Oha Ngwa, kwenu!
Unu eteela eh?
In exactly seven days from today, we shall be taking part in the gubernatorial elections in Abia State. That election, is by far, the most crucial political step we shall take as a people and I have a deep burden in my heart this morning to speak to us.
I am a young man but I have a fair knowledge of the history of the struggles of our people for political emancipation. For several decades, our people have toiled and pushed. Meetings upon meetings have been held. Gatherings upon gatherings have been organized. Rallies upon rallies have held. Many of our forebearers even lost their lives to this struggle.
From the days of the struggle for the creation of Aba State till the push for the election of a Governor of Ngwa extraction, it’s been a long and excruciating journey.
The election of our son, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu in 2015 as Governor was a historical event. Indeed, that election remains the most profound political achievement for our people. That election held greater significance than the election of Dr. Jaja Wachuku as First Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives in the early 1960s. For every true Ngwaman, Ikpeazu’s election wiped away decades of tears flowing from years of political struggle and subjugation. This is why we will ever remain grateful to all those who joined forces with us to make that event a reality.
Almost four years down the line, another struggle is here with us. This struggle, in my view, is even more important than what happened in 2015. The reelection of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is the biggest political challenge facing us as a people.
Since 1999, no Governor has ever failed in his reelection bid. Orji Uzor Kalu was reelected in 2003 for a second tenure. In 2011, TA Orji was reelected for a second tenure. Why must Ikpeazu not be reelected? Why? What offense did he commit?
Let me ask a question. Can we, in all good conscience, tell ourselves that these two past Governors did better than Ikpeazu in their first tenures?
Did they build more roads than Ikpeazu has built in his first tenure?
Were we safer then than now?
Which of them gave Aba better attention than Ikpeazu in his first tenure?
Which of these past Governors gave our people better attention than Ikpeazu?
Interestingly, when these past two Governors ran for reelection, their kinsmen put everything aside and ensured that the projects succeeded. Our own people as believers in justice worked with them then.
When Abaribe ran for Governor in 2003, a greater number of our people said No. We insisted that OUK and the people of Bende and Abia North be allowed to complete their tenures. OUK won that election, even in Obingwa, the home of Abaribe. He also won in practically all the Ngwa LGAs.
In 2011, TA Orji ran against our son, Ochiagha Reagan Ufomba. Our people stood with TA, not because we hated Ochiagha but because we felt that the people of Umuahia should be allowed to finish their tenures.
Now, it is our own turn to complete our term. Why must any Ngwaman stand against this historic project?
Why must our own be different?
What are we going to tell our children?
Let me ask us again…
What are Uche Ogah and Alex Otti offering us?
Uche Ogah and APC are offering us Deputy Governor! For me, it is the biggest gratuitous insult on the collective integrity of the Ngwa nation for anyone to tell us to leave our son who is Governor to support a man who is offering us Deputy Governor.
Martins Azubuike is our son. If he becomes Deputy Governor, it may represent personal progress for him but for our people, it will represent a massive retrogression of mega proportions. We have had Deputy Governors from Ngwaland before. Indeed, six our sons have collectively become Deputy Governors on NINE different occasions.
What will Martins Azubuike do for us that Late Prince Isaac Uzoigwe from Osusu Aba didn’t do for us as Deputy Governor to Mbakwe?
What will Martins Azubuike do for us that Enyinnaya Abaribe from Ohuru Obingwa did not do as Deputy Governor to Orji Uzor Kalu?
What will Martins Azubuike do for us that Late Dr. Chima Nwafor from Umuojima Osisioma Ngwa didn’t do for us as Deputy Governor three times to Ogbonnaya Onu and Orji Uzor Kalu?
What will Martins Azubuike do for us that Acho Nwakanma from Ohanze Obingwa did not do as Deputy Governor to Orji Uzor Kalu and TA Orji?
What will Martins Azubuike do for us that Chris Akomas from Nenu Obingwa didn’t do for us as Deputy Governor to TA Orji?
What will Martins Azubuike do for us that Emeka Ananaba from Obegu Ugwunagbo did not do as Deputy Governor to TA Orji?
You mean that we will leave our son who is Governor to stand behind an Uche Ogah who is offering us Deputy Governor? God forbid! Nde k’anyi, unu gbafu asu! Tufiaaa!
Alex Otti’s case is even worse. That one made an audacious move at attempting to steal our ancestral heritage. All over our land, people from various places have lived with us for several years. None of these people have ever attempted to usurp our heritage. Otti did!
Nde Ngwa, eji eji affidavit ado isi opara eh?
Eji eji okwu bekee ere akika la ahia?
Madu ojikwa ahafu nwa ke omuru, ga ekuru nwa iko?
Odidigh whe madu kuru nwa iko ya akpogh papa wo!
Otti even picked his running mate from Ohafia! He is from Arochukwu and his running mate is from Ohafia. So our people should go to hell, ehh kwa? Odinma!
Ikpeazu may not have achieved 100%. He may not have done everything. But he has done enough to merit a second term. But this election is not really about Ikpeazu. I think it goes beyond him. It is more about us as a people and about the things we hold dear. It is about our attitude to what is ours.
We will be making a mistake if we make Ikpeazu the focus in this election. Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu as an individual has made history as the very first Ngwaman to be elected Governor. That history, no one can change. His picture will remain in the Abia Hall of fame and on the walls,of our Government House forever. This is not about him but about us.
One day, I asked him why he likes to spend most of his spare time at the Governor’s Lodge in Aba. I asked this question because I noticed that no matter the time of the day, once he is done with work at Umuahia, he returns to Aba.
He looked at me and smiled.
Ururuaja, he called me.
Nnam Ukwu! I answered.
Listen to me. He took off his glasses and looked up to the ceiling.
“I bear a burden. A burden of history. I am the first Ngwaman to become Governor. Before me, no other Ngwaman has sat on this seat. Our people have hungered and thirsted for generations. I must make our people feel this seat. I must make them come close to this seat. They must feel me. The Lodge at Umuahia is far more comfortable than here. My wife and kids are there but I must come here for the sake of our people. They must see me and speak with me. This lodge has been abandoned for several years. I brought it back to life so that our people can feel their son. They tell me about their families, their work and life generally. We discuss like brothers and family. That interaction is very important and no amount of money can buy it”.
By the time he finished, my ears became teary.
We must rise as a people to do this!
We must reelect Okezie Ikpeazu next Saturday.
If we don’t, it will be a GENERATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT that we will never recover from till we all go to our graves.
Luckily, we have our brothers from old Bende who share our dreams and believe truly that justice and equity demand that Ikpeazu is reelected. I know a good number of them who are committed to this project. We must join hands with them and make this happen!
This is the turn of Abia South!
The other two zones took their two turns! Ours must not be different, for whatever reason!
Nde k’anyi lei!
Whena mbudi alili wo!
Alili ejidigh ele mba wo!
Ekele akporo aha madu kwee, odi onye nwe ya wo!
Nwaa agbaala aji, odikwa nna nwa nma l’onu eh?
Nkpakara sweater anudigh la ikwuwa aka agho wo!
Nwafo Ngwa obula nsi la Ikpeazu agagh ichizu ugboro l’abu, odikwa ma ofo wo!
Chineke lee kwa wo!
Ala Ngwa lee kwa wo!
Ndiche nwoko,Ndiche nwanyi lee kwa wo!
Aham mbu Ururuaja.
Anom la Umule da eri akpu!