[ Masterweb Reports: Obituary ] - The family of Marcus Nwagbara of Umuyota, Umuawa-Alaocha, Ohuhu in Umuahia North LGA of Abia State announce with gratitude to the Will of God the passing to eternal glory of their matriarch Nneoma Catherine Titi Warigbo Nwagbara.
She died at the age of one hundred years (100 years).
BURIAL ARRANGEMENTS IS AS FOLLOWS:-
FRIDAY 21ST NOVEMBER, 2014 WAKE KEEP AT HER FAMILY COMPOUND, UMUYOTA, UMUAWA ALAOCHA, OHUHU IN UMUAHIA NORTH LGA.
SAT. 22ND NOVEMBER, 2014, INTERMENT AT HER FAMILY COMPOUND.
SUNDAY 23RD NOVEMBER, 2014 CHURCH OUTING AT ALL SAINTS METHODIST CHURCH UMUAWA- ALAOCHA , UMUAHIA.
SHE IS SURVIVED BY TEN CHILDREN , MANY GRANDCHILDREN , GREAT GRANDCHILDREN AND RELATIONS.
MAY HER GENTLE SOUL REST IN PERFECT PEACE . AMEN.
CHIEF OBINNAYA NWAGBARA
FOR THE FAMILY
*Photo Caption - A grave
[ Masterweb Reports: Nosa Osazuwa reports ] - At the Friday November 21, 2014 sitting of the coroner’s inquest into the collapsed Synagogue, Church Of All Nations building, the court was told that the building materials used for the construction of the collapsed building were approved by the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON).
This submission was made by the Director in charge of Inspectorate and Compliance at SON, Engineer Bede Obayi. According to him, iron rod samples taken for test at different laboratories showed that they were good and met the standard requirement. He raised reservations over the standard of the concrete debris, stating that the sample they took was slightly below the required density. However, he posited that the result could have been influenced by the pressure factor of the collapsed building, which makes it indeterminate in concluding if this contributed to the collapse.
Engineer Obayi also expressed surprise about the speed at which the building collapsed, fuelling speculations that the controlled demolition theory was indeed plausible. "Candidly, I am surprised at the rate and speed the building collapsed. It’s quite unusual and I believe it should be investigated. I also admit that the result of the test conducted on the debris is suspect. Due to the technicality involved, our investigation is inconclusive. I was not involved in the observation neither did I participate in the conduct of the test. I don't even know any of the people saddled with the responsibility of conducting the test. We went for test in three labs and the final reports indicated that most of the materials used in the Synagogue building met our standard requirements. All the sources used were also approved SON sources."
Meanwhile, members of the public and other interested parties attending the hearing have voiced out their reservations about the biased manner in which the magistrate seems to be handling proceedings at the inquest. Some of them who spoke to the media on conditions of anonymity complained of the magistrate’s partial disposition. They observed that he was always visibly harsh on witnesses who gave evidence which seemed to support the controlled demolition theory. Others said his disposition was suggestive of a calculated attempt by the state to persecute a particular party, stressing that the inquest has lost its integrity
In another development, counsel to The SCOAN, Olalekan Ojo has filed an application challenging the jurisdiction of the magistrate for encroaching on matters beyond the scope of the inquest by inviting Prophet T.B. Joshua, who was not a witness to the incident. He said the primary scope of the inquest was to determine the cause of death and not pry into private matters that bear no consequence on it.
On his part, the magistrate, Oyetade Komolafe granted the request of the counsel saying, “I am not against Prophet T.B. Joshua and Lagos State is not against him. I will respect the law and await the report or verdict of the High Court. Therefore, I will hands off the issue of inviting him as a witness for now till the outcome from the High Court."
The hearing was adjourned to December 3, 2014.
Nosa Osazuwa, citizen reporter was present during the inquest.
*Photo Caption - Rescue workers Tuesday September 16, 2014 search for survivors in the rubble of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Lagos- Nigeria collapsed building. The building collapsed September 12, 2014.
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Abia State Governor, Chief T. A. Orji has been screened by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) screening committee to contest the Abia Central senatorial position in the 2015 general election.
Speaking after presenting himself to the chairman of the PDP screening committee for Abia, Senator Bello Maitama Yusuf at the PDP state headquarters, Umuahia, the Governor said he was humbled to submit himself to the committee for screening as required by the rules and regulations of the party as he is subject to abide by the law.
