As the November 29, 2014 date for the PDP primaries draws near, the battle for who gets the 2015 governorship ticket of the party in Abia state has continued to gather momentum.
Various stakeholders have continued to plot on how to protect and deliver their candidates at the party primaries. There have been alignments and realignments across known political camps in the state.
The stage is set for Gov. Theodore Orji to collaborate with the stakeholders of the party to choose a successor who will consolidate on the achievements of his administration in the state. A lot of big names have declared interest particularly from Abia South where the governorship seat was zoned to. They include Chief Acho Nwakanma, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Barr. Friday Nwosu, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Ambassador Okey Emuchay, Chief Okezie Iheanacho and Chief Emeka Wogu. Others outside Abia South such as Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, Dr. Alex Otti and Dr. Uche Ogah have been upbeat about their chances to defy zoning and emerge PDP candidate on November 29th. It remains to be seen how any of the aspirants outside Abia South realize the ambition of succeeding Gov. Orji.
Sources knowledgeable about the affairs of the PDP insist that it would be an uphill task for any of the aspirants outside Abia south to emerge PDP candidate since the party has advised its members to abide with the decision. There is no doubt that the stage appears set for one of the aspirants from Abia south to emerge PDP governorship candidate and go on to the poll to win since the PDP is the ruling party in Abia state.
Among the aspirants, Dr. Ikpeazu until recently the Deputy General Manager of Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) was touted as having been anointed as successor by Gov. Orji but the latter through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ajunwa denied that he has any preferred candidate, insisting that he will ensure a level playing field for all aspirants.
A good number of the aspirants have gone the nooks and crannies of the 17 council areas of the state seeking the support of different stakeholders for their ambition. Many others appear to have done less while hoping on their godfathers play the game for them. In the meantime, people of Abia state are concerned with the character of the man who will succeed Gov. Orji. Majority opinion point to a desire that Gov. Orji’s successor should be one, who has the capacity to continue with his legacy projects, sustain the existing peace and unity in the state, be a God fearing, listening and humble person.
Gov. Orji had during the celebration of Abia’s 22nd anniversary at the state banquet hall on 27th August, 2013, said the best thing he did for Abia people is to save them from family domination and idol worshiping.
“There was a time in the history of Abia state that nobody could become an ordinary councilor with worshiping idol. After worshiping idol, you then worship an individual and his family. Abia people may not have known what I did for them; my major achievement is the liberation of Abia state from idol worship and family domination,”the governor was reported to have said.
Close associates of the governor insist that it would be against the interest of Abia state if any aspirant who is linked to the forces that held the state down in the past is allowed to emerge as governor in 2015. A cross section of stakeholders in Abia state who spoke to this writer that they would not allow the reversal of the modest achievements recorded by the Gov. Orji administration.
Adding a religious perspective to the issue of Gov. Orji’s successor, Bishop of Umuahia Methodist Archdiocese, Most. Rev. Sunday Agwu, had while welcoming dignitaries to the thanksgiving service organized in honour of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa, at Wesley Methodist Church, Umuahia, Agwu told Gov. Orji, “We have heard that your party has a zoning system, so you intend to hand over to Ukwa/Ngwa indigenes. Your Excellency, our plea is that you be careful about the person you are handing over to.
“We will not want to have a governor who is selfish, inaccessible, an idol worshiper, not compassionate, parochial, clannish and inhumane, or a governor who does not like to support the work of God.
The fiery cleric vowed to mobilize other clerics to pray out Gov. Orji’s successor if the latter decides to abandon the foundations, laid by the governor and return the state to the dark days of idol worship and family domination.
It is no longer news that some of the aspirants have their links with the cabal who held the Abia state down in the past, wining and dining with them in the night while pretending to be loyal to Gov. Orji in the day.
Barely two months after former political office holders during the Orji Uzor Kalu, lamented that they were taken to Okija shrine where they took oath of allegiance to the former governor, maverick Kalu has boasted about how some functionaries and unnamed governorship aspirants has been pledging loyalty to him. There is every need for Gov. Orji and the PDP in the state to support a candidate who will not betray the trust of the people of the state by dragging Abia back to the years of locust.
To guard against reversal of the achievements of the present administration when it leaves office, Gov. Orji could do well to throw his weight against these class of aspirants who are well known associates and proteges of Kalu. It is clear that any chance of these aspirants, who having taken oath at Okija Shrine ,held political appointments under Kalu emerging governor in 2015, would be to draw the state 20 years backwards.
Of what profit will it be to Gov. Orji to anoint a candidate who he will be constantly watching his ‘back’? Of what profit will it be to Abia of a governor who having been accustomed to Okija shrine during Kalu’s regime, will now take his commissioners, council chairmen and other functionaries to Okija Shrine? Of what profit will it be to Abia of a candidate who will be sworn in as governor only to ignite animosity between different sections of the state? Of what profit will it be to Abia of a governor who will not hesitate to wine and dine with those who placed the interest of their families above that of the state in the past?
The time to guard the future of the Abia State is now. No matter their ambition induced loyalty to Gov. Orji and members of the first family, every step must be taken to shut out aspirants who clearly have links to the cabal behind the sordid past of the state. It is clear that Gov.Orji would be taking a very big risk if he anoints any candidate who served under Kalu, whether they served as deputy governor, TC chairmen, commissioners or board chairmen. Such aspirants are only waiting to be handed the seat before they denigrate Gov. Orji and return the state to their sponsors. The signs are that Kalu is only waiting to benefit from the plot. The earlier Gov. Orji and the stakeholders of the PDP realize their game and works towards nipping it in the bud, the better for Abia state.
Chukwudi John a public affairs analyst, writes from Umuahia.
The past leaders in Abia had assumed that we do not have any dreams to be fulfilled, they lost track of the rudimentary process which was important to embark on and lead us to our destiny. Propaganda ate deep into their system,selfish interest brought down their values , and the significant of democratic leadership was not met and which made them to fail in their very tenures.
Ouk is an expired politician and should not be taken serious at all
my happiness is that we have an intelligent,selfless and erudite man as a governor, he knws exactly what abia state need, he has developed abia state to the standard inwhich the incoming governor will atleast knw where to start, GOD BLESS OCHENDO GLOBAL.
It’s unfortunate that people do not understand what is obtainable in the political system by asking if Chief T.A Orji(CON) will be able to anoint his successor or not,that is far beyond what we play in the system.
It is the party that will decide who gets what in terms of positions so let’s stop accusing the Governor of anointing any one.
Mr Cheche Ifeanyi,
It is obvious you are not from Abia state or you are a blind man.
I beg you to visit Aba and tell the world what your Ochendo has done.
PEOPLE LIKE YOU SEE WHITE AND CALL IT RED.