By Uduma Kalu
The political understanding that Ukwa/Ngwa in Abia South Senatorial Zone will easily produce the next governor has been put on the scale with the entry of Sir Marc Wabara into the race.
Wabara is an Ndoki, Abia South, a zone made of mainly two ethnic groups-the Ngwa and the Ndoki. While the Ngwa are in the majority, Ndoki are in the minority. Politically, the two distinct groups and neighbours are lumped in the political lexicon, Ukwa/Ngwa, to form a bloc.
The Ngwa, in the three councils of the Central Zone and the South where they have four councils: Aba North,Aba South, Osisioma and Ugwunagbo LGA number over a million, while the Ndoki, also found in Rivers and Akwa Ibom occupy only two LGAs in Abia- Ukwa West and Ukwa East. They are therefore in a minute position to challenge the Ngwa dominance for the state’s 2015 gubernatorial race.
Based on this numerical difference, it was therefore taken for granted that the Ngwa would easily pick the gubernatorial post while the Ndoki would remain the underdog.
Indeed, that has always been the position of the Ndoki in their relationship with the Ngwa in this region. While the Ngwa had consistently complained of northern and central dominance of the state’s affairs, the place of the Ndoki in the state has not been fully highlighted. But a close check will show that except Senator Adolphus Wabara, perhaps, the Ndoki have not really held much significant position in Abia state and in the country.
But the entrance of Wabara may change all that as nothing is predictable today. For the Ndoki, with a person like Wabara, they stand a good chance to wrestle Ngwa for the Abia plumb job.
The Ndoki have a reason to feel hopeful. Wabara has a strong political background, being the brother of former Senate President Adolphus Wabara. He was former executive chairman and CEO of defunct Hallmark Bank, and has been a high flying professional with decades of executive and administrative competence in development economics.
Wabara therefore has the capacity to deny the Ngwa their gubernatorial dream. He can match his opponents financially, politically, grass roots mobilisation, connection and network.
On August 26, Wabara declared his intention to run at the PDP local government headquarters in Ndoki, and State Party Headquarters in Umuahia.
Buoyed by Wabara’s entrance and pedigree, the Ndoki people have vowed to stand beside their man to capture the Abia gubernatorial job. Wabara had a tumultuous reception by the party top brass led by Senator Emma Nwaka.
Wabara explained to the mammoth crowd the reason for his declaration. He extolled the founding fathers of the PDP for the vision that powered the creation of the party in 1999 as a veritable political platform that has metamorphosed into the biggest in Africa while paying special tributes to the likes of President Goodluck Jonathan,former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor Orji because of his legacies in Abia.
Wabara said his vision as governor will be team work, unanimity, mutual respect and understanding of each party.