Inauguration Of Abia 6th House Of Assembly: When Orji’S Son Wept

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An adage says, when men cry, there is pain somewhere. This can be absolutely true, especially when the men involved are men who are men, men of substance and men of value. For such a cry to have come from the immediate first son of the state, the first son of the immediate past governor, Theodore Ahamefule Orji, Engr. ChinedumEnyinnaya Orji means there is real pain somewhere for him. Enyinnaya Orji has in the past powered youth empowerment in the state through the instrumentality of his father as the governor of the state. Following last year’s Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) controversial primaries in the state, Engr Orji emerged as the party’s candidate representing Umuahia Central State Constituency, a position formerly occupied by Hon. NkemUche who stepped down at the primaries satge. In Umuahia East State Constituency, IfeanyiApugo replaced Hon. Bar. ChidiebereNwoke, while in Umuahia North, Hon. EmekaEjiogu retained his position after the primaries as ChukwuemekaOsoagbaka of Ikwuano State Constituency also retained his position. However, during and after the primaries, there were many intrigues that played out leading to many who lost in the party to feel aggrieved and go for alternative parties, which include the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA). In Umuahia Central and Umuahia East state constituencies, it was smooth change over, but in Umuahia North state constituency, it was an intrigue that involves many, including the party at the state level, the state government, the personality of the incumbent, Hon Ejiogu and his sponsor, an Ohuhu elder statesman, Chief OnyemaUgochukwu. In the interim, the ill-feelings engendered by the way the PDP primaries in the state were held, led many to follow one of the aggrieved, and a former banker, Dr. Alex Otti to APGA, with a wave of “change” sweeping across the state. The government of the day did not help matters as they forced the party in the state to unilaterally drop some of their aspirants in favour of unpopular choices, even as non-party active members were used for the primaries amongst allegation of extortions by some government functionaries. In Umuahia North State constituency, it was even alleged that the state government then sponsored one of the governors aide, and a former Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) State chairman, Lucky Akabuike against his brother, and the incumbent, Hon. EmekaEjiogu. However, inspite of all, the people of the constituency, also known as “Ohuhu Constituency”, stood on the side of Ejiogu, who later won the primaries against all odds, despite Akabuike “being sponsored by the state government and their family members” to enure that Ejiogudid  not come back. As this did not work, Comrade Lucky Akabuike decamped to Labour Party, allegedly sponsored to ensure he wins and displace Ejiogu in the April elections. But seeing the wave of crave for change due to the performance of the party in the state and the strong force with which Dr. Otti was propagating APGA in the state, coupled with the ill-feelings over the way the party’s primaries were conducted, the PDP active players in the state, it was alleged started sponsoring discreetly some candidates in APGA and other parties in the state. What people saw few days ago after the inauguration of the 6th House was seen by Hon. Ejiogu months back when he said that the speaker of the House would elude Umuahia North, Umuahia South and Ikwuano if the people do not retrace their steps and give him massive support, as the “would-be” most experienced member when the 6th House comes into existence. True, Umuahia North would have presented to the 6th House the most experienced member and who would have been in a position to clinch the Speakership of the House, even if rotation and sharing formula with our brothers on the other cultural divide comes into play. But during the April elections, Ejiogu of Umuahia North and Osoagbaka “Gbakas” were thrown out of the House by non-patriotic constituents blinded by “change”, thus denying the Umuahians the position of the Speaker of the 6th House, while conceding the position to our brothers as the next most experienced is from there. Lamenting over this predicament, after the inauguration of the House in a dual reception held at Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State event field and at the De Latinos, the new member representing Umuahia Central State Constituency, and the first son of the immediate past, Engr. ChineduEnyinnaya Orji “Ikuku” (Breeze) disclosed that his challenge with people was that there are too much gossip in the state. People, he said feared that APGA would take over the state House of Assembly, stating, “They will not as far as I am here”. He recalled that he had told people he would not be the speaker as was rumoured, which necessitated the insistence that all former members of the House from Ikwuano, Umuahia North and Umuahia South must not come back to give him the chance to become the