Abia 2023: It Won’t Be Ukwa la Nkwa VS Old Bende Contest - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Sunday, March 13, 2022

Abia 2023: It Won’t Be Ukwa la Nkwa VS Old Bende Contest

'In Abia, It won’t be Ukwa la Nkwa VS Old Bende. It will be more or less a referendum : Accountability and Development VS Brigandage and Backwardness' 

                      Hon. Ichita


The Daily Crucible | Monday, March 14, 2022

By Obinna Ichita

It has become necessary that the public, especially, the residents and indigenes of Abia State in general and particularly, the constituents of Aba south be informed of the true state of affairs with regards to the two (2) cases instituted by the government of Abia State against me, in my official capacity as a member of parliament and in my personal capacity, just because I asked for accountability. 

You would recall that Abia State government through the Commissioner for Youths Mr.  Charles Esonu Onyedikachi and the Abia State Cordinator of the world bank project called Nigeria Erosion Watershed Managment Project  (NEWMAP), one Mr. Izuchukwu Onwughara, r surreptitiously asked the High Court of Abia State to stop me from asking the government of Abia state to explain how the government spent over 56 million US dollars that Abia State received  from the World Bank  for construction works in Aba South constituency. The very constituency that I represent in the parliament. 

In the suits, Abia State government denied that they received 56 Million US dollars from world bank for construction works in Aba. They also denied the 800 million US dollars that should be shared to the citizens under the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of the World bank.
The government asked the court to order me to stop talking about infrastructural decay in my constituency. 
The  executive arm of Abia State government essentially wants the Abia State Judicial arm to stop a member of the legislative arm  from exercising his constitutional duty of oversight. This absurdity has never been recorded anywhere in the federation, only in Abia State. 

In our response to the suit , we pleaded justification and told the court that indeed Abia State government received money from the  World Bank for construction works on Uratta road, Obohia road, Ohanku road, Port Harcourt road and Ngwa road.

We have also filled to the court, the evidence of the 800 Million US dollars from theWorld Bank that should be shared to the citizens under the CCT initiative and the evidence that Abia State received over 56 million US dollars from World Bank.
Additionally, we have forwarded our list of witnesses to the courts, which include senior personnel of the Debt Management Office (DMO) of the Federal Government, senior officers of the  federal ministries and federal agencies that documented the loan process and the contract documents. The commercial bank that received the 56.4 million US dollars that world bank payed for construction and flood mitigation projects in Aba South constituency and a former commissioner for finance in Abia State, are also among our witnesses. 

Since we filled our statement of defence alongside our  list of witnesses, Abia State government, their agents  and their lawyers have refused to come to court. The matter was supposed to come have come up on Friday 11 March 2022. The new date is 1st April 2022, before Hon. Justice Benson Anya. 
Meanwhile, We are actively monitoring the world bank projects in Aba south as well as the movement of funds for these projects, hence, we shall  continue to apply pressure on the state government  to ensure that World bank projects in Aba South constituency do not suffer the fate of Faulks road; a road that collapsed just few months after construction. 

In my view, the claim of spending over 1 billion naira ( almost 2 million US  dollars ) per kilometer on a dry land in Aba is not only questionable  but also a clear demonstration of an exceptional level of insult on the collective intelligence of the people. 
Remember that no one knows the whereabouts of around 26 million US dollars that have been withdrawn for the purchase of a Tunnel Boring Machine, which machine has not been seen anywhere in Aba South nor the money refunded. 

While I sympathize our kith and kin, who are part of the oppressors  in Abia State , especially young people, who have been recruited to defend this abnormal level of official brigabdage, I must inform everyone who desires a change in Abia State that the new Electoral Act 2022 has  provided us with the best opportunity to sack the oppressors in Abia. 

The hackneyed diversionary tactic of the oppressors in Abia is to keep the people distracted with irrelevant and illogical arguments about which zone should “produce” the next Governor while bad governance  of our wealth continues unchallenged. 
The Oppressors in Abia state don’t want you to ask them why our hospitals are not functional. 
Everyone seems to have forgotten the traders, whose shops were demolished at Ariaria and Ahia Ohuru markets. What about the people whose buildings were demolished along port harcourt road? 
What is the fate of our pensioners? What has become of those who are owed over 20 months salary arrears? And most importantly, what happens to both the Internally Generated Revenue and the statutory allocation of Abia State from the federal government ?! These pointed questions and more of such ...  should dominate our political discourse.

Lastly, I plead with every one above the age of 18 to register and obtain her or his Permanent Voter Card (PVC). This plea has become necessary because available data indicates that the preponderance of our people are not registered voters. This of course can not be divorced from the fact that many young people are despondent and as such have lost faith in the government. 
As the representative of Aba South, I know of a truth that a large majority of our people are so bitter with the level of poverty and bad governance that they do not want to be associated with anything that has to do with government or elections. However, the good news is that the  propensity for electoral fraud, which is usually orchestrated by the Abia oligarchs has been thrown overboard.
The introduction of the Biometric Voter Accredition System (BVAS) and the signing into law of the Electoral Act 2022 means that elections will no longer be the way it used to be.
In Abia, It won’t be Ukwa la Nkwa VS Old Bende. It will be more or less a referendum : Accountability and Development VS Brigandage and Backwardness. 

Obinna Ichita is a member of Parliament Representing Abia South Constituency, Abia State House of Assembly.

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