In the tussle for the Governorship ticket of APP, many prominent Ngwa politicians indicated interest to run. From the other geo-political divide, that is Old Bende, there were also some of their prominent sons who were aspirants in APP..
The Ngwa governorship aspirants in APP, due to time-held pride and selfishness refused and rejected every attempt made by some of their Elders and Followers to harmonize and put forward only one aspirant. About three of them; Dr Max Nduaguibe, Chief Chuku Wachuku and Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, most unpatriotically and selfishly went into the contest in their individual capacity. On the other hand, the aspirants from Old Bende, knowing that unity of purpose was essential, exhibited maturity and altruism and, therefore, reconciled and harmonized their aspirations. They teamed up with Sir Vincent Ogbulafor.
Of course, the result of the APP Governorship Primary Election was clear. Sir Vincent Ogbulafor reduced the Ngwa Governorship Aspirants to a mere punching bag. The Ngwa contestants were not only mercilessly beaten but shamefully humiliated. Apart from Nkechi who later rose to the height of a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, others nosedived into political oblivion and inconsequence.
Even when Sir Vincent Ogbulafor lost the Governorship Election proper to Chief Orji Uzor Kalu of PDP and was ready to go to the Election Tribunal, Elders of Old Bende approached him and reminded him that his loss would not be disadvantageous to the people of Old Bende as he only lost to one of their sons. They, therefore, persuaded him not to go to Court against Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, for according to them, Old Bende had lost nothing.
If Governor Okezie Ikpeazu were of Old Bende extraction, the quantum of bitterness that was evident in the litigations instituted against him by the duo of Otti and Oga would not have been the same. Infact, there would not have been any litigation at all. Elders of Old Bende would quickly have called the duo to a timely order and they would have listened and complied.
In the wake of what is happening in respect of Abia Governorship 2023, someone had asked me why I was disturbing myself insisting that the next Governor of Abia State should be of Umunneato-Ngwa extraction in Abia-Central Senatorial District. I told him that I was doing that because of my perception of the intendment of Equity, even as lucidly captured in Abia Charter of Equity.
In response, the Man appreciated my commitment to Equity. He, however, told me that the Ngwa People he knows will not allow my dream of 16/16 years of equitable governance to tilt favourably towards the Ngwa. When I asked why he felt so, he bluntly told me that the average Ngwa Man will naturally want every other Ngwa Man to lose anything he is incapable of getting for himself. He said if it were the people of Old Bende, that a machinery would be put in motion to make sure only one aspirant runs the race, as to beat the Ngwa. He said he was ready to bet me that the four or five Ngwa Governorship Aspirants on the platform of PDP will pursue their ambition to its fullest and will be happy that no other Ngwa succeeds in getting the ticket. When I asked him if he did not mean to say that my late Mother’s kinsmen are selfish, he emphatically told me that they are not only selfish but ‘self-destructively selfish’.
At that moment, I told myself that I would go on my knees and ask God to save me from the avoidable shame of defeat of my late Mother’s kinsmen at PDP Governorship Primary Election this year because of what is generally perceived as characteristic greed and selfishness of my late Mother’s kinsmen.
I am, all the same, optimistic that no matter how egoistic and selfish the Ngwa Man is generally perceived to be, this particular contest will be an opportunity for the Ngwa Man to prove those that hold the perception that he is selfish and has no regards for the opinion of his Elders wrong. Time will tell.
Sir Don Ubani is a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Abia State and writes from Asa.