Tony Ailemen, Abuja
Abia State elders have expressed full support for Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and his administration of the State, even as they appealed to citizens of the state and every interest group in the tussle for leadership of the state, to remain calm, for the good of the state.
The concerned elders, while addressing newsmen after a marathon meeting in Abuja, on Monday, said the appeal had become necessary to save the state from bloodshed following the issuance of Certificate of Return to Dr. Uche Ogah on the order of Justice Okon Abang last week.
Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, one of the elders who read the communique of a meeting they held at Asokoro, Abuja, commended Attorney of the federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for his quick intervention which the elders said, has helped to reduce tension in the state.
“We, the concerned elders of Abia state, worried by the developments in the last five days which threatened to plunge our state into anarchy, violence and bloodshed, met today in Abuja to review the situation”
The elders, he said, “reviewed the judgement of Justice Okon Abang, which is the beginning of the unfortunate crisis and INEC’s decision to issue a certificate of return to our son Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, which decision exacerbated the crisis,” adding that “We came to the conclusion, unanimously, that Justice Abang’s order to issue a certificate of return to someone who never contested the governorship election against the Electoral Act and well known decisions of superior courts was perverse and reckless and we condemn it in its entirety.”
“We have also noted the unseeming haste of INEC to issue the certificate just a few hours after the Justice Abang order, and in spite of the fact that INEC had been duly served with a notice of appeal of the said order and the motion for a stay of execution.
“We are worried by the impression created of a conspiracy involving INEC to throw Abia into confusion and anarchy.
“We condemn in very strong terms the attempt to set Abia on fire and create a situation which can only compound the problems which our country is currently having to bring an end to violence in the North East and Niger Delta.
“We have also noted with appreciation the intervention of the Attorney General of the Federation, Malami, who has urged all parties to follow the rule of law and wait the conclusion of proceedings in the appellate courts. We join in this appeal for peace and urge all parties involved in this matter to calm down and await the conclusion of matters at the courts.”
“We also commend our people, the people of Abia who have remained peaceful in the face of recent provocations. We urge them to remain calm and maintain the peace as we wait the courts to conclude their processes”, they said.
The elders, made up of who is who in Abia politics, stated that they have “faith in the Nigerian judiciary and believe that in the end Justice will be done.”
They also used the opportunity to commiserate with families of notable Abia citizens who lost their lives recently, among who is Chief Ojo Maduekwe,who died recently.
“We also discussed our recent bereavement as a people, especially the untimely demise of Ambassador Ojo Maduekwe, just as our state was being thrown into confusion as well as the earlier death of Senator Onyeka Okoroafor” adding that “We offer our sincere condolence to their respective families and pray that Almighty God will comfort and strengthen them and the whole Abia State.”
The meeting was attended by notable Abia citizens, among who are all the current serving Abia Senators including Former Governor Theodore Orji, (Abia Central,) Mao Ohuabunwa, (Abia North,) Enyi Abaribe, (Abia South).
Others are Senator Adolfus Wabara, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, Empire Kanu, Chef Onyema Ugochukwu, HRH, Eze Ngozi Marthias Nwoko, Professor S.O. Igwe, Uzoma Nkem Abonta, and Professor Herbert O. Orji.
Other Royal father’s present at the meeting include, HRH Eze J O Akaliro, HRH Eze Dr. Eberechi Dick and HRH Eze P M Okponku, amongst other personalities.