Abia Ex – Commissioner for finance, Chief Obinna Oriaku weeps for Abia political class, condemns politics of bitterness and acrimony

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As I watched the 82nd birthday celebration of Ex-Governor Martin Elechi on Channels’ ‘Metrofile,’ I was struck by the sight of top political leaders in Ebonyi State putting aside their differences to honor one of their own. The atmosphere was electric, and the air of conviviality was palpable. It was a powerful reminder that even in the midst of political differences and bickering, leaders can shelve personal interests for the greater good.

As I watched, I couldn’t help but wonder if such a scene could ever unfold in Abia State, a state endowed with so much potential but mired in needless political squabbles that have only led to material and financial losses. The toxic political atmosphere that has characterized Abia State for over 25 years is undesirable and negates the principles of sportsmanship that politics is known for.

I longed to see Abia leaders, past and present, come together as one people, as did the political gladiators in Ebonyi State, for a common cause, purpose, or interest. The optics of the event evoked strong feelings of patriotism mixed with nostalgia, and I wished I was the Governor of Abia State.

Governor Francis Nwifuru’s efforts to host the party to honor Ex-Governor Elechi were intentional and rewarding, and I pray it will be sustained and harnessed for the benefit of Ebonyi State. The event showed Ex-Governor Martin Elechi alongside Rt. Hon. Nwifuru playing host to Professor Sam Egwu, Dr. Anyim Pius Anyim, and others, including the current Minister of Works and Governor Nwifuru’s godfather, who was warmly embracing his estranged boss, Martin Elechi. Whatever the past differences, Governor Nwifuru successfully pulled off an exhilarating show in changing the ugly perceptions about politics in the renowned ‘Salt of the Nation.’

The picture optics reflected a people whose dogged resolve to overcome all known odds superseded their perceived differences. I asked myself, when will it be heard in Abia that an incumbent Governor will eschew bitterness and vindictiveness to bring together all political interests under one roof for the common interest of developing Abia State?

While political maneuvering and backstabbing may continue, I yearn for a time when political differences are put aside for a positive tete-a-tete geared towards moving Abia forward. The May 29th one-year celebration of the new Government or the August 27th Abia Day would provide an opportunity for such a reunion.

In contrast, other states have shown a deliberate effort by incumbent Governments to unite past leaders. Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State gathered all past Governors with their wives to celebrate his 60th birthday. Similarly, in Enugu State, former Governors Chimaroke Nnamani and Sulivan Chime relate well with the immediate past Governor Ugwuanyi, despite their political differences. Even in Lagos State, an Ambode, who was bitterly schemed out of a second term, relates with the incumbent Governor and former Governor Fashola. In Imo, the Governor and Sen Rochas Okoroocha were seen recently exchanging banter to the constellation of most political watchers.

The ultimate losers in this toxic game are the people and development of the State. Abia will be better if all their leaders work together to bring development to the state and funds used in sustaining this political WAR will be channelled to better use .
Unfortunately, this is not the case in Abia State, where politics has steadily borne a permanent feature of toxicity, rage, and unmitigated vindictiveness, leaving the state worst off.

Our youths and upcoming politicians are seeing this current trend of political toxicity as normal in politics, whereas it is wrong and should be discouraged.

Opportunity beacons on the current administration to set the right tone geared towards unifying the state .

Obinna Oriaku

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