Only one thing could thrive for a desperado in his dealings with the masses. That thing is none other than amnesia.
As it is known, amnesia is loss of memories; such as facts, information and experiences. Some readers here that were convert with William Shakespeare’s Play, Julius Caesar, would recall that one thing that was characteristically common amongst the Roman Mob was loss of memory. Hence it took the ingenuity of a disciplined mind like Mark Anthony to remind them of the various laurels that the Great Julius Caesar had relentlessly laboured to bring, even in wars, in the overall interest of the Great Roman Empire.
Abia State went through a rigorous devastating experience between 1999 and 2007, even stretching up to 2009-2010, by politics of corrosive approximation.
The period under review marked the inglorious era of Chief Orji Uzor Kalu’s eight years of pervasive rule of Abia State, 1999-2007 and the first three years of Chief T A Orji as Governor of Abia State, during which Chief Orji Uzor Kalu and family continued to pluck and rip off Abia State in the most heartless manner.
The eight years of Chief Orji Uzor Kalu as Governor of Abia State, is one experience no State would ever imagine could repeat in its life time. To start with, the Administration of Chief Orji Uzor Kalu did not, in any way, hide its main objective of wrecking the State only for the selfish reasons of the Kalus. They were a swarm of locusts that voraciously gregariously descended on Abia State.
Like an all-conquering army, the Kalus deliberately grouped themselves into three Divisions. One Division was commanded by Chief Orji Uzor Kalu himself. The second Division was commanded by his mother, Chief(Mrs) Eunice Kalu. The third Division was headed jointly by the two brothers of Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, Messrs Nnanna Kalu and Mascot Kalu.
The above three divisions were so economically tightly structured and enveloped that each served as thorough exploitative conduit-pipe. Every money that accrued to the State, be it from the Federal Account Allocation Committee, FAAC or Internally Generated Revenue, was, in totality, the Kalus’ revenue.
The situation was so bad , resultant of unrepentant massive exploitation of the State by the Kalus, that while the State was being impoverished on a continuous basis, the Kalus were busy shamelessly amassing stupendous wealth, to the detriment of the people of Abia State.
No concrete effort was made for development of lasting infrastructure in the State. The Dubai Roads that the administration claimed to have done, even at highly exaggerated cost, were no where to be seen two years after they were said to have been commissioned. All through the excruciating period of eight years, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu never constructed even a single drainage in any part of Aba.
The highest and best empowerment the administration considered good enough for the masses of Abia State were spades, shovels, wheelbarrows and, sparingly, used motorcycles.
While Abians were considered not fit for democratic dividends, Governor Orji Uzor Kalu converted the common wealth of the people of Abia State to floating an Airline, the Slok Air. Like a ravaging acquisitor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu also bought Ships, one of which he named after his first daughter, Nenya. He even had the effrontery of inviting the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, to launch the Ship but the President declined on moral grounds and in sensitivity to public accountability.
An insight into the spate of mindless extortion that happened in the State under Governor Orji Uzor Kalu has been made public through many platforms within the Nigerian State. The revelation is, of course, mind boggling.
Apart from the unprecedented looting that was another name for the administration, many Abians were alleged to have been coerced into pledging their loyalty to deities other than the Jehova God. This irritating aspect was recently captured by Senator Enyi Abaribe in his Book, Made In Aba.
From 2003 to 2007, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, who was a promoter of unquantifiable mediocrity, imposed his younger brother, Chief Nnanna Kalu, a man who was, at best, a dunderhead, on the people of Aba-North/Aba-South Federal Constituency. As he knew next to nothing, Nnanna, for eight years, never raised his hand even to support a motion on the floor of the House of Representatives, not to talk of moving a motion himself. If he could not do either of the above, it would have amounted to preposterousness expecting Nnanna to sponsor or even co-sponsor any Bill.
One thing was clear. The people of Abia State took a firm decision never to have anything to do with the crude exploitative tendencies of the Kalus again in their lives.
Infact, they vowed not to go back to Egypt. To them, having any other thing with the Kalus would simply mean going back to Egypt.
Thinking that the Aba Electorate could suffer from amnesia like the Roman mob, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu has imposed his second younger brother, Mascot, on his Party, APC, as her candidate for the Aba-North/Aba-South Federal Constituency in the bye-election scheduled for Saturday 27th March, 2021.
Unknown to him, the Aba Electorate are not people to play on their intelligence. In the first instance, what is Mascot going to do in the Hallowed Chambers of the House of Representatives?
The answer to the above question lies in the fact that Abians in general and Aba in particular will not go back to Egypt. The aspiration of the Kalus are already a mission impossible.
It should, however, be warned that Chief Orji Uzor Kalu knows that he has no grounds for electoral optimism in Aba but he would be planning heavily on rigging the election at all cost.
The Leadership, Members and Supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State should not just rely on the popularity of PDP, especially leveraging on the unprecedented infrastructural revolution Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has achieved in Aba. They should leave no stone unturned. They should take no chances. They should do everything to make sure they protect their votes, up to the terminal point of declaring results.
It is equally imperative to remind the Independent National Electoral Commission that the fate of democracy in Nigeria depends, to a very large extent, on her impartiality. Aba has always been a very volatile political environment. The Electoral Body should respect the sensibilities of the Electorate in Aba.
Okwubunka of Asa.