He said that his decision to run for the Senate is not his making but borne out of the call by his people to represent them having done well as Governor.
According to him, he is ready to answer the clarion call of Abians to go to the Senate, noting that this is the first time in the history of the state that a governor is being called upon by his people to represent them in the Senate.
The Governor who said that the screening exercise is the first step towards accomplishing his senatorial ambition, called on Abians to support the president Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP as well as his government in the state.
He commended the committee for following due process in its assignment assuring the committee that the PDP in Abia is united.
Earlier in his speech, the chairman of the screening committee, Senator Yusuf said that they were in the state to screen the papers of senatorial candidates and those of federal House of Representatives and thanked the Governor for subjecting himself to the committee for screening.
He congratulated the Governor for ably steering the ship of Abia State, adding that they are proud of him for representing the party well in the state.
*Photo Caption - Governor Chief T. A. Orji and photos of some of his Legacy Projects
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The Road We traveled; A Memoir of Two Worlds, written by Uchendu Precious Onuoha a Nigerian born journalist, writer, author and poet was launched on August 31, 2013 in Madrid Spain. The Nigeria, Spain based author who hails from Abia state has sojourned in Europe for about a decade now. He holds a bachelors degree in Mass Communication, Aviation diploma in Flight Despatcher, poet, and winner of Editor’s Choice Award in poetry 2008, from the International Library of Poetry. The author who is a statesman among Nigerians in Spain is the Founder of, Save African Youth Foundation (SAY-F), Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC) Chairman Spain, the Secretary General of the Nigerian Nationals Madrid Spain, the Ex- Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Spain, Secretary General of the N.G.O. Precious Women of Faith International Spain and Foreign Correspondent of The Daily Independent Newspaper. The Author has published hundreds of articles in both National and International press media. He and his wife Anthonia and daughter Annabel live in Madrid Spain.
The event which was used by the author to pursue and foster unity among Nigerians with the objective to healing and bridging the gap in a community that predominantly toes along ethnic streaks. For the first time, all the leaders of the Igbo, Yoruba and Edo communities were in attendance. Including the Ohaneze Ndigbo, the Yoruba community, Edo community, presidents of all Igbo state unions, among them were, Abia state association, Anambra state association (ASA), Enugu state union, Imo state association, Ihiala town union, Igbo bu Igbo among others. Also the event attracted a good number of other nationals from Spain, Columbia, Peru, Dominican, Ecuador, Guinea, Cuba, Cot Devoir etc. Also present during the launching and presentation were representatives of companies especially from the Madrid Barajas International airport where the author works.
The event also showcased various artistes, musicians and models. Among them were, Nwanne Campo, the Voice of Achievers prestigious award winner, African Diaspora Woman of the Year 2013. The stylish, glowing actress, model and event planner currently making waves in Europe, who was the event planner, leading a couple of dazzling young models, moderated as the master of ceremony. Also at the event to perform was the top rising Nigeria’s pop artiste, Dry Cap, who held the audience spell bound with his scintillating raps.
The book, which is already translated into Spanish language, was reviewed by three known Nigerian scholars in Spain, Professor Ogbonnia Onuoha, Dr. Joe Illoh, and a former radio Nigeria broadcaster Mrs. Chidimma Ezike who presented the book. Various comments were made during and after the occasion by the reviewers and others. According to Her Excellency Bianca Ojukwu, Nigerian’s ambassador to Spain who commended the author for a good literary work said that her son after reading the book was moved by a deep sense of emotion and grief for the author on the epitaph dedicated to “a departed sister” in the book. Bianca endorsed the book stating;
“This event filled book catalogues the writer's odyssey through life, from his early childhood experiences to his present day realities, and it is both frank and philosophical in its interpretation of his encounters and the circumstances surrounding each episode, from the sweet, the bittersweet to the downright unsavory but the great charm and magnetic appeal of this little book lies in its surreptitious humor and some of the hilarious incidents that are captured within. It is delightfully engaging and highlights a few life lessons which remain constant through the ages. It is, above all, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit against all odds and in the course of his voyage of discovery, the writer, by his reactions at every instance gives credence to the oft quoted maxim that there is no chance, no destiny, no fate that can hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul”.(Amb. Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu)
The Chairman of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Rivers state, Dr. Obinna Nwodim who also endorsed the book stated;
“The Road We Traveled is a lucid prose, captivating and inspiring. It tells the story of a lad from an idyllic rural setting in Nigeria, who sought for greener pasture in the Whiteman's country. It has deep lessons to be derived from, even as it is informative and entertaining”.
