Friday, November 24, 2023



By Eagle Okoro

"…his political survival strategy is woven around the mudslinging and hauling of pebbles on any administration that had yet to look his way, going to hang out in the cold indefinitely, with no iota of hope of slithering back to the corridors of power."

Eze Chikamnayo, a former Commissioner for Information in Abia from the return of democracy in 1999 to May 29, 2023, is truly and naturally a man of mischief, deceit and malfeasance.

His notoriety as a worthless Machiavellian politician, living on the principle that the end justifies the means, however dubious, has long become legendary in the state.

Chikamnayo is regarded in most political circles as dangerous and grossly unreliable, largely because of his shady and crooked life. Hence, he is disliked and avoided like a leper by his contemporaries in politics.

He is a man that is a direct opposite of uprightness, born with an incredible propensity to lie at all times. For him and his ilk in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia, this is the sure means for political survival.

But what is particularly special about this Liliputian politician?

Chikamnayo was first appointed by then Gov. Orji Uzor Kalu (OUK) into the Civil Service Commission and later as his Special Adviser. He was later appointed Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism.

It was OUK who, indeed, rescued him from the dirty quagmire and wandering life of a ne’er-do-well university dropout.

Yeah! He was studying Optometry at the Abia State University, Uturu but got expelled because of a cult-related crime.

He was so “trusted” by OUK and his mother, Mrs Eunice Kalu (Odiukonamba), the family that gave meaning to his debased and pedestrian life. And not only did he serve out the first tenure with OUK, he got rewarded with a reappointment back to the same ministry, having played the yeoman’s role of an imbecilic and shameless gossip to “mama” at the infamous Nweke Street, Aba, mama’s residence.

This was how the man, Chikamnayo, found a lucrative career in politics, having lost his bearing in life after he was thrown out of the university.

It was this “evil genius” that organised hooligans to carry out the first-ever attack on the state House of Assembly, under the Speakership of Rt. Hon. Chris Enwerenmadu in 2000, when the lawmakers were contemplating to initiate impeachment proceedings against OUK.

Let’s pause for a while to scrutinise the trajectory of his political life, which has over time proved to be wholly capricious with criminal tendencies, typical of an average uncouth, wishy-washy Nigerian politician.

Since his accidental foray into the Abia political space after he was picked from the gutter and cleaned up by OUK, Chikamnayo appeared to have carved a niche for himself as a grossly mischievous and transactional politician.

Thus, his specialty in politics is about undertaking ceaseless and strategic media attacks essentially to blackmail and armtwist any government of the day to recognise and bring him on board, if only to tolerate his nuisance value.

So, his political survival strategy is woven around the mudslinging and hauling of pebbles on any administration that had yet to look his way. And once in government, he masterly schemes and executes his opprobrious role of an attack dog, baring his fangs against any other politician that refuses to agree with his principal.

It is no wonder, therefore, that he could easily switch his cosmetic loyalty so swiftly from OUK over to then Gov. Theodore Orji, aka Ochendo and suddenly became OUK’s nemesis at a time Ochendo mounted a fierce political battle to annihilate OUK’s political career and relevance in the state.

The memory of how Chikamnayo led the ferocious media war against his erstwhile mentor and political godfather, OUK, describing him and his mother in unprintable terms, is still fresh in the minds of many.

And for spearheading the war against OUK, who pulled him out of ignominy into political limelight, he got a handsome reward with his appointment again as Commissioner for Information by Ochendo.

This was because “Papa Ukwu”, as he is also called, felt that Chikamnayo knew so much about OUK and his family and was better brought closer to always lead any media war against their estranged benefactor. Of course, both Chikamnayo and Ochendo were products of OUK’s political dynasty.

In a similar manner, and as is popularly said that the leopard never changes its spots, Chikamnayo assumed his characterisitic colour of a venomous chameleon and traitor that he is, when he was later to launch wild vitriolic on the Ochendo’s family.

His attack, specifically on Chief Chinedum Orji, the erstwhile Speaker of the state House of Assembly, in defence of former Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, left many utterly confounded about the trickery and unreliability of this superbrat.

And, as was expected, his unrestrained, open attack on Ochendo’s family was again rewarded with political appointments, first as an aide to Ikpeazu, followed with an appointment as the Transition Committee Chairman of Umunneochi Local Government Council and later back as Commissioner to the one and only ministry that seemed to have become his entitlement and oil well – the Ministry of Information.

Again, he served out with Ikpeazu, on May 29, when he once more returned to the streets in the most humiliating and ignominious manner.

Unfortunately, he is going to hang out in the cold indefinitely, with no iota of hope of slithering back to the corridors of power this time around. Never again!

He has truly begun the journey to utter oblivion, enjoying, in the main, the endless and excruciating pain of joblessness since he has no meaningful investment to lean on, even after spending 24 long years of wasteful and ostentatious lifestyle on government treasury.

Indeed, Chikamnayo’s life had been wired since 1999 to depend on politics and easy money from Abia Government’s till.

His only shabily conceived “investment,” which was largely a house of prostitution on Macaulay Street, Umuahia, known as Omalicha, crumbled as soon as it sprang up under messy circumstances – characteristic of Chikamnayo and everything associated with him.

This is the reason Abia people, who are already familiar with his duplicity of life are not in any way bemused at his recent ranting on a national television.

His incongruous, uncoordinated and unfounded gibberish against the Labour Party in Abia could only gain audience from the uninformed, who are not familiar with his background as one that is not only incredulous but deeply lacking in integrity.

Granting airtime to Chikamnayo in a highly-rated Arise News Television no doubt lowered the estimation of the media outfit in the eye of its growing sound, critical and intellectually-minded audience.

For want of “believable” lies to tell about LP, Chikamnayo shamelessly goofed, when he unconscionably alleged that a party that fielded a governorship candidate in 2019, with former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Stanley Ohajuruka, and other candidates in subsequent elections did not exist in the state before the 2023 General Elections. Of course, nothing can be farther than the truth!

The famous award-winning Arise News Television should have been wiser to realise that Chikamnayo wanted a platform to openly apply for a P.A job with Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd.), who was awarded victory by the judgment of an Appeal Tribunal under controversial circumstances that would sooner than later turn to haunt he Justices.

It was also an opportunity Chikamnayo cashed in on to seek a rapproachment with the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, who also hails from his Isuochi in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State. It was simply an “entry behaviour” as we say in local parlance.

Otherwise, Chikamnayo belongs to PDP and Onyejeocha APC and both had never shared same political platform nor ideologies.

So, what was the spur in celebrating Onyejeocha during his purposeless and meaningless Arise News interview?

But, again, like a nasty, dirty dog going back to its vomit, Chikamnayo merely tried in the interview to launder his battered image, barely few months after denigrating and dragging the name and personality of the former House of Representatives member in the mud for daring to criticise Ikpeazu’s administration which, according to her, impoverished and made its commissioners beggars.

Of course, Onyejeocha, like every prominent Abia politician, including Akobundu, has a full dossier on Chikamnayo and cannot easily be swayed by his double-speak on television.

They both know too well the danger of bringing this dangerous pollutant close. And, so, would not hesitate, in their own interest, to distance themselves from him as a leper he is, politically speaking.

In a similar vein, Chikamnayo’s grand attempt to use his vituperation against the LP-led administration in Abia to sneak himself back into the current government of Dr Alex Chioma Otti is a mission impossible. The ploy is dead on arrival and can never fly.

As aptly observed by the governor at his last media parley at the Government House, Umuahia, those who have constituted themselves as emergency opposition against his government with the intent to cajole, blackmail or armtwist the government to bring them on board should look for better things to do.

Their expectations have been cut short because the scorecard of their 24 years in government proved they are evil and never meant well for Abia, God’s own State, and its people of good conscience.

Indeed, any conspiracy initiated against the well-meaning, focused, genuine, people-cum-development-oriented, sincere, forthright, sensitive and visionary leadership of Dr Alex Chioma Otti is bound to hit the brick wall.

– Eagle Okoro, a public affairs analyst, writes from Umuahia

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