His Excellency, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, presumably or purportedly, Governor of Abia State, can be likened best to a king without his crown. Without exaggeration, Ikpeazu, can be correctly tagged and plainly labeled a fancied surrogate masquerading as the authentic and real Governor. These descriptions may sound strange, puzzling and even weird, metaphorically. In reality, Ikpeazu’s political odyssey and related plight in the hands of his political godfathers and sponsors, amply justify these descriptions, absurd and comical as they may sound.
How, you may be wondering?
The following disclosures, in fact, just a tip of the iceberg, detail Ikpeazu’s deceptively over-bloated ego; much publicized stage-managed and celebrated importance (product of orchestrated media hype strategy). Or more appropriately and fittingly, his ever steadily decreasing and diminishing roles in the inner chambers and sanctum of political governance; exclusively manned by his political godfathers, wherein any issues of strategic importance or worth concerning Abia State, are secretively and clandestinely deliberated on, discussed and decisively decisions are reached accordingly.
In these specific contexts, dependable and well-informed sources in the camp of the godfathers, would always insist and maintain unequivocally to whomsoever cares to listen, that Ikpeazu was simply engaged and hired to act as a Political Bus Conductor, and would remain a Political Bus Conductor to the end of this dispensation in Abia State, notwithstanding any misleading fanciful title or honour he adorns or that is ascribed to him publicly. In this wise, the godfathers as the Bus Drivers have retained the prerogative to decide the routes or directions the Bus plies. Whereas, Ikpeazu, as the Bus Conductor only takes instructions as predetermined by the Bus Drivers and complies as instructed. In essence, according to these privileged sources and powerful power brokers with unrestrained access to the innermost recesses of the enclaves of the godfathers, Ikpeazu’s political relevance or value is calibrated or measured only to the extent he is propped and sustained in Government House; ostensibly decorated and dressed in borrowed garbs. Ikpeazu’s relatively doled-out/tele-guided inconsequential roles as predetermined/mapped out in the scheme of critical affairs in Abia State evidently tend to support these serious but worrisome positions of the insiders. Any credible evidence to contradict the claims of these insiders is yet to manifest, sadly enough.
Upon sober reflection, one has come to the painful realization that truly the four letter name ABIA; and the component alphabets that were combined to make up the name of Abia State, somehow, on a rather unfortunate cynical note, now represent nothing whatsoever noble or symbolic associated with a state regarded as “God’s Own State”. Regrettably, Abia State at this particular time thus stands for: A, for absurdities; B, for bewitched; I, for Inert (ia); lastly, A, for afflicted/afflictions. The unwholesome and uncomplimentary attributes best portray or typify the catastrophic templates anchored on pervasively, retrogressively systemic devaluation injected into the corpus of governance of Abia State presently under a spineless and visionless trumped-up Ikpeazu administration.
For emphasis, it was deliberate and not an omission by not applying or using, but purposely avoided using the term leadership for Ikpeazu in these contexts. To imply by any shades of imagination that Ikpeazu is leading/governing Abia State would be gross misrepresentation of facts and the truth; and anomaly/misnomer. Hence, for avoidance of any shades of doubts, the lofty terminology – leadership – is inappropriate and most unfitting to describe or dignify Ikpeazu, incumbent Administrator of Abia State Government House. Ikpeazu best can be described and merely ascribed the title and the functional status of the Admin manager (that which evidently he is, though he contested and won elections and was sworn into the highly exalted office of governor).
Ikpeazu merely administers Abia State under the superintendence of his benefactor, whose towering image and preponderant influence overwhelmingly looms over Ikpeazu like the proverbial Iroko Tree; overshadowing the lesser being of a ceremonial governor, in all ramifications, except in obediently under camouflage bearing loyally the name/title of governor as prearranged and delegated. In this wise, the de facto Governor of Abia State, without equivocation is no other personage but Rt. Hon. Engr. Chinedu Orji, Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly. Orji in this respect wears two important crowns; the Executive and Legislative crowns and powers reside singularly in him, though Ikpeazu, Orji’s nominee/proxy is posted in the Executive Branch as proxy governor.
Ikpeazu remains holistically only a ceremonial figure and a pawn to be moved at will in the political chessboard by the Supremo and General Commanding Officer (GOC). Ikpeazu is simply stationed in Government House (to all intents and purposes, Government House Umuahia, is now the Annex or satellite of the main Government House (re)located in Ibeku Kingdom). In this fuzzy arrangement, Ikpeazu serves as a dependency, minion, enslaved stooge to the real political power base and dynasty set up by Senator T.A Orji and Rt. Hon. Chinedu Orji. Though Ikpeazu often is paraded and touted as governor, Ikpeazu’s servile/subservient relationship with his bosses is characterized by debasing appeasements. The skewed relationship is preeminently discernible in the modus operandi of the incumbent Administrator, especially in obediently playing second fiddle without any qualms whatsoever in the determination of the policies and programmes templates in governance; which templates are unquestionably under the guided control of his godfathers and bosses. Thus, Abia State’s affairs are subsumed under the dictates of a hegemonic dynasty in guise of democratic governance. This state of celebrated inertia on the part of Ikpeazu, reflecting the parody displayed in the Executive Branch, no doubt has had devastating effects on the entire fabric of Abia State polity, and possibly would continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
Seductive or swooning effects on Ikpeazu of glamorously adorning the misleading title of governor, deceptive and brilliantly conceived and strategically and masterfully executed by his Supremos, political bosses and maestros; means that though Ikpeazu ought to be in charge in accord with the true spirit or tenets of Abia Charter of Equity/rotation of the office of Governor; in reality, he is far detached from caressing and dispensing any meaningful elements of Executive power.
Ikpeazu, in essence is totally disconnected from and completely isolated from performing the constitutional responsibilities prescribed for a governor in accord with the Oath of Office administered in the inaugural ceremonies. Sordid and strange and pitiful as his circumstances or plights are, Ikpeazu is never in doubt or oblivious of his self-inflicted predicaments.
Why has Ikpeazu strangely opted to remain helplessly and hopelessly contented and satisfied, and slavishly obedient to his externally imposed fate?
Ikpeazu would never contemplate raising his voice in protest to assert himself, else he risks the obvious consequences, which include specifically being side-lined and shoved aside/replaced in office by virtue of the asymmetrical political power imbalance to his disadvantage in the equations of the arrangements that propped up and installed him in Government House Annex. Specifically, Ikpeazu is not unmindful of the cleverly, craftily and stealthily weaved rings of swords of Damocles encircling him, ready to be mercilessly unleashed at the least pretenses of provocations. Especially with the willing connivance and support of members of the House of Assembly, in order to appease the House Leader and real boss who was in charge of the state in the first tenure and who is still in charge in the present dispensation of Ikpeazu’s stage-managed administration. Summarily, Ikpeazu is nothing more than a highly-prized hostage/prisoner incarcerated in Government House Annex, tactically and strategically castrated, and his weak wings effectively clipped. In fact, Ikpeazu is in the Lion’s den as a helpless prey, ready to be feasted on, if he ever dreams of disturbing the tranquility of, or discomforting, the Lion. This brief answer provides the explanations on why Ikpeazu remains entrapped in this political quagmire. From a cost-benefit analysis perspective, Ikpeazu is paying the ultimate price a political orphan or adopted political son is meant to pay to assuage or pacify the political godfathers.
Politically and socio-economically, Abia State, as a result, is prostrate, sinking deeper into the abyss and morass of progressively stunted descent under the unbearable burdens and weights of merciless and shrewd, politically overbearing Emperor Nero of Abia, tightening the hangman’s noose on a slavish puppet. This development has brought unquantifiable hardship on Abia citizens. In the reckoning of the godfathers, what matters is sustaining the status quo especially retaining the reigns of political power. Driving the levers of the socio-economic development of the state is not an important aspect of the political calculus and equations.
For any persons aspiring or considering serving as governor under the political umbrellas of godfathers, the same experiences shall in no wise be any different or better than the agonizing, tragic and traumatic political odyssey of Ikpeazu; though laced in highly attractive delusive beliefs characteristic of decorated ceremonial political title bearing pawns. These truths about Ikpeazu, definitely would provoke reactions by government and as expected would be met with flurry of panic-stricken media sponsored denials by government apologists and sycophants.
Suffice it to cite only two noteworthy instances of the spectacular absurdities characteristic of the incumbent administration of Ikpeazu. Recently, the media was inundated with delirious publications of Ikpeazu taking charge of the disastrously and deplorably embarrassing environmental/sanitation cleanup programme in the state. The key question is: what is the duty of the army of political appointees and their public servants counterparts designated with responsibilities in the Ministry of Environment? Specifically, what or why are the battalions of political appointees and workforce in the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) retained in office and paid? Why should any sensible governor, in ideal situations requiring more time or the effective and efficient utilization of available time to attend to the most pressing matters of government business, jettison same to focus on menial or routine tasks such as refuse disposal? Any properly focused and busy governor would respond to this challenge in a better and more positive manner. Recall Ikpeazu was serving in ASEPA prior to his incumbent status and his messy and shambolic performance was evident in this parastatal. It is evidently well understood given the curious ongoing absurdities, Ikpeazu was simply issued a marching order to take charge of the environmental/sanitation messed up programme befitting his reduced status politically, functionally and operationally, as designed and designated by his Supremos. Thus, His Excellency, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, must be seen to be busy or made to appear to be busy. Some political stratagem at work, indeed. Torrents of denials and maze of rationalization are expected as usual by the administration.
Another instance relates to the recent outward upgrade of the status, premises and facilities of the Abia State House of Assembly Complex. More importantly, concealed from the knowledge of the populace is the salient purpose behind the cosmetic outward upgrade. Following suit, the legislative organ undeniably has been strategically (re)positioned and serves as the hub/nexus for considerations or decisions of any serious matters of governance in the state. Accordingly, the Speaker has cleverly executed yet another brilliant political coup. By so doing further elevated and consolidated his office/position. In this wise, the Speaker has added to his duty roster and schedule formal receptions in his office of official delegations on visitations to the government in the state. Ideally, official delegations to the state ought/should be formally received and welcomed in the Government House by the His Excellency, the governor; the deputy; Chief of Staff or SSG. Subsequently delegations can proceed on visitations to any other state functionaries, as provide in protocol. Blatant reversal of protocol and roles as redesigned in the state are clear manifestation of the subtle usurpation