Commenting on the book, Prof. Ogbonnia said;
The work of literal creativity is among the most complicated to accomplish. The range in interest groups and opinions to meet with is vast. The diversity of opinions, even in the same topic, is as wide as the eye can reach. As I read through the pages of the book (The Road We Traveled) my mind could not stop retroceding to my own very infancy and village upbringing, as my own parents were farmers and traders as well.
The Road We traveled has come to depict in a very simple and intelligible way, the typical community structural organization of our society – a typical Igbo society. The record the author of “The Road We Traveled”, Mr. Uchendu Precious Onuoha, has put together will always be there for posterity to read and learn from.
A part from the author biography of the author which it represents has come to break the silence or rather, the TABU and veto implicit on talking openly about our individual adventure to Europe. This feature is what I ‘count as gain’ for the African. From the time our people started scrambling to travel to Europe/the developed World in search for a better future/knowledge, nobody (at least non that I know of) has so far dared tell the true story of their own personal experiences in the sojourn in the “Land of milk and honey”, bringing out comprehensibly the discrimination, total rejection and other hostilities Africans undergo in Europe and which they keep silent about, thereby inducing others to follow their footsteps and depriving that continent of her youth.
Congratulations Uchendu Precious and more grease to your elbow.
Dr.Joe Illoh’s Comment; Uchendu Precious Onuoha has wittily created a cosmic realities of today's global village from a fistful memories of his background.
The Road We Traveled holds in it what the great literary works can hold because not only that it submerges you but also it takes you deeply through history lanes into the socio-economic, political and cultural divides between the North and South.
It is a wonderful book about the in quietude of the writer to search and discover facts outside the sphere of his infant and rudimentary knowledge, written with exuberance to entertain and refresh the minds of its readers, a book which each page must be read and reread in order to savour its wisdom and message.
It is carefully constructed, sensitive to issues that matter and funny enough that it creates a conducive atmosphere and a rethink for both those in the diaspora and the home-based folks.
Dr. Joe Illoh is an itinerant lecturer, Politics & International Affairs Enthusiast, Ex-president of FNC Spain and an Avid Socio-cultural Advocate based in Madrid, Spain.
Mrs. Chidimma Ezike (Journalist/Broadcaster) comments: The Road We Traveled is a book written by Uchendu Precious Onuoha. The setting is a typical African scene particularly in Igbo land Nigeria. It explores the living standards of the author in particular and Igbo race in general with a pre and post Biafra war experiences.
The book is divided into four parts.
PART ONE; is about the authors birth and upbringing. His family hierarchy and social status. Integration into the community’s norms and values, and paying off with woes of Biafra war.
PART TWO; Education an Awakening Experience. He talks about what education means for him and about the general embrace of Education immediately after the war. Primary school experiences, college Education. The high standard of Education he enjoined in his days and stepping out into the world with assurance.
PART THREE; this is the memories of his life. Losing his four sisters and dramatically finding his missing ribs.
The last part talks about his travels; Experiences living in Europe and making a comparison of his past life to the present. Europe as generally conceived in Africa is a fertile land with money bearing trees. Reading this book balances up the general conception of expectation and reality in Europe. The author used a lot of figurative languages and poetry to beautify his work. He is also an award winning poet.
For this book , Precious deserves the blessings of past and present African writers like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Elechi Amadi, Flora Nwapa, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Chimamanda Adichie, John Pepper Clark, Christopher Okigbo etc.
Finally, I call on the Nigerian school curriculum planners to consider this book as one of the recommended texts for our secondary schools. It is very worth reading and a representation of the memories lost. We welcome another rare African and Nigerian Author and poet.
*Photo Caption - Uchendu Precious Onuoha speaking at the book launch.
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, has condoled with the former Governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo and his family over the death of his eldest son, Dr Ifeanyi Nwobodo who died of cancer. Speaking during a condolence visit to the former Governor in his country home, Amechi Awkunanaw, Enugu State, Governor Orji described the death of Dr. Nwobodo as unfortunate and unexpected and urged the bereaved family to take heart.
