By Chijindu Emeruwa
Chief Ndukwe Ikoh, an close associate of the current Senate Majority Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has decried the criticism trailing the recent visit and reconcilation of the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Chinedum Orji, with ex-Abia Governor, Kalu.
The Speaker, Chinedum, is the son of former Governor and the current Senator representing Abia central district of the State, Senator Theodore Orji.
Chinedum Orji, a chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abia, had been in loggerheads with the leader of the opposition APC, Orji Kalu, after the Speaker’s father, Theodore Orji, elected on the platform of Progressives People’s Alliance, PPA, was allegedly installed with power of incumbency by the Chief Whip of the Nigeria Senate in 2007.
Recall that the Speaker, Chinedum Orji was quoted as asking Kalu to return and take his rightful position in the State and further described Kalu as “Authentic leader” of Abia State.
The statement was made by the Speaker during his speech when he led delegation from Abia State to pledge loyalty to the current Senate Majority Chief Whip, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, after release from federal prison in Abuja.
The reconciliation by the duo have continued to generate mixed feelings in the fold of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abia State, with many PDP leaders describing the development as treacherous.
As a result of the new alliance with the leader of the opposition APC in Abia state, Senator Kalu, Deputy Chief of Staff in the office of the Deputy Governor of Abia State, Chief Don Ubani, demanded the resignation of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji, for allegedly pledging allegiance and loyalty to the leader of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abia, and current Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
The PDP chieftain said, “As the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, with the party(PDP) i helped convene in 1998 as majority, my conclusion remains that Speaker Chinedum Orji has committed a political sacrilege. Having declared Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, the Authentic leader of Abia State, he(the Speaker), has no political morality presiding over the Peoples Democratic Party-controlled House of Assembly. I ask him to resign”.
In his reaction, the Speaker, Chinedum Orji, hadin a press release, by his Chief Press Secretary, Jude Chijioke Ndukwe, and made available in Umuahia, asserted that he does not owe anyone explanation whatsoever, except Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and his colleagues in the house.
But, speaking with newsmen during an interview, in Umuahia, on Monday, the former Governorship Candidate of the Progressives Peoples Alliance, PPA, during 2015 general elections in the State, Ndukwe Ikoh, claimed that those asking the Speaker to resign over visit to Kalu, were the same political elements that had continue to milk the state’s resources by fanning the embers of discord among political leaders of the state.
The APC Stalwart said, “What Chinedum Orji did the right thing. It is politically misunderstood. Those currently fanning embers of discord over the Speaker’s are the same people milking the state by creating crisis. I am smelling a rat that some people from Ukwa/Ngwa extraction are benefiting a lot in fomenting trouble among the Abia leaders. Anybody who tries to see Orji’s action not being right does not have conscience.
“These are the same Ukwa/Ngwa Elites. Since 2010 till date, Abia is on standstill. There is total collapse of government in Abia. They think the crisis will continue, so that they would continue to milk the State. Ukwa/Ngwa is currently taking the turn. But, there are some elements from the political bloc that want to legitimatize the political calculation they adopted in imposing Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, as Governor on Abia people in 2015,2019 to install another Abia South or Ukwa/Ngwa person as governor in 2023”.
“This agitations is being fueled by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Minority Chief Whip of the Senate. There are political meetings going on ahead of 2023, because, he has a gubernatorial ambition. We shall resist any attempt to truncate the charter of Equity. We stand on equity. Governor Ikpeazu is a product of equity and fairness. So, power must come to Abia North district in 2023. Equity, fairness and justice is where I stand”.
Meanwhile, Senator Abaribe nor his Media Aide could not be reached for their reaction to the claims by Senator Orji Kalu’s close ally, Ndukwe Ikoh, as at the time of filing this report.