By Emeka Osoagbaka

"Opportunity cost represents the potential benefits that an individual, business, investor or community, misses out on when choosing one alternative over the other. Because opportunity costs are unseen by definition, they can be easily overlooked. However understanding the potentially missed opportunities when we make our choices allows us for better decision making"

The seeming national lack of patriotic political leadership,the deteriorating socio/economic environment and the amended Electoral Act 2022 have given audacity to the hope of a more productive and honest political leadership within all tiers of government come 2023.

This renewed hope is also reflected on us as a people in our quest towards the socio/economic development of our communities. The seriousness of this prevailing political situation on ground is such that the electorates seem to now desire competence over political party patronage.

In my earlier submission on this subject matter, I had tried to enumerate the opportunity cost of our senatorial run, and reasons why we must put forward our "best foot" in the interest of our people. Without Ikwuano, their will be no senatorial seat to contest.

I had pointed out amongst others that it has taken us sixty years (60 years) after the late Senator Ukattah from Oloko represented Old Bende in the red chambers, to arrive where we are today.

 Also of note is the fact that Ikwuano being in the Senate in 2023,effectively retires our children between the ages of twenty to fifty years from holding such an ambition in their lifetime since it would take another forty eight years to once again have an opportunity to represent Abia central at the red chambers, should Ikwuano succeed in 2023.

We therefore must accord this issue the seriousness that it deserves in the interest of "Ikwuano First". We must thoroughly weigh the opportunity cost of this senate run vis a vis other alternatives available to us as a people. I shall try to xray these alternatives as we analyze this project, our prospect and desires as a people.

In my opinion we must send our "best" to positions of collective interest and trust. The minimum attribute must be that of proven love and commitment towards the development of our communities. This has to be the minimum yardstick in determining qualification and service to our people.

 Going forward we shall have to weigh our alternatives and determine our objectives as a people.

It is now becoming clearer by the day that two of our sons in the persons of Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd) and Hon  Sam Onuigbo, all things being equal, would be contesting the 2023 Abia Central Senatorial district elections as the candidates of their various political parties.

These sons of Ikwuano over the last twelve years has held various, political, party and public offices on behalf of Ikwuano.

Hon Sam Onuigbo has been within this period, state commissioner for Finance ( Abia State) , State commissioner for Lands and now a second timer in the Federal House of representatives. His period of service on behalf of Ikwuano people has spanned twelve years at the minimum.

Col Akobundu has been a BoT member of the ruling PDP, National Vice Chairman South East PDP, Federal Minister of State for Defense, Board Chairman Federal Teaching Hospital Ibadan, National Organizing Secretary of PDP all spanning over a period of the last twelve years.

We ought to as a people evaluate the developmental gains of these positions held in trust for Ikwuano on behalf of the Ikwuano people. We must separate personal gains from our collective gains moving forward in the interest of our people and communities. This is the only route to development.

We must access the inputs and contributions of our two sons vying this office so far to the development of our communities to determine our best foot forward or alternative as the case maybe.

It is in our overall collective interest to determine our options and objectives if we must grow as a people. A public servant should not be too big or proud to render his account of service to his people when required.

Let us call on them to give us an account of their accomplishments in the overall interest of Ikwuano within this period to enable our analysis. It MUST now be Ikwuano First

While we may try to promote our candidates, it may be best in the interest of Ikwuano to state the facts as it is. Both Akobundu and  Onuigbo held and still hold positions of authority on behalf of Ikwuano. Without Ikwuano, it would have been impossible for them to hold these positions on a mere ground of hardwork or proven integrity. The positions were held by them both elective, appointed and party positions because the come from and have a constituency called Ikwuano. 

As public offices it beholds on them to at least give an insight into what they have attracted to Ikwuano officially and what they have been able to do for Ikwuano individually both having benefitted over 800m each in personal remunerations from positions occupied on behalf of their constituency. Once again, I call for each candidate to account for their twelve years of service on behalf of Ikwuano. 

Each candidate should show us at least one project valued at N10m executed by them in Ikwuano from the over 900m received in personal enumerations while serving Ikwuano. This will enable us appreciate their love for Ikwuano. We must as  a people determine to leave Egypt if we must prosper

Hon Osoagbaka, a former House of Assembly member, represented Ikwuano State Constituency