A former gubernatorial candidate in Abia State, Chief Reagan Ufomba has warned that Ngwa stakeholders would resist any attempt by anyone to ridicle the governor or make him look like a stooge of anybody.
Ufomba was a former gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) before his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stated this while reacting to a statement to the former Senate, Adolphus Wabara, a PDP chieftain and immediate past chairman Abia State Governing Council.
Senator Wabara and Yet Another Banana Peel
In William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar was warned of the ‘ides of March’. In the same month of March, Governor Ikpeazu talked about a beautiful cobra not fit for even a child’s belt. He went further to talk about how to untie a stubborn knot.
He prescribed the tapping on it’s naughty head as remedy. I do not know how many people that read the Governor’s lips correctly.
Is Senator Wabara the modern day Caesar or the cobra? Did he go to Ariara market to buy or to sell? Or Is he and many others to follow suit such naughty knots that require some tappings on the head?
Without mincing words, I have lots of respect for my senior brothers in politics. Senator Adolf Wabara is one of them. He deserves our collective respect having been no3 citizen of Nigeria from the tiny ukwaland.
A clan known to have produced Ambassadors, SSGs, party Chairmen, State and NDDC Commissioners, Ompadec DGs, Sole Administrators, Deputy Chiefs of staff, and many more. Positions no Ngwaman or woman envies or has attained.
Unfortunately, the Senator has chosen to bite the Ngwa finger that fed him in 2003 and beyond like Brutus. Choosing to stab, finger and pepper the sore of the good people of Ngwa in Abia Central on raw nerves in the month of March, when all stubborn men are warned to beware.
Senator Wabara has left in it’s wake trails of blood, woes and pain we have pretentiouly and stoically managed over the past 23 years of our political sojourn in Abia central conflagration.
Ngwa people in Abia Central have remained the weeping baby of Abia politics, where we are used, abused, subdued and dumped as hewers of wood and fetchers of water in statescraft. Ete brute!
That is why we may not forgive in a hurry anyone with the sword, or with the mindset of Brutus. We equally refuse any attempt to take us back to Egypt, or through another Shakespearean experience; or reminding us of our sojourn thereof.
To say the least, most distinguished Senator Wabara was undistinguishing and reckless in his outbursts. He probably wanted to “cojoin in slapping the ibibi”, as we would say.
It is now an era of dictation, where everyone can wake up and give the governor ultimatum; just because his name is Okezie Victor Ikpeazu – onye ngwa.
The aspiration of Ngwa people in Abia Central is not only timely and Godly but constitutional and legitimate and capable of healing deadly wounds of the past.
Governor Ikpeazu in his characteristic disposition of fairness, equity and godliness, may be the only vessel for such bonding.
As a people, we are determined to speak with one voice, resist unfair, and unkind and unjust tantrums from political irredentists who do not wish us well.
Penultimate 1999, all military and paramilitary positions zoned to Abia State, including Central were occupied by people from the old Umuahia zone without recourse to the much talked about charter of equity.
The same trend continued post 1999 with the underlisted positions zoned to Abia central only to be misappropriated by our brothers from the old Umuahia zone.
I am for zoning, no doubt. Because it is the only way to heal wounds of marginalisation, promote healthy cohabitation in the state and in Nigeria, and give everyone due sense of belonging.
I am also aware that given the level of growth in our society, no village or community or local government is without competent minds to lead. I can count 10 in each. I therefore chuckle when people make parochial and unfounded argument about this zoning matter that I have participated in strengthening since 2003.
I hereby challenge Senators Orji Uzor Kalu, Senator T.A Orji and Senator Wabara to make public various charters of equity to which they were signatories.
Recounting the sordid political outing of the Ngwa in Abia Central which harbingers-of-equity-without-clean-hands want sustained, I remember vividly that the underlisted positions were zoned to Abia Central between 1999 to 2019:
1. Secretary to government zoned to AbiaCentral – Dr Nwogbe (Ikwuano Umuahia)
2. Speaker zoned to Abia Central – Hon Ike (Umuahia North)
3. Chief of Staff zoned to Abia Central – Chief T. A Orji, now Senator (Umuahia North)
4. Secretary to State Government zoned to Abia Central – Barr CSL Nwosu (Umuahia South)
5. Speaker zoned to Abia Central – Stanley Ohajuruka (Umuahia South)
6. Minister – Sir Vincent Ogbulafor (Umuahia South)
7. NDDC Chairman – Chief Onyema Ugochukwu (Umuahia North)
8. Ambassador – Empire kanu (Umuahia North)
9. Party Chairman zoned to Abia Central – Chief Tony Ukasoanya (Umuahia South)
10. Party Chairman zoned to Abia Central – Uzodinma Okpara (Umuahia North)
11. National Chairman of PDP – Sir Vincent Ogbulafor (Umuahia South); to mention but a few.
Where is Umunneto Ngwa in all these and where was Senator Wabara when these atrocities were being committed ? Or is it a case of the weak always blaming his siblings?
None, I say, no Ngwa son or daughter was considered fit to occupy these juicy positions but for the few months’ stint of Honourable Christopher Enweremadu as Speaker. Need I remind how he was conspiratorialy impeached and replaced by yet another Umuahia man.
Every attempt to stem this ugly trend and tide and respect article 3(C) of the constitution of our party has met brickwall. Further attempts to remedy the trend through the ingenious Great Ukwa/Ngwa declaration of 2003 was implemented in breache.
We were stubbornly educated on how power is not a witch that flies by night. That it must stop briefly in Umuahia in Central.
And it did. Another attempt to remedy the injustice occasioned by the breach of the Agreement reached at the Great Ukwa Ngwa Declaration signed by prominent politicians and traditional leaders in the state through the ballot box in 2011 was also rigged and serially breached.
Who cares to know how and why I temporarily abandoned the party I invested so much time and energy on account of yet another injustice? Then party Chairman, Ndidi Okereke knows I was frustrated out the party; and efforts made to stem the inglorious tide of injustice.
I wonder where Senator Wabara was when these injustices were being metted to the Ngwa people in Abia Central, and why he did not use his exalted position as the Senate President and member BOT to redress these monumental injustices. I wonder where he was when father and son occupied the positions of Senator and Speaker respectively?
I refuse to admit he is a hater of the Ngwa people. But going by his antecedents and uncultured remarks to “resist the emergence of another Ngwaman” I am inclined to believe otherwise, irrespective of the dryness and hollowness of his argument.
Power has suddenly become a witch, that must fly over Umunneato at night. The same power that walked through.
That era of do as I say is gone and gone forever.
It is pertinent to mention that Wabara could not have been a Senator, not to talk of being the Senate President without the support of the Ngwa people he so much hates of late.
That our son, Governor Ikpeazu has chosen to plough without looking back, and shown enormous capacity and bravery in paddling the boat without rocking is not a sign of weakness but that of statesmanship and product of constant proddings by the elders of UkwaNgwa clan we despise.
It must henceforth not be taken for granted. We shall resist any attempt to further ridicule the Governor or make him look like a stooge of anybody, by anybody, for anybody, and no matter who.
That he has continued to parry all direct and indirect attacks and pokings of his gubernatorial nose with unjust and filthy fingers is an art, his governance style and hallmark of leadership characteristic only of a well bred Ngwaman. The end is nigh.
I therefore endorse all actions, utterances and Press Releases of Ukwa Ngwa elders council. We shall standby, and defend all actions of the Governor, now, in the future, and hereafter.
Only a leader in the mould of Ikpeazu would embark on the kind of consultation spree being witnessed recently in the state. In line with the trend, we shall support any credible candidate endorsed by him.
We shall mobilize our followers and all men of goodwill within and outside the state to ensure his victory. We have what it takes to do so.
Section 3(C) of the PDP constitution where Senator Wabara sits atop as a BOT member (without any Ngwa from Abia central) supports Ngwa in Abia central 2023 quest.
It is injuriously on record that no Ngwaman has been Governor or occupied any of the aforementioned juicy positions zoned to Abia Central. To further pepper this sore is not only wicked but most regrettable.
Nothing captures and educates the very essence of the moment than the article written by one Chido Nwakanma. He and men like us know where the ‘political dead’ was buried. Hence we are inclined to exhuming correctly from the head.
“The relevance of the OUK formula in Abia succession politics by Chido Nwakanma.”
“Both sides of the dispute over the tilt of the governorship of Abia State circa 2023-2027 may find in former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu an unlikely resource for its resolution.
Kalu implemented a formula that changed the state’s power structure into a quadrant. He did so unwittingly in 2007 when he ensured that Chief (now Senator) Theodore Orji succeeded him in office.
Orji Kalu came from the Old Umuahia zone in the old configuration. The governor came from Abia North Senatorial Zone in the new geopolitics. Rather than follow the formula of Abia’s fathers’ drawn ab initio ahead of the creation of the state, he chose a new procedure.
He picked on Chief Theodore Orji, his then Chief of Staff, from Umuahia or the new Abia Central senatorial zone. It is interestingly coincidental that both men sit in the Senate currently representing Abia North and Abia Central.
Abia Central, however, is a mini-Abia State in its configuration with six local governments. There is an equal representation of three local governments from Aba and Umuahia.
The local governments are Ikwuano, Umuahia North, Umuahia South from the Umuahia axis, Isiala Ngwa North, Isiala Ngwa South, and Osisioma of the Ngwa axis.
Representation in the Abia Central senate seat swings between the Ngwa and Umuahia in the legislature. Senator Bob Nwanunu from Ngwa land took the first shot in 1999 and served for one term. Senator Chris Adighije from Umuahia took over and did one term as well.
Nkechi Nwaogu from Osisioma became the Senator in 2007. She served for two terms based on a consensus of the political leaders following the exit of former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu from the PDP to form the Progressive People’s Alliance.
The senatorial seat swung back to Umuahia in 2015, with former Governor Theodore Orji from Ibeku Umuahia becoming a senator.
Significantly, in anointing Theodore Orji for the governor’s seat when he did, Orji Uzor Kalu carved the political structure of Abia State into a quadrant rather than the triangle upon which some base their succession arguments.
Abia Central has honoured the Abia Charter of Equity 1981 in political representation in the legislature. It would need to continue. It has respected the quadrant that is now the structure of Abia politics.
The Ngwa of Abia Central base their claims to the governorship rotation on this quadrant and the Abia Charter of Equity 1981. One half of the senatorial zone took its turn for eight years with Theodore Orji as Governor. It then went to Abia South with Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu.
It should return to Abia Central with the remaining part of the quadrant, the three Ngwa local governments. It is equitable and in line with what the players have done in the legislature since 1999.
The other issue is the length of stay in the Governor’s Office. It currently stands at 18 years for Umuahia Division or Abia North and seven years for Aba Division or Abia South senatorial zone.
When Ikpeazu leaves office in May 2023, Aba Division would have done only eight years versus eighteen years. Fairness and equity dictate that the Ngwa half of Abia Central should do eight years to try to close the gap.”
He that comes to equity must do so with clean hands.
Ka Chineke mezie okwu!
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Ochiagha Reagan Ufomba is a freelance writer and publisher of RANDOM MUSINGS.