to the levels such that the lawmaker could prefer to throw away everything he succeeded in building over a decade ago?
In every sense of the word, Hon Daniel Ogah Ogazi has proven his mettle. As a lawmaker he has done not only his immediate constituency proud but the entire state. His strident voice has reverberated at times most of his colleagues chose to remain silent. As the Chairman, House Committee on Education, Ogazi has ruffled feathers and threaded where many won’t have dared walked.
This same Hon Ogazi enjoyed tremendous respect from His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule who jokingly nicknamed him ‘Pastor’, for at every given opportunity, it is certain that when it’s time to offer prayers, the Governor will ask Hon Ogazi to pray.
Now Hon Ogazi appeared to be speaking tongue in cheek as he severally contradicted himself while trying to assume a hostile persona against the system he used to get to his present position, against the Governor his friend and against his political party, the APC.
Before appearing on Arise TV, the same Hon Ogazi while speaking to journalists at the premises of the state assembly, commended Engineer Sule’s leadership qualities, describing the Governor as a man of honour and a man who has absolute regards for rules and laws.
However, once he sat before the cameras in Abuja, Hon Ogazi acted as if he was reading from a prepared speech, spewing out venom and making all those involved in the process appear as villains while he remains the only saint.
“From the day I declared my intention, I think some people were not happy. I don’t know these people. Because the party called us at the tail end of our inauguration, that is about a week to our inauguration to ask me and other members who declared intention to contest for speakership that they have a choice. And that we should relinquish our intention for Speaker Ibrahim Balarabe. I told them no. I have the right constitutionally provided to contest,” Ogazi said.
A question begging for answer is, did the party asked Ogazi to jettison his speakership ambition because they don’t like him or is it because the party has already indicated interest in Rt. Hon Ibrahim Balarabe?
Apparently, Hon Ogazi is willing to rebel against his political party and to enter into an unholy alliance with opposition parties in the assembly in his quest to rock the boat. He was very emphatic on this when he said he will no longer represent only his party at the assembly but other political parties.
“Recall that I was elected by so many people from my constituency. Both in my party and outside my party. In contest of an election, you may not know those that are voting for you. Yes you are coming from a platform and in this regards, APC but sometimes your party could also do funny things and you may not even get the required votes that you expect your party to deliver for you.
“Sometimes you get solidarity votes from other political party. In this case, I am going to be a member of Nasarawa State House of Assembly representing Kokona East. I am not going to represent APC,” he stated.
Again, Hon Ogazi claimed there is no peace in Nasarawa State. If nothing, this claim more than anything else depicted the lawmaker as one man with two identities. Obviously, Ogazi is not referring to the breakdown of law and order here but a situation created by few who hide behind religion to seek public office. For these manner of individuals, religion rather than competence should be the deciding factor.
“There is no peace in Nasarawa State. I should have been the one that the Governor should use to be a bridge that will bring the people of Nasarawa State together. The Nasarawa State that we have today is not what we used to have. The relative peace that we enjoy in the state is no longer there. The atmosphere in the state today is tensed. We are shocked. This is not what we bargained for,” he said.
This is most unfortunate coming from someone who has been supportive of the Engineer Sule administration to turn around the economic fortunes of the state. Hon Ogazi knew that peace and security are cardinal to the directive principles of the present administration. Peace and security are sacrosanct to the administration’s quest to turn the state into an investment heaven.
It’s even quite unfortunate that a lawmaker of Ogazi’s pedigree could go public and accuse His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule of religious intolerance or even ethnic bigotry. This is a Governor who is giving all in his capacity to carry everybody along, irrespective of tribal, religious or even political colouration.
Supremacy of the political party is integral to the country’s democracy. Since the dawn of this democratic dispensation, the speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly has always emerged through a process of negotiations, lobbying and give and take. The election process is mostly ceremonial since the offices to be filled are known even prior to the event. That’s exactly what happened ahead of the inauguration of the 7th Assembly. Except that Hon. Ogazi has a different plan entirely.
His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has given his reasons why he preferred Rt.Hon Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi. The party also said why it preferred Rt. Hon Abdullahi. Out of the eleven members of the assembly that belong to the APC, eight also agreed with the leadership of Rt. Hon Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi.
In a manner that appeared more unlike him, Hon Ogazi has turned into a rebel, turning his back on his party, as well as the cordial relationship he enjoys with the Governor. He had enjoyed unfettered freedom in the 6th assembly. He wasn’t inhibited in any way while discharging his responsibility. He only needed to be speaker to assuage his ego and to appease those pushing him to turn his back on a system that he benefitted from.
Certainly, Nasarawa State does not need such distraction. Governor Abdullahi Sule is doing his best to actualize his vision for the state and the least the lawmakers could do is to distract him. It will serve Hon Ogazi, his constituency, the assembly and indeed Nasarawa State better, if he affirms his total loyalty to his party the APC. He should renounce those instigating him to rebel against the party because sooner or later he will still need the platform.
Hon Ogazi should have a rethink and agree to reconcile with the party, the Governor and of course, his friend, the Speaker of Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi.