By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A
The term “benefit of doubt” is an idiomatic expression that implores for a person to be allowed to have his way in an action in which there are subtly expressed doubts about his capacity to do but so which the person has continually shown huge interest to do.
That is a complex wavy sentence. But it sure captures the basic interpretation of the idiomaticity in ” benefit of doubt”. However, it can be simplified further as “let him go ahead and do it while we watch how he goes about it, since he insists he can do it.”
The idiom “benefit of doubt” denotes a sort of permissible approval for a person to carry out a task which the assignor is not personally convinced but bases his approval on the continually expressed confidence by the assignee to be able to carry it out. We believe it should be clear by now!
For the second time in four years, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, KSC has told Imo people that he can liberate them and rebuild the State if he were elected the governor.
In real terms, far longer than 2015, Ihedioha has been outspoken about his capacity and capability to deliver good governance to Imo State and Imo people. It actually began in 2013 when it had become obvious that the incumbent regime had derailed on the normal good governance delivery track.
Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has gone the extra distance in his determined efforts to get the powers that be in Imo State to support his bid for Douglas House. Indeed, there is nothing he has not said or done to convince Imo people of his willingness and readiness to be a good governor of Imo State.
He has showcased extensively his cache full of career achievements and accomplishments. He has registered his presence in virtually all of the 27 LGAs and 305 wards of the State. He consciously or unconsciously, advertently or inadvertently, wittingly or unwittingly ensured that he attracted projects to his immediate constituency as well as to every LGA and ward of the State.
He has formally toured the entire Imo State on two significant occasions. First was in 2015 when he made his first bid for Douglas House. Second was during his consolidation tour of the 27 LGAS and the 305 wards between April and August 2018.
He has expressed uncommon integrity, honesty, humility and loyalty, all in the bid to scurry the support of Imo people to vote for him in the general elections.
He has made the acquaintance of the traditional rulers and their subjects, civil servants and pensioners, traders and business people, professionals and technocrats, religious leaders and the laity and more.
The man has repeatedly spoken in the best of English Language and the vernacular, Igbo Language, telling Imo people that he wants to be their governor. To cut the long story short, there is nothing Ihedioha has not said or done over and above every candidate in the 2019 election to convince Ndimo of his will and readiness to be governor.
People close to him praise him a lot for his capacity to patiently repeat himself over and over again about his quest to be Imo governor. Indeed, it is not easy.
Probably, no Imo governor in the history of Imo State has made as much effort as Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has made in deep structure and surface structure political campaigns to be Imo governor.
This, according to him, is because he has the rare advantage of knowing what is the problem with Imo State and has worked out solutions to them. And not a few Imo people believe him. He was at the highest seat of national lawmaking and should know something most Imo people are not privileged to know.
He has therefore probably reached the stage where granting him the benefit of doubt has become inevitable. That is the parabolic quad erat demonstratis (QED) stage.
The forgoing doesn’t suggest by any means that all it reqiures for anybody to be a governor is by spending quality time on the political field. Of course, not! Some people are notorious every season contestants. Those are the know political hawks and vultures. Who market spurious structures to more serious contenders. We once described them as pretenders.
What our idea of giving a person the benefit of doubt is a person who has no history of do or die politics. He is a person current in his ambition. He is not a politician that has been atrophied by misguided persistence at becoming Imo governor. No! Nobody in that class should be accorded any benefit of doubt. He is a political jobber!
However, elective politics is not a giving game but a taking game, right from time immemorial. Even our Lord Jesus Christ said that “since the time of John the Baptist, the kingdom of God suffereth violence and the violent taketh it by force”. And so Ihedioha fights on! He is not expecting the parabolic “benefit of doubt”.
Yet, between us as impartial panel of judges, fulfulling the statutory requirements of stipulated contests is the only reason why there should be any reason for Imo people not to give Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha the benefit of doubt and elect him governor. But for him, it is aluta continua, benefit of doubt or no benefit.
He is in top form for the race. He looks very good to go, run and win against all oppositions and opponents in 2019. He will certainly run a good race. He should win. Most of the odds are in his favour. His eyes are keenly focused a on Douglas House.
What this piece must have achieved is that it has provide Imo agenda setters, opinion moulders, decision-makers et al in this audience another window to critically peep at Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, KSC as he sets to secure victory in the 2019 election and emerge Imo governor to fulfill his vision and mission of liberating Imo people and rebuilding Imo State.
We will take our bow at this juncture until soon again. Thank you all.