Abia traditional rulers urge Ogah to drop suit against Ikpeazu
‘Zoning formula, an afterthought masterminded by Orji’
Traditional rulers in Abia appear to be getting discomforted over the lingering crisis surrounding the governorship seat, where Dr. Uche Ogar, has vowed to pursue the case challenging Governor Okezie Ikepeazu’s mandate to a logical conclusion.
Worried by the lingering situation, the Traditional Rulers Council has pleaded with those still challenging the governor to stop the suits to give room for progress and also stabilise the rotation of the governorship among the three senatorial zones, as recommended by the founding fathers of Abia.
The council noted that the rotational arrangement was documented in the Abia Charter of Equity.
However, the National Coordinator, Voice of the Common in Abia, Don Samuel Uchechukwu said there was no truth in the sentiment that the crisis was aimed at distabilising the rotational arrangement among the three senatorial districts.
Uchechukwu said while he agrees with zoning “nobody should insinuate that the people of Abia or the founding fathers of the state, agreed on Charter of Equity. Former governor, Theordore Orji was the architect.”
Making the appeal, the traditional rulers urged Chief Friday Nwosu and Ogah, who both contested the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary with Okezie, to sheathe their swords in the interest of peace, growth and development.
The appeal was made at a ceremony where a traditional title, Onwa Abia, meaning Abia shinning moon, was conferred on Ikpeazu.
Chairman of the event, Elder Emma Adaelu said the council has sent representatives to those challenging the governor’s election to withdraw, adding that the ceremony was initiated “to endorse Ikpeazu based on the outcome of the 2015 governorship election.”
In similar vein, Chairman, Abia Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Eberechi Dick, who is also the chairman of South East Traditional Rulers Council, said there is no governorship vacancy in Abia until 2019.
Corroborating the position of the council, the immediate past governor, now Senator for Abia Central, Theodore Orji represented by Chief Emeka Nwachukwu said the peaceful and orderly power rotation among the senatorial districts ought to be a desideratum, equitable and in line with justice.”
MEANWHILE, Uchechukwu heaped the blame of the political quagmire in the state on Sen. Orji, whom he accused of being the architect of zoning to crate problem.
According to him, “Orji is the one who created all these problems for Abia. He doesn’t have what it takes to give Abia a Charter of Equity. Nobody is against power going anywhere.”
He criticized the governor for not being able to meet requirements of the electoral commission on the issue of taxation, saying: “If a governor could not meet the requirement in the area of taxation, what do we do about it? If they had given somebody who had been able to meet the necessary requirements, nobody will challenge them?”
He also dismissed the argument that the governor, as a civil servant had been paying his tax under the Pay as Your Earn (PAYE) structure, saying: “If he had been a civil servant, what he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the election was different from when he was a civil servant.
“This case has been on since 2014. Ogah had reported the case to the party ever before the primary but the party decided to overlook it.”
He said why Ogah remain relevant, even in the thick of the crisis, was because he has been with the people.
He said, “In Abia today, Uche Ogah has created the highest number of employment. Even the Ngwa people are benefitting. Okezie knows that he wouldn’t have been governor if not for the circumstances that threw him up.”
He said Ogah would definitely approach the Supreme Court, which is the final place to get justice “and that is exactly what we want.”
He however urged citizen of the state maintain peace and remain law abiding pending when the matter will be finalised.
Also on the notion that Ogah was trying to pull down the incumbent governor, Uchechukwu said, “Ogah is the last person who will go into the fracas of pulling anybody down.
He contested the governorship election by himself and with his funds; nobody sponsored him.”
On how Ogah may likely pacify the South senatorial if he wins at the apex court, Uchechukwu said, “Ogah would definitely not be a governor of the North.”
However, a source from the Government House was confident that the governor would win the case at the apex court as he also disclosed that Ikpeazu’s popularity is rising daily even among the masses “who have lost interest in the drawback the case is causing development and growth of Abia.”