Speaker, allegedly zoned to the area. “I said I will not be the Speaker. That one alone will make one not to give people vehicles again. “I urged you to vote in PDP members, but you did not listen to me. Unknown to us, we are buying guns, loading them with bullets and shooting ourselves at the leg. “Now, the House has proclaimed a high ranking member from the other section of Abia central Senatorial zone as the Speaker. “It is not my making as I did not make the Federal Government to put the Ngwas in Abia Central”, Orji said. He expressed his happiness that his administration and influence is now limited to his constituency, Umuahia Central. He urged Umuahia North, Umuahia South and Ikwuano people to start taking politics seriously, “having seen what happened at Abuja” (over intrigues in the selection of President and Speaker of the Senate and House of Representatives and their deputies), disclosing that his father, former Gov. T.A. Orji was part of the intrigues that led to the resurrection of the party at the National Assembly. He advised that politics is all about interest, stating that his going into politics is not about self interest, disclosing that he has no interest running for the senate or running for the House of Representatives, which he said is the turn of Ikwuano constituency. “I did not go to the House of Assembly for selfish interest, but for reasons which is personal”, Engr. Orji said, and in the interest of the people. He lamented “what happened today (inauguration of the state House of Assembly and the election of the Speaker and his deputy) is an eye opener. “People did not believe that it will be as I said. I have begged my people (Ikwuano/Umuahia) to forgive me and PDP because it is our turn to produce the speaker. But they (my people) refused, “If not ‘Ikuku’ is strong physically and spiritually. “I told them that our members in the Ngwa section will return their representatives. They (Ngwa section of Abia Central) returned a 3rd-time and 2nd-termers”. According to him, “one person brought campaign of hate and envy. Brother no longer brother, friends turned against each other”. When he noticed that, he said he told them it was a question of shooting self at the leg, lamenting that is what happened at the House of Assembly, describing what happened there as the right thing. “We have three LGAs and another three in Ngwa area of Abia Central. It Speakership) is zoned in senatorial basis and I have said I don’t want to be a Speaker. “When Ngwa people returned a 3rd timer, the game was over. “I bought vehicles and shared, but I got into trouble as more people demanded for it. During the Election Day, things fell apart. That was what happened in Umuahia. May be in 2019, we will remove every channels of envy. “People may say we have eaten enough, but the speakership has eluded us and it is the time for us to value what we have”, Chinedu cried out. According to him, some beneficiaries of his empowerment programme used the vehicles given to them to campaign against the PDP and the government of the day, Reacting, Hon. EmekeEjiogu, a 3rd-time who would have clinched the Speakership based on his experience as a 4th-time had he won in the April election said as at date, Ikwuano/Umuahia do not have a qualified member of the House for the position of the speaker. “Only IsialaNgwa North has that”, he said lamenting also that Engr. Orji should have said that in a forum where all Abia was present, but should have been at an Ikwuano/Umuahia forum for internal consumption. Ejiogu disclosed that the state PDP did not do well in that election as they allowed what happened. He expressed his opinion that PDP did not lose completely, regretting that a lot of people voted against the party because they were aggrieved, stating, “We will restructure and come back. What happened has happened. We were short of words. “This is a big lesson to our Ikwuano/Umuahia people. We should learn our lesson. On the heterogeneous nature of the State House of Assembly, Ejiogu said that people are looking at the PDP-APGA relationship to be a war front, stating however, that it will not be so, recalling that in 1997, it was PDP-PPA, but that all came together for the progress of the state, party affiliation notwithstanding. He advised the current House members to face the progress of their constituencies, stating “when the House is not in peace, the governor will be distracted. “They should bear in mind that the interest of their constituencies and that of the state should be over-riding. As it is now, the Umuahia North, Umuahia South and Ikwuano has lost any chances of producing any principal officer in the House as all the members are all first timers and will take them up to eight years ahead to be qualified for that, especially as there are indications that even the Majority Leader may go to the representative of the oil rich Ukwa, MezieNwaubani, while the Minority Leader may also go to another experienced members, Ezekwesiri of APGA who after being victimized by the state government and the party, decamped to APGA and won on that platform.

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