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WHEN recently I exposed the obfuscatory association called “Ukwa-Ngwa”, I received an avalanche of vilifications mostly from ignoramuses who could not comprehend the profound ecology and etymological nuances of my altruistic intervention. Today, I extract from an advertorial published in the Sunday Sun of January 24, 2016, Page 8, shortly before my contribution of January 25, 2016, that drew unwarranted flaks. Interestingly, I sent in my column on Friday preceding the Sunday under reference.
The following corroboration that vindicates my own position is from Ukwa Na Ngwa Patriotic Voice. Our view again on Abia State: Setting the records straight—issues about the so-called Ukwa-Ngwa Elders’ Council.
We read the paid publication in Thisday Newspaper of Saturday, January 9, 2016 under the caption, “Ukwa/Ngwa Elder’s Council, Abia Governorship: Why is our own case different?” The said publication was signed by one Elder Emmanuel Adaelu and Senator Adolphus Wabara. It was this same vexatious and shallow advertorial that informed my own article on the matter, too. The excerpts in this week’s subject will understandably exclude all issues pertaining to the governorship election, but the crux of the fiasco called Ukwa-Ngwa.
We ordinarily would have ignored the publication, knowing fully (sic) well the antecedents of the authors but because they claimed to represent a group called ‘Elders’ Council’, we decided to respond so that elders in other parts of the country are not misled to think that these are the quality of elders we have in Abia State. Elders in every part of the world are respected people. Their words are words of wisdom. In our African society, elders are respected and they do not speak flippantly. When an elder speaks, everyone listens. They are not partisan. In Christianity, an Elder is valued for wisdom and holds a position of responsibility in a Christian group. With the above in mind, permit us to introduce the elders that signed the advert.
Elder Emmanuel Adaelu: Elder Adaelu is a very rich Ngwa man from Osisioma and an Elder in the Adventist Church.He is the leader of Aba State Movement. He is a top PDP financier and card-carrying member of the party in Abia State. For his financial support and otherwise, he has always been rewarded by past PDP governments in the state. It is his sole right to nominate top government appointees from Osisioma. His son, Solomon Adaelu, was Commissioner in the infamous government of T. A. Orji. His son was also a candidate in the House of Representatives election for Osisioma Federal Constituency and won the seat. He did not raise his voice against those that said ‘vote against Ngwa interest and die’, ‘vote against PDP and die’. From the above, it is clear that Elder Adaelu is a party man and an interested party campaigning for his personal and parochial interest.
Senator Adolphus Wabara: Senator Wabara, former senate president. Of course, everyone knows him. He needs no introduction. But for those whose knowledge of him is restricted to his days as the Senate President, when he was booted out, it will be necessary to introduce him. This is a man who relied on his brother, Marc Wabara, the former Managing Director of defunct Hallmark Bank PLC. He later did not support his brother, who wanted to contest the gubernatorial seat for Abia State. Can this character call himself an Ukwa-Ngwa elder? No. He is an interested party….
Having introduced these characters, we shall now respond to the issues as designated by them.
The purported division of the state into Old Bende and Old Aba Division is a fallacy adopted by politicians to suit their purposes. The so-called divisions were only operative during the colonial era. In order to deceive people, they chose to go down the colonial classification. In any case, Isuikwuato was never part of Old Bende; rather, it was part of Old Okigwe Division.
Abia State was a state formed from the acronyms of Afikpo, Bende, Isuikwuato, and Aba. If you take the argument of sharing political offices, Afikpo took the first turn through Ogbonnaya Onu, before the creation of Ebonyi State. Orji Uzor Kalu and T. A. Orji took the turn of Bende. It ought then to be the turn of Isuikwuato before coming to Aba. Uche Ogah came out from Isuikwuato but was crowded out and deceived by the PDP. The so-called elders should know this; yet, they watched as this happened. If the so-called elders are talking of equity, then they should ideally have supported Isuikwuato to take their turn of governance.
Fallacy of the numerical strength of Ukwa Ngwa: In their mundane treatise, they stated that Ukwa Ngwa comprises nine Local Governments in the state. What they failed to say is that most of the local governments in the area are urban towns established several years ago dating back to colonial times. Abia North and South Local Government Areas are in the heart of Aba and home to people from Yoruba, Hausa, Efik and all other tribes. The population of these local governments is swelled by Igbo from all across the south of Niger, Anambra, Imo, Enugu and Ebonyi. Indigenes of Akwa Ibom, Rivers and other Abians from across the 17 local governments of the state reside in the city of Aba. There is hardly any family in Abia State that does not have one relative or the other resident in Aba. Of course, tertiary institutions are located in Aba North and South Local Governments with students from across the country, who must register to vote in their states of domicile. Are these people now of the Ukwa/Ngwa stock?
Osisioma Local Government starts from the heart of Aba, from Umungasi to Abayi Umuocham. It has the greatest concentration of industries in Abia State. The same is true of the famous Obingwa and its fantasy population. Obingwa comprises Ogbor Hill, Ovom areas, Ikot Ekpene Road, former Federal School of Arts and Science and has the second largest concentration of factories and industries. These two local governments are satellite towns to main Aba and have stranger elements living as tenants, landlords and landowners. The population of the natives of the villages in Obingwa form less than 25 per cent of the so-called registered voters. It is in recognition of this point and lack of the necessary numbers that machete-carrying youths placed caskets all over the local government areas with inscriptions ‘vote against PDP’ and die’.