Senator Victor Umeh being sworn in as senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
By Ilokolobia Cornel Chukwugozie
It is no longer news that Anambra Central Senatorial election has come and gone, or that Senator Victor Umeh won the free and fair election on popular votes and subsequently was sworn in by the Nigerian Senate. Inasmuch as the aura of this historic moment has not disappeared from the atmosphere, so also has the joy of triumph remained with the masses of Anambra Central, and indeed the entire Igbo race and beyond.
One significant incident remains a mystery to the Nigerians who were in the National Assembly and its environs on Thursday, 18th January, 2018. It was the massive turn out of Anambrarians in solidarity with Ohamadike at his swearing in.
A staff of the National Assembly would later say to me, 'No single senator's swearing in has ever attracted this sea of heads.' That day, the gallery, two hearing centres, press rooms, and every available space in the Senate wing of the National Assembly, was filled by Ndi Anambra of all classes. This is even as the enemies of progress and the state were on the phone, spreading rumours that the Senate's business for day contained no swearing in. They tried so hard to discourage the gullible who take information from their venomous leaking tongues.
If the test of the pudding is in the eating, then the test of public acceptance is in the number of leaders of thought and opinion moulders with the grassroots who graced Senator Victor Umeh's swearing in. From the Anambra State's numbers one to four citizens, to grassroots members in the seven local government areas of Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, Ndi Anambra came out en masse.
Leading the powerful delegation from Anambra unto the floor of the red chambers were Gov Willie Obiano and his Deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke; with Chief Sir Victor Umeh, then a Senator-elect, following immediately after the governor with his humble wife, Lady Prisca Umeh. Then came other Anambra's top men who included the House of Representatives members like Hon Dozie Nwankwo; Hon Anayo Nebe; as well as Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, and a host of others.
Emerging from the Senate Chambers, Chief Sir Victor Umeh, at that time a distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic, was crowded by an assemblage of Ndi Anambra from all walks of life who came on their own accord to celebrate the man with the formula for winning elections and an advocate of the rule of law.
There were choruses of ''Congratulations, Ohamadike'', "Congratulations, Distinguished Senator", and so on. So loud were the voices that the Senate wing stood still for Senator Victor Umeh and his supporters.
Then came Senators Andy Uba and Stella Oduah, as well as other non-Igbo senators that the left senate proceedings to say congratulations to Umeh before going back to the seats.
Looking at the guests, who included over twenty traditional rulers from Anambra, prominent among who were HRHs, Igwe Ilouno; Okaa Onwuogu; Eze Iweka; Uyunwa; Igwe Amanesi, and Mbamalu.
Captains of industry like Chief Ben Amuta; oil magnate, Chief Patrick Ikweto; Ogilisi Rommy Onwuka; CEO Jaffson Group; Linus Okorie; Coach Nicolas Ukachukwu; religious leaders; TC chairmen; market men and women; party stalwarts, among many others.
Like the centurion at the foot of the cross said, ''Truly, this man is the choice of his people!''
But it was not only an Anambra affair nor were Anambrarians the only ones celebrating. Men and women of goodwill from far and near like Plateau, Kano and Zamfara States, as well as our brothers from Imo, Abia and Enugu States, graced the occasion too.
The great number of men and women of repute that graced the swearing of Senator Victor Umeh within short notice can only but attest to one fact: Senator Dr Victor Umeh is the beloved choice of his people for the Senate.
To God be the glory.
Ilokolobia Cornel Chukwugozie writes from Abuja