Obi Aguocha Reinforcing His “Ikwuano Slavery” Remarks is Irresoinsible, Unacceptable – Group

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The controversies surrounding Chief Obi Aguocha’s anti-Ikwuano remarks are still raging.

Recall that Obi Aguocha during one of his recent campaigns at an event in Ikwuano had inferred that Ikwuano people are slaves based on his narratives that people of Ikwuano were being dominated by their Umuahia brothers promising to liberate them from such slavery if elected at the 2023 polls.

However, a group of young professionals of Ikwuano origin based abroad, the Ikwuano Young Professionals (Worldwide), IYPW, had in a statement condemned in very strong words the ‘slave’ references to Ikwuano people by Aguocha describing it as “most uncharitable, irresponsible and unfortunate”!

In a retort to the statement by Obi Aguocha through one of his associates, Barr Chika Ben Favour, IYPW said Aguocha rather than clarify his statement reemphasised and reinforced his earlier stance declaring Ndi Ikwuano as slaves. This has once again drawn the ire of IYPW who issued a fresh statement signed by Martin Igbokwe and Charles Onyemaechi, President and Secretary respectively, condemning Aguocha for his “politics of humiliation, division and slavery” and warned him to either stop further denigrating Ikwuano people in the name of campaign or he would be declared persona non grata in Ikwuano land.

Part of the statement reads:

“We find it painful but inevitable to have to return to Chief Obi Aguocha’s claims of our great land and people of Ikwuano being slaves to our Umuahia brothers. While there is no need repeating our earlier stance that under no circumstance are the people of Ikwuano anyone’s slaves and can never be, we find it quite appalling that Aguocha insists that our people are and presents himself as an Emperor, the only one who can rescue us from his imaginary slavery.

“For Aguocha to have repeated this publicly through one of his associates, one Barr Chika Favour Ben in the guise of putting up a defence is an insulting indication that Aguocha does not rate us as a people in Ikwuano. His statement that: ‘my people, let TRUTH be told. Anyone who has sincerely read Aguocha’s manifesto can deduce that he in no way insulted Ndi Ikwuano, but said the obvious truth that Ndi Ikwuano has (sic) been political SLAVES to Ndi Umuahia’.

“We find the above statement highly offensive to our sensibilities, our people and our land, and we reject it in its entirety. No matter how hard he tries, Aguocha cannot absolve himself of hate speech against our people. This is most insensitive of him and we reject his assertions totally, fully and completely!

“Even if that is Aguocha’s view, is he no longer part of Umuahia as an Ohuhu man? Why does he claim Umuahia in one breadth and Ohuhu in another just to serve his political interest? As a man from the Ohuhu part of Umuahia, Aguocha’s clan of Ohuhu has been sharing the Chairmanship and Vice Chairmanshio of Umuahia North Local Government Area on a rotational basis with their Ibeku brothers. Why have Ibeku people not monopolised the positions but share them with their brothers of Ohuhu? Where is the selfishness of Ndi Ibeku in this, not to talk of it being extended to their Ikwuano brothers?

“It is a well documented fact that the reason Ndi Ohuhu could not produce a Member of the Federal House of Representatives in 2015 when they had the opportunity to do so was that out of the selfishness of some of them goaded by this same Aguocha, the clan produced nothing less than three candidates from different parties. All appeals for them to trim their number of candidates down to just one so they could go to the election with a united front failed. To this end, Ndi Ibeku did not field anyone for that position in 2015 so other clans could have a shot at it but some of our Ohuhu brothers bungled that opportunity out of their own selfish interests until one of our brothers from Ikwuano in the person of Hon Samuel Onuigbo clinched the victory right from under their nose. Given the above scenario, why is Aguocha making it look like Ndi Ibeku never conceded to their brothers and neighbours?

“Even in the current dispensation, the same Umuahia people have deliberately refused to field anyone in any of the leading parties for the Abia Central Senatorial District and have rather left it for Col Austin Akobundu (rtd), an illustrious son of Ikwuano. We know that in thebfullness of time, Ndi Ikwuano will also repay them for their good brotherliness.

“Aguocha is pushing us very hard to start playing the politics of ethnicity and bigotry with him by his ‘slave’ narratives and we are really holding back from joining him in such a dangerous game. If not, we would have asked him what benefits or developmental projects Ikwuano got from our Ohuhu brothers when one of their most illustrious sons was the first Executive Chairman of NDDC, a foremost and one of the most funded federal agencies in the country arguably only after NNPC, from 2004 – 2008.

“Even though the then Ohuhu-born Chairman of NDDC was not from an oil producing area in Abia State, he was appointed Chairman over and above Abians from oil producing areas despite the agency being created to cater to the needs of oil producing areas. Yet, Abians gave the Chairman their support which he fully deserved.

“While some may claim that Ikwuano should not have expected to benefit from the NDDC at that time since it is not an oil producing area, one is tempted to ask why Ndi Ohuhu benefitted massively from the same agency while it is also not an oil producing area?

“It is  most unfortunate that Aguocha’s campaign is based on vigorous attempts at disunity and fanning the embers of hatred rather than unifying the people. Such a man is dangerous and men and women of goodwill everywhere must reject him before he irreversibly poisons the spirit of brotherhood and good neighbourliness existing between two brother clans. If a man could go around sowing the seed of discord at such a time as this when he needs everyone’s votes, what will he not do in the impossible event that he wins the election?

“One can see why we do not wish to play the dangerous divisive game with Aguocha because when you point one finger at others, the other four will be pointing back at you.

“Lastly, Aguocha also made reference to the situation of Ndi Igbo as it concerns the Presidency, trying to use it to justify his irresponsible narrative of enslavement of Ikwuano people. The question one wants to ask is, how will Aguocha as an Igbo man feel if someone calls him a slave simply because his stock is yet to taste the presidency? Does he even consider the weight of such word on an entire people especially when it is based on warped and jaundiced political narratives woven only to satisfy a personal ambition?

“In concmusion, we reiterate our earlier stance that having gone so far to insult our people in such a brazen manner and still repeated same in his defence, we denounce and reject Chief Obi Aguocha, and also urge our people back home to do same in order to revlaim our glory and dignity from him. A man who views us as slaves will never treat us as a people deserving of dignity when he gets what he wznts”.

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