Orji And Abia’s Embarrassing Culture Of Shame Trading

By Ikenga Chronicles June 13, 2019

Orji And Abia’s Embarrassing Culture Of Shame Trading

— Dodoh Okafor,

I was in no way taken aback by the news in many quarters today that Mr. Chinedu Orji, a biological son of  Abia’s former governor and present senator representing Abia Central in Abuja had just emerged the speaker of the Abia House of Assembly. I have followed Abia politics closely in the last 20 years and can tell you for free that if Mr. Orji sets his eyes on becoming the state governor by this time next week, he will easily achieve that with many hailing and loudly cheering him. 

Abia politics is a large field of foolishness, idiocy and sycophancy. There are no space for men of conscience and it is forbidden to stand for the interest of the people. It is about greed, selfish calculations of the elite and the the inordinate drive of whoever has enough money to buy anyone and everyone with influence. 

Mr. Theodore Orji’s political empire has survived the last 20 years on the strength of a rugged understanding of the demands of Abia politics. 
Like Mr. Orji Jnr knows–the man who entrenched politics of patronage in Abia state after the locust years of Uzo Kalu–Theodore Orji himself realised earlier on that every medium and voice in Abia has a price tag. 

Mr. Theodore Orji–helped largely by the extensive riches of Abia treasury– began to buy up everyone from traditional rulers to heads of religious establishments and leaders of trade unions, in no time, Abia became the personal fiefdom of the Orjis. 

Having mastered the art of political wheeling and dealing from the master dealer himself–his very own father–Mr. Chinedu Orji can tell you offhand what it would cost him to replace Okezie Ikpeazu as the governor of Abia state by Monday next week. 

Chinedu Orji knows that more than 90% of those in the Abia House of Assembly are transactional politicians who would do the bidding of the devil if the price is right. Otherwise how did he get elected? He knows how much each of them would be willing to accept to commence the immediate impeachment of Mr. Ikpeazu and his deputy- Ude Oko Chukwu. He knows what the chief judge would charge and he knows how much each traditional ruler would demand to publicly declare support for the immediate impeachment of Mr. Ikpeazu. 

Mr. Orji knows how much Abia elders like Adolph Wabara, Paul Ikonne, and others would charge to send in their messages of support on BCA Radio. He knows how many local bloggers and Facebook commentators he needs to “settle” to sweep public opinion in his favour. Chinedu knows that with a certain amount of money and an element of blackmail and intimidation- he would would commandeer the state to his wish. 

He knows what Okezie Ikpeazu would not want others to know about him. He has Ude Oko Chukwu by the balls and even more, he knows that there are no men with balls to challenge him in the entire state. 

So I was by no means surprised at his “unopposed” election by the house members today. I was rather surprised that he did not immediately launch moves to make himself the governor of the state as many had rumoured. 

I am however certain that in no time, Mr Ikpeazu’s seat would be taken away and returned to Ibeku where it had really been since 2007. Mr. Ikpeazu himself knows where the real power lies. The man has merely been in office–he is an outsider in the state power games. 

I followed conversations on Twitter today after news of Mr Orji’s election emerged. It was a shame to be an Abian and read some of the nasty things people were saying about this great state. Many called us slaves, others called us cowards, fools and whatever derogatory words they could conjure. Some said we lack men. For others, Abia was jinxed and wedded to mediocrity.  But there was not a single abuse I saw today that was underserved. Imagine Peter Obi’s son becoming speaker Anambra HoA. 
Anyone who witnessed what ndi Imo did to Rochas and his son in-law can then estimate how they would have reacted to mere rumors of his son aspiring to lead as the head of the legislature. 

So Abia has rightfully become a byword for cowardice, scorn and political brinkmanship. 

How do we undo the mess we walked ourselves into by our failure to be alert to the danger signal when it rang first in 2015? What kind of speaker would Mr Chinedu Orji make? The kind of governor his father was? A walking portrait of mediocrity? 

What are Mr. Orji’s vision and values? What does he understand the duties of a parliamentarian to be? A man who extorts the poor and vulnerable? 

Mr. Chinedu Orji in my consideration represents everything that is both horrible and abominable about Abia politics. His Speakership and Okezie Ikpeazu’s guber run  present a long term moral and political danger for Abia state.            

I cry for Abia. The state has become an amoral land- a land where you cannot genuinely tell anyone to invest in hardwork for a better tomorrow.

What a shame!