• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Arochukwu young professionals on the Abia Appeal Court judgment

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As their name goes, they are young and wrote from what they know. But what they don’t know is sea. The issue is the verdict given to Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) by the Electoral Appeal Court against his opponent, Okezie Ikpeazu of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The presentation of the League of Arochukwu Young Professionals pivoted on the dichotomy of Abia politics, precisely the Bende-Ukwa/Ngwa axes. The Bende axis has consecutively produced the governors for the past 16 years and the Ukwa/Ngwa axis none. Fairness demands that that axis takes its bite at governance and that was precisely what played out. Both Alex Otti and Okezie Ikpeazu come from there.

The professionals, as young as they are though not in subtlety, surgically separated Otti from his Ukwa/Ngwa origin to mix it up with his ancestral link back in Arochukwu. You would think they want to be fair to also do the same for Ikpeazu, but they pretended to forget. Well, research findings claim that Okezie Ikpeazu’s ancestral origin is in today’s Akwa-Ibom State, just for them to take note. Invariably, the argument of ancestry is a dead-end and, therefore, doesn’t demand further attention. Since they seem to be obsessed with the dichotomy of Abia politics, they should have done well to get innovative about it – precisely to see where the problem lies. Is it in the dichotomy or in the operational structure?

Ikpeazu has had six months of troubled governance, doing his best to impress but remaining largely and all-in-all a suspect. He has been resurfacing some Aba roads with questionable quality finish, some say: ‘waiting for the next rain’. He was criticized in the way and manner he hurriedly awarded the contracts and I know, finders will find out what really happened. But the question is, what structure is he operating on? He inherited Governance-by-Intimidation (GBI), a structure of rot that birthed Impunity and matured into the Incapacitation and Disillusionment of the people. Could he then act differently? Did traders in Ariaria market not have their wares thrown out and resisting ones beaten and shot? And in line with their impugned slogan, ‘nothing will happen’, and nothing happened. We know that he was in charge of the state’s environmental agency for quite a while. We saw refuse burnt on the Aba-Enugu highway, not as a one-off thing but as a permanent solution to waste treatment. The health hazards associated with it were of no issue because ‘nothing will happen’, and nothing happened. That was before he became the governor.

On assuming power, the bizarre surged. Waste burnt on the highways now gets done on the major streets of Umuahia and Aba. We expected a touch of excellence from him since now he reports to nobody and has a backlog of experience. That wasn’t to be. Besides, the energy derivatives from such waste have never attracted a mention talk less of attention, as though it is for Abia ‘the forbidden tree’. If he didn’t point to that direction these six months he held charge, then did he have it in mind? To move from incineration on the highways to the highly populated streets is a retardation. Reason, he inherited and is operating a structure of rot that produces rot. No matter how he tries, he cannot operate outside of it. That is the problem. No matter how he tries, some people threw him up and he must pay homage.

His predecessor T. A. Orji did same for four years at the expense of the state. When eventually he disentangled himself from the structure of his predecessor, he evolved a structure twice worse than he inherited. There was son-power, wife-power, in-law-power, etc., all characterized by rot. What’s the evidence that Ikpeazu, like his predecessor, would not evolve a worse structure than his predecessor and with what consequence for the state and people? That is the suspicion. Now imagine Abia doing another hog in the bizarre the next four years, then it’s good night!

Rather than dichotomy, the young professionals should busy themselves with this unnerving challenge of getting the people and the state out of trouble. In contrast, Otti held sway in the private sector where you perform and flourish or fail to perform and perish. He thrived visibly and is politically unencumbered. What the people have said is simply, ‘come to us and do that thing here’. Just that. So the issue at stake now is beyond politics, it is ‘Abia, survive or perish!’, and the people say, ‘survive we must’. That is the separation line between what the Arochukwu professionals are insinuating and what the people are standing on.

The legal component of their presentation is better left to the court of law, not the court of tabloid. But to be professional is also to ask to know where you don’t know and to stand on that which is credible. The way they have gone is in the reverse. Well, that’s assuming they are really Arochukwu Professionals and not impostors. The State of Abia is in a hurry, you either join and move or slumber and slog. If Alex Otti is that tool of motion, then he is.

Onyebuchi ONYEGBULE