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2011 election: The unfolding drama in Abia (1)

By Chinedu Amuadi

I HAVE watched with utmost surprise and shock the ongoing alleged intrigues by the Deputy Governor of Abia State, Chief Chris Akomas to contest the 2011 governorship election against his boss and incumbent governor, Dr. Theodore Orji. At first I thought it was a rumour which is and has been prevalent among politicians, especially as the next general election is fast approaching, but with unfolding events it seems clear that it is real.

In a recent interview with a national newspaper, Akomas refused to give a categorical answer to his alleged governorship ambition; rather he said that the party and God would decide his fate. With this answer, one does not need a prophet to question Akomas’ loyalty and inordinate ambition. But one surprising thing is that Akomas has failed to understand that those who treaded

such path in the past failed woefully and have had to blame themselves.
So, for him to dream of such moves or collude with anybody to hatch such plot is like digging his political grave.

I read in The Guardian of June 19 where Orji’s Senior Assistant on Legal Matters,  James Opara, called for Akomas’ resignation. His argument was that he(Akomas) cannot   use the state’s resources and structures to plan and contest election against his boss. To me such call is not necessary because common sense demands  that he should have resigned his seat before now, if he wants to contest election against his boss.

Such move will provide him with ample opportunity to build his structures and prepare to test his popularity and political value in 2011. He cannot continue to serve a boss he has despised and betrayed. It seems and means that he is a political sycophant that cannot be trusted by anybody.

It is not possible, because one cannot eat his cake and have it again. Unless Akomas is planning and hoping to secure the party ticket in the primaries the same way it was allegedly given to  Uche Ekwunife before the last Anambra State governorship election. But everybody saw the abysmal performance of the party in the election due to stiff opposition against the decision. The problem with PPA is that those behind it have no principle or conscience. They are wheeler-dealers who believe that everything is about deal and bribe.

To the people of the state, Akomas may be building castle in the air because no matter the few cabal  pushing him, he will fail woefully. Even Ngwa people  will not present him as a consensus candidate to challenge Orji in spite of claims that they are behind him. But I really appreciate Orji’s maturity in handling Akomas’s recalcitrance and vaulting ambition by allowing him to be without pushing for his removal that will overheat the state.

Recently, precisely on Sunday June 20, I read a story in the Daily Independent that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of PPA was allegedly instigated to summon Gov. Orji, his predecessor, Orji Uzor Kalu and Senator Uchechukwu Chukwumerije to appear before them in Abuja to explain how far they have assisted the party.

It was also alleged in the story that there was a grand plot to deny Orji the party’s governorship ticket. On June 23, the Punch newspaper carried another version of the story that they were summoned by the party leadership for Orji to explain the award of contracts to companies belonging to Kalu which they have failed to execute, after receiving money for such.

Between these two reports, one is not sure of which is the truth. But one thing that is certain and must be looked into is whether contracts were awarded and money collected, but not executed.

But even at that when has the party become an anti-graft agency if the above reports were true? Whose script is the party leadership playing out? Is it all in a bid to see that Akomas was given the party ticket to contest against Orji? I believe that it is too early in the day for all these distractions because election timetable has not been announced by INEC.

Though I am not from Abia, I was born in Umuahia in the late seventies and still living there till today, I can say I have seen enough of the dynamics of politics in the state since the return of  democratic governance in 1999.

Just like my state Enugu where political power is being rotated among the three senatorial zones, namely: Enugu East, North and West, it is no different in Abia since 1999.

In 1991 when Enugu State was created, the late C.C. Onoh of blessed memory insisted that in the interest of fairness, unity and understanding that power must go to Enugu North that had not tasted power even under old Anambra State. His argument was that Jim Nwobodo from East has been governor of old Anambra for four years.

Mr. Amuadi, a public affairs commentator, writes from Umuahia, Abia State.


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