AHEAD the 2015 general elections, major stakeholders in Abia Central senatorial district of AbiaState recently gathered in Umuahia, the state capital, to brainstorm on their political future. In attendance were who-is-who in the zone, including academics such as Prof. Joshua Ogbonna and others.
One of the highpoints of the gathering was the adoption of the incumbent governor of the state, Dr. Theodore Ahamefula Orji as the consensus senatorial candidate of the zone in 2015. The adoption to majority of the people was not a surprise, considering the achievements of the Governor so far, especially since his government liberated the state from the claws of an influential godfather.
It is obvious that Governor Orji inherited in 2007 a decayed, crisis-ridden, security compromised and highly indebted state begging for attention from an altruistic leader. Like the Biblical Nehemiah, Governor Orji took up the gauntlet at the risk to life and that of his family to fight and liberate the people and at the same time put smiles on their faces.
Today, the state that was once a no-go-area because of kidnapping, assassination and other vices is one of the most peaceful states in the country. The state where there were no access roads, basic amenities, and unity of purposes among the people can now boast of many access roads, modern hospitals, human empowerment, and other legacy projects completed and ongoing across the state.
Apart from this, the present occupant of the senatorial seat since 2007, Mrs Nkechi Nworgu is from Ngwa. So in the interest of fairness and equity, it will be the turn of Umuahia people to take over the seat in 2015. Also Governor Orji has unequivocally made it clear that come 2015, the Ngwa people will produce his successor. A position that has narrowed the quest and agitation for his successor to the people of Ngwa. Orji’s early clear position on the matter has doused the political tension in the state, and set the tone for the 2015 elections. With Orji’s position concerning the matter, it is clear that his words are his bond. What a visionary and equitable leadership disposition in an unpredictable political climate like ours.
So the adoption of Governor Orji to represent his people in the Senate in 2015 is not only welcome, it is well deserved because one good turn deserves another. Governor Orji, despite the stumbling blocks and political landmines laid for him by his predecessor has shown that through dint of hardiwork, dedication, people’s support, and trust in God, all things are possible. Looking at his achievements since the liberation, it is crystal clear that what his government’s achievement would have been greater, if not for the distraction and challenges he encountered in the hand of the political detractors from inception.
Expectedly, Governor Orji’s adoption has jolted some few cynics in the state. But some undisputable facts which even Orji’s political enemies cannot fail to acknowledge or wish away is that he has been a good representative of the people right from his childhood till today. It is also a fact that his life has been synonymous with selfless service to humanity. His performance with limited resources at his disposal becomes more obvious when you consider what he met on ground when he came into office in 2007.
While it is obvious that the beneficiaries of such adoption in the past were the ones that indirectly influenced it, Gov. Orji’s case was quite different in the sense that it was his people who have been consistently pressing him to accept the gesture. However, Gov. Orji is yet to succumb to the pressure. He has rather decided to concentrate on piloting the affairs of the state by providing good governance to people, and ensuring that his government will complete all the ongoing and yet-to- start projects in the state before leaving office in 2015.
This shows that he is not a typical Nigerian politician who is desperate for power by all means. Most of his colleagues who had such endorsement did not hesitate in jumping for it; in fact they went the extra mile to influence it. Immediately, it comes to them, governance will take the back seat.
Some have even asked why the adoption of Gov Orji as a consensus senatorial candidate for Abia Central zone in 2015 by the people of the zone after being a governor for eight years. But then they have failed to understand that the beauty of democracy is that the majority will have their way, while minority have their say. So there is nothing absolutely wrong in people of the zone overwhelmingly adopting Gov. Orji as a consensus candidate.
It is a clear testimony that he is and has been a worthy ambassador of his people in whom they are well pleased. This will serve as a lesson for elected political office holders, and those aspiring for elective offices across the country that performance and antecedents will stand them in good stead in the polls.
There is nothing wrong with the adoption, and Gov. Orji should accept it. After all, Senator Buka Abba Ibrahim was the governor of YobeState for eight years . He has been the senator representing Yobe East Senatorial district since 2007.
His wife, Khadija Bukar, is the member representing Yobe, Damatura/ Gujba/Gulani/Tarmuwa Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives since 2011.
Apart from Senator Ibrahim and his wife, there are other former governors that were voted in by their people as senators. They include former governor of GombeState, Danjuma Goje; his PlateauState counterpart, Joshua Dariye; Dr. Chris Ngige of AnambraState; Senator Bukola Saraki of KwaraState and so many others.
Governor Orji’s adoption by his people is constitutional and in line with democratic norms. The only option left for those opposed to it is for them to try their luck against him in the poll in 2015, if he later accepts the gesture from his people to run for the seat.
ROMANUS UWA, a medical practitioner, wrote from Aba, Abia State.