Aside from a few unexceptional socio-political kerfuffles, one destructive albatross around our necks is our Janus-faced politicians, especially, the emeritus, who, nowadays parade as elder statesmen and community leaders.
Their ingenuity to subtly present egotism as the kernel of virtue has disorientated our youths. Their dialogue on social media is evident that the majority have embraced this sordid machination as a norm. It has entrenched tribalism and taradiddle in our political discussions, enthronement of government and transitions.
One of the architects of this distorted democratic praxis imperilling our peaceful coexistence in Abia State today is Chief Reagan Ufomba. He used tribal sentimentalism, euphemistically called “the great Ngwa declaration of 2003”, to polarise the electorate.
Hiding under it, he overtly promoted chasm between the citizenry, espousing and accentuating the abolished old political zones (old Bende and old Aba zones) through paid writers. One of the writers who were at the epicentre of the scheming was Mr Temple Chima Ubochi. He authored multiplicity of propagandistic and inciting write-ups that promoted hatred and virulence among us.
His temporary jettison of his deep-rooted tribalistic sentiment before the 2011 Abia gubernatorial election was a pure publicity stunt to get the PDP ticket. We watched in awe as he launched Change Abia and claimed he had set up an N100 million youths empowerment fund, engaged John Fashanu and Evangelist McCants for the project.
In the interview, he granted Vanguard newspaper published on January 2, 2010, under the headline: The problem with Abia, by ex guber aspirant, Ufomba – one of the ills he identified as a menacing impediment to development was elite squabble (big men fighting here and there).
When asked to explain how he intended to bring the change in Abia, Chief Ufomba bemoaned the fight between the then Governor T.A. Orji and his predecessor, Dr Orji Kalu and said thus:
“What they are fighting for, we do not know. So, we intend to cement all manner of relationships so, that Abia can truly become God’s Own State. That is our vision, and we are ready to drive that vision.”
However, it only took a mere closeness to Governor Ikpeazu (not the exalted seat) for Chief Ufomba to make a caricature of his applaudable declaration. He undermined Governor Ikpeazu’s political philosophy, and the concept of noblesse oblige to engineer a contrive faceoff between the governor and the ABHA Speaker.
Expectedly, he deployed his old acrimonious method to make it look like a showdown between his soi-disant Ukwa-Ngwa and Old Bende political blocs. His conflict-ridden write-up replete with an enflaming interpretation of the Speaker’s unsubstantiated remarks had since provoked salvos of attacks from disenchanted loyalists. Our youths are also threatening to attack each other; courtesy of Chief Ufomba’s unsolicited spokesmanship.
Is it not a paradox that the man who, a few years ago blamed the feud between Ochendo and OUK for underdevelopment in Abia State is the one stoking a dual between the governor and Ochendo family?
I am in support of Ikpeazu liberating himself from Ochendo’s control if any. But it should be devoid of the kind of resentment witnessed in 2010. Abia State should not become a war zone, neither, should the youths carry arms against each other because of it.
The Okezie Ikpeazu I know would never ask anybody to start a fight on his behalf. His supporters should desist from making him look like a weak man. A vendetta against his predecessor isn’t his methodology. He explicitly said it in an interview he granted Charles Kumolu of Vanguard newspaper, published on November 5, 2014, under the headline – How I’ll Build on Ochendo’s Foundation.
Let me however refresh Chief Ufomba’s memory with his enticing submission towards the tail end of his 2010 interview.
“I worked with T.A. Orji when he was Chief of Staff. He has what it takes to govern a state. But who are those advising him? A leader must have able lieutenants. People who must be good and experience. People who are well travelled.
“What I am saying is, he needs highly creative people. People who are sophisticated in their chosen fields. People who can correctly and rightly advise him. That is what governance is all about.”
Sir, can you confidently say that your recent action was in concurrence with the statement above credited to you in Vanguard newspaper? Think about it. Ikpeazu is humble, not weak. This trait explains why he magnanimously embraced and bring you close to himself after you worked against him in 2015.
Thanks to Dr Alex Otti who, outmuscled you and grabbed the APGA ticket at your expense. I am sure you would have presented yourself for the gubernatorial election, undermining your divisive great Ngwa declaration.
As for some of our youths acting as if under a magic spell; before you get yourself involved in a matter that adds no value to your development, ask Chief Ufomba the whereabouts, of his N100 million youths empowerment fund. Remember that he engaged John Fashanu and Evangelist McCants to ensure its success. How many of you benefitted from it? As you ponder over it, I encourage you to go back to your tents oh ye Abia battered youths.
To be continued.