By Okoro Odikachi
“it is left with people of Abia State to continue in the humiliation and deterioration they have found themselves or rise up en-masse to condemn the forces they know and live with under the guise of political patronage of ‘Chop I Chop.”
In a manner reminiscent of a dictatorial regime common with all failed government, the government of Abia State under the guidance of its governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has resorted to arbitrary abuse and molestation of citizens rights to speak up against the kind of injustice and poor governance they have been subjected to since his assumption of office as governor.
Abia state, under the chokehold of the PDP led administration has never had it so bad, not even when it was under a military administration.
Group of women from various churches had gathered at the infamous Aba-Port Harcourt Road, a central commercial road completely cut off by heaps of refuse dumps to express their anger and frustration at the disruption of business activities and destruction of means of livelihoods for residents and business owners within the axis of the road.
Aba-Port Harcourt Road for several years has been completely abandoned by the PDP led government from the T.A. Orji era and transferred to the Okezie Ikpeazu administration without any genuine attempt to put in order the road linking the commercial enclave of Aba to the city of Port Harcourt.
The abandoned infrastructure and many others that continue to frustrate business activities and means of livelihood of people of Aba connecting to nearby centers of business had provoked the women in a manner similar to the 1929 Aba women demonstration to rise up and show their resentment at the negligence of government of Okezie Ikpeazu led administration despite after collecting the sum of $56 Million Dollars from World Bank to fix this same road.
On the 4th of December 2021, the women, under the umbrella of Abia Redemption Projects organized by Africa in Praise Network, (APNET) a Non-Governmental, Non Political Socio-Cultural Group had gathered, all dressed in black under the banner “Abia Women Mourn’ at the site of the refuse dump, which has become a major eyesore to the city, a hindrance to life and commerce and symbol of the Ikpeazu led government of Abia State to conduct outdoor prayer session.
Barely had they raised their voice in songs, a group of young men emerged from the blues, looking ruffled and uncouth, began raining threats upon threats asking the women repeatedly – “Who are you mourning”, “Who send you”, “How much did they pay you” etc, then they became aggressive and went physical, hitting some of the women at the scene, destroying their banners and other materials the women group had come with.
President and Convener of Abia Redemption Project, Apostle Reminder Chibuike Gad lamenting at the level of lawlessness the state has degenerated complained bitterly that the government could be emboldened to send touts to disrupt such activities that is aimed to draw attention of every residents and indigene of Abia state to rise up, work and Pray for the state which he described as ‘suffering from serious spiritual problem that requires spiritual intervention.’
According to statement obtained from the convener; We believe that Abia State needs Spiritual help to be able to overcome the challenges facing it. It is against this background that this women group decided to organize this prayer session. But unfortunately, immediately we got to the venue and started mounting our instruments, some people mostly in their youth confronted us”
The government of Okezie Ikpeazu has a huge moral burden upon its shoulder to deal with and the only way it could exonerate itself from such uncouth behavior is by immediately investigating the circumstances surrounding the disruption of the prayer session we organized in good faith and fish out the perpetrators. Anything short of that will only affirm our position that Abia state is under siege by known and unknown forces. The Convener said.
Recently the government of Abia State led by Okezie Ikpeazu has been in the news for all the wrong signals of a failed government run by a weak and visionless individual under the guidance of superior forces that had imposed the civil servant on an office too complicated from his background experience as a low-income civil servant without the technical knowledge and skill of leading a state as commercially oriented as Abia state.
The entire Igbo community both at the Diaspora and across Nigeria is worried at the development of situation in Abia State under the PDP led administration, the destruction of commerce, industry and humiliation of the dignity of residents and citizens of the State.
The former State Attorney General Barrister Umeh Kalu (SAN) has in a very lengthy Open Letter to the governor, called the attention of the government of Okezie Ikpeazu on the deterioration of governance and break down of law and order in Abia state, only to receive a dramatic rejoinder in less than 24 hours from the T.A. Orji scion, Mr. Chinedu Orji, Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly where the younger Orji had addressed the former Attorney General as “Frustrated and Seeking Relevance.”
As the year 2023 election calendar draws to a close with the exit of Okezie Ikpeazu infamous legacy, the residents of Abia and its citizens are faced with multiple challenges of a moral conscience of young men and women including elders, deprived and tormented under the manipulation of forces known and unknown, whose teeth are deep into the Abia political stronghold to continue the rein of terror and ruin.
Therefore, it is left with people of the region to continue in the humiliation and deterioration they have found themselves or rise up en-masse to condemn the forces they know and live with under the guise of political patronage of ‘Chop I Chop.”