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Abia Deputy Governor, Akomas: Between the devil and deep blue sea

By Joshua Salem
The Deputy Governor of Abia State Comrade Chris Akomas cut the picture of a pitiable person penultimate Friday, July 16 as he stood aloof, alone and abandoned in the midst of the sophisticated luxury offered by the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja .

Akomas had come uninvited to the meeting of top stakeholders of the Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) holding in the vicinity of the hotel. Prominent citizens from Abia looked askance at the State’s number two citizen as they arrived for the meeting and passed bye, all wondering what Akomas was doing at their meeting.

Akomas

Four days earlier, Akomas had trudged along with the State’s immediate past governor, Chief Orji Kalu as he Kalu, the founder and one time financier of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) collapsed his party into the PDP.

The Abia PDP stakeholders’ meeting was to deliberate ways of unifying the party and responding to the previous Monday’s declaration by Chief Kalu that he had returned to the PDP. Akomas as a loyal disciple of Kalu equally trudged along perhaps and most likely without the knowledge of his immediate principal, Chief

Theodore Orji who days earlier had also cast his lot with the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).

At the end of their meeting, the PDP stakeholders including the immediate past national chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, the Minister of Labour and Productivity Chief Emeka Wogu who replaced Ogbulafor as the leader of the State caucus, the chairman of the State Chapter Chief Ndidi Okereke, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, the immediate past Minister of Foreign Affairs, senators and members of the House of Representatives from Abia State among others declared with one voice that Kalu and his followers were not welcomed in the PDP.

Akomas’ rejection by the Abia State chapter of the PDP may now be a little bother as the State House of Assembly has compounded his problem with an impeachment notice.

The impeachment notice served on him last week is undoubtedly soaked in the seemingly ungodly political current that have recently swept through the State that prides itself as God’s Own State.

Indeed, the political colouration and the obvious support of Governor Orji for of the impeachment notice served on Akomas is evidenced by one of the allegations of abandonment of office in the impeachment notice.

Akomas is accused of failing to attend the reception for Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu when the APGA leader led the APGA national chairman, Chief Victor Umeh and Governor Peter Obi to the public declaration by Governor Orji for APGA in Umuahia.

“That he has consistently and willfully neglected and refused to attend state functions without excuse as he did not attend the signing of the budget and reception of Governor Peter Obi and Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu in spite of the invitation extended to him,” according to the impeachment notice articulated by Chief Uzor Azubike, member representing Aba Central State Constituency.

The petition was equally endorsed by twenty_one out of the twenty_four members of the State House of Assembly.

Akomas predicament is, however, not strange in the power play that has shadowed the delicate relationship between governors and deputy governors.

The impeachment notice on Akomas follows the successful coup effected by Governor Timipire Sylva against his former deputy, Peremebowei Ebebi last month.

Ebebi had famously fallen out with Governor Syvla with both officials denouncing one another on the pages of newspapers as they struggled over influence and control of the structure of the PDP in the State.

The travails of Alhaji Garba Gadi, who was impeached as Deputy Governor of Bauchi State last year are indeed reflective of the pangs awaiting Akomas.
Gadi had like Akomas refused to switch parties when his principal, Governor Isa Yuguda decamped to the PDP from the ANPP on whose platform he and Gadi came to power.

However, the similarities tend to end there as Gadi unlike the Abia Deputy Governor at the beginning of his travails cut the picture of a long suffering man being molested by Governor Yuguda with the silent acquiesce of his father in law, then President Umaru Yar‘Adua.

Akomas on the other hand perhaps inspired by his patron, that is former Governor Kalu openly came out to contest power and influence with Governor Orji.

In newspaper interviews that preceded the implosion of the PPA, Akomas was quoted as offering himself as the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2011 election.

“I am a politician (and) I came on this board on the directive of the structure. I remain on this board on the directive of the structure and the good will of the people of Abia State who gave the governor and my humble self the mandate.”

“If tomorrow, the system which I belong to, which the governor, my leader in this state belongs to, directs us on things to do, we will all work as directed by the system,” he said in apparent reference to the system as hitherto dictated by former Governor Kalu.

That system from which Governor Orji recently liberated himself from is now practically a dead horse. With the Abia PDP elders having resoundly rejected Kalu and his group, Akomas inevitably is stranded pitiably between the devil and the deep blue sea, lured to the abyss by what some say is his blind loyalty to Chief Orji Uzor Kalu!


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