An unbiased analysis of the Aspirants by Ikechukwu Iroha
There is an unwritten agreement that makes Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal seat a rotational office between the two local governments of Arochukwu and Ohafia. It was in the light of the above that many well meaning Ohafia sons and daughters supported the present Occupant Hon. Uko Nkole in 2014 and 2015. My viral article that was published widely in 2014, captioned “In Support of Uko Nkole” laid credence and highlighted some of the major points that determined our choice of the Abam born Town planner against our Ohafia sons and daughters that declared interest in the contest.
Let’s look at the background. In 1999, Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa won election to represent the constituency. He stayed in the green chambers for 8 years uninterrupted. Power was returned to Ohafia. It landed in the laps of Chief Kalu Igu Uduma (DK) from Amaekpu Ohafia whose stay was short-lived by court pronouncement. Chief Arua Arunsi had challenged and won in Court over a case of over voting, cheating etc instituted against the Ohafia born Insurance broker, Marketer and Accountant. Arunsi completed the remaining one year and won election in 2011 for another 4 years. It was therefore just and fair to return power back to Arochukwu after 8 years in Ohafia and Uko Nkole was in hand to take the battle for PDP and won in the general election against Abiriba Born Chief Nnamdi Iro Orji of APC and PPA’s Ohafia candidate Chief Ndukwe Iko.
Going into 2023 general elections, No Arochukwu born is contesting Federal House of Reps under PDP. It is a commendable show of Justice and unity .
In Ohafia, 6 aspirants have lined up to take over from Uko Nkole who has expectedly shifted his gaze to a higher Seat. The Senate, where he will square it up with an Atilogwu dance against his brother, Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa.
Going into the primaries, we shall analytically look at the 6 Aspirants independently.
Elder Love Ezema Mni : The recently appointed Principal Secretary to the wife of the Abia Governor, is the only woman in the race and has repeatedly contested for the same position since 2007. Her argument is that she has served the party and has remained resolute even when it seemed being in PDP was a hopeless venture. She is brilliant and parades huge résumé to her advantage. Calm and calculated. Jovial and humble. Her argument is also premised on the promise by PDP to cede some Constituencies to women. She has the contacts and reach to take her Federal Constituency to a higher level. She is contesting against men of calibre. Her argument though genuine may not give her much advantage in the present political happening. Popularity and being in the Abia political environment for a long while could be a better argument since her capacity is not in doubt. PDP wants to win elections, the party may look beyond sentiments and throw open the contest for the most popular candidate.
Hon. Ifeanyi Francis Uchendu : The incumbent Deputy Speaker of the Abia House of Assembly is fighting a political battle of his life. He will, for the first time, face a PDP delegate election against other Aspirants. Having won from APGA in 2015, he defected to PDP and In 2019, he benefitted from an intervention that allowed Chief Kingsley Imaga step down for him. Chief Imaga was later announced a commissioner days to the primaries. He is yet to face a keenly contested primaries in PDP. The political Science graduate of ABSU and a law student of same institution, no doubt is loved by many and has spread projects in his constituency and that made him popular. What he lacked in eloquence, he channeled to attraction and building of several projects. Some persons have argued that House of Reps seems a very big league for the Amaekpu born Politician drawing from his outing as a principal officer in the House of Assembly . But, going by his previous and current outing, he is a candidate to beat. With other aspirants from his Isiama ward, the coming days will shape the contest properly. He is eminently qualified for the position.
Chief Sam Anya : Not much is known about the Elu born Businessman. According to public reports, he worked in Rivers State Government house and an ally of the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike. The name Akaekpuchionwa is gradually penetrating deep into people’s minds with his constant campaign. Give it to him, he started on time in his quest to take over from Nkole. He strikes a balance between the poor and the rich going by his network of friends and contacts. Suffice it to say that he is also humble. Not much has been said about his academic background by his campaign team and how he intends to swim the mucky waters of politics with some already established politicians in Ohafia.
Chief Fred Eke Idika : An American trained Security Expert is loved by many. He gained popularity when he was a Transition Chairman of Ohafia LGA and that position got him the traditional title of Ekwueme. He solved alot of security challenges and united the 3 clans that make up Ohafia. He keeps to his words and has proven to be a straightforward politician with no baggage. The Doctorate Student of Abia State University is not a money bag.He promises to bring dividends of good governance to his constituency. How the love people have for him will translate to votes from delegates who are all out for some monetary gains will be a study in political science. He is a candidate to beat. While 3 aspirants in Ohafia are all from Isiama ward, Prince Eke enjoys an advantage, coming from Ebem Oha ward as their sole aspirant.
Chief Kelvin Jombo : A businessman of class. If perfection could be attributed to an individual, Jumbo believes in making things perfect. He pays attention to details and has since changed the tempo of the contest. He came into the race from a business background. The Abiriba born Businessman is youthful and very intelligent. Igurube exudes confidence from all political calculations. He sits on the board of Sublime group as the CEO. A conglomerate of hotels, oil and gas, importation etc. Onlookers say that he won’t lack fund to battle other money bags in the contest. Asked about his educational background; He has several qualifications from schools in Nigeria and abroad and will soon grab another degree from University of Lagos. His contacts in the business environment could be an added advantage. How he is willing to play it out with other established politicians including the incumbent Deputy Speaker is yet unknown.
Engr Ena Uba Obasi : The CEO of Alcon Nigeria Limited is a candidate to beat. Parades long Curriculum vitae. If Education was the sole qualification, Engr. Ena could be a bold statement. He has got a wealth of experience spanning about 30 years in the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) sector with various achievements. He is one of the sons of Late Chief Ina and Chief (Mrs) Tai E. Obasi of the acclaimed Obasi Brothers family in Abiriba, He is eminently qualified and promises good tidings. Chief Ena is faced with a herculean task of battling with politicians that have made inroad in the polity of Abia State. He is a fine gentleman and is not willing to play dirty to gain recognition. Coming from Abiriba, Jombo’s aspiration could pose a big threat to his emergence considering Jombo’s reach and funding capacity in Abiriba Enachioken.