By Ndidi Ejieke Okafor
This piece is to serve as a reminder to the good people of Abia State and defenders of Democracy that the argument for power shift back to Abia North in 2023 is sacrosanct and the only guarantee for sustained peace and political stability in the state.
For the importance and sensitivity attached to it, many stakeholders and concerned citizens of the state, including the former governor of Abia State and current senator representing Abia Central Senatorial Zone, Senator Theodore Ahamefula Orji (Papa Ukwu), Former Senate President Adolphus Wabara, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Chief Charles Ogbonna, among others, have several at different fora and social media space called for the return of power to the Abia North Senatorial Zone in the spirit of Equity and Justice. It is on that principle that many lovers of the Abia state stand, only a few political Warlords may seek to jettison this arrangement on the altar of satisfying their ego. This action must be resisted by lovers of freedom and justice.
Common sense and human logic, even if not written and signed, demand that if a people get formulae that successfully kept her at peace, that such arrangement should be guarded jealously. It, therefore, beats all imagine how the Abia Charter of Equity that successfully enthroned Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Ph.D., will be derailed by him after enjoying 8 years of uninterruptible support. Abia State must stick to the well-organized pattern of power rotation that had so far kept the political life of the state balanced and at relative peace for close to 2 decades because any man/woman or a group of people doing otherwise is heading to uncertain waters.
Abia State is configured into 3 zones, Abia North, Abia Central, and Abia South. The argument for Old Bende and Old Ngwa is a confusionist theory that must be ignored as we can not be dragged back to the past to score cheap political goals. If A-B-I-A – Aba-Bende-Isuikwato-Afikpo, has lost Afikpo to Ebonyi State as a result of the evolution of states that removed some zones to add to another to form LGAs, then anyone putting forth the argument of these defunct zones is living in the past.
It is a slap on the face of Abia North to make us believe that no credible candidate can come from the Zone. OVI could have as well chosen someone from the zone to support unless he is striving hard to enthrone clannishness in the state.
But equity and justice must be driven down properly. After all, what is good for the geese is also good for the gander. It is germane to state that when the seat rotates back to Abia North, it must be accepted that Bende LGA had produced the first Governor of Abia North extraction from Igbere in the person of Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu. It is only natural that the next slot for Abia North should not go to Bende LGA but to the other four LGAs of Ohafia, Arochukwu, Isuikwuato, and Umunneochi. Bende LGA should in all fairness to other components of Abia North, allow the other LGAs of Abia North to produce the next governor of Abia State.
Driven further down, we must remember that the Ohafia clan has always played a supportive role to ensure political stability in Abia State since 1999, they have always supported their brothers and neighbors in the zone and other zones to hold the coveted office of Governor but have never had their son or daughter on that seat. Nmanu akara di uto onye raatu ibeya aratu. Therefore the other clans in Abia North should micro-zone it to Ohafia clan as a show of true brotherhood that they have extended to them over time. Other zones and LGAs in Abia State should support Ohafia clan for Governor Abia State this 2023 election.
Is there a credible candidate from Ohafia clan, one may ask? Yes.
Dr. Ukpai Iro Ukpai, the fervent apostle of transformational leadership and technology as the solution to resuscitating the dwindling Abia Economy and achieving Millennium Development Goals, MGD, is a candidate that meets all criteria and prerequisites that befits the kind of Governor Abia needs from May 29, 2023. Abians should look in his direction and bank on him.
It is worthy of note also, that the God of God’s State has also spoken through the Abia Christian Community (ACC) that justice and equity should not be breached, hence the revelation to ACC and their decision to adopt Dr. Ukpai Iro Ukpai as their preferred candidate after a thorough spiritual scrutiny of all the candidates that presented themselves for the number one position. A proof that even God is not aloof in the insistence that justice and equity must not be sacrificed on the alter of the personal interest of a few who were the beneficiaries of the Abia Equity arrangement.
Any political actor scheming to take power away from Abia North is an enemy of the state that must be rejected by the people at the polls by voting against such a party, no matter how coated their promises may appear. God is a lover of Justice, justice must be allowed to prevail in Abia State.
A word is enough for the prudent.
Ndidi Ejieke Okafor is a public analysis and political commentator, who writes from Umuahia.