The hot under current arising from the commissioner’s nomination list as released by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (PhD) seems to be causing more problem than providing solution. The list seems to have opened so many can of worms with PDP members at different level questioning the reasons behind the nominations.
Some people equated the actions of the governor to that of President Muhammadu Buhari who took 6 months to nominate people (Ministers) he could have nominated in less than 1 week. So many people expected a new set of Commissioners, but were surprised that the list still contains the same people who some alleged have kept Abia state in its present state.
In some quarters, PDP members are aggrieved with godfatherism colouration of the appointment. Some PDP members from Ngwa extraction are of the opinion that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is acting under a strong compulsion to appoint some people who he would not have appointed if he was to act on his own free will.
Another issue which is been peddled around is that some people were duped in the disguise of trying to facilitate commissionership appointment for them. One of the person who does want his name mentioned stated that he spent above N2M in consultation which include giving out money to people close to Ikpeazu to help lobby for him emerge as Commissioner. In fact, he said he was completely assured of the appointment only to be disappointed when the list came out.
“I spent above N2M trying to lobby people, everyone I meet requested for money which I gave. These people are very close to the governor, so I believed them in totality. But unfortunately, my name did not appear in the list and since then I have been calling those my contact they are not picking, only one sent me a text informing me to relax that he is working on something’s for me”- he stated.
Another issue raised since the commissioner’s nomination list was released is that there is a presence of cabal in Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s government. It is alleged that some individuals close to governor both inside and outside government are being favoured because of fear of backlash. We learnt that the governor made sure their candidates appeared in the commissioners list just to avoid problem and to secure his 2019 reelection.
Some many Local Government Area in abia state do not agree with the nomination coming from their LGA. From Ukwa to Umuahia to Isuikwuato to Arochukwu LGAs, they all have salient issues or disagreements. Just yesterday, Chief Emmanuel Egwu who happens to be a Senior Special Adviser to Governor Ikpeazu took to facebook to vent his displeasure towards Ikpeazu’s Commissioners list, Egwu maintained that his people of Umuopara in umuahia North LGA have consistently been marginalized in terms of appointments. He insisted that Governor Ikpeazu should have considered his people first before any other zone in Umuahia South.
Chief Emmanuel Egwu who could not hide his feeling, went ahead to berate the governor for giving him an SSA appointment without portfolio. Egwu resigned this morning.
In Isuikwuato, some PDP faithfuls are also not happy, they are insisting that the governor gives out appointment without checking the ability and records of the individuals. They insisted that if the governor is to give appointment based on those that delivered their wards and constituency during the 2015 election, Honorable Obinna Ekekwe would not have made the list. A PDP faithful in Isuikwuato had this to say;
“The governor missed it, Obinna is not qualified to be commissioner, he did not deliver his ward during the last election and I can guaranty you that he will still not be able to deliver his ward in 2019. The governor needs to appoint people who have the capacity to win election, except he has ruled himself out of 2019. Secondly, I learnt the governor gave the appointment to please a political ex-military general, is the governor aware that the said general has lost touch with his people? Is the governor aware that the former general is no longer a force in Isuikwuato politics? Well 2019 will speak volumes he concluded.
In Osisioma the case is the same, a former House of Assembly member openly challenged the nomination on the social media. He described the nomination as absurd, he pointed out that with this nominees Abians should not expect anything new from Governor Okezie Ikpeazu or his government.
Generally, so people commended the nomination of John Okiyi Kalu popularly known as JOK. They believe he is a fresh blood that is needed in this administration and that he has a fair knowledge of how to run media in this digital age that will positively affect the government if he becomes the substantive commissioner of information.
The question is, is this uproar just because some politicians lost out in the scheming for commissionership or is it a genuine agitation for the betterment of Abia state? Time will tell.