The Abia State chief executive implored Senator Nwobodo to remain strong and hand everything to God and prayed that such unfortunate occurrence should not befall the family again.
He noted that the deceased was doing very well as a medical doctor until his sudden death, pointing out that death is a necessary end for all mortals.
Receiving the Governor, Senator Nwobodo appreciated Governor Orji for the visit and stated that the death of their son was most painful. According to him, his late son had cancer and had started recovering following treatment in the USA until his eventual death on his return to Nigeria.
He commended Governor Orji for the able way he is piloting Abia State, assuring him that history will vindicate him.
*Photo Caption - Governor Chief Theodore Orji
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Abia State government has said that it would ensure the early release of the Nation newspaper correspondent in Umuahia, Mr. Ugochukwu Ugorji Eke, who abducted by hoodlums at his Ogbor Hill, Aba residence at about 7.30 pm on Sunday.
Briefing newsmen at the Government House on the matter, the Commissioner for Petroleum and alternate Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Don Ubani wondered why Mr.Ugorji-Eke will be the target of the kidnapping being merely a journalist who does not constitute a threat to anyone and of the middle class.
He disclosed that the state government has risen to the occasion and made necessary contacts with the various security agencies in the state with a view to securing his release and expressed optimism that he will soon regain his freedom.
Chief Ubani who further stated that government has made reasonable contact with the family of the victim used the medium to warn hoodlums in the state that government is on top of the security situation and would deal mercilessly with anyone who attempts to dare it.
Speaking on the same issue, the Chief Press Secretary to Abia State Governor, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, revealed that the kidnappers dragged the journalist out of his car by 7.30 pmlast night at his residence at Aba and are demanding N20m ransome for his release.
*Photo Caption - Map of Abia State
[ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] - Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Prof Ade Adefuye suggested recently that the United States willingly refused to assist Nigeria with technology to fight Boko Haram. Adefuye told members of the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday that "The Nigerian leadership... are not satisfied with the scope, nature and content of the United States' support for us in our struggle against terrorists,". He added further that "We find it difficult to understand how and why in spite of the US presence in Nigeria with their sophisticated military technology Boko Haram should be expanding and becoming more deadly,"
Since the Boko Haram insurgency started, I am personally aware, through reliable military and diplomatic sources that the United States had always availed Nigeria of list of those they suspect to be sponsors of Boko Haram. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE United Nations House Bombings at Abuja in August 26th 2011, the US, alarmed by the sheer tactility of the operations, availed Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan of the list of the l sponsors of Boko Haram and was advised to act fast before they disintegrate Nigeria.
This fact formed part of an earlier published piece in2 012 titled’ PDP Boko Haram and their 2015 Succession Politics’ where I stated that “Immediately after the bombings of the United Nations headquarters in Abuja, intelligence reports indicted high level friends of government in the executive, legislature, senior party officials, elder statesmen and security officers including retired ones. It is expected that President Goodluck will seize the opportunity of the uproar and outrage against the bombings to confront the indicted senior members of the party. Instead he chose to appeal to some of them to turn a new leaf. Emboldened by presidential timidity the murderers recruited more high level personalities, hitherto sitting on the fence, into the murderous chess game”.
The president continued to foot drag on taking actions till the Madallah Christmas Day Bombings which took over 80 lives in the same year 2011 before a traumatized Goodluck Jonathan admitted two weeks later on the 8th of January 2012, for the first time, that Boko Haram Sponsors have infiltrated his government.
The military authorities, then under Generals Owoiye Azazi as NSA and Azubuike Ihejirika as Army Chief including other service chiefs pushed for the arrest of the political sponsors of the group, most of which were still in the ruling party. Jonathan was said to have replied that arresting key political figures would scatter his government. Thus political expediency and 2015 elections permutations overshadowed the earlier resolve of the military authorities to stamp out the insurgents until some of them decided to help themselves with a bit of the national cake politicians are looting with impunity, before their tenure expires. It was a frustrated Azazi, aware of the mistrustful observation of the US, which came to Asaba and exposed to the nation that the real sponsors of Boko Haram are in the PDP.
Azazi was hounded for his frank observation till Jonathan was forced to sack him as NSA, and replaced him with a northerner. Months after Azazi’s sack, contrary to the advice that some of us gave him, he continued to gallivant around Jonathan until his enemies (sponsors of Boko Haram) plotted an helicopter accident for him. All these developments were not lost on the US military and defense analysts and advisers.
The public outcry against the abduction of some 276 girls of Christian extraction from Chibok, by the terrorists, and the fear that if the conspiracy is misunderstood by Nigerian Christians, a religious conflict might ensue, coupled with other strategic reasons not excluding humanitarian, the US volunteered to help Nigeria rescue the Chibok girls and turn the tide against the insurgents.
What US military officials met physically on the ground was enough for any sane nation not to commit its troops and weapons into operations likely to be sabotaged even before take-off.
1 It was the US that first alerted the world that 10 Generals of the Nigerian Army were among 15 officers being secretly investigated for passing sensitive information to Boo Haram.
2. It was the US that officially verified information from local observers, villagers and hunters that Boko Haram had split the Chibok Girls into three, taking them to different camps.
3 It was the US that confirmed that due to probable high level sabotage, the only way to release the Chibok girls would be through high powered negotiations since any attempt to embark on a rescue operation would likely be sabotaged, endangering the lives of both the Chibok Girls and the US troops.
4. The US military officials, after interacting with the rank and file and inspecting what is on ground in Borno 7th Division specifically created to contain the militants, alerted their home country that there is a deliberate attempt to issue the combatants with inadequate ammunition, thereby making them easy target for the insurgents.
5 The US military officials discovered that funds meant for the welfare of troops while in the combat zone is being scammed from the top, and they fingered top political sources and their military collaborators.
6 The US military officials discovered that in some cases where enough ammunition were issued, as in the case of Mohammed Kur Barracks , Bama, that officers deliberately misled their troops to abandon their position including caches of weapons and armory for use by the insurgents.
7. The fall of Bama, despite the heavy assemblage of arms, ammunition and the recently improved welfare of soldiers, have been a source of discussion within informed US military circles till date. The US authorities believe that with secured supply lines between Bama and the Divisional Headquarters in Maiduguri, a three hour journey through bad roads, and another support military base in Konduga, Nigerian soldiers have no business fleeing Bama.
8 The US believes that the moment Boko Haram overran the prestigious Police Moblie Training Facility in Gwoza, the Nigerian Police Force lost its pride to the insurgents, and gave them the boost to plot the fall of Bama and the ill-fated march to Maiduguri though Konduga, which was halted by soldiers and civilian JTF by the mercy of God.
9 The US is still wondering at how weapons which belongs to the Nigerian Army easily gets into the hands of the insurgents and they are still investigating all the routes through which the Nigerian Army supposedly donated or sold the weapons to them.
10 The Heroic welcome the ruling PDP gave the political founder of Boko Haram, and former Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, and how an airport closed for months over security concerns, was opened just for the use of the former governor, was a political mis-step from Jonathan’s men which raised concerns within the US.
11 The internal sabotage which led to the botched phased release of the Chibok girls was a source of worry, especially when it was discovered that two groups played role in the botched operation independently, without the knowledge of the other. The first group has the Presidency fingered while the second group believes that opposition financiers of Boko Haram created the fear that botched the earlier scheduled release of the Chibok girls.
12 The US tipped off South African authorities that fund for illegal purchase of arms is being carried through their shores, and they suspected that the arms might end in the hands of the insurgents. The South African authorities, bent on ridding Africa of this scourge, failed to cooperate with the unknown arms vendors and buyers.
13. The US believes that any lethal weapon they give to the military authorities might end up in the hands of the insurgents, and that any deployment of American troops as combatants would be easily sabotaged, their soldiers captured and another dimension to the war on terror will be introduced.
14 The US believes that if the Nigerian Government handles high level corruption, incidences of poverty, unemployment and social unrest will reduce drastically and the insurgents may find the business of bloodletting unattractive.
The Nigerian Government knows why the US cannot commit sensitive men and materials to aid its fight against terror. Prof Adefuye’s vituperation, though patriotic, is highly inconsistent with situations the US met on the ground. Blaming the foreigners for letting Nigeria down in the fight against Boko Haram is sweeping sensitive puzzles under the carpet. The erudite professor should interact with the US military advisers and officials in Washington and around the US, and they will avail him of the rot they met on the ground and get more insight into why the US Govt refused to assist Nigeria with the needed technology to fight Boko Haram and maybe he will apportion the blames more proportionally.
