Ohafia in Abia; the Search for a Political Identity

By Njoku SaintJerry A.

“Politics is a game of numbers, these numbers are located in the grassroots, unless otherwise stated, the Mben Political Assembly (MPA) has acted more of an elitist association of intelligent men and women  of the Ohafia clan and this is where the major challenge begins.”

Abia Equity Charter is a political agreement initiated by caucus of Abia state politicians from the Orji Uzo Kalu era defining political power rotation between the 3 senatorial zones of North, Central and South. It has served as a tool of political argument of power sharing in Abia State since the departure of the Orji Uzo Kalu administration although not backed by law it has remained the basis of political permutation of who takes the leadership of government in Umuahia.
By 2023, the rotation would have completed a full circle and Abia North comprising of Ohafia, Isiukwuato and the UkwaNgwa bloc will jostle for the seat of the governor.

In less than 15 months to the 2023 gubernatorial election that will prove the validity of the Abia Equity Charter and by extension serve as a statement of reference in political decision of the leadership of the state, the Ohafia bloc would be rightly placed to produce the next governor of Abia State.
However, Power is not given, it is keenly contested for and of all contest, the political is the most active and the smartest win the battle. However, the contest is not without intrigues, manipulations, betrayals, backstabbing, even blue murder. This is where the devil plays the most advocacy, a game of chess, black magic and outright manipulation. Therefore, only the skillful, smart and brave takes the gauntlet.
Of all the attributes, intelligence would be least in the count otherwise the Ohafia clans has an overwhelming number of intelligent people, they’re brave, nevertheless I cannot justify how skillful and smart they are in the game of politics.

Ohagia Age Association

The Emergence of Mben Political Assembly
Ohafia has done pretty well by calling the attention of the Abia state political caucus and the electorates to take note of their interest and as stipulated by the existing political conditions since the first democratic administration ended in 2007, that is one good move for the record.
Secondly the move to set up a socio-political platform where this matter is discussed under the aegis of the Mben Political Assembly (MPA) either acting as a Pressure Group or as the name implies ‘A Political Assembly’ that should avail them the opportunity of brainstorming, selections and appointment of who joins the race and who will take the baton is also commendable.
Sad note is; this is where the ball play begins and as at September 2021 only a handful of the Ohafia electorates knows where the field of play is located. That aspect of the con-game of Nigeria politics has remained an exclusive reserve of the skillful and smart players, I deliberately omitted ‘brave’ because the Ohafia clan wouldn’t have arrived this far if they were not brave.

Okezie Ikpeazu; A misplaced successor ideology
I have heard of underground consultation, networking and knocking on doors for the right man or woman fit for the job. The Ohafia people are aware of the visit of the Deputy Governor of Abia State under the umbrella of PDP to the Executives of the MPA in Ohafia for whatsoever reasons and how he made frantic efforts to buy his way in, probably for his party and was bluffed by the President Dr. Eme Uche. It is noteworthy that MPA is nonpartisan, perhaps at the moment, therefore the refusal of whatsoever gift the Deputy governor might have come with or whatsoever his intention is understandable.

More so, and most nauseating is the reference to Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, the current governor of Abia state to appoint a successor of which he has denied such allegation. So did the former governor before him, Chief T.A Orji vehemently denied in the public until Okezie Ikpeazu emerged from the blues to become Abia state governor under a flawed election victory that will remain debatable at any day, until it later became glaringly obvious that the T.A. Orji and family found an easy to manipulate pawn to represent their selfish interest in the coffers of Abia state government till date.
Such a man is not fit to recommend or appoint any successor and if the Abia indigenes must be sincere to themselves for once, anything related from Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu to his sponsors both present and former should be completely avoided and this is where the intelligence of the Ohafia clan will be put to the first test.

For matters of clarity, the Ohafia clan is not alone in the battle as the Isuikwuato region has also set up its own organization named Isiukwuato District Welfare Association (IDWA), as a socio-political platform to discuss the matter and drum support from the Abia state electorates to produce a man or woman from its region suitable for the governorship position.

However, the Ohafia clan has ample advantage if it will employ skill in the field of play and embrace all multiple options including building an alliance should it fail to produce the right candidate for the job as no serious interest from any Ohafia indigene has been registered with either the MPA or the Ohafia electorates unless this matter has been kept secret.
Since 1999 democratic dispensation in Abia state, only the Ohafia clan has not in any manner enjoyed inclusion in the main political office position in Abia state. First Senator for Abia North was from the Isiukwuato clan and the present one from Igbere.
More so, the Ohafia clan has maintained the largest electoral vote count in Abia state, and enjoyed largest population among the 2 other clans also vying for the post, whether they will use it to their advantage is where their skill and smartness in the game of politics will be seriously questioned.

Politics is a game of numbers, these numbers are located in the grassroots, unless otherwise stated, the Mben Political Assembly (MPA) has acted more of an elitist association of intelligent men and women  of the Ohafia clan and this is where the major challenge begins.
Whether Ohafia has found a man to take the baton from Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu or considering an alliance, their major weapon would be in the voter’s capacity across all the 26 Villages in Ohafia and this is where the present Abia state has scored very poorly in the ongoing voters registration exercise, Ohafia and its over 800,000 indigenous population inclusive.

As we approach the festive season, MPA will do well to borrow a leaf from the Ohafia Improvement Union (OIU) in the matters relating to Herdsmen constituting a nuisance and a terror across entire Ohafia villages. The OIU collectively took a sole decision of inclusion that had all Ohafia indigenes from all over the country represented in a general meeting where a decision was taken on the menace of the herdsmen in Ohafia and drastic resolution was taken to ban the sale, consumption and buying of cow meat in the entire Ohafia LGA.

This decision was binding upon all both the rich, the poor, the intelligent and the powerful with severe consequences on defaulters. OIU did not arrive at such decision because they were most intelligent or by privilege of association. No, they took the matters to the people whom are at the receiving end of these frustrations of insecurity, underdevelopment and poor representation in government across boards.
If MPA wishes to achieve success to its credit it must engage the good, the bad and the ugly of Ohafia’s population unless Nigeria politics has seized to be a game of interest, an interest measured by numbers and intrigues. That is what you achieve with the pack of all and sundry in the march to Government house, Umuahia.
Then, talking about political alliance, manipulation and magic numbers, both politicians and electorates will sway towards you and look out for you when they find you formidable in the game of skill and dexterity.
Most importantly, Ohafia has played all these roles for previous administrations and even manipulated at will. Now, all that will seize the moment both MPA and the grassroots comprising of the intelligentsia, the farmers and the village idiots are engaged in a synergy that defines the Ohafia bravery in war strategy. This is Nigeria politics and Abia state is not an exception, it is on this note that the Ohafia clan would be considered suitable to play the game of Nigeria politics and emerge victorious.

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