BY ROMANUS UWA
AHEAD of the 2015 general elections, the political atmosphere across the country is becoming tense. Politicians are busy jostling for political relevance and are already doing everything possible to run down anybody or person who poses a possible threat to their political ambition. Already manifesting in this direction is the recent media attacks and campaign of calumny by some desperate politicians and cynics against Abia state governor Chief Theodore Orji and his family members, since he was adopted by major stakeholders in Abia Central senatorial district as the consensus senatorial candidate for 2015.
One of such cynics is one Chuks Akamadu who in his article titled Orji’s wave of endorsement published in one of the national dailies recently launched a virile attack on the governor and his family. In the write-up, Akamadu exposed his ignorance about the tenets of democracy and constitutionalism, this is inspite of the fact that the country has had uninterrupted democratic governance for more than a decade.
Instead of concentrating on issues, legalities and facts concerning the endorsement of the governor for the senatorial seat in 2015, Akamadu took on his wife, Mrs.Mercy Odochi Orji, and his son, Engr. Chinedum Orji, levelling all sorts of unfounded allegations against them. Perusing through the article, one needs no prophet to know that it was the voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau. And it is expected that in the days ahead more of such frivolous and malicious media attacks would be sponsored against the governor by those who are envious of his personal success as a technocrat, his achievements in government so far, rising political profile and endorsement by various groups in his zone as the consensus senatorial candidate for 2015.
It is true that Gov. Orji is not the only governor under such sponsored and well- orchestrated attacks in the media today ahead of the 2015 general elections. His Akwa Ibom and Delta State counterparts, Dr. Godswill Akpabio and Emmanuel Uduaghan are being attacked heavily in the media by some forces in their respective states for legally nursing senatorial ambition in 2015.
It is quite clear that the forces behind such puerile and unfounded attacks in the media are failed politicians who have lost relevance and touch with their people, while still living in delusion that election could be contested and won on the pages of newspaper. No wonder they have not advanced any superior arguments backed by any constitutional provision to buttress their reasons for being against the senatorial ambitions of these governors. Sincerely and legally, every Nigerian knows that there is nothing absolutely wrong in Orji’s endorsement by various groups in his zone.
Instead the endorsement should been seen as a true manifestation and confirmation of his wider acceptance by his people because of his performance and track record right from his days in public service till date. After all, how many politicians today including Governor Orji’s contemporaries have enjoyed such early endorsement and pressure from their people to contest for senatorial seat in 2015?
Some of those who tried their luck at the polls in the past against the people’s wishes were rejected by the people. The likes of Akamadu is adviced to brace up for the challenges ahead by trying his luck at the polls in 2015, instead of engaging in cheap blackmail and campaign of calumny against possible contenders or potential winners. There is no doubt that such exercise will surely end up in futility in 2015 because the gimmick is not new to Nigerians especially the people of Abia state.
It could be recall that such attacks were launched against President Goodluck Jonathan, Gov. Orji and others in 2011, but they were not enough to deny them victories at the polls as Nigerians massively voted for them in the elections. The same scenario will repeat itself again in 2015, despite the media propaganda by some failed politicians in Abia state to run Gov. Orji and his family down. The people will definitely speak through their votes at polls and not on the pages of newspapers when the time comes.
On Akamadu’s attacks on Gov. Orji’s wife, it is a calculated attempt to rubbish the integrity and personality of a woman of substance for no just cause. Mrs. Orji unlike many young girls today got married to Gov. Orji when he was in secondary school. Though, Gov. Orji despite being born into a royal family was then a student struggling to carve a niche for himself in life.
Marriage which is a bond bind them together early in life. They were like Siamese twins as they grew together, bore children and have built a united family blessed today with humble and dedicated children and grand children. Since his husband assumed office as governor of Abia in 2007, she has been a major pillar behind her husband’s success in all direction. She is and has always been there as a wife, mother and comforter, because Gov. Orji being the only child of his parents has no other person, except his immediate family. That has been the common bond binding the family together from inception, and it has not changed.
As the first lady of the state, Mrs. Orji has quietly touched the lives of the less privileged ones in the state, particularly widows and provision of shelter for them. That was not case in the state before Orji came into office.
Also, their son, Mr. Chinedum Orji, a first class graduate of Engineering is an example of a good and well-trained son who has never allowed himself to be carried away by his father’s political profile. Apart from his generous support to the non-governmental organisation, Ochendo Youth Foundation that collaborate with the state government and other public spirited individuals and organisations to empower the teeming unemployed youths in the state, he has no direct or indirect involvement in the business of governance in the state. Even when he is legally overqualified to be appointed a government functionary, he was not appointed. This is because his father has always drawn a parallel line between his family and business of governance.
Thus, Akamadu’s postulation that the present government in Abia is a family affair is a barefaced lie.
because the government unlike the immediate past one is not only accessible and people-oriented, it is transparent and accountable to the people of the state. The government is not under probe by any anti-graft agencies .Neither Gov. Orji, his wife, son nor any member of his family is under investigation for any alleged criminal or civil offence.
Those who tried to drag their family name in the mud before now under any guise have always been exposed and shamed. That Gov. Orji is a governor of Abia State is not enough reason for him to separate avoid his loved family. Those who were already unsettled or worried by Gov. Orji’ senatorial endorsement should do the needful by getting ready to challenge him at the poll if he accepts to run instead of lazily casting aspersion on his government and family members on the pages of newspaper for no just cause.
Dr. Romanus Uwa, a medical practitioner wrote from Aba, Abia State