As the Abia state House of Assembly commence the screening of Commissioner Nominees, the controversy which raged against some ministerial nominees at the senate may play out in Abia state as mixed reactions have trailed some of the nominees sent to the Abia State House of Assembly by Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu.
The governor had through a list submitted to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Martin Azubuike, by his Chief of Staff, Chief Chijioke Nwakodo and his Special Adviser on Legislative Matters, Hon. Chinedum Elechi, appointed Barr. Uzor Azubuike, Mr Boni Iwuoha, Mr. Obinna Oriaku, Hon. Eziuche Ubani , Chief Stanley Eche, Chief Henry Ikoh, Chief Tony Ezebuiro, Chief Chinwe Nwanganga, Barr. Chima Mgbeke, Barr. Haglar Okorie and Barr. Gabriel Igboko as Commissioner nominees.
Others include; Hon. Osita Igbe, Mrs. Chinedum Brown, Chief Charles Ogbonnaya, Barr. Nnenna Obewu, Barr. Uche Ihediwa, Dr. John Ahukanna, Prof. Ikechi Mgboji and Ebo Iheukwumere. Among the nominees are two former members of the House of Representatives, former Commissioners, council transition committee chairmen and d former deputy chief of staff who all served in the immediate past administration in the state.
Among who whose nomination are being condemned are two former members of the House of Representatives; Uzo Azubuike and Eziuche Ubani. Others include former deputy chief of staff, Charles Ogbonna (Umuahia North)and Chinwe Nwanganga, a perennial commissioner from Ugwunagbo LGA. A cross section of some residents of the state opine the Commissioner nominees are well qualified, but condemned what they described as the recycling of past political office holders in the state.
In Aba North local council, a group known as Nzuko Ukwu Nde Nwe Ala (Assembly of Indigenous people), Aba North LGA, led by Chief Chima Abraham and allegedly sponsored by a former commissioner, Chief David Chigbu, had protested the nomination of the former member representing Aba North/ Aba South federal constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Uzo Azubuike, as a commissioner nominee from the council.
The group who said Azubuike hails from Isiala Ngwa North council and should be nominated to represent the area, called on the governor to appoint an indigene to represent the area in the state executive council and vowed to continue the protest until the marginalization of the local government is redressed.
According to a member of the group who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “We are protesting the continued marginalization of Aba North local government and recycling of past political office holders in Abia state. How can the governor appoint a non indigene to represent us when we have well qualified people? It is either the governor appoints an indigene of Aba North local government or we will take it that we don’t have anybody representing us in the state executive council.”
In Obingwa LGA, people of the area are said to be bitter with the nomination of the former two time member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Eziuche Ubani who they accuse of representing himself in his 8 year stay in the National Assembly.
However, a member of the PDP, Eme Uka Emmanuel has commended the Gov. Ikpeazu for appointing experienced persons including the former federal lawmakers who will assist him to transform the state.
According to him, “I have taken a critical look at the list of Commissioner Nominees; majority of them are seasoned technocrats who will help the governor transform the state. If people are protesting against some of the nominees, it is their democratic right, but let such protests but based on facts why they should not be confirmed; not on flimsy excuses.”
In other local government areas, it was gathered that opposition is building against some of the nominees who are said to have been part of every administration that has governed the state since 1999, as the popular agitation is that such nominees should make way for younger but qualified persons.
A PDP chieftain from Ukwa East LGA who spoke on the condition of anonymity told 247ureports.com that most of the commissioner nominees are past political office holders who have been in power for more than 8 years and called on the governor to inject younger but experienced people into his cabinet. He said, “Take a look at the nominee from Ukwa East, Chinedum Brown; this woman has been in government since time immemorial. She is too old now, having held several offices in the past. What new idea is Chinedu Brown going to offer? This is why the list of nominees is being condemned across the state. Ikpeazu should have gone for younger people who have the requisite experience.”
Reacting to the protest through a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Godwin Adindu, the state government accused the group of planning to foment trouble and disrupt the peace of the state in the disguise of protesting against the composition of the list of the Commissioner Nominees.
“The group has been mobilizing even opposition party members in this planned breach of peace. This is uncalled for. If the group has issues or reservations against the commissioner nominees, they such direct such grievances through the appropriate channel.”