OPINION: OKEZIE IKPEAZU, ALEX OTTI AND THE SEEKERS OF UNDESERVED GLORY – BY. FERDINAND EKEOMA

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There’s a new twist in the “Political Gamji” that has been the hallmark of Abia politics for many years now.

Prior to the emergence of a foremost financial expert, and the 2015 governorship candidate of APGA in Abia state, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR,  as a formidable political rallying point in Abia state, Abia experienced the kind of politics where the man in power was ” The Alpha and Omega”, who reigned unchallenged, entertained no re-election fears, and lawlessly lorded it over others as he deemed acceptable. .

The slogan then was “Return Return”. What this meant was that once you’re chosen as a candidate by the incumbent governor and his cronies, most times through flagarant violation of due process and disobedience to all known guidelines, you’re automatically re-elected (selected), even without votes being cast.

During this period, desperate and expired politicians with little or no followership literally went begging to be integrated into the so called mainstream, of course they were either rejected, or reluctantly accepted and subsequently subjected to all forms of humiliation, as they kowtowed just to be mentioned and recognized as being part of the ruling government.

The reason for that nonsensical practice was clear; there was no serious opposition, no loud voice, no dreaded face, no consistent and committed character, and no rallying point to challenge the invisible and almighty incumbent.

Today, the story has changed beyond doubt. Alex Otti and APGA have courageously filled this gap, and are carefully marshalling all necessary strategies to ensure that the political docility that once held Abia down, to the detriment of the suffering Abia masses, and which was erased in 2015 never returns.

Again, those holding Abia down are seriously alarmed now, because they know that unlike in the past when the few who attempted to challenge spoke mere grammar with little or no commensurate actions, today, Otti and his party, APGA are not merely speaking, but backing it up with visible and people inspired actions capable of dislodging the ruthless political buccaneers of Abia.

Just like every military coup provides an opportunity for friends of the military, the fierce opposition and competition heralded by Otti and his party, APGA has indirectly brought huge undeserved fortunes for some persons who ordinarily should be properly addressed as political liabilities.

Fearing the Alex Otti/APGA onslaught come 2019,  Okezie Ikpeazu led government has wasted enormous resources that should have been deployed in rendering responsible and responsive leadership to the people, in organising civic receptions for all manner of characters in the name of receiving them into the Abia state government/PDP folds.

Seeing the inexplicable desperation of Ikpeazu to remain in power beyond 2019 even in the face of his disastrous first term outing that has seen poverty, insecurity, youth unemployment and workers’ sufferings gone all time high, different groups of questionable fellows now gather, brand themselves Otti and APGA supporters, the next minute, they have got a kill in Okezie Ikpeazu who would quickly arrange for a reception, abandon his primary responsibilities as a governor and race to the venue, snap pictures with such persons, and of course grease their palms with ridiculously huge amount of naira notes.

The next minute, what you would hear on the radio is that “One Hundred Thousand Alex Otti and APGA supporters have decamped to the PDP and declared support for Ikpeazu’s re-election because of Ikpeazu’s above human performance”.

Mind you, a few days ago they had told you and I that Otti doesn’t exist, and that APGA doesn’t have up to a hundred members, yet they received a hundred thousand APGA decampees into their fold. Is there any tragicomedy worse than this?

A few days ago, a former member of the PDP in Abia who abandoned the party when Ikpeazu was illegally imposed as a governorship candidate, and ran to the APC, signaled his intention to return to the PDP.  But rather than announce that he was abandoning APC to return to the PDP, he played a smart one on Ikpeazu. He staged his game, using some cronies of Ikpeazu from his area who dragged Ikpeazu to the venue. The guy-man Chief bamboozled the desperate governor with sweet talks, told him that what APGA did in 2015 in Abia, including in his own LGA was because PDP had crisis, and assured Ikpeazu that he was going to do an “Indian  kind of magic” to ensure that APGA doesn’t pose another threat come 2019.

To make it sweeter, Ikpeazu’s Vuvuzelas went to town to announce, and have continued to celebrate that the decampee Chief with zero structure has moved back to the PDP with APGA and APC leaders in the area. Sadly, the names of such APGA and APC leaders were never mentioned, of course they can’t be mentioned, because they are non existent.

Remember that the governor abandoned his duty post, and comfortably sat for hours, and smiled while the chief played ludo with his brains with those obvious lies that should have been rejected by the governor at the point of sale.

He didn’t bother to ask himself, what has a former PDP member who ran to the APC, got frustrated, and decided to return to the PDP alone got to do with APGA? Ikpeazu knows the answer, it has nothing to do with APGA, but he knows that the mere mention of APGA which was indirectly aimed at Otti was the only way to cunningly draw some attention, as well as legitimise the illegitimacy of that day.

Like they say in Aba Enyimba City, “Mugu Fall, Aroba Chop”. If  Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has consciously, unconsciously or carelessly chosen to be a “mugu” in the hands of these political jobbers in his desperation to remain in power beyond 2019, shouldn’t he also know that the resources being wasted in hosting and settling these men who were even in a state of abandonment before he came calling, are the commonwealth of millions of Abians, including our suffering innocent workers, most of whom are owed up to 8 months salary arrears.

While it makes political sense for Ikpeazu and his party to chase anything that bears the mark of Otti and APGA as a strategy to cutting his nemesis to size, knowing that Otti is the beautiful bride, unfortunately their mixture of confusion and desperation has forced them to keep committing serious blunders in thinking that the Alex Otti phenomenon is a product of a single individual , no, Otti is a brave and an organized genius who understands the importance of collectivism and togetherness, but believes in mixing passion with excellence as a key to building a virile democratic institution anchored on the masses, with a major objective of driving Abia out of the doldrums of clueless leadership.

So while Ikpeazu and allies endlessly seek glory on the wings of Alex Otti and APGA, they should be reminded that it can’t be achieved by pursing those who call the name of the father but do not truly believe in the father.

It can only be achieved by aligning with the passionate Abia masses, who truly bear the mark of glory, not a few inglorious characters who see the quest to salvage Abia as a Pay-as-you-go business.

Interestingly, Ikpeazu cannot tap from the glory, because his mission contradicts with the desires of the suffering Abia masses who want leadership in its true definition, not re-election inspired cosmetic braggadocio.

 

#Note: This is the opinion of Ferdinand Ekeoma, a public affair commentator, it does not represent the view of Abia Facts Newspaper.

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