I have watched the ongoing political battle in Abia State with some reservations. I have not openly adopted any Candidate up till now, principally because, I deemed it necessary to study all the dynamics and make an informed choice. I have refrained from joining the bandwagon and condemning a man just because others are condemning him. All factors considered, especially meritocracy and fairness, I believe Okezie Ikpeazu stands a shoulder taller than all Candidates.
Everyone seems to be in agreement that Ikpeazu possesses the intellectual and political will to turn things around for good. It is also an incontrovertible fact that Okezie is an intelligent and highly educated young man who is in a hurry to make a good name for himself. He is also renowned for innovative skills and a harvest of scientific ideas and solutions to address our present challenges. Even his opponents cannot fault his vast knowledge and competencies on the broad concept of governance. Nobody, I repeat nobody, has ever raised concerns about Okezie’s capacity to deliver.
However, and sadly, what opponents of Okezie are using against him is simply a cheap blackmail. Put simply, his opponents claim that he was allegedly anointed by the outgoing governor Chief TA Orji, and as thus, if elected; TA Orji would be calling the shots using Okezie as a stooge. As absurd, if not idiotic, as this allegation sounds, many gullible folks have swallowed this story hook, line and sinker. Ignorance is actually the worst disease in Nigeria. People are fed lies and cheap blackmail and they take it as the gospel. What a shame!
While I don’t hold brief for Ikpeazu, let me state that this assertion is flawed in logic and history. In politics there is no permanent friend or permanent enemy, but permanent interest. TA Orji and Okezie can become sworn enemies tomorrow, the fact that you helped someone attain a height, doesn’t necessarily mean you will be allowed to tele-guide the person. Many instances abound. Every Nigerian knows that Chief Obasanjo was President’s Jonathan’s godfather, but what happened once Jonathan assumed power? The story is well known for me to repeat it here. Again, let’s even look at the current governor Chief TA Orji. He was in detention when his boss Orji Uzor Kalu did everything for him to emerge. Today, what is the situation on ground? TA Orji has moved on and now at daggers drawn with his former OGA AT THE TOP. That is politics. No permanent friend or enemy, but permanent interests.
Furthermore, the case of Dr Ngige and his former godfather Chris Uba in 2004 suffices here. It was widely alleged that Ngige was even made to sign his resignation in advance, and was even taken to a shrine for an oath of allegiance before the elections. All these never deterred Ngige, who immediately on assumption of office, liberated himself from the shackles of his godfather, and served his people diligently. Today, Ngige is reputed to be one of the best governors Anambra state has ever produced.
I have taken this length to cite these instances, in order to disabuse the minds of our people on Okezie’s Candidature. Once you are sworn in as a Governor, it becomes your personal choice to be loyal to your godfather or to the People who elected you. Whatever alleged agreement becomes null and void. They have no legal implications whatsoever. If Ngige did it successfully, Okezie can do it. If Chief TA Orji can liberate himself from Orji Uzor Kalu, then there is no person that cannot liberate himself, unless the person chooses not to. I am not saying there is a secret deal between the two, the point I am raising is that even if there is such a deal, it means nothing. Once Okezie is sworn in, the onus would be on him to decide which master to serve. In any case, he has a ready example of Ngige to emulate.
Therefore, I am encouraging Abians to vote for Okezie Ikpeazu based on his qualifications and capacity to deliver, and ignore the cheap blackmail being orchestrated by opponents who feel intimidated by Okezie’s intimidating credentials and pedigree. How come no person is asking about Okezie’s skills and competencies? How come opponents are not asking about Okezie’s antecedents? How come opponents are not faulting Okezie’s master plan to make Aba the industrial and commercial capital of West Africa? How come opponents are not raising any questions about his personal attributes and charisma? These are the pertinent questions to ask a prospective employee of the People. Unfortunately, because they have no valid questions to ask, they are dissipating energy on pedestrian issues.
Moreover, the founding fathers of Abia State drew a charter of equity in order to achieve unity in diversity and allay the fears of domination. It was agreed that power would rotate among the senatorial districts in the State. Although this is not constitutionally enshrined, however, it is morally binding. It is a beautiful arrangement that can maintain political balance and achieve peace and stability in Abia State. We cannot fault the wisdom of our founding fathers on this arrangement; rather, we should commend them for their vision and foresight. Accordingly, Abia North Senatorial Zone produced a governor in the person of Dr Orji Uzor Kalu between 1999-2007. Afterwards, Abia Central Senatorial Zone succeeded Abia North in the person of the current governor Chief TA Orji, whose tenure expires next Month. In line with the principles of Abia Charter of equity, in the interest of justice and fair play, the next governor of Abia should come from Abia South Senatorial zone. Abia South is the only senatorial district yet to produce a governor. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Okezie has been unanimously adopted by people and leaders of Abia South. However, his main challenger, Dr Alex Otti’s candidature is flawed on this moral ground. Dr Otti’s local government of origin Arochukwu is in Abia North. His local government of residence Isiala Ngwa South is in Abia Central. Both zones had already produced state governors respectively. So in both scenarios, Dr Otti falls outside the principles and ideals of this brotherly arrangement by our founding fathers. I therefore consider Dr Otti’s ambition a violation of the Abia Charter of Equity, which is the pillar that holds Abia State. Our founding fathers envisaged this and made a beautiful arrangement for power rotation, in the interest of peace, justice and fair play. It is in our collective interests to allow power rotate round the three senatorial districts in Abia State, before we consider making adjustments or scrapping the arrangement in totality. Until then, power should be allowed to rotate to Abia South.
In conclusion, pursuant to the principles of meritocracy and fairness, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu should be returned as the next executive governor of Abia State, come Saturday the 11th of April 2015. He merits the position either way. On his personal attributes, he is eminently qualified to be our next governor. By the principles of Abia Charter of Equity, he deserves to be our next governor. I do fervently hope that my good people of Abia State would disregard the wicked blackmail and propaganda against him, and concentrate on his plans to turn Abia around for our collective good.
Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has got the vision, let’s give him the mission.
God bless Abia State
God bless Nigeria.
Edozie Okeiyi (Political Analyst)
Wrote from the United Kingdom.