Abia 2019: Ohafia youths dissociate selves from plots to replace Oko – Chukwu as deputy gov
From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Youths from Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, have dissociated themselves from plots to stop the Deputy Governor, Hon Ude Oko – Chukwu from seeking a joint return ticket with Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu in 2019.
The youths who made the clarification when they visited the Deputy Governor in his lodge at the Government House Umuahia said they were not part of the “embarrassment” he received during the June 2nd Ohafia declaration event.
They apologised to Oko Chukwu over the breach of protocol and the embarrassment caused him by those behind the plot, saying the action was not a collective decision of Ohafia people.
Recall that the Deputy Governor’s photograph was consciously omitted in the programme of the day, a development that made his aides seize the programme despite appeals by the Chairman of the organising committee and the Attorney General of the state, Chief Ume Kalu, SAN, that it was not deliberate.
But contrary to his earlier claims, Kalu in his welcome address rather resorted to complaints that Nkporo clan had been the major beneficiaries of political appointments meant for Ohafia zone.
Ohafia LGA comprises of three clans -Nkporo ( Oko Chukwu’s kinsmen), Abriba , and Ohafia where Kalu himself hails from.
He was also alleged to have brought a copy of his address from his breast pocket and never made any copy available to other people at the event packaged to endorse Gov. Ikpeazu for a second term in office.
The Deputy Governor was said to have boycotted the reception which held later at the house of a popular gospel preacher, and son of Ohafia, the Rev. Dr. Uma Ukpa, apparently in protest.
Leader of the delegation of the youths, and former Chairman of the Council, Chief Sampson Anaga, said those who used the event to embarrass the Deputy Governor were self seeking and never had the mandate of the people.
Adding his voice, former Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) in the council, Hon. Kingsley Imaga, said those behind the ” show of shame” were only out to blackmail the Deputy Governor.
His words: ” We came to dissociate ourselves from the June 2nd blackmail. It was not the thought or agreement of Ohafia people.
” Remember that somebody brought out a speech from his ambit. If a speech were to be read it ought to come from the Town Union President and not a serving Commissioner.
” Ohafia people are well read to have made such stupid mistake. We know the implications of such high level breach of protocol. Please sir we distance ourselves from that mistake.
Imaga sharply disagreed with the Commissioner for Justice that Ohafia people were marginalised, saying that contrary to such claims, Ohafia people including Kalu, occupy sensitive positions in the government of the day.
” We are mindful that our people occupy big positions in government. We have Attorney General and others. We are not marginalised in any way.”
He declared the support of Ohafia youths for Oko- Chukwu’s joint ticket with Ikpeazu in 2019 , and vowed to deliver them in the council as they did in 2015.
“Tell the Governor that we are sorry and willing deliver both of you come 2019”.
In his remarks, former Leader of Ohafia Legislative Council, Chief Emmanuel Ukpong, said they came to reaffirm Oko- Chukwu’s position as Deputy Governor come 2019.
” We are solidly behind you and will shoot down whatever anybody or group is planning against you”, he declared, adding that nobody from Ohafia will be allowed to contest the position with Oko- Chukwu.
Responding, the Deputy Governor thanked the youths for their solidarity , saying that he had been greatly encouraged by the avalanche of delegations coming to apologise to him since the incident.
He said he had forgiven those behind the ” breach of protocol ” which he added was a grievous mistake that was never in the best interest of the zone.
Oko- Chukwu said that the three clans that make up Ohafia were firmly united and no body should be allowed to fan the embers of disunity among them for selfish reasons.
He said Ohafia LGA had not been in the news until the incident but said he had since put it behind, dismissing it as ” one man’s mistake”.
” If there was a breach of protocol or mistake, it was caused by one man. It wasn’t the collective decision of the people. Nkporo, Ohafia , and Abriba are component units of Ohafia, and are intact as one people.”
The Deputy Governor explained that it would be a misrepresentation of facts for anyone to claim that Ohafia clan is marginalised, when in fact some key government functionaries come from the area.
” The Attorney General is from Ohafia, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor is also from Ohafia. Chief Security Adviser to the Governor is from Ohafia, Adviser on Public Procurement and Due Process is from Ohafia.
“The Information Commissioner and Deputy Governor are all from the LGA. We have about 200 top government officials including many Permanent Secretaries from Ohafia council. Why will anybody say Ohafia is marginalised?”
He thanked Gov. Ikpeazu for the love he had shown to Ohafia people and pledged his continued loyalty and support.
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