By Emmanuel Aziken
The adoption of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s second term aspiration by his Ukwa Ngwa kith and kin was a reorder of the maxim about a prophet not being honoured in his home.
Dr. Ikpeazu made history in 2015 when he became the first Ngwa person to be elected governor of the state bringing to fulfilment the decades-long aspiration of his kindred.
In nearly three years in office, the former biochemistry lecturer turned politician has ably marshalled the forces of government in Abia to endear himself to his people given the testimonies that overflowed last weekend.
Ikpeazu’s adoption came at Okpuala Ngwa, the ancestral headquarters of Ngwa people, during the Great Ukwa Ngwa Declaration event last weekend.
The governor was not unmindful of the significance of the declaration saying the adoption was a show of love and demonstration of the unflinching support of Ukwa/Ngwa people for him.
“As an Ukwa Ngwa son, I understand the significance of what my people have done today. I am happy that my people have made this great and historical declaration. This has demonstrated our resolve and unity as a people.
I thank everyone that is here today to make this historic declaration. I will respond to your call, but before I do that, let me use this opportunity to call on our people and all Abians to go and get their voters card as that is the only way I will be assured that you want me again in 2019. You shouldn’t be here asking me to contest again in 2019 if you don’t have your voters card.” Governor Ikpeazu said.
The governor used the occasion to call on the people to ensure that they get their Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs if they really want him to re-contest in 2019.
The endorsement of the governor by the Ukwa Ngwa was significant given the fact that the Ukwa/Ngwa populate nine of the 17 local government areas of the state; Aba North, Aba South, Isialangwa North, Isialangwa South, Osisioma, Obingwa, Ugwunagbo, Ukwa West and Ukwa East.
The ringing endorsement of the governor was in the heels of the 2014 One Million Man match on the Government House when the Ukwa Ngwa people led by former Senate President Senator Adolphus Wabara, Elder Emma Adaelu among others trooped out to beseech former Governor Theodore Orji to support their cause to have Ikpeazu succeed him.
Four years on and with Ikpeazu safely in office as governor, they did not need another match; this time they were on home ground.
The motion for Ikpeazu’s adoption was moved by Senator Wabara who said:
“Our son and our brother, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is a silent achiever and performer. He has performed creditably, and that confers on him the right to lead once more. Our people today speak with one voice to make a proclamation in support of the governor, asking him to contest again as Governor in 2019.”
A former director-general of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, Chief Chukwu Wachukwu, seconded the motion saying:
“Abia North was governor for eight years with Orji Uzor Kalu, Abia Central governed for eight years with Senator Theodore Orji. Abia South is completing four years with Governor Ikpeazu, therefore, we as a people unanimously, through a voice vote, declare our support for the re-election of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu as Governor of Abia State in 2019, because he has done well and also because he must complete the eight-year tenure of Abia South people.”
Also speaking, eminent statesman, Elder Emmanuel Adaelu, explained that the governor has the constitutional right to seek re-election in 2019, and as such deserves the support of his people and the generality of Abians.
Remarkably, Chief Reagan Ufomba, a former governorship contender in the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA) in Abia State, was fulsome in his endorsement of the governor saying that the re-election of the governor must be taken as a common project by all Abians.
“In the spirit of equity, inclusiveness, fairness, and justice, re-electing Governor Ikpeazu in 2019 is task for all Abians, from Ukwa through Umuahia to Arochukwu, because he has done well, and there is no alternative than to allow him to continue with his good work till 2023.”
“As a great Ukwa Ngwa son, know it today that your people are behind you. What this means is that the majority of Abia have asked you to contest again in 2019. It is no longer about you, and you don’t have a choice again, we, the people of Ukwa Ngwa, we are asking you to contest again in 2019 to complete your tenure, and also to sustain the tempo of your outstanding performance.
Eze Bernard Enweremadu, the Eze Ukwu of Ngwa Ukwu, spoke on behalf of the Ukwa Ngwa traditional rulers saying:
“Where we are gathered today is Okpuala Ngwa, the ancestral home of Ngwa people. God of heaven and our ancestors who gave us this land will bear witness that what we are asking for is our right. “If it is not just, if it is not fair if it is not equitable for an Ngwa man to govern Abia eight years, as others did, may we never succeed.
But if it is just, if it is fair and equitable for Okezie Ikpeazu, an Ngwa man, to complete his eight-year tenure as those before him did, God and our ancestors will grant us victory. As it was in 2015, so shall it be in 2019.” Eze Enweremadu said.
Governor Ikpeazu’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Enyinnaya Appolos in his comments on whether his boss should re-contest or not,said:“constitutionally the governor has the right to seek re-election in 2019.
Abians too want him to contest. Various groups and even individuals are saying you have done well; we want you to contest in 2019. But he has not said so”.
“As Enyinnaya Appolos from Isiko and Abia, having seen what Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has done, I will want him to and as one who has the right to air his views with all that the governor has achieved, I would want him to contest in 2019. Knowing where Abia used to be before 2015 and what Abia is at the moment, I can only imagine what Abia will look like by 2023,” the frontline testifier of Ikpeazu’s strides asserted.