Abia Elders back gov
By Anayo Okoli & Anozie Egole
GOVERNOR Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has said the Abuja court denied him his fundamental human right even as he described the political logjam in his state as “atomistic,” a situation where the state is at war with itself, which he said has created unnecessary tension.
Receiving some lawyers who visited him under the aegis of ‘Team of Concerned Lawyers,’ Ikpeazu lamented that political crisis has made the people of the state apprehensive and confused, which he blamed on the “ambition of one man.”
According to Ikpeazu, what is happening in the state is not about him, but about the office of the governor, insisting that it was a coup d’etat against him and the state.
“The Abuja High Court ruling denied me of the right to exercise my fundamental human right, which is the right of appeal.
“So, if it was a case of execution, I would have been killed without being given time to exercise my right of appeal before a court of competent jurisdiction, which is against the laws of fundamental human rights,” he said.
He thanked the lawyers in the state for educating the people of the state on the need to remain calm, “as the desperados had already come into the state to wreak havoc.”
In his remarks, the leader of the team, Mr. Ogbonnaya Nwanunu explained that they had come to lend their support to the governor over the political crisis.
Decrying the situation, he said: “We have come to rub minds with the governor with the aim of finding lasting solutions and the way forward to the current political crisis in the state.
“The only place where a man who did not contest election became a governor like what happened in one of the neighbouring states will never happen again as the electoral act has been amended.
“The case in question made the electoral act to be amended, so what is happening in the state where a man will dream of being a governor and wake up trying to make his dream a reality, is a rape of democracy and a coup d’état,” Nwanunu said.
Abia Elders back Ikpeazu
Similarly, prominent political leaders, elder statesmen and traditional rulers from Abia State rose from a high level meeting in Abuja late last night and threw their full weight behind Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of the state, in the unfortunate crisis surrounding his mandate.
The meeting which was hosted under the aegis of Concerned Abia Elders by former National Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, had in attendance the three senators representing Abia State in the National Assembly, members of the House of Representatives and other notable leaders from Abia State.
The state has been thrown into uncertainty and confusion, capable of snowballing into full scale unrest, anarchy and bloodshed, in the aftermath of a controversial judgement given by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, last week, faulting Ikpeazu’s election on contentious grounds.
Reading the Communique at the end of the meeting, pioneer Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC and a former governorship candidate in Abia State, Chief Onyema Ugochuku, the leaders faulted the said judgement as perverse and reckless.
They also criticised the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for its decision to issue a Certificate of Return to Ikpeazu’s main challenger in the party primaries which produced the gubernatorial candidate for the April 2015 governorship election, Dr Samson Uche Ogah.
Said the leaders: “We have also noted the unseemly haste of INEC to issue the certificate just a few hours after Justice Abang’s order, and in spite of the fact that INEC had been duly served with a notice of appeal of the said order and the motion for a stay of execution.”
Continuing, the leaders expressed palpable worry at the impression created of a conspiracy involving INEC, to throw Abia State into confusion and anarchy.
Admonishing the Federal Government not to unwittingly open another flashpoint in yet another geopolitical zone of the country, the leaders condemned in very strong terms, the attempt to set Abia State on fire and create a situation which can only exacerbate the problems which the country is currently contending with in the North East and Niger Delta.
According to Ugochukwu, Spokesperson of the elders, the meeting noted with appreciation, the intervention of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami, SAN, who has urged the parties to exercise restraint, follow the rule of law and await the conclusion of proceedings from the appellate courts.
The elders aligned themselves with the Attorney-General’s appeal for peace, imploring all parties in the matter to calm down and await the conclusion of matters in the courts.
Dignitaries at the meeting included: immediate past governor of Abia State and senator representing Abia Central, Theodore Orji; senators representing Abia North and South, Mao Ohuabunwa and Enyinnaya Abaribe; member, House of Representatives for Ukwa East and West, Nkem Abonta and National Vice Chairman, South East, Col Austin Akobundu.
Also in attendance were former President of the Senate, Senator Adolphus Wabara; Secretary to the Abia State Government, Dr Eme Okoro; Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Argentina, Chief Empire Kanu; Prof Herbert Orji; Chief Chukwu Nwachukwu; Elder E.O. Adaelu; Prof S.O. Igwe and Engr Solomon Adaelu.
Royal fathers in attendance included: Eze Mathias Nwoko, Eze J.O. Akaliro, Eze Eberechi Dick, and Eze P.M. Okponku. Chief Uche Ihediwa, Chief Eme Kalu and Hon Darlington Nwokocha.