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KALU - ABIA

2019: Why Kalu will lift Abia to APC (1)

Ebere Wabara

With the entry of former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, into the All Progressives Congress (APC), it is certainly a death knell for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State.

In an obnoxious abuse of democracy, the PDP made the process so simple and simplistic for former governors who did not accomplish anything for eight years to unrestrainedly become members of the ninth session of the upper legislative chamber on a platter of silver! It is only in Nigeria that this kind of absurdity can happen. Ex-governors who should be publicly interrogated for their abysmal tenures and most likely dispatched to maximum prison yards for eternal confinement are patted on the back with senatorial recompense/retirement!

If the PDP took this decision with a caveat that only governors who attained a 60 percent age performance threshold will get automatic nomination and representation at subsequent polls, there would be no reservations. But to now endorse executive governors’ leadership mediocrity and dismal governance through the instrumentality of consensual deals is irresponsible, to say the least. The implication of this kind of duplicitous arrangement is that serving or incoming governors on the platform of the PDP now have the liberty and leeway to carry on unaccountably and nonchalantly towards the people’s feelings. This is an official institutionalization of a novel paradigm of insensitivity and a culture of impunity, despotism and haughtiness of incomparability! I cannot fathom how the party arrived at this crossroads.

I also do not comprehend the premium the PDP places on its governors as to depend on them for victory in their respective states. Except for a few distinguished governors who can sway their followers and the grassroots population, most governors are liabilities unto themselves and their party!

Except if the PDP is creatively saying that these governors have a manipulative way of guaranteeing (euphemism for rigging)other ingenious forms of electoral fraud and unmitigated violence on all oppositional forces amid a surfeit of propagandist dubiousness), there is no justificatory basis for this blatant unilateralism on issues affecting our collectivity. This is why there is erosion of confidence in state electoral commissions which are seen as appendages of respective governors.

In fact, SIECs are not better than local governments in terms of their relationship with some governors who may decide to be bullies and official (constitutionally-approved bandits!). Most governors are the custodians of local government allocations and give out a fraction to hapless and fretful chairmen who cannot raise eyebrows for obvious reasons.

From the foregoing synopsis of the undemocratic credentials of the PDP, which is responsible for the non-deepening of our democracy and vaulting rascality of some governors, we come to my state, Abia, where the PDP zoning formula has been upturned and yet everyone is keeping mum.

Long before the current dispensation in the state, it had been agreed by all stakeholders and the PDP leadership over the years that 2015 should be the turn of patient Ukwa-Ngwa axis (AbiaSouth) to produce the governor of the state. In the build-up to next year’s elections, all sorts of characters —including visible mediocrists — have come up in the past few months as aspirants for this “reserved” position for people of my community and our immediate neighbours, the Ngwa extraction. The exclusiveness of this right is borne out of the fact that since the creation of the state 24 years ago, nobody from this zone has occupied the semblance of Government House, Umuahia.

Why should any governor insist on a particular aspirant if there is no skeleton in the governor’s cupboard? The general assumption is that when an outgoing governor installs a crony of his in office all his tracks would be covered unlike an “unknown”(relatively speaking) successor who is most likely to spill the beans! So, whenever you see an outgoing governor showing inexplicable and irrational vehemence over who takes over from him, know that this is the sole reason.

If you had served your tenure superlatively you should not be afraid of whoever succeeds you as governor. This cabalistic regime of surrogacy plays out in most other states, too, not justAbIa. I blame the national leadership of the PDP for allowing such a travesty to go unchallenged. Voter docility is still very high in our country. Otherwise, such establishment candidates should suffer irredeemable and incurable electoral defeat and hemorrhage such that in their life they will never subscribe to cronyism again!

The particular case of T. A. Orji’s emotive choice is that the beneficiary of his authoritarianism, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), is from the same community with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who, by the PDP awkward and endemic scheme, is systemically becoming life senator. Why would a particular hamlet produce one of the three senators from the state and equally assume the mantle of governance in the state?

Shouldn’t wise counsel, wisdom, fairness, equity, justice, forthrightness, propriety and common sense prevail in this particular instance? Do we need the PDP National Working Committee or any other third party to tell us that what is not good is not good no matter our pretensions and avowals? What is integrity all about? Can’t there be dispassion in electioneering and polling?

Of essential note is the fact that Ikpeazu was saddled with the responsibility of cleaning up Aba and its environs, yet Aba is the dirtiest city in the country today! Was this not a harbinger of Abia’s current degeneracy?

Is there anything like cerebral politics where some measure of intellectualism can come to the fore instead of the pigeon-hole where it has been clamped into? I ask this question because most politicians behave so in a manner that makes one shudder at some manifestations.

Does this awareness require any debate if there is sincerity of objectives? In a democratic dispensation, why must the space be constricted to disadvantage genuine aspirants and favour a stooge? Is it possible for our politics to be seminal so that discussions and decisions can be based on principles and gentlemanliness?

Abia State cannot have a senator and its governor coming from the same local government area. That is antithetical to the basic principles and tenets of democracy. Abia State needs a fresh breath and clean break from the past three years-plus of retardation and stagnancy. Ikpeazu cannot drive the needed change considering his antecedents.

I make the foregoing declarations with a sense of esteemed candour and responsibility on the grounds that we have had similar cases in the past (and currently) and the results were (and are) beyond description.

Having laid the foundation today, the OUK factor concludes this unassailable intervention next week.

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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

Writer and editor.

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