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Abia-North Re-run


Okezie Ikpeazu


Sir Don Ubani; KSC, JP
(Okwubunka of Asa)

Former Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Abia State

Umuiku-Isi-Asa,  Ukwa-West

E-mail: Ubanidon@yahoo.com

P.M.B. 7048, Aba

Phone: 08035523360

14TH FEBRUARY, 2016.




Perception matters much when it is time for man to take a decision or even evaluate a situation. What one sees or hears could go a long way to build one’s perception on any given subject.

 The result of the 2015 governorship election in Abia State had almost created the impression that many members of the People’s Democratic Party in Abia-North Senatorial District had brazenly failed to identify themselves with the Party’s resolution for power shift to Abia-South Senatorial Zone.

 Political Party membership demands disciplined adherence to party guidelines and directives by members. As at the 2015 governorship election in Abia State, equity, justice, fairness and good conscience made it indisputable that the governor of the state, by that election, should be of Abia-South extraction. This was clearly because Abia-North had produced a governor, in the person of Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, that governed for eight years and Abia-Central had Governor Theodore Orji, who was rounding off a stretch of eight years in office. This meant that old Bende was rounding off sixteen years of unobstructed governance of Abia State.

 Based on the above, it was unimaginable that any member of the People’s Democratic Party in the state could stand up to work against the electoral success of the governorship candidate of the party who had rightly emerged from the southern zone. When the results of the election started being released, it was painfully evident that many members of the Party in areas other than the Ukwa/Ngwa geo-political zone had surreptitiously worked with the All Progressives Grand Alliance to the detriment of their Party in their polling units and wards.

The outcome was that most big names of the Party in those areas witnessed their Party beaten in their polling units. The most worrisome intelligence was that some P.D.P candidates in those areas were not ashamed to canvas that they be voted for by their people while they were free to vote for a governorship candidate other than that of the P.D.P. Thank God, the people of Ukwa/Ngwa were, more than ever before, united for a common purpose, making effective use of their superior numerical strength to make sure that an Abia governor of Ukwa/Ngwa extraction emerged.

 Even when the election of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was unjustifiably nullified by the Court of Appeal that was headed by Her Lordship; Justice Oyebisi Omoloye at Owerri, it was strongly alleged that some members of the Party from outside the Ukwa/Ngwa bloc, including some current political appointees, nocturnally went to congratulate their brother, Dr. Alexander Otti. The thought of man has always been sharply different from the will of God. With the Supreme Court Verdict upholding the election of Governor Ikpeazu, the same persons that took cows, esoteric drinks and other precious gifts to the man they had thought would usurp the freely given mandate of Dr. Ikpeazu are now the most fanatical commercial radio congratulatory message advertisers. This is man for you!

 Come March 5th 2016, the Independent National Electoral Commission will conduct a senatorial re-run election in Abia-North to determine who becomes her senator. It would be recalled that Senator Mao Ohuabunwa had won the election on March 28, 2015, having beaten the duo of Chief Ogba David Onuoha and Orji Uzor kalu of All Progressives Grand Alliance and Progressive People’s Alliance, respectively to second and third positions.

 Of course, Senator Ohuabunwa had contested on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. His election was subsequently upheld by the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal that sat at Umuahia and which was headed by Justice Adeniyi Onibanjo. In contradiction to the verdict of the Lower Tribunal, Justice I.G. Mbaba of the Court of Appeal that sat at Owerri nullified his election and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a fresh election to elect a Senator for Abia-North.

The March 5th election in Abia-North is a direct challenge to whoever that calls himself or herself a member of the People’s Democratic Party in Abia-North, both big and small. There are many reasons why P.D.P members and admirers in Abia-North should work diligently to guarantee the electoral success of the Party in the forth-coming election. In the first instance, the Party’s flag-bearer, Mao Ohuoabunwa, is unarguably the best of the three major candidates vying for the position. The Legislative arm of government requires individuals that are versatile, skilled, visionary, articulate, sociable and proficient in pyrotechnics. If the trio of Mao Ohuabunwa, Orji kalu and David Onuoha are weighed on a legislative scale, there would be no gain saying it, Ohuabunwa would weigh far above the other two put together. There is no basis for Kalu and Onuoha to compete with Ohuabunwa when it comes to matters of legislation. As 7up advertorial puts it, the difference is clear.

 The few months Mao Ohuabunwa stayed in the Senate was a period of pride, not only for the people of Abia-North and Abia State but for the entire Igbo Nation. It is on record that the first bill that was presented in the current Senate was the one initiated perfected and sponsored by Mao Ohuabunwa; Follow Better, as he is fondly called by his numerous admirers. The long neglected Ohafia-Arochukwu road was given adequate legislative attention by Follow Better. Isuikwuator/Umunneochi area that had been without electricity for a very long time was also given attention by Ohuabunwa within his short stint in the Senate. Ofcourse, Ohuabunwa drew the attention of the Nigerian government to the problems of ecology in Abia-North and other areas in Abia State. Mao is a very experienced and brilliant legislator, whose ability to speak the three major Nigerian languages naturally makes him a bridge and path-finder for effective national interaction and integration.

 The time has come when the Igbo should do away with sentiments and make effective use of the best in their squad. The worrisome state of infrastructural backwardness in Igbo land does not support electing individuals from whom optimum performance can not be guaranteed. The people of Abia-North should be able to differentiate between the parameter for success in trade and commerce and that of legislation. If this contest were to be in business, many notable Abians would come out strongly to bark both Orji Kalu and David Onuoha, without giving consideration to Mao Ohuabunwa. But because this is legislation, the reverse automatically is the case.

 Abia-North parades an array of political heavy weights and who incidentally are members of the P.D.P. The State Chairman of the Party; Senator Emman Nwaka, and the deputy governor of the state, Sir Ude Okochukwu are from Abia-North. Three members of the House of Representatives; Hon. Nnenna Ukeje, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha and Hon. Uko Nkeole are from Abia-North. The Deputy Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, five serving Honourable Commissioners and the Secretary to the State Government are from Abia-North. There are many other big wigs of the P.D.P family, including Ukpai Agwu Ukpai, P.C. Mba and P.C. Onyegbu, who are from Abia-North. If these great men and women could put their act together, Mao Ohuabunwa would win conveniently and comfortably. Any result other than this, would surely generate interpretations that would give room for ambiguity and suspicion.


 Don Ubani



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