The above caption of the speech delivered by my elder brother, Chief Nwaka Inem to ndi Abiriba in Aba caught my attention with keen interest and after watching and reading in details, I sincerely wish to make my submissions as itemised below, to enable our people make an informed and objective decision as we move closer to the 2023 general elections.
1. Chief Nwaka joined LP because his master, Dr Alex Otti, joined Labour Party and not because of what PDP did or did not do to Ndi Abiriba. Recall that when Dr Otti was in PDP, he went with him; when he left for APGA, he followed him and even when he joined APC , Chief Nwaka followed him still. Based on the records of Chief Nwaka’s active partisan politics, he jumps from one party to another depending on where Mr Alex Otti pitches his tent.
2. The State government had no role to play with any federal water scheme. Whoever claims to have attracted the project should account for any money collected from the federal government. Chief Nwaka should tell ndi Abiriba who attracted the project and the real reason he/she abandoned it. You cannot claim a lack of State government willingness to power a project that you have not completed. Government affairs are not conducted orally; there must have been correspondences with respect to such odd demand and response. I therefore urge Chief Nwaka to show us proof of his claim.
3. In 2015 PDP lost woefully in Abiriba yet the Governor graciously started the ring road project in 2016. The same opposition gang attacked the contractors claiming that they did not want any PDP project but will prefer to wait for “our own Governor Alex Otti” to win his court case. The project had to be relocated to Ugwuezi road with the stretch of Ugwuezi road fully completed and delivered to standard as Phase 1. As at that time, the Governor had not even started capital projects in most communities that overwhelmingly voted for him.
4. The opposition elements orchestrated frustrations experienced by the contractor and the continued increase in the cost of materials delayed the commencement of the Phase 2 of the project. As a result, the contractor sent in a variation that was almost 100% of the original project cost. The government is reviewing and will decide on what to do.
5. Aside from Ugwuezi road, Governor Ikpeazu constructed Abiriba-Nkporo road with up to 40% of the total length within the Abiriba end. That project has led to increase in real estate value around that axis.
6. Governor Ikpeazu, through his wife, constructed market stalls at Orieakwa and donated a house to an Abiriba widow in Amaogudu. Over 200 Abiriba sons and daughters also work in his government as political appointees. Since the creation of Abia State, ndi Abiriba have never had this mega number of appointees under a government more so to whose victory we contributed less at inception.
7. Governor Ikpeazu and PDP gave Abiriba her first elected LGA Chairman in decades along with 2 TC Chairmen and 2 House of Assembly members. No other community in Abia has 2 House of Assembly members at the same time. PDP also gave SSG and Chairman of Council of Abiapoly and ABSU to Abiriba people in addition to at least 4 Commissioners.
8. Abiriba importers have been protected along with others as the Commisioner for Trade and Investment is from Abiriba. He is the first Abiriba man to hold that position. Most of the internal roads done in Aba by Governor Ikpeazu are also located within Abiriba dominated neighborhoods including Nwaobasi Estate, Ehere, Ukaegbu, Umuola etc.
9. Enuda High School is owned by the Church, not Abiriba community or Abia State Government. The Old Boys Association should know how to collect whatever donation or pledge made to them but it is on record that Chief Nwaka’s master, Mr Alex Otti, whom I believe was also invited based on his close relationship with Chief Nwaka, did not donate a kobo to the school. That could be because the launch was not done during election period yet Chief Nwaka has sadly decided to play unproductive opposition politics with the Governor’s magnanimity rather than engage meaningfully with the relevant office that made the pledge on behalf of the Governor.
Lastly, the victorious emergence of Prof. Uche Ikonne of PDP from the 2023 gubernatorial elections will see ndi Abiriba’s two illustrious sons return to Abia State House of Assembly as ranking members with its attendant benefits and dividends to the people. The community is wiser than 2015 when a few individuals misled the people into playing meaningless and non-strategic opposition politics . Hence, Abiriba community in Aba will reciprocate Governor Ikpeazu ‘s magnanimity by working to ensure his Senatorial victory and the triumph of other PDP candidates in Aba come 2023 to consolidate on their current position as major players in Abia politics.
Elder Obasi Asoh
Abiriba PDP Chieftain