By Anayo Okoli
UMUAHIA—Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the main opposition All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, in Abia State are currently trading words over the suspension of five traditional rulers from Ngwa axis of the state.
The suspended traditional rulers include Eze Nelson Nmerengwa of Isiekete autonomous community, Eze N.N. Nwachukwu of Ovungwu autonomous community, Eze Peter Emereonye of Okporoahaba autonomous community, Eze Sampson Jinanwa of Amaise Ovungwu autonomous community and Eze Gbufor, all from Isiala Ngwa council area and another Eze from Ariam Usaka in Ikwuano local government area.
While APGA alleged that the traditional rulers were axed because of their support and loyalty to its governorship candidate, Dr. Alex Otti, noting that four of the sacked monarchs were from Otti’s Isiala Ngwa South local government area, PDP dismissed the claim as baseless.
A statement by APGA Campaign Organisation, and signed by Chris Aka, described the action against the monarchs as cowardly and vindictive, claiming that they were sacked for failing to abide by directive of the government that no Eze in the state should identify with APGA.
But in a swift reaction, PDP/Okezie Ikpeazu Govenorship Campaign Organisation dismissed APGA’s position as a mere weeping up of sentiments for political gains, explaining that the monarchs were axed for alleged security breaches.
“No responsible government could have folded its arms and watch events escalate out of control in those domains. More so when there was already plethora of petitions against the royal fathers by their subjects and town unions,” PDP/Ikpeazu campaign said.
The campaign organisation, in a statement signed by Kingsley Emereuwa, said: “We are constrained to clarify some issues that bother on the development because of Otti’s futile attempt to whip up sentiment by linking the action of government as aimed to give an edge to the governorship project of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
“Whereas we are not speaking for the state government, it is a common knowledge that the issues that led to the suspension of the affected royal fathers bothered on serious security breaches and abuse of their positions as royal fathers an action capable of undermining the pervading peaceful atmosphere in the state.”
“No responsible government could have folded its arms and watch events escalate out of control in those domains. More so when there was already plethora of petitions against the royal fathers by their subjects and town unions.”
“By his latest recourse to impotent propaganda, cheap lies and outright misinformation that the royal fathers were axed because of their support to his ambition, Otti has further confirmed his jaundiced knowledge of the real issues in governance since to him everything must have a political undertone.
“This is not the first time erring royal fathers have been disciplined by the appropriate authorities especially when their infractions bother on security of lives and properties of their subjects.
“‘We’, therefore, wonder why it is now that Otti would be insinuating that the action of government had anything to do with his day-dream of becoming a governor in Abia State.
“It is on record that in its determination to bring sanity to the traditional institution, the PDP-led government in Abia State has in the past sanctioned traditional rulers whose acts were found to be at variance with the high demands of their elevated positions.
“We, therefore, want to tell Mr. Otti to continue to search for a veritable campaign issue that can hold water, instead of constant recourse to mendacious propaganda that has only amounted to fire without heat. Abia people know their own.”