Obinna Akukwe ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan-LEFT; U.S. President Barack Obama-RIGHT.
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, has congratulated Mr. John Chijioke Emejor for emerging the new state chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) at the just concluded triennial delegates conference of the union in Umuahia.
Mr. Emejor, a Director in the Ministry of Information and Strategy polled 73 votes to defeat his opponent, Mr. Uzoma Isiakpu also a Director of Information who got 29 votes.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, the Governor also congratulated other executives of the state council for emerging victorious in the election and appreciated journalists in the state for conducting the election in a peaceful and congenial atmosphere.
He charged the new chairman to galvanize journalists in the state and chart a new course to propel the union on the path of greater progress. The Governor assured the NUJ in the state of the continued partnership of his administration and implored journalists in the state to continue to discharge their functions objectively.
*Photo Caption - Governor T. A. Orji
[ Masterweb Reports: Chief (Sir) Don Ubani reports ] - The human mind, at times, suffers from either induced or false amnesia. This is pronounced when man tries to write or narrate his past and deliberately obliterates critical ingredients or elements of his past. Any time this happens, man ends up presenting a truncated history.
Since processes that will end up in establishment of next round of democratic leadership in Abia State started about a year ago, many advocates of power shift to Abia South have, in their various arguments, reminded their audiences that since the creation of Abia as a state in 1991, none of the nine local government areas of Ukwa and Ngwa geo-political zone of the state has been able to produce a governor for the state.
This inability has been real despite the fact that a good number of indigenes of the zone, which is administratively known as Old Aba Division, had severally attempted being governor at one time or another.
In the first democratic election that took place in the state in 1992, the duo of Dr. Gerson Amuta and Chief Lambert Nmecha of blessed memory strongly aspired to become governor of the state on the platform of the defunct National Republican convention, N.R.C. At the Party’s primary election, both Dr. Amuta and Chief Nmecha lost to Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who would end up becoming the first democratically elected governor of the state.
In 1998, which marked the commencement of Nigeria’s third Republic, political personalities of the Old Aba Division were also in the race for the governorship of the state.
The likes of Architect Dan Nwankwo, Dr. Max Nduaguibe and Chief Chukwu Wachukwu came out with Vigour gunning for the governorship of Abia. Again, they lost to Chief Orji Kalu who emerged as the state’s number one man.
2003 did not present any dull moment for the highly populated people of Old Aba Division. In that year, Chief Enyinnaya Abaribe, immediate past Deputy Governor of the state, relying chiefly on his gregarious ‘Otu Onu’ political outfit, strongly contested the governorship of the state on the platform of defunct All Nigeria People’s Party; A.N.P.P. Again, the result was not different from those of 1992 and 1998. Chief Enyinnaya Abaribe lost to the incumbent Governor; Kalu.
Still determined to break the jinx of not producing the State Governor despite being the more populated zone of the state, the trio of Chief Okezie Orji, Hon Tony Enwereuzor and Radical Hon. Chinonyerem Macebuh were at the scenario of governship contest in 2007. As if the geo-political zone had some issues to resolve with destiny, the three lost as Chief Theodore Ahamefule Orji eventually emerged victorious.
Then came 2011. Chief Theodore Orji was constitutionally qualified to re-contest as an incumbent governor and he did. For the umpteenth time, another politician from Old Aba Zone, by the name of Chief Regan Ufomba, showed interest and contested on the platform of All Progressive Grand Alliance; APGA. Expectedly, Chief Regan Ufomba kissed the dust.
The combined experiences of the people of Old Aba Division in their previous quests to clinch the governorship of the state from 1992 to 2011 are a clear indication that a people who do not put their art together would only be like wanderers in a labyrinth. It is also a pointer to the indisputable fact that power, apart from being divinely determined, is negotiated.
In analyzing the challenges of the people of Old Aba Division to emerge as the Executive Head of their second tier of government, the histrionics of the development should not be limited only to the twenty three years of the existence of Abia State. Before the first Republic, the people of Onitsha had produced the Premier of Eastern Region in the person of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, from 1954 to 1959. When Dr. Azikiwe’s National Council of Nigerian citizens, N.C.N.C., went into alliance with Sir Ahmadu Bello’s Northern People’s Congress; N.P.C., Zik, as Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, was fondly called, became the Governor–General of Nigeria while Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa of N.P.C. became Prime-Minister. As nature abhors vacumm, Dr. Michael Iheonukara Okpara, a prominent son of Old Bende became Premier of Eastern Region. Between 1960 and 1966, Dr. Francis Akanu Ibiam; a world class statesman of Afikpo extraction, was Governor of Eastern Region.
