The days between when you are reading this piece and May 29, 2023 are really seasons of extreme absurdities in Abia. Strange moments are here with us and the reasons for all these new trends stem from the prevailing season. It is a season of immense frenzy. A season when some will desire hours to be extended to days and days to be extended to weeks and even months. 

It is a season to mop up what is left and even a season to take care of the future. It is a season to clean up the dirt and obliterate records. It is a period of regrets. A period of coming face to face with the realities of things which ought to have been done but rather left undone. It is a period of realizing true friends as the clock ticks towards terminal period. It is a time for dwindling gifts, phone calls and attention from men, women, boys and girls. It is a time of dwindling fortunes and free cash. In totality, it is a time to pack and go. 

The holy book in Ecclesiastes talks about a time for everything under the sun. What is relevant for this piece, however, is the reality that this season is a season for Dr. Ikpeazu and those he has been governing with to depart from the seat of government, after their eight (8) year reign that may have appeared to them as eternity. 

Dr. Ikpeazu, his close allies and sponsors for the time they superintended over the affairs of Abia did not operate as if God has made everything in the world (apart from Himself) ephemeral. I am of the firm belief that if Dr. Ikpeazu and his team had a season like this season in mind, they would have done a lot of things differently. 

Let me pause here and make a quick digress as this piece is not intended to deliver judgment on the Ikpeazu administration, as such judgment remain in the domain of Abia citizens and God to whom all mortals are accountable to.

While Governor Ikpeazu in his PDP defeat speech to Abians reiterated the fact, that despite the Labour Party victory at the polls, he remains the Governor of Abia State till the 29th day of May, 2023, some persons thought it was needless emphasizing that point. While one may be tempted to agree with those pundits, some discerning minds like mine knew what Governor Ikpeazu meant and that the days ahead prior to his departure will be turbulent, especially for those he was conceding defeat to. 

There have been stories making the rounds in the State of government assets stripping and mass employment of workers into the Abia State civil service, parastatals, agencies and departments of government. Education and Health institutions in the State are not spared in this illegal and needless employments. There are equally stories of massive land grabbing and award of contracts to overreach the incoming administration. 

While it may appear lofty for a government to strive to achieve legacy projects after being in the saddle of government for eight (8) years, one is at a loss as to why government should suddenly arise from slumber in the dying days of the administration to be struggling to award contracts for the painting, landscaping, furnishing e.t.c of the Abia Government Lodge. 

If Abians can wait for thirty (30) years after the creation of the State without a Governor’s office and lodge, we can equally wait for few weeks to enable the incoming government do a proper job of completing this milestone project, as against the present hasty work with its attendant high cost and possible mistakes. 

I find no reason for the present government to pretend to be completing the Governor’s Lodge that it will not make use of, having been accustomed to operating from the Government Guest House, Aba, for the past eight (8) years. It may be necessary to remind the Dr. Ikpeazu government of their experience over the hastily completed International Conference Center few weeks after their assumption of office in 2015. 

The said International Conference Center was in the manner of what is presently happening with the Governor’s Lodge hastily commissioned in the dying days of the T.A Orji administration, as one of the so called legacy projects of that administration. On assumption of office by Dr. Ikpeazu, it was discovered that both the cooling system and most of the internal furniture that will constitute an International Conference Center were not in place and even when they were, most of them were not professionally fixed. 

It took another contract with Ohiri Furniture, Lagos, to put the said Conference Center in place, which contract resulted to some debt and even a Court case that lasted several years to resolve. I see the same scenario repeating itself with the new Government Lodge.

Of all perfidious acts since these last days of the Ikpeazu administration is the attempt at conducting Local Government elections by mid – May 2023, which is less than two (2) weeks to the Ikpeazu’s exit date. It is on record that for the eight (8) years of Governor Ikpeazu’s administration in the State they have shown preference for a contraption known as “Caretaker Transition Committee” for the Local Government administration in the State. 

Their fancy for Caretaker Transition Committee despite its illegality affords them and those they select for these Committees ample opportunity to manage the resources of these Local Government Councils according to their whims and caprices.

The nil accountability of funds accruing to our local government councils remains one of the evils bedeviling governance in Abia State, which I must concede has endured through the two (2) previous administration before Ikpeazu’s own.

The pretense of trying to foist a phantom Local Government election in order to cure the error of a Transition Committee far outweighs the mischief and ill will of selecting PDP stalwarts, in the guise of an “election”, whose mandate will be to destabilize the incoming government and create problems for that tier of government in the State. 

I join well – meaning Abians, including the council of Abia elders in calling on the Okezie Ikpeazu administration and the PDP in Abia State to obey the two (2) subsisting restraining Court Orders and desist from any arrangement towards the “election”. The two (2) restraining Court Orders equally restrains the Chairman of ABSIEC, Prof. Agu Mkpa Agu, all members of ABSIEC and the Abia State House of Assembly from taking any steps including appropriation and release of funds for the conduct of the “election”. 

The Chairman of ABSIEC and members of ABSIEC will be exposing themselves to contempt proceedings with its attendant consequences, should they allow themselves to be coerced into the unlawful and desperate action of an outgoing government and their political party, by yielding to the disobedience of these subsisting Court Orders. 

What should be of priority to the Ikpeazu government at this moment is to clear all salary arrears, gratuities and pensions of Abians who have been losing their lives due to the hardship visited on them as a result of the non – payment of their entitlements. Most, if not all civil servants in Abia State have been without their monthly salaries for the two (2) months of March and April, 2023. 

I have repeatedly in my past interventions to the Ikpeazu government emphasized the need to prioritize the payment of workers’ salaries, gratuities and pensions, as failure to do so attracts huge sanctions from God. The following Bible verses lend credence to my position;   

Leviticus 19 V 13: Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.

James 5 V 4: Look, the wages you withheld from the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.

Romans 4 v 4: Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation.

Jeremiah 22 v 13: “Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor.

Deuteronomy 24 V 14 – 15: 14 Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. 15 Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin.

1st Timothy 5 V 18: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”

Malachy 3 V 5:  “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. And I will be a swift witness against sorcerers and adulterers and perjurers, against oppressors of the widowed and fatherless, and against those who defraud laborers of their wages and deny justice to the foreigner but do not fear Me,” says the LORD of Hosts.

Colossians 4 V 1:  Masters, supply your slaves with what is right and fair, since you know that you also have a Master in heaven. 

Proverbs 3 V 27 – 28: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you. 

Proverbs 14 V 31: Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

I will not end this piece without drawing attention to the ongoing closure of the Courts in Abia State due to government’s intransigence or lack of will to engage the striking judiciary workers to meaningful negotiations. The judiciary has a key and fundamental role to play in the governance of our State. The Courts remain the last hope of the common man and all efforts should be made to keep the doors of our Courts open and accessible to those who want to ventilate their grievances.  

The ongoing imbroglio at the Abia State House of Assembly brings to a full circle the end of term confusion confronting the Ikpeazu administration. The Abia State House of Assembly comedy has been a long awaited accident. It is an irony that the dramatis personae including the unseen hands in the drama waited for a few days to their well – deserved exit from the affairs of Abia State to stage their drama.

It is only in Abia State that the House Speaker and the Clerk who equally doubles as the Chief Accounting Officer of the Assembly will be relations. It is only in Abia State House of Assembly that one fellow will decide the sitting schedule of the House of Assembly and can shut the doors of the Assembly for upwards of three (3) months to suit his convenience without consequences. It is only in the Abia State House of Assembly that only one person decides who gets what in terms of emoluments and privileges, including appointments. 

No matter the outcome of the ongoing confusion in the Abia State House of Assembly, the fact that one faction sat at the Emeka Omerua Government Guest House speaks volumes to spectators like me. The take away from the Emeka Omerua Guest House sitting is that, after all, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu ended up not keeping faith with those he swore not to offend for making him Governor. No one can satisfy or meet the unending demands of a godfather, no matter how much you try. 

I have consistently posited that God works through human beings and that Dr. Ikpeazu should align with the Abia People and jettison the insatiable demands of his godfathers. If Dr. Ikpeazu had heeded to my advice and that of so many others, he would have earned himself a huge millage on his score card of performance and perception by the citizenry.

At last the cookie has crumbled and our dear Governor remains the loser; not being able to satisfy his godfathers and the Abia citizenry, including myself. A lesson for us all.


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