The 2015 governorship aspiration of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who is representing Abia South Senatorial District, has suffered a major setback as leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia South and traditional rulers from the zone shunned a thank-you visit he (Abaribe) planned to the governor of the state, Chief T. A Orji last week for allegedly saying that he (Orji) will handover to someone from Abia South in 2015.
It was gathered that the visit didn’t hold due to Abaribe’s inability to inform and discuss the visit with other leaders in the zone, like the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Nwogu, former deputy governor of the state, Chief Acho Nwakamma, former Senate President, Senator Adolf Wabara, Hon. Uzo Azubuike, Hon. Eziuche Ubani, Hon. Uzoma Abonta and other PDP leaders in the zone frustrated the visit.
Abaribe, a reliable source said, contacted Eze Eberechi Dick, one of the influential traditional rulers in the zone from Obingwa, to organize traditional ruler from the zone for the visit, and also told the PDP leaders in the zone to get ready for the visit with a promise that he will provide 20 buses each for the six local government areas in the zone with the sum of N20,000 for fueling the buses for the trip to Umuahia.
Event turned against Abaribe when some of the PDP leaders and traditional rulers contacted other leaders from the zone to confirm if they are part of the visit as the Senator told them, but they were shocked to their marrows to hear from other leaders in the zone that Senator Abaribe never contacted or informed them of any plan by the zone to pay a thank-you visit to the governor. This development made the traditional rulers and Abia South PDP leader to pullout from the visit, and some of them confronted Abaribe and told him they would also not be part of his planned visit to the governor.
As a result of the exclusion of other leaders of the zone by Abaribe, the state governor, Chief T. A Orji, it was reliably gathered said he would not see Abaribe and his group.
Abaribe and his group met under the aegis of Abia-South Senatorial Indigenes Assembly, at Abia Hotels in Aba last week Monday, where a communique was drafted and he sponsored its publication in some newspapers.
One of the traditional rulers from Obingwa, who spoke under the condition of anonymity accused Abaribe of trying to use them for his selfish governorship interest, against the good relationship they’ve enjoyed in the state.
“If we didn’t crosschecked by asking other political leaders in Abia South, we would have fallen to Senator Abaribe’s antics. He wanted to use us for his selfish governorship interests. He told us that Chief Emeka Nwogu, Chief Acho Nwakamma, Senator Adolf Wabara and others were path of the thank-you visit to the governor, but when some of us contacted them, they told us that Senator Abaribe didn’t discuss such matter with them and that they would not be part of the visit since Abaribe did not inform them about it. That is why we had to tell Abaribe that we cannot join him in the visit since others are not part of it. If he had told us to join him as our senator to visit the governor, that would have been a different issue, but he told us that it was a visit by the people of Abia South to the governor.
“What Senator Abaribe was trying to do was to play a smart one, because he knows he has lost the support of the people due to his exclusion kind of politics. Senator Abaribe is one politician from Abia South that the people sacrificed a lot for, especially in 2003, during his fight against his former boss Orji kalu. Then, Abaribe had nothing to give to anybody, but we followed him in that fight believing that when he get to power, he would remember the people’s struggle for him. Some people died defending Abaribe. The entire Ukwa-Ngwa people, in unity supported him in 2003 when he ran for governor and 2007 when he ran for senate. But immediately he became our Senator, he changed from the Abaribe that we used to know, he fenced himself off from the people and forgot completely the sacrifice of the people.”
However a communique issued by the Abaribe and his loyalists, and was signed by Chief Don Ubani and Chief Chinwe Nwanganga for Abia-South Senatorial Indigenes Assembly, after their meeting in Abia Hotels in Aba last Monday reads in part: “sequel to the recent pronouncement by the Executive Governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore Orji, to the effect that, in the spirit of equity, justice and fairness, good governance, peace and progress, the next governor of God’s own State of Abia, come 2015, shall be an indigene of Abia-South leaders and indigenes of Abia South Senatorial Zone met in Aba and resolved.
“That we, the indigenes of Abia South Senatorial Zone do hereby express our unalloyed gratitude to Governor Theodore Orji, for openly declaring and asserting that equity demands that his successor in 2015 shall be an indigene of Abia South Senatorial Zone.”
Meanwhile, sources in the governor’s office has debunked the insinuation that the governor said he will handover to Abia South. The source which preferred anonymity said that what the governor has always said is that he will handover to Ukwa-Ngwa after his tenure.
The communique from Abia-South Senatorial Indigenes Assembly continued: “that we, the said Abia South Senatorial Zone, are not surprised by this pronouncement by Governor T. A. Orji because we have always had absolute confidence in him due to his known pedigree as a leader that unequivocally believe in the equity, accommodation, peace and progress.
“That we, the indigenes of Abia South do hereby reaffirm our continued loyalty to and confidence in the administration of Governor T. A. Orji.”