The recent but separate peacemaking visits to Senate Chief Whip and former Governor of Abia, Senator (Dr.) Orji Uzor Kalu, MON by his successor Sen. Theodore Orji and son, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji (Ikuku), current speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, is the beginning of a new dawn for our dear ‘God’s Own State’ of Abia. Without peace, there won’t be any meaningful development in Abia. Just like a house divided against itself cannot stand.
The visit is special in design and reconciliatory in outcome. In design, the relationship between T. A. Orji and Orji Uzor Kalu became frosty, ahead of the 2nd term drive of T. Orji. This is the first visit since the year 2010 due to their perceived political differences. In understanding the reconciliatory attitude of these political stalwarts, an analysis of the visit within the framework of the Speaker’s remarks is necessary. First is the adoption of Chief Orji Uzor Kalu by the Speaker as the overall political Leader in Abia State. The adoption is significant in implication: It once and for all shows the courage, doggedness and perseverance of Orji Uzor Kalu in the face of many political battles to come out strong and lead his people and all indigenes of Abia to the Promised Land. It also demonstrates the political maturity and sagacity of Chinedum Orji which partly explains his unusual and meteoric rise to the number three position in the state within less than 5 years into active politics.
Ikuku, as the speaker is fondly called by many of his admirers, by my estimation, is the most misunderstood young politician in Nigeria. From afar, many perceive him as brutish, haughty, arrogant and uncooperative but when you come close, you surprisingly meet a young man full of love, compassion, intelligence, humility, visionary and, above all, progressive minded.
This declaration by the Speaker has further vindicated my position when I tagged the visits as “political maturity in maximum display”. Speaker Orji, who was accompanied on the visit by two of his uncles: Chief Charles Ogbonnaya, a former Abia Deputy Chief of Staff; Chief Godfrey Onyemobi, Abia State Chairman, Elders Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC); amongst others, said irrespective of Sen. Kalu’s political platform, it was only proper that the Senator assumed his rightful position as father of all in the state. This is a right step in the right direction and a victory for the people of Abia State and Ndigbo in general.
Despite daunting distractions, this union is poised to focus on the vision and mission of transforming Abia State. As much as there are many political benefits that will accrue to the people of Abia; there are other socio-economic benefits that this reconciliation will bring. Abia State will definitely be transformed into a functional private sector-led economy; creating opportunities for citizens, improving the quality of lives and shaping the state as a regional entrepreneurship hub through good governance, appropriate development and provision of a sustainable and enabling environment. It is noteworthy that throughout history, visionaries and achievers are not daunted by distractions.
These political leaders have been disciplined through experience and fortitudes of office, and will therefore do everything possible to restore Abia to its pride place, give the people a sense of belonging, so that they can once more be proud as Abians. It is common knowledge that Abians have great expectations from their political leaders but with this united approach; the future looks bright and colourful.
Both in private and public, I have been a passionate advocate for true reconciliation between the two former governors (Senators Orji Kalu and T. Orji) because of my deep conviction that resounding peace between the two most influential leaders in Abia, who are now both key members of the Senate, will undoubtedly usher in a period of unprecedented prosperity in the state. Indeed, it is a new dawn for Abia, Southeast region and Nigeria at large.
To the eternal chagrin of the obviously malicious opponents of the political, socio-economic and all-round progress of Abia; this reconciliatory move will give Abia a place and a voice that will keep speaking goodwill and prosperity for years to come.
Abia is now set to take its place as one of the leading lights in view of the national and sub-regional interests that had tried to place the State at the backwaters. The clarion call is for Abians to know that we truly have formidable political leaders and we must work with them in order to create a posterity that our children’s children will live to celebrate.
Again, this is the time for political actors in the state, who had sadly been fueling the decade old crisis, to have a rethink and give peace a chance. The importance of the role of political actors in the state to sustain this peace can not be overemphasized. The two senators and former governors, must also imbibe Christ’s teachings of forgiveness as true Christians, and continue to work harmoniously both in and out of the Senate in the interest of the state and the Igbo nation.
Anyalekwa, Executive Director, Igbere TV, Writes From Uyo. He doubles as National President, Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN).