Abia State is designated God’s Own State. Implicit in this designation is the fact that Leadership of the State requires individuals with sound moral backup. Morality is a precious virtue with which the true character of a man can be tested. Though it is relative, its principles are imbibed in a society that has set its standard of human behavior. Any form of human attitude that fails the “general acceptability” test within a particular locality is automatically adjudged immoral.
A certain Ibo adage posits that there is wisdom in grey hair. Respect for Elders in the society is driven by moral values inculcated in humans via good parental upbringing. The popular biblical quote- ” TO YOUR TENT O’ ISREAL ” is a product of lack of morals. Whereas the Elders in Israel had advised King Rehoboam to lessen the plight of his subjects, he deliberately turned deaf ears and hearkened to the advice of his fellow young men. That was a mark of disrespect to the Elders of the land. That decision turned counterproductive as same saw a split of his kingdom.
When Elders speak, they speak wisdom. Abia State has 3 Senatorial Constituencies- Abia North, Abia Central and Abia South. The first two Constituencies had produced Governors for 16 years combined. Relying on the cardinal principles of natural justice, equity and good conscience and other grounds to be discussed hereunder, the Elders of Ukwa/Ngwa ( comprised of Political Leaders, professionals, business men, Traditional Rulers, Traders, Society Groups, Elder Statesmen, stakeholders, clergy, etc ) assembled in Isialangwa Ancient kingdom and ADOPTED Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu as their consensus candidate for the 2019 Gubernatorial election in Abia State.
It is also pertinent to justify the Elders’ second tenure endorsement with laudable achievements of the Governor within 3 years in office. Adoption of a consensus candidate is not alien to the Nigerian democratic system. Its utilitarian value cannot be overemphasized because it creates wide opportunities for equal representation and/or distribution of dividends of democracy to all parts of the State.
The aforementioned adoption provoked Dr Alex Otti, who is completely malnourished in moral principles and ethics. During an interview published by Sun Newspaper of April 8, 2018, the Arochukwu born but self acclaimed Isialangwa South indigene berated and disparaged the Ukwa/Ngwa Elders by calling them ” ritualists, marabouts and native doctors”. What an insult! This is a man who thinks himself qualified to govern a State. The people he insulted are the same people he is going to plead for their votes in 2019.
Till date, Otti’s arrogance and pride could not allow him issue a Press Statement and apologize to Ukwa/Ngwa Leaders. His reference to the Elders as ritualists and marabouts is not even seen as an insult by his own standard of judgment. All his actions are right and perfect in his own eyes. This is the reason he refused to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship and say congratulations to his Christian brother ( Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu ) till date.
While Ukwa/Ngwa Leaders have fortified themselves and are now patiently waiting to teach the Arochukwu man a great lesson through the ballot box in 2019, he has equally showered another rain of insult on Ohaneze Ndigbo for endorsing the incumbent Governor against 2019. Their spirited calls to support Ikpeazu for 2019 provoked derogatory missiles from Dr Alex Otti through one of his Media Assistants- Ferdinand Ekeoma. According to him, the apex Igbo socio-cultural Organization with such an enviable reputation, has both fraudsters and imposters as their members. Otti’s rain of insults has therefore expanded beyond the scope of Abia State.
When will Dr Alex Otti desist from insulting his Elders? What is now left is for Otti to insult the Nigerian Leaders. It appears this rain of insults will not also cease until Otti’s desperation movement to govern Abia State is fully terminated or till he rounds off his insult on World Leaders.
Abia State cannot be governed by a man who suffers such obvious moral deficiency.
By Ngwa Okereke
Public Affairs Analyst