By Cosmas Chukwu
It was a time for the outpouring of emotions as legal luminaries of Nsukka extraction under the umbrella of Nsukka Zonal Lawyers’ Forum, who had gathered for their monthly meeting at GRA Enugu, doffed their wigs in exhilaration and salutation to one of their own, Barr. Ikechukwu Maximus Ugwuoke a.k.a, Hakuna Matata.The Membership of the Forum comprised of legal practitioners from the seven Local Government Areas that comprise the Nsukka Cultural Zone.Barr Ugwuoke was in their midst at their last Thursday’s meeting where about 100 members of the forum were in attendance including legal authorities like Professor Frank Asogwa, Former Enugu Commissioner and Dean of Faculty of Law Enugu State University of Science and Technology Barr Okey Ani, former commissioner for Local Government Enugu State, Barr Pascal Okaloagu, Barr Chuka Ezike, Director of Public Prosecution and a host of other noteable legal luminaries, to intimate them of his desire to vie for the seat of the House of Representative of Nsukka /Igboeze South Federal Constituency in 2019.
The Umabor,Eha-Alumona –born legal icon who has his law chambers in the exclusive GRA in Enugu is the legal adviser to the Adoration Ministry, Enugu Nigeria, AMEN.
Barr Ugwuoke who has a penchant for writing, is also the Editor- In-Chief of the AMENSUPERNEWS newspaper. Hakuna Matata –no more worries- as he is fondly called, has seriously engaged in charitable works and probono legal services to indigent clients and those in dire straits.
A people’s lawyer to the core, he has worked as an elected Social Secretary of the Bar Association in Enugu and had fully discharged himself.He is also reckoned with some landmark human rights cases he handled across the country.
Presenting himself and his ambition to the Nsukka Zonal Lawyers’ Forum, Barr Ugwuoke recalled the massive support he got from the forum when he contested that election about five years ago and how that had ensured his victory.
Appreciative and cognizant of this unalloyed support, he had decided to come to them for the support, consent and prayers for his present enterprise noting that “you are indeed very dependable, you are formidable ally to go to contest along with” he declared.
Barr Ugwuoke declared that his ambition is not grounded on self aggrandizement and selfishness but borne out of burning zeal to serve. “My passion, my decision to contest is driven by a vision to deliver the goods of quality representation and make a difference. I do not believe in a politics of personal criticism but rather I believe in issue based politics. I have a vision to deliver and challenge other aspirants to the office to lay their visions bare for my peoples assessment” he said.
He further disclosed that he would have ordinarily liked to consult every member of the Lawyer’s forum individually but that time may not permit hence the need to come to the group meeting and seek their support “though most of you may not participate in the primaries but you have your contacts and networks which you can utilize to make things happen positively”he said.
He reminisced that “since this house had supported me and given victory in the past, it is right, proper and correct to inform you of my intention to contest the election to the House of Representatives for the Nsukka –Igboeze South constituency. I am a lawyer of Nsukka extraction and a proud Nsukka lawyer at that and I pledge to live up to the billing” he stated.
Noting that his consultation with the body does not foreclose further and private consultations with colleagues and legal icons within the association, however he still consult more senior lawyers for guidance, advice and support.
Barr Ugwuoke used the occasion to inform the lawyers of an impending solidarity visit by lawyers in Enugu and Diaspora to His Excellency the Governor of Enugu State Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in a bid to bolster his chances for reelection.
He explained that he was working in concert with some other lawyers for the proposed solidarity rally which is hope to group together over 300 lawyers in support of the Governor’s vision as a way of not only appreciating what he has achieved so far, but also to ensure his reelection pointing out that Nsukka lawyers ought to embrace this clarion call and not allow “detractors to subvert the plans of our own son, Gov. Ugwanyi”
He disclosed that he has been active on the social media working to muster support for the governor and to ensure that he wins in 2019 as governor of Enugu State and further enjoined all to key into the move.
Responding, the chairman of the Nsukka Zonal Lawyer’s Forum, Barr Alphonsus Ugwuafia thanked and commended Barr Ugwuoke for his decision to contest and described his cause as synonymous with that of every Nsukka lawyer and wished him success.
The chairman counseled him to go on with consultations and go to the primaries and assured him of their support and votes once he gets his party’s nod.
Other speakers concurred with the chairman and urged Barr Ugwuoke to bring to bear his experiences, connections and contacts in his pursuit so as to ensure that he gets his party’s mandate. They also lauded his decision to run an issues-based campaign without rancor or mudslinging. They expressed the hope that he will sail through and wished him a successful outing via the PDP platform which they agreed was a sure bet in the State.