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Abia 2019: Ukwa-Ngwa resurrects!

Ebere Wabara

Early in March, the “people of Ukwa Ngwa”, according to this medium’s report, unanimously adopted Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as their consensus candidate for the 2019 governorship election in Abia State. Just one germane question: who are the constituents of this fabled “Ukwa-Ngwa people” phraseology?

Read also: 2019: Ukwa Ngwa adopts Ikpeazu for second term

The so-called “great declaration” is a phantom resolution that will end up a combustive fiasco, considering the despicable and famished antecedents of the duplicitous promoters of the Ukwa-Ngwa contraption. A dubious arrangement that resurrects shortly before polls and vanishes once the thievish objective is achieved via electoral victory. A demonstrative union of strange bed-fellows bound by greed and selfishness whose existence will terminate next year, by God’s grace.

Since the creation of Abia State in 1991, the greatest socio-political tragedy is the formation of an association called “Ukwa-Ngwa”, which also has a famished elders’ council whose members are largely mercenaries. This is a union between the oil-bearing Ukwa (Ndoki) and Ngwa communities in the state. Initially, most people did not take the existence of this fraudulent body seriously because it merely hallmarked dubiosity.

The roguish nomenclature has now become a determining and decisive factor in the political engineering of people from this extraction of the state. In line with this absurdity, if you were not from this part of the state you were not expected to have contested the 2015 governorship competition no matter how eminently qualified and better than the person surrogated currently.

To compound matters amid circumscription of individual electoral fortunes, if you do not belong to the PDP that has not done anything for the South East since its establishment, your eventual victory becomes a pyrrhic one.

How did the controversial governor of the state, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, emerge? The immediate-past governor, Mr. Theodore Orji, and some so-called elders of the state and the leadership of the PDP in Abia exclusively agreed that Dr. Ikpeazu must be the governor at all costs. In furtherance of this obsession, childish selection of delegates and sham primaries were organized. The result did not surprise anyone, as it was quite predictable! This same antithesis to profound democratic ideals was, of course, perpetrated and perpetuated at the governorship election that threw up the currency of a political godson and the inevitable and indisputable continuation of the last administration.

As Dr. Ikpeazu was being unstoppably foisted on Abians, most people thought that would be the end of a reign of arbitrariness. Alas, it was not! The same domineering forces went ahead to ensure that Chief Enyinnaya Abaribe continued as one of the three senators dismally representing the state for the third consecutive time against all odds. This grand deceit and disregard for other people from the district went on unabated despite representations from the endangered members of this constituency. What is the issue here? Both Dr. Ikpeazu and Senator Abaribe are from the same community known as Obingwa.

Having unilaterally procured the disputed candidacy of Dr. Ikpeazu, shouldn’t the senatorial ticket handed on a platter to Senator Abaribe have gone to Mr. Chris Nkwonta from Ukwa in fairness to the people from his area and in demonstration of equity, balance and justice?

There is this cacaphony over the population of Ngwa as they claim that just one of their three constituents is more populous than Ukwa East and West LGs put together! They also go ahead to flaunt their purported numerical strength by derisively declaring that they can do without the Ukwa territory. I ask myself, when did the Ngwa people become so many in number that they could boast of almost 300, 000 eligible voters in the last general election? Were the goats that inhabit the large expanses of land in the Ngwa triad registered ahead of electoral utility? Are the villages and towns that I have known for more than 30 years with sparse human habitation in-between the same ones reeling out massive figures of humanity? It will be apposite to have the National Population Commission intervene with the past and latest census figures of the areas that make up Ngwa as finality to this flourishing self-deception and pulling of wool over the eyes of other Abians.

If the unofficial population figure of the three Ngwa LGs comprising Obingwa, Osisioma Ngwa, Isiala Ngwa North and Isiala Ngwa South are as exaggerated as they are, then we should not be disclaiming the figures from the northern part of the country because both have the same massive land mass with minimal humanity. I say this with a sense of responsibility and from a standpoint of knowledge.

For a long time now, there is this misconception called “Aba-Ngwa”, which loosely suggests that Aba belongs to Ngwa. Of course, this is sheer historical fallacy. Aba is a cosmopolitan mega-city with a hotch-potch of multifarious and almost innumerable ethnic nationalities that subsume the tangential Ngwa statistical profile. In informal environments, it will be classified as a “no-man’s land”. It has the same evolutionary record with Lagos, which until the current administration had mostly non-Lagosians controlling its political affairs.

If there are 10 houses in Aba today, non-Ngwa residents own at least eight. The same thing applies to land on the fast-developing outskirts: almost every parcel has been sold! What then is land lordship or city ownership?

Hectares should not be mistaken for headcount symbols. Most of the acres are bushes not occupied yet. Those who want to disenfranchise non-Ngwa in the governorship of the state forget that most of the landed properties and undeveloped plots belong to these “non-natives”.

All through my years in Aba as a child, the pun was that Ngwa people were reputed for beheading non-Ngwa at the slightest provocation. My peers and I grew up with this impression internalised. I equally found out that the average Ngwa person is usually short and irrepressible. A few people uncharitably believe that Ngwa people are timid, spineless and until recently slavishl

You must give it to them: most Ngwa people that I know are exceptionally brilliant, very accommodative, friendly and hospitable—all of which made me to marry one of their delectable daughters with high IQ. Her pulchritude is seductive! If ndiNgwa were the ones at the receiving end today, Ukwa people would have been pressurized to behave responsibly.

From 1991 todate, no Ukwa person has headed the legislature or the judiciary or other vital arms and organs of government or held critical positions in the state’s bureaucracy let alone being governor! The Ukwa-Ngwa illogic should stop henceforth. I beg of all of us! We cannot be perpetually marginalized, subjugated, dehumanized, demonized, calumniated and our bruises salted now and again in our bondage with one of our own as the only renegade and sabotageous leader, regrettably and irredeemably.

Governor-in-waiting, Dr. Alex Otti, will intervene in our plight shortly, by God’s grace. Otherwise, we’re doomed!


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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

Writer and editor.

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