By Onwuasoanya Fcc Jones
It is rare to see Nigerian politicians keeping in touch with their supporters, except, when elections are around the corner. Even those who won elections, would recoil into their cocoons, avoiding contact with even their closest supporters, until few months to the next elections, when they would usually turn to emergency philanthropists and begin to attend social functions - sometimes, uninvited.
Some people thought that the massive acceptance enjoyed by Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, during the 2019 governorship election was a ruse, or at most a deciduous craze obtained by the Eziama-Obaire born real estate mogul, due to his closeness to the corridors of power. But, a clear 18 months after the governorship election and two governors in tow, Ugwumba's popularity continues to soar, not just in Imo State, but across Nigeria.
Last Wednesday, he was the chairman of the occasion at the inauguration of the 3rd Assembly of the Youth Assembly of Nigeria, in far away Lafia, Nasarawa State. His entrance into the T'aal event center, the venue of the inauguration put everything on hold, as the over 500 youths that came for the event were falling all over themselves just to have a close touch with the man most of them see as a role model, mentor and the torchbearer for the aspirations of the Nigerian youths. After the event, he was mobbed by more admirers, and in his characteristic humility and calm mien, he remaining calm and obliged as many picture sessions as he could. But, these youths, couldn't seem to have enough of him. They didn't want him to go. Even after he left the venue of the event, this passionate troop of supporters trailed him to one of his mentee's place, where he had gone to relax.
Curiously, most of these youths didn't want money from him. While most of them just wanted to stay around him and possibly take pictures with him and share a few problems with him for a possible advice, many others had come to thank him for one good thing he had done for them in the past or to simply show solidarity with a man with a touch of love, humility, sincerity and Godliness. Some of those who came to thank him, he never met before, some of the things they came to thank him for, he didn't remember. That's how far reaching and impacting the Ugwumba touch is.
Down home in Imo State, Ugwumba's name resonates beautifully across all political blocs. There is hardly any Imo politician of substance, who doesn't have a good story to tell about his encounter with the former Chief of Staff to the Imo State government. There are over a thousand youths whom he empowered economically, educationally and in any other way that could help them become independent.
Ugwumba doesn't keep record of those he assisted in one way or the other. Many of those he provided the ladder to their success for, have since broken the ladder. There are even some of them who try to use that ladder as a weapon to pull him down, but even when akpo people like us try to remind him of such people, he smiles it off, and would simply say; "I didn't do it for them, I did it for posterity, let posterity judge them." He might begin to avoid you if you are the type of friend or aide who would always come to remind him of who had offended him or who isn't showing enough gratitude.
I do not intend to exaggerate things out of proportion, but I think Ugwumba has helped more young people secure employments, become financially independent and even rise politically than any other politician of his stature in Imo State. Even while not holding any political office at the moment, he has not failed to utilize any opportunity to fix young people up. The more disarming of all, is that he likes, sometimes to take you by surprise. He hardly tells you what he is doing for you, till it materializes. Let me squeal this to some of his youthful supporters, he is cooking something very delicious for all of you. He specifically warned me not to let this out, but my fingers won't let me keep this secret for longer.
Ugwumba does not only think about the comfort of those around him, but he extends his goodwill to their families, too. He is worried when he finds out that you are worried and he keeps thinking of the best way to solve your problems. He once told me that a leader who is not able to make those close to him happy cannot be trusted to make a larger number of the people happy, if elected into a position of responsibility. "I don't believe that you could make the people happy, when those closest to you are not happy, and a leader must transmit happiness, else, he would be deemed a failure." He says.
On this bright Monday morning, I will like to advise every Imo nay Nigerian politician who may be envious of the loud and untiring ovation being enjoyed by Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, to instead of being envious of the young man's high impact, try to be like him. The more Uche Nwosu kind of politicians we have in this country, the better for our country.