I have written in this column numerous times about the need for our people to open their eyes to the evil machinations of T.A. Orji. The more I expose his underhand, wicked and callous machinations the more atrocities he commits. As you read this piece the governor with his evil gang has concluded plans on how to thwart the will of the people on April 11 – during the Governorship/House of Assembly elections. The activities of this man make him a very dangerous evil, prowling every nook and cranny of our state, seeking whom to devour.
To state that Abia State is underdeveloped is to put it mildly. The most appropriate words to capture the helpless state of things in the state are “incalculable tragedy”. The eight-year tenure of the man is an unmitigated disaster. And the only thing that can appease our people is to ensure that he or anybody sponsored by him does not win any election in the state. What justification, for goodness sake, does T.A. Orji have to seek another political position or sponsor anybody for that matter to such position(s) after the pain and agony he shamelessly inflicted on our people?
The just-held Presidential/National Assembly election has exposed his evil plots and inherent desire to destroy the foundation of democracy in Abia State. Ask anybody that witnessed the elections, they were peaceful, orderly; and the people turned out enmasse to vote, because they wanted change desperately. Painfully, in the end, the will of the people was subverted in Abia State. What transpired at INEC local government election collation centres in Abia State was shameful and disgraceful. Take for instance, Abia Central Senatorial Zone where the governor contested as a PDP candidate. He lost all round, including in his ward at Ugba na Nkata, Umuahia-Ibeku. Results from the polling booths showed that he lost in Umuahia North and South, Isiala Ngwa North and South and Osisioma Local Government Councils that make up the senatorial district. So from where did he garner the 65,000 plus votes that were credited to him?
Reports we gathered from our agents in the various polling booths show that the people overwhelmingly rejected the governor. Imagine this: his own people (Ibeku) openly campaigned against him, urging voters not to cast their votes for him. Even the non-indigenes, whom he has spited on a number of occasions, mobilized against his candidacy. In fact, the opposition was massive and potent. It got to a point that his foot-soldiers started sharing money openly to voters to sway them. All these gimmicks did not eventually work as the people stuck to their gun and voted massively against him.
Immediately after voting on Saturday the whole state was agog with jubilation when news of his disgrace in his ward filtered into the rural areas. In churches across the state the following day – Sunday – the story of his likely loss was the major topic being discussed as people gathered in groups after service.
One could feel the people’s anger against a man that had brought untold hardship on them in the past 8 years. It was palpable. And so, when news of his declaration as the eventual winner of the election by the state INEC spread the people became agitated, pained and melancholic. Immediately my phone started ringing endlessly as people called to confirm the story they heard.
From my interaction with the callers it was easy to perceive their disappointment and aghast. One particular man told me he would kill himself if T.A. Orji should win. If the young man carried out his threat then Abia State is in real trouble.
Among those that voted against the governor were youths, traders, artisans, traditional rulers, men and women, the aged, and even the sick and disabled. It was a mass movement against the aspiration of the governor.
We started to hear rumour about the desperation of the governor to alter the results as early as Sunday morning. According to my sources, the governor sent many of his aides and other top government functionaries to ‘see’ what could be done to change the will of the people. Initially I dismissed it with a wave of the hand since INEC had assured us that nobody would be able to rig the elections. When the rumour became too strong to ignore I set machinery in motion to unravel the truth.
Let me state it categorically that the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Abia State is a woman of integrity. She resisted all the overtures made to her to compromise. It was when they found her impregnable that they resorted to the local government councils, where some of them were bought over. It was at the Osisioma Centre that the damage was done.
Now to my own Senatorial Zone, where the situation was made worse by the overt acquiescence of persons that collaborated with some INEC officials to steal my mandate. Those that witnessed the elections knew I won overwhelmingly. I campaigned vigorously and my people were delighted that I offered to serve them in the senate. They came out in large numbers as early as 6 am flaunting their PVCs.
The results from the polling booths showed without any modicum of doubt that I won the election. How the results changed at the Local Government collation centres in Bende, Isuochi, Isuikwuato, Ohafia and Arochukwu beat my imagination. I was told by my agents that figures were manipulated and allotted to the PDP candidate in a brazen manner. For me, that was atrocious and inexcusable. I beat my closest rival convincingly. How could any sane person turn round to say that I lost?
It was all part of the governor’s ploy to humiliate me. But he can never intimidate me since I have not done anything against him to warrant that.
What I know deep in my heart is that T.A. Orji has vowed to destroy me and anybody related to me. He has since stopped doing his official duties as governor. All he does these days is exploring avenues of smearing my integrity and harassing people related to me.
One thing I can assure him is that every evil he plans against me will fall on his head. Let him learn useful lessons from the lives of fallen despots who plotted other people’s destruction but got themselves destroyed instead. The good people of Abia State have suffered like no other. Despite their sufferings they have continued to persevere, hoping that someday soon God would liberate them from the evil clutches of T.A. Orji.
Which one will I recount and leave the other when we look at the evils of this man called T.A. Orji. He pulled down the sources of livelihood of many innocent Abians for no justifiable reason. Thousands of traders whose shops were destroyed at the Umuahia Main Market and Timber Industrial Market are today living in poverty and penury. He destroyed their stalls and did not have the humanity to offer them replacements. Rather the few stalls the government built in the outskirts of the City of Umuahia were allotted to his aides and other well-placed persons who in turn resold them at exorbitant prices to some of the hapless traders. Unfortunately, there is no week that passes two or more of these traders do not die out of frustration. What kind of man would do these evils to his own people?
Three years ago, the governor woke up from his slumber and ordered the sacking of thousands of workers called non-indigenes. Many of these workers were born and bred in Abia State and have contributed meaningfully to its development over the years. What was their sin? Their parents did not come from Abia State. How could the governor do such an unconscionable and abominable thing in a Nigeria of the 21st Century? But he did it and nobody else could call him to order.
I have said on a number of occasions too that I have never seen a man as treacherous, wicked and vindictive as T.A. Orji. I use this medium to reiterate this position. What man would bite the finger that fed with so much venom and contempt? The office of governor is one of the most important political offices any bona fide Nigerian can aspire to. Many people had died with their dream of becoming one yet to no avail. But here is T.A. Orji becoming governor while in person without spending a dime. The only way he has deemed it fit to say thank you is to declare ‘war’ against me. He thought by antagonizing me and estranging himself from me he would be able to control the resources of Abia State all to himself.
But he got it all wrong. He needn’t antagonize me to achieve all that, because I am quite a different person. He can attest to it by himself that I have never bothered him for anything since he was sworn in as governor. To tell you how wicked the man is he set up a panel to probe the purchase of printing machines for the Abia State Printing and Publishing Company (Publishers of the Ambassador Newspaper). The underlying reason for the setting up of the panel was to find out if the resources of government were used in establishing the Sun newspapers. Curiously, up till date, the panel could not establish anything against anybody. In fact, the panel is comatose.
Now look at these: serving workers in the state are being owed several months of salaries. Even pensioners are not left out. They are being owed 10 months arrears of pension. And there is no hope that they would be paid any time soon. In the midst of all these the governor has preoccupied himself with purchasing more and more properties within and outside the state.
Where does he think he is going with all the wealth he has been amassing? Though he uses part of it to perpetrate evils across the state, it will not ultimately take him to anywhere good. He has forgotten so easily that life is transitory. How old is he now and how much longer will he live to enjoy his loot? Nonetheless, the cries of the people he suppresses on a daily basis have continued to beckon to heaven to intervene.
The evils the man is planning in the days ahead are monumental. For instance, he has concluded plans with his son to rig the forthcoming governorship election in the state. They are sewing fake army and police uniforms and hiring thugs – all in an effort to intimidate voters and manipulate the election of April 11. But I wish to assure him that his plans will fall through. The scenario we had last Saturday will be quite different from what is to obtain on April 11.
Let me warn the governor not to take his luck too far on April 11. The people are totally disenchanted with his performance and have vowed to vote him and his stooges out. Any attempt to subvert the will of the people will be stoutly resisted. INEC, in particular its local government staff, should resist the temptation of allowing themselves to be used as tools to cause confusion in our state.
The change mantra in Abia State is occasioned by the unconscionable manner Chief Orji has piloted the affairs of the state. He has led the state and its people like his personal estate. He does not have any respect for anybody, least those he sees as his enemies. There is nothing on ground in the state to justify the nearly N1trillion he has collected from the Federation Account and other sundry sources. This governor has not done any single mega project in any of the rural parts of the state. A few Legacy Projects he did are concentrated in the state capital, leaving the rural areas heavily and mindlessly underdeveloped.
There is no state in Nigeria that is not better than Abia State in infrastructural development. The roads in Umuahia were built by the administrations of Dee Sam Mbakwe and me. None other has been built by the present administration.
I must not fail to call on INEC and the security agencies to investigate what transpired in the state during the Senatorial election. They need to investigate all the results and I am sure what they will find out will make them shudder.
T.A Orji, out of his unquenchable appetite to cheat, made nonsense of all the arrangements INEC put in place to make the elections free, fair and credible. Couldn’t he have allowed the will of the people to prevail as his counterpart in Niger State, Bauchi, Kebbi and other states of the federation did? Must he rig before he could be elected? All that he cared about was for the names of all his candidates to be written as having won. No more, no less. It does not bother him if the state catches fire so long as he becomes Senator. Senator without integrity, one may say.
I wish to let the governor know that all the results he manipulated to make INEC declare the wrong persons as winners of a keenly contested election will be reversed soon. We cannot fold our arms and watch him destroy our beloved state.
The will of the people surpasses our personal, parochial interests. We shall all die some day, but Abia State will remain. For what shall we be remembered when earth’s journey ends? Is it as looters or builders of the economy?
I plead our people to remain calm and watchful. They should not be lethargic in this struggle or lose hope as the days of reckoning are almost here. When that day comes, the like of T.A. Orji and his co-treasury-looters will weep and gnash their teeth.
As for my stolen mandate, I will do everything within my powers and the limits of law to recover it.
I wish to most sincerely congratulate General Muhammadu Buhari on his election as the next President of Nigeria. It was an election keenly won and lost.
I also salute the statesmanship and civility of President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat without promptly.
Working together we can move Nigeria forward.
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