- Ukwa/Ngwa bloc celebrates Orji
Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, at the weekend led nine other Senators to laud the political leaders of Abia State for devising a power sharing formula which made it possible for the hitherto â€˜marginalisedâ€™ Ukwa/Ngwa bloc to produce the current governor of Abia.
The senators were in Abia in solidarity with Senator Theodore Orji, who was honoured by the Ukwa/Ngwa people for his courage â€œto protect and project them from political obscurity to limelightâ€ with the emergence of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. The people not only rolled out the drums to celebrate Ochendo, the traditional rulers of Ukwa/Ngwa led by Eze Eberechi Dick conferred on him the chieftaincy title of Omezirimba (one who transforms a people) of Ukwa/Ngwa.
The roll call of other senators at the â€˜grand thank-you receptionâ€™ held at Ngwa High School Aba includes Senators Jonah Jang, Fatimah Raji Rasaki, Rose Oko, Abdullahi Adamu, Samuel Anyanwu, Phillip Gwer, Sunny Ogboji, Joshua Lidani, Mao Ohuabunwa and Enyinnaya Abaribe.
Akpabio commended Senator Orji for leaving a legacy of equity and justice thereby giving the people of Ukwa/ Ngwa bloc in particular and Abia people in general the reason to celebrate him even after he had left office as governor.
â€œIt is not easy for somebody to leave office and still attract a huge crowd of people like weâ€™re seeing here,â€ he said, adding, â€œtransfer of power is godly, itâ€™s spiritual and thatâ€™s why Abia is peaceful today.â€
The former Akwa Ibom governor noted that the Senator representing Abia Central has been very active and productive in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly, saying, â€œWeâ€™re very proud of Senator Orji; he carries himself with candour and is a bridge builder.â€
On the presence of Senator Abdullahi Adamu, an APC senator from Nasarawa State, Akpabio explained that it was to underscore the fact that once elected into office senators see themselves as Nigerians and not members of their respective political parties.
An elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Adaelu, who chaired the event, said in his opening remarks that the people of Ukwa/Ngwa have every reason to be eternally grateful to Senator Orji for keeping his promise of ending the marginalisation of the Ukwa/Ngwa in Abia politics.
â€œPeople do handover power but the one done by Senator Orji is peculiar. He is a rare gem, who keeps promises; a man of equity and justice. God used him to wipe our tears,â€ he said.
Adaelu recalled that his Ukwa/Ngwa people had for so many years engaged in political struggle â€œto be recognised in this country without recording any success but when Orji came along as governor he rewrote the political history of the Ukwa/Ngwa.
â€œWe donâ€™t know where we would have been if you did not do what you did (ensure power shift to Abia South). The people you love are here to give you honour and your family for keeping to the spirit of equity. We are very happy,â€ he said.
The sentiments expressed by Adaelu, who is regarded as the political leader of the Ukwa/Ngwa was shared by other speakers that represented the component parts of Ukwa/Ngwa, including Representative Nkem Abonta for Ukwa and Chief Geshom Amuta for Ngwa.
Amuta said that Senator Orji need not bother campaigning in the Ngwa part of Abia Central as they would fully vote for him in his second term bid to show their appreciation for his good gestures to the people of Ukwa/Ngwa.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in his address said that the Ukwa/Ngwa people have a culture of appreciating any good thing done to them and thanking their benefactors. He reiterated that he would continue to work very hard for the people of Abia to justify the mandate given to him as the first governor from Ukwa/Ngwa extraction.
Senator Orji stated that he took the decision to transfer power to the Ukwa/Ngwa bloc after reading the Abia Charter of Equity as prepared by the founding fathers of the state. According to him, opponents of power shift mounted strenuous attacks to thwart his efforts but having â€œsought divine guidance we fought the battle until he (Ikpeazu) won.â€