Both during colonial and first Nigerian Republic, no indigene of Old Aba Division attained the height of either a Premier or even a Governor.
As it is chronologically clear, military interregnum separately lasted for twenty-nine years in this country. During that very dark era of Nigeria’s nationhood, many military officers of Igbo origin were appointed military Governors of different states.
To begin with, Colonel Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu was appointed the military Governor of Eastern Region by the Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Nigeria; Major–General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi. Ojukwu hailed from Nnewi. Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Major–General Ike Omar Sandara Nwachukwu and Navy Captain Christopher Osondu, three of them from Isuikwuato, had been Military Governors during the period. Commodore Amadi Guy Ikwechegh, an indigene of Igbere in Bende was also a Military Administrator during the period under review. Air Commodore Samson Emeka Omeruah, who hailed from Ikwuano, was a military governor.
Should any body forget the very charistimatic Military Administrator of Lagos State and later Niger State; Commodore Ebitu Oko Ukiwe of the ancient Abiriba entrepreneurial origin?
The list of military officers of Igbo extraction that served as Military Governors or Administrators may not easily be exhausted here. By the time one remembers the likes of Commodore Alison Madueke, Colonel Chinyere Ike Nwosu and Lt. Colonel Anthony Obi, who all were military governors at one time or another, the question that glares one at the face becomes, where were the people of Ukwa and Ngwa all through that longperiod? It was obvious that no Ukwa or Ngwa man had enough contact to influence being a military Governor. The highest position an officer from the whole of Old Aba division could attain during that era was merely an Acting Military Governor of Anambra State which was achieved by Group captain Monday Ikpeazu when the Governor was on leave.
A frank deduction here is that the people of Old Aba Division have not, so far, only failed to harness their natural numerical strength in order to galvanize their political fortune and growth in a democratic setting but equally proved incapable of establishing any network of meaningful contact that could have enabled, at least, one of their own to have emerged a military governor during the days of military dictatorship when what mattered was merely who one knew.
The above scenario, which slightly tilted towards hopelessness and frustration, should not currently be forgotten by the people of Old Aba Division as the leadership of People’s Democratic Party; P.D.P, in the state, under the philosophical guidance of Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji, has, purely out of democratic philanthropy and magnanimity; expressly resolved to have the next Governor of the state come from Abia–South senatorial zone of the Old Aba Division.
This posture by the People’s Democratic Party is an exemplary manifestation of uncommon commitment to equity, fairness and natural justice. Who ever that raises an eye brow against this justifiable popular resolution of the Party must surely be an enemy of democracy and natural justice. It is, however, very strategic and of utmost importance that the people of Old Aba Division should naturally realize that what Governor T.A. Orji and the People’s Democratic Party are irrevocably set to do for them is equivalent to handing power over to a people purely on a platter of gold. They should not mismanage it. At this stage in their political history, common sense demands that they should encourage the leadership of P.D.P. assist them achieve what they brazenly proved incapable of realizing since ages. They should eschew internal bitterness amongst themselves; a characteristic trait that had been their bane since time immemorial.
No matter their individual frame of mind and urge for power, Abia 2015 Governorship should be perceived by all and sundry in Old Aba Division as a golden opportunity that should not be trivialized and allowed to slip due to inclination to unpatriotic individualism and its attendant inordinate ambition. A stitch in time, can always save nine.
Chief (Sir) Don Ubani; ksc, JP
(Okwubunka of Asa)
*Photo Caption - Map of Abia State
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Abia Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, has congratulated elder-statesman and frontline politician, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu on his 70th birthday celebration.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Ajunwa, the Governor said attaining 70 years in the life of a man is not a mean feat and thanked God for his favours towards Chief Ugochukwu. According to him, at 70, the celebrant has left legacies on the sands of time having served the country and Abia State meritoriously in many capacities.
This, he said, has won him many awards both within the state and nationally and prayed God to grant him many more years ahead. The Governor applauded the veteran journalist for his exemplary and humble lifestyle and urged politicians to emulate such virtues.
*Photo Caption - Governor T. A. Orji