By Nwabueze Success Onyekachi.
As the clouds have started gathering ahead of 2023 general election, our political analyst takes a journey into Abia North Senatorial District of Abia State.
Abia North is one of the political zones in Abia blessed with great men and women, including Former Vice President of Nigeria Ebitu Ukiwe, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu Former military Governor of Lagos State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu Former Governor of Abia state, Major General Azubuike Ihejirika, Gen Ike Nwachukwu and so many others.
Today, we journey into the political arena of Abia North where we will take a look at the possibility of retiring Dr Orji Uzor Kalu from politics.
Top on the list:
1 . Senator Mao Arukwe Ohuabunwa: “Follow Better” as fondly called by his supporters. Senator Mao is a seasoned legislator, a former member federal House of Representatives, immediate past Senator of Abia North Senatorial District.
He has so many bills and motions in his name. He attracted so many projects for his people including road construction, building of health care centres etc.
He was the best Senator from Abia state 2015 to 2019, very lively at The floor of the house, a member Senate committee on appropriation.
A close ally to Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.
Senator Mao revived his bid to return to the Senate after he lost the contest to become the new National Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP).
Senator Mao will face the likes of Uko Nkole who both have been in a long battle of attracting since 2015 to 2019 when he lost his seat at the Senate.
Can Senator Mao do the magic?
2. Hon Nnenna Elendu Ukeje: Hon Nnenna Elendu Ukeje popularly known and addressed as Ada Bende by her people, is a chieftain of the PDP and a former member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Bende federal Constituency, Three(3) time member of the House of Representatives, 2007 to 2011 to 2015 to 2019.
She lost her fourth term bid after she was whitewashed by Dr Chima Desmond Anyaso who beat her at the party primaries and eventually lost to Hon Benjamin Okezie Kalu.
Hon Nnenna is returning back to active politics after taking a short break. With her return, there have been permutations upon permutations. Experts have analysed her chances come 2023; will it be either House of Rep or Senate.
Presently, House of Representatives can’t be a safe Heaven for her as she can’t dislodge Dr Chima Desmond Anyaso strong hold in the party structure in Bende. Her self exile from politics gave room for Anyaso to take over the party structure and he has been doing well and Dr Anyaso is in good terms with the leaders of the party both at the state and national level.
On the Senatorial seat, Hon Nnenna Ukeje can pull a last minute shock if she and the PDP can capitalize on the crisis rocking APC in Abia State. With the crisis rocking the party and the battle between the Minister for Mines and Steel Development Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, Hon Nkeiruka Onyejiocha and Dr Orji Uzor Kalu Isuikwuato and Umunneochi will be a very soft hunting ground for PDP in 2023, while the defection of Dr Alex Otti, makes Arochukwu another hunting ground for PDP.
But for this to take place, Hon Nnenna will first of all, put her house in order before seeking for votes outside Bende.
Can she make peace with the likes of Rt Hon Cosmos Ndukwe, Dr Chima Desmond Anyaso, Hon PC MBA etc.
The road to National Assembly for Hon Nnenna Elendu Ukeje is very close but her hands can’t get to it.
3. Chief Sunday Okoro: a US based lawyer.
He hails from Okagwe Ohafia.
A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He is believed to have the financial muscle to match the likes of Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha and David Onuoha Ogba if Senator Orji Uzor Kalu refuses to run.
Though relatively unknown in Abia North politics, Chief Okoro is said to be one of the richest men from Ohafia and enjoys the support of his Okagwe Community.
4: Rt Hon Nkeiruka Onyejiocha: A woman who has continuously fought and won in the ring where men are crowned Champions, a well decorated Lawmaker, four time House of Representatives member representing Isuikwuato/ Umunneochi Federal Constituency and the Deputy Majority whip of the Federal House of Representatives. She was elected first in 2007 under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, got reelected again in 2011 and 2015 still under PDP, but had a fallout with the party in 2016 after she pitched her tent with Dr Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah, the current Minister for Mines and Steel Development when he was declared the Governor of Abia State by the Justice Okon Abang Abuja federal high court.
She was pictured among the delegation of Dr Sampson Ogah heading back to the state to takeover before the Osisioma High court injunction spoiled their party.
Fast forward to 2018, she paid the ultimate price by losing the party structure in her federal Constituency and she zoomed off to APC. In 2019, she got reelected.
As 2023 approaches there are indications that Rep Onyejeocha will give Senator Orji Kalu a run for his money come 2023.
Firstly, it started with the highjacking of the party structure in Abia North through the Emenike faction recognized Abia state led working committee.
Within her 16 years at the National Assembly, she has been able to deliver so many projects for her people, given out lots of Federal jobs.
If she decides to step into the ring, it could see the end of the political career of one of the Abia finest politicians, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
5. Senator Orji Uzor Kalu: Former Governor and currently the Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, a fine gentleman and a well travelled businessman, elected under the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2019 after trying so many times under PPA, Senator kalu is a household name from Abia North where he comes from. He is popular to the extent that people rate him as a man that can win election with any political Party.
He is ranked among the Ex-Governors in the Senate without any bill to his name but when it comes to constituency projects, he is doing marvelously well, with road projects, school renovation etc.
Should he decide to run for a second term again, what will be his fate?
Our Christmas edition will journey to umuahia Ikwuano federal Constituency.