Stakeholders from Abiriba community in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State have expressed optimism and reaffirmed their support to the lawmaker representing Abia North Senatorial District, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
They expressed their views separately while reacting to some decisions made by the leadership of Abiriba Communal Improvement Union (ACIU), against the lawmaker.
ACIU had on the 3rd of May, 2023 published an article on ThisDay newspaper against the lawmaker titled: ‘Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu and his cheap linkage of the Abiriba people with IPOB’. The union had also written a letter to Hon. Agbai Kalu excommunicating him from the activities of the union for allegedly testifying at the tribunal in favour of the APC and Senator Orji Kalu.
A youth activist from Abiriba, Eleanya Kalu said the community are grateful to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu for his developmental strides in the community. He warned the leadership of ACIU not to turned the union to a political party.
“Abiriba is not fighting any war with Igbere or Senator Orji Uzor Kalu. We are grateful to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and the development he brought to Abiriba. You can see the number of rural roads he facilitated to Abiriba, the ones he constructed when he was the governor of the state. He gave our children top positions in his government. How can we fight such a person? Some people are trying to score cheap political goals, but the majority of the Abiriba people are with Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.”
Reacting to the activities of the ACIU, Abiriba-born scholar, Dr. Ndukwo Onwuka in a statement on Sunday titled: ‘ACIU drifting away from the Abiriba spirit’ slammed the community for backing non-state actors like the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), against Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
While reaffirming his support for Senator Orji Kalu, he reminded the Abiriba people that the former Abia State Governor tarred most of the roads in the community, warning them against “fighting the lawmaker”.
He said: “It is pertinent that we revisit some of the activities of the ACIU, as some of them are now being detrimental to our communal interest. Examples are the ACIU position published on ThisDay newspaper on the 3rd of May, 2023, page 15, titled: “Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu And His Cheap Linkage Of the Abiriba People With IPOB” and the letter excommunicating Mr. Agbai K. K.
“Interestingly, most of the focus has been on the political battle between our brother, Hon. Nnamdi Iro Oji (Opotoyom) and Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
ACIU engaging in a political war against Senator Orji Uzor Kalu through publications on national dailies and the use of other divisive approach has elicited many reactions —and — it is certainly becoming a joke taken too far.
“ACIU must understand that partisan politics would expose them to all sorts of indignities, given that politicians are not known to be too economical with disparaging language. To be in politics is akin to entering the boxing ring, for a fight: Once in, you cannot hide; you throw and take punches and your opponent may not respect your height or status. We must rekindle the Abiriba spirit of communal development and pragmatism devoid of emotional sentiments. We must reinvent the Abiriba of Nnanna Kalu, Echeme Emole, Kalu Ogba, Ikwan Onwuka, Jona Ndukwe Kalu, Ebitu Ukiwe and others — and not the Abiriba of APC, Labour Party, APGA, and PDP.
“How did we get to the stage where we are fighting the politician who tarred most of the roads in Abiriba in support of a proscribed group who made Ohafia the epicenter of its hotspot?. You are free to accuse me of anything, but my conscience is clear— and I did clearly saw the inhumane activities of IPOB in Ohafia on social media — including posters where they warned voters against coming out to cast their votes. As a community, this is where I expected ACIU and other prominent sons and daughters of our community to come out strongly and condemn them. ACIU should concentrate strongly on community development and allow politics for politicians as Abiriba is not at war with Igbere or Senator Orji Uzor Kalu. ACIU should stop aiding the drifting away from the Abiriba spirit.”
Dr. Amarachi Otisi, a medical doctor from Abiriba said: “I am fully with OUK (Orji Uzor Kalu). I enjoyed free education under him as the governor of the state. He has done very well as senator too. Those fighting him are on their own. Why would Abiriba want to put all her eggs in one basket? It’s suicidal to do so. I will vote OUK again if I have the opportunity to do so,” she said.
Mr. Emekwo Ijekpa said: “I am not a politician, but I have little knowledge about politics and how it supposed be. Abiriba is still far from politics; I am seeing that we think politics is buying and selling business. Politics is pure fight. Abiriba, we really made a mistake by allowing political matter to come into our community issues. Yes, that’s true. I studied all these issues and understand it is political issue— and it does not concern us as a community, because all the party belongs to us.”