By Madubuko Hart
No one fights a war that was supposed to be engaged at the warfront from afar. However, a scholarly journalist with the THISDAY Newspapers, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi was seemingly fighting such a war from afar, as he succinctly expressed in his article in the THISDAY edition of January 15, 2015, titled, ?2015 Elections: A Time to Choose? in which he misdirected some issues as were affecting Abia State.
Much as he was entitled to his opinion, I stand to disagree with him on most issues he raised in that article about the government of Governor Theodore Orji and Abia State under his stewardship. It was true that the governor vehemently opposed to power not going to the Ukwa/Ngwa area of the state.
But what the governor did not do was to anoint any candidate no matter the hoards of interested politicians that wanted him to present them as his anointed. The governor refused to meddle into the affairs of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, so for Adeniyi to paint a picture that Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu was the governor?s anointed, did not hold any water.
Let me draw the attention of Adeniyi to the position of Governor Orji?s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, before the primaries of the PDP took place on Monday, December 8 2014, as was published in many newspapers across the country.
The Guardian of Thursday, 27 November 2014, reported Ajunwa thus: “Governor T.A Orji did not anoint or impose any candidate. He strongly believes that PDP governorship candidate will emerge from credibly conducted primaries in line with the party?s resolved position that Abia South senatorial zone should be allowed to produce the next governor in the spirit of fairness and equity.?
Sometime in July 2014, quoting the governor, Ajunwa said, ?I have always made it clear to all Abians that it is not in my powers to anoint my successor as that negates the principles of true democracy which I have serious srespect for. For the benefit of doubt, the election of my successor will follow due process, equity and fairness according to the constitution of my party.
?I wish to state for the umpteenth time that I have no anointed candidate for the 2015 governorship election in Abia State, nor do I intend to have. Any one parading himself as my anointed candidate is living in the past because already I have fought gallantly to decimate godfatherism and ?mamacracy? from Abia political landscape, and never again will it be resurrected.?
While that lasts, for Adeniyi to rank Dr. Alex Otti of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) with the PDP and Ikpeazu is a campaign gone too far. Let me make it clear that Otti, through reliable sources in his purported party, is not a member of the APGA and not a politician, even though that we may agree that he is adjudged a good administrator when he was at the Diamond Bank.
But the banking sector is an infinitesimal aspect of a broad spectrum like a state, of which Ikpeazu has been associated with for a long time as a government appointee, making him to standout in the midst of those contestants in the state that Adeniyi mentioned in his treatise like Chief Chinenye Nyerere Anyim of the APC, Chief Chikwe Udensi of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA).
We, who are from Abia State, know that outside Ikpeazu, others who have shown interest in the governorship election are political pretenders, who do not know the tenets obtainable in politics and good governance; they are such politicians who would resort to litigation after an election in a bid to distract the winner in a political contest.
Otti whom Adeniyi has extolled beyond the fairness and balancing of report as is obtainable in journalism, knows that he is dead politically just on arrival; he knows that he cannot win election in the state, because he lacks the political sagacity and dexterity. Adeniyi even admitted in his article thus: ??Otti lacks in political structure…?
It was an oversight of Adeniyi after saying that ?Otti lacks in political structure?, he later said, ?he has in abundant goodwill across the state?. The truth is that the hood does not make the monk. It is an erroneous view of any observer to quantify the noise that Otti is making in the media called campaign as being that ?he has in abundant goodwill across the state?.
No. Otti does not have such a statue in Abia State. He is even fighting a pedigree battle which Adeniyi did not hide the truth in the following lines: ?However, Otti who has his roots in Arochukwu in Abia North zone has found a way around that by adopting Nvosi in Isiala Ngwa South local government where he was born and raised?.
In that highlight, there is no prominent person in Abia State who is angry or against the government of Governor Orji. Those whom Adeniyi perhaps mistook as ?prominent Abia people, who feel sad about political developments in their state? are opposition politicians and their agents. These people are those who have been painting the governor black upon his numerous achievements that the likes Adeniyi hold on their dis-information as the true story in Abia State.
The opposition politicians make people to believe that they would bring about change in the state and that the governor is not working, when they are really like Alvin Toffler’s statement thus: ?The secret message communicated to most young people today by the society around them is that they are not needed, that the society will run itself quite nicely until they – at some distant point in the future – will take over the reigns…”
Let me end this rejoinder by saying that there is no electioneering promise of Governor Theodore Orji that he has not fulfilled; hence whatever anyone is saying against this is just ?manufactured realities?; like Ben Okri would say: ?The worst realities of our age are manufactured realities. It is therefore our task, as creative participants in the universe, to dream our world. The fact of possessing imagination means that everything can be dreamed. Each reality can have it.?
.Hart writes from Lagos