Of all the innate qualities of Man, none is as important and valued as Character.
No wonder King Claudius’ Chief Minister in Act 1, Scene 3 of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, while blessing and advising his Son, Laertes, who was proceeding to the University, said, ‘To thine own self be true,and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man’.
As if he was conscious of unstable characters like ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe that would later besiege the world, William Shakespeare dramatically elated to emphasize the value that should be attached to character in his Play, Richard 11, in which he said; ‘Mine honour is my life; both grow in one; Take honour from me, and my life is done’.
I will continue to respect that quintessential sage, William Shakespeare, for his imaginative ability that made it possible for him to predict a true picture of human characters that were to be born even more than one hundred years after his earthly departure.
The character called ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe, is exactly one of the characters for whom William Shakespeare actually gave the above pieces of advice.
For those who have been hearing of ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe, many of them must have heard that the man is alleged to be deep in circumstances that question his integrity.
‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe was rumoured to have been a Law Lecturer at University of Calabar some forty years ago. It was, however, rumoured that he left the University in circumstances that probably were not intellectually dignifying. Rumour had it that his claims to a Doctorate Degree in Law could be a claim that needed a lot of scrutiny and verification.
In the same vein, it was also speculated that when he abruptly left University of Calabar, his late kinsman, erudite Distinguished Senator Jaja Wachuku, used his influence to secure for him a Teaching appointment at the newly established Imo State University. It was, however, feared that the Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Joseph Chukwudalu Echeruo, had a lot of uneasiness over his academic credentials. The man, therefore, reportedly speedily bolted away from Imo State University.
The above are all speculations that trail ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe. It is wished Intellectual Investigators could one day report on what the true situation is.
Believing that politics is a refugee camp for hangers’-on, ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe strayed into it since 1996.
Between 1996 and early part of 1998, that was during the era of Military tele-guided democracy, relying on the dictatorial idiosyncrasies of the Nigerian Military then, he created a false impression of importance. It was not unlikely he had perceived himself as a potential Governor under defunct Democratic Party of Nigeria, DPN.
As God would have it, the General Sani Abacha military regime of hell abruptly came to an end.
True democracy, sharply devoid of military manipulations, was enthroned. ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe automatically became like fish thrown out of water.
It is necessary to point out that of the noise and manipulations ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe had made, the highest height he had managed to attain was mere State Cordinator of National Poverty Eradication Programme, NAPEP. It was also rumoured he left that position, which is lower in Government Protocol than an Elected Ward Councillor, in circumstances that only he could explain.
From there and then, ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe sank into the dustbin of political irrelevance and inconsequence. He lost both political and social description and definition, not only in his Isialangwa -North Local Government Area but even in his nativity of Nbawsi.
Because of his consciousness of having nosedived into a deep depth of political irrelevance, he developed cantankerous antagonistic style of life.
He saw his Ngwa kinsmen as the cause of his failure not only in politics but also in life generally.
That was why he swore never to support his kinsman, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, as Governor in 2015. His attitude was the same in 2019.
He was in that state of political void when he was shown some leniency and consideration for reintegration by Ukwa La Ngwa Council of Elders to lead them in their bid to make sure that the Peoples of Ukwa La Ngwa, that is Old Aba Division, would produce Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s successor in 2023, as to govern the State for Sixteen Years, like their brothers of Old Bende that had governed the State for more than Sixteen Years in the past.
Like the leopard that he has always been, that does not change it’s spot, ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe saw the opportunity that he was given as one to recover all lost opportunities for relevance and self-importance.
Members of the Council had unanimously resolved that any Governorship Aspirant from Umunneato-Ngwa in Abia-Central Senatorial District that emerged on the platform the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the State would automatically be adopted by the Council as her consensus Governorship Candidate.
Interestingly, erudite Distinguished Professor Uche Eleazar Ikonne emerged Governorship Candidate of the Party.
On that note, true to the Council’s earlier resolve, ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe invited Members of the Council to his Nbawsi country-home on Wednesday (Nkwo) 6th April, 2022, that Members might accord him the privilege of adopting Professor Uche Eleazar Ikonne in his residence.
Members of the Council, who turned up in their numbers did not hesitate to accord him that respect.
Before Professor Uche Eleazar Ikonne arrived at ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe’s residence, ‘Dr’ Nduaguibe had excitedly told Members of the Council that he was highly elated with the victory of Professor Uche Eleazar Ikonne, whom he told members was closely related to him by marriage.
When Professor Uche Eleazar Ikonne eventually arrived, keeping to the scheduled time, ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe, in his opening remarks, explicitly told him that the Council had invited him to inform him that he has become the Governorship Candidate of Ukwa La Ngwa Council of Elders. He gave many reasons why the Council gladly thinks he is eminently and exceptionally qualified to lead Abia State for the next eight years after Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
After his speech, Sir Don Ubani was the next that spoke in strong support of the unanimous adoption of the erudite Distinguished Professor of Optometry as the Council’s consensus Governorship Candidate.
Infact, before rounding off his speech, he did put the question of Professor Ikonne’s adoption to the Council and every member in that gathering supported and applauded the adoption.
It was sequel to the adoption that Professor Ikonne was asked by members of the Council to come up to the centre of the field in ‘Dr’ Nduaguibe’s compound, field horribly littered with dog feces, for prayers. Professor Ikonne depicted uncommon humility during the prayer session, as he knelt down on his two knees, not minding how disgusting the field was.
It was, therefore, shocking when ‘Dr’ Nduaguibe later decided to set up a ‘kangaroo panel of assessors to determine the suitability of Governorship Candidates from Umunneato-Ngwa’ at Owerrinta.
After Professor Ikonne and our brother, Engr Enyinnaya Nwafor had left, Sir Don Ubani was frankly blunt to state that the exercise at Owerrinta was quite unnecessary because the Council had already adopted erudite Professor Uche Eleazar Ikonne, even in ‘Dr’ Nduaguibe’s compound.
It is obvious ‘Dr’ Nduaguibe is being pushed by Poverty Mentality. Otherwise, there is no reason why he should condescend this low. Probably, he feels he had made a mistake by his earlier adoption of Professor Ikonne and, so, would not be having his already dried palms wet. This is Poverty of Thought and quite unfortunate and shameful.
It is due to this Poverty Mentality that ‘Dr’ Nduaguibe refused to give account of all the monies that were raised by the Council while he was the Leader. He, rather, opted for confusion so that no member will demand for accountability from him.
Whatever ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe thinks he would achieve by reneging from a unanimous decision taken in his compound and now thinking he could set confusion, the following facts are indubitable;
(1) Ukwa La Ngwa Council of Elders has adopted Professor Uche Eleazar Ikonne as her 2023 Governorship Candidate,
(2) By God’s grace and overwhelming mandate of the Abia electorate, Professor Uche Eleazar Ikonne would be sworn-in as Governor of Abia State on May 29th May, 2023,
(3) ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe has been suspended as Member of Ukwa La Ngwa Council of Elders and
(4) Since ‘Dr’ Maxwell Nduaguibe can not have his cake and eat it, he has, until thy kingdom come, gone back permanently to where he had earlier been consigned to, Dungeon of Perpetual Irrelevance and Oblivion.
Sir Don Ubani is Deputy Leader and Director of Media & Publicity of Ukwa La Ngwa Council of Elders and writes from Asa.