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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Abia guber: Alex Otti was an intruder —T.A. Orji

The immediate past Governor of Abia State and Senator-elect, Abia Central Senatorial zone in the 8th Senate, Chief T.A Orji, has described the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the recently concluded governorship election in the state, Dr. Alex Otti,  as an intruder who wanted to take what did not belong to him.

Orji, while speaking with Hallmark in Umuahia, debunked the perception in some quarters that his successor, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was not validly elected at the polls.

He said that this could not have been the case, proclaiming the elections in Abia free and fair. He also defended the ceding of the governorship slot by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the UkwaNgwa zone, saying the zone had been long marginalised.

“Since the creation of Adam and Eve, UkwaNgwa people, who incidentally are Abians, have never produced the governor, whether civilian or military.

They have never, but they have all along been yearning, fighting and struggling to be governor even for one day but it had never been possible for them.

“That desire has been burning in their hearts. My government was the only government that decided that marginalization is bad. The state is owned corporately by the Bende Division and the Old Aba Division who are the UkwaNgwa people. Bende comprises of Bende and Umuahia, which is all of us.

“That is how the state is owned, and the founding fathers of this state wrote a charter which they called the charter of equity. The charter stipulated how power should be distributed, how it should shift, and that is what we have done. Along the line, it was thrown overboard, people never referred to that.

“This is the only government, the PDP government, that came on board and said no, there should be fairness; there should be justice and there should be equity.

“From the Bible, which is the one I know, God said I am a God of justice; I am a God of fairness; I am a God of equity, and because we all try to emulate Christ in our lives, that is what PDP emulated and decided that if God is a God of justice, equity and fairness, we should implement same in this mundane world that we are living so that people will be happy.”

On the new role of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as an opposition party at the federal level, he said that there should be no undue apprehension over the party’s fate, maintaining that they would simply continue from where the former opposition party at that level, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had stopped.

Orji affirmed that given that people do not really go to the school of opposition, what is critical is to be able to fill the role when it emerges.

“The PDP has been in power for many years as the dominant political party. When they were dominant, they had opposition. The APC came as a force, as an opposition party opposing PDP. As they were doing that, PDP was getting experience of opposition.

“So, those tactics that the opposition used in fighting PDP are the same tactics the PDP will use in fighting as opposition and they may add new ones. So it is vice versa, that’s the way I see it.

“There is no school for that, you don’t go to school of opposition. It is on the job that you learn it. If the party is not doing well you criticize, if they want to initiate a bad policy, you say no, it won’t work.

This is the way to do it; it is a two-way affair for the opposition and for the ruling party.

“The beauty of the whole thing is that one party should not come to dominate; there should be opposition. Now that the APC is the ruling party, we should have stiff opposition. When PDP was the dominant party, it had stiff opposition and that’s the beauty of the whole thing.’

The former governor said that it was not correct to insinuate that the PDP’s stint in governance at the centre was a total failure, stating that the mere fact of their winning and sustaining power for four full terms was indeed an achievement in itself.

“For the PDP to have stayed in power for such a long time, we need to give the party credit for consistently maintaining and sustaining democracy. The military did not come, external bodies did not come to truncate our democracy; at least they needed to be praised, if not for any other thing, for being consistent with democracy.’

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