It has come to our knowledge; the Austin Akobundu Media Team of a comment by Hon Chukwuemeka Osoagbaka, former Lawmaker representing Ikwuano in the Abia House of Assembly, titled “IKWUANO FIRST” OUR MARCH TO THE RED CHAMBER “and wish to state categorically thus:
That the former lawmaker should have known the better option amongst the two personalities vying for the Abia Central Senatorial seat in 2023 he presented to Ikwuano indigenes instead of dissipating his energy on who the people should choose.
Even though we agree with Osoagbaka that the people of Ikwuano should be strategic and endeavour to eschew parochialism and desist from sychophancy in the oncoming election for Abia Central Senatorial election, it is better to point out to the likes of Osoagbakas that the Abia Central Senatorial election is not for Ikwuano people alone. There are six local government areas in Abia Central namely: Osisioma, Isiala Ngwa North, Isiala Ngwa South, Umuahia North, Umuahia South and Ikwuano and all are rooting for Col Austin Akobundu rtd, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But if we bother to x ray what Osoagbaka posited in his write up, we may be forced to conclude that the ex lawmaker is a man lost in history. This is because he, in the statement published in some social media platforms, tried to misinform the people of a certain Senator Ukatah from Oloko who represented the Old Bende Division during the First Republic.
First Republic? And this could be in the Eastern House of Assembly not the National Assembly. Osoagbaka contended that Oloko produced the first Senator from Ikwuano over 60 years ago without realizing that the man, Sam Onuigbo, whom he is, for all intents and purposes, rooting for is currently representing the Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency and has so done since 2015 without any tangible structure to show for it.
Where is Osoagbaka coming from? Is he talking of equity, justice and fairness? Is he not familiar with the maxim that says: He who goes to equity should go with clean hands? If indeed Osoagbaka is talking about his principal, Sam Onuigbo, then he has shot both himself and Sam Onuigbo on the foot. Is Sam Onuigbo the only man in Ikwuano? Is he the only man fit for any public office that is zoned to Ikwuano?
Are there no Ikwuano sons and daughters qualified to occupy political positions accruing to Ikwuano other than Sam Onuigbo? These are the questions Osoagbaka failed to answer. This is a man that has served twice as Commissioner in the Abia State government, twice as Reps Member at the instance of Ikwuano people and yet not satisfied in his inordinate ambition to acquire more positions.
Conversely, Col Akobundu rtd whom the people of Ikwuano have collectively chosen in an Ime Obi as their choice for the Abia Central seat has not served in any elective position before. Even at that, he assisted the people immensely including Sam Onuigbo and Emeka Osoagbaka as a chieftain of PDP and as a Minister of Defence (State) in 2014.
It was through Akobundu that Sam Onuigbo became Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning and later Finance. It was also through his political back that Onuigbo rode to the House of Representatives in 2015 and 2019 elections.
Therefore, putting both personalities forward for Ikwuano people to choose is a misplacement of judgment. It is like comparing an Iroko tree with an ordinary plant. Akobundu has served the PDP in various capacities and done well. He showed class as National Ex Officio of the party, performed excellently as National Vice Chairman of PDP; rebuilt and repositioned the PDP as its National Organizing Secretary.
For instance, in his short spell as Minister of Defence (State), Akobundu facilitated the employment of many Ikwuano sons and daughters as well as other Abia indigenes into many state and federal ministries and agencies. This is in exclusion of those he gave scholarship to study in various institutions as well as many infrastructures he attracted to Ikwuano and Abia State.
This is a man that has what is required in politics, wide and remarkable reach across the diverse people of Nigeria, which if elected Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from Abia Central Senatorial District will lead to all sons and daughters of Ikwuano nay Abia Central and indeed Abia State benefiting immensely from.
Today’s politics is not localized. National politics is all about getting people of varied backgrounds and interests support and agree with your thought and position in some national issues. That is the area Ikwuano and certainly Abia Central indigenes will immensely benefit because they will be linked to the national political grid where matters of rural and national development are discussed.
Sam Onuigbo is not hooked to this high level and sophisticated sociopolitical class despite his membership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). And that’s why his achievements as a two-time member of the House of Representatives have been anything but superb.
Ikwuano people should be grateful that their two prominent sons are in the race for Abia Central Senatorial seat and that win or lose Ikwuano is better for it. The likes of Emeka Osoagbaka should encourage unity and healthy completion amongst the sons and daughters of Ikwuano, rather sowing the seed of discord and acrimony.
Time to move Ikwuano forward for the future generation to tap from the fountain of peace and unity which the people earnestly desire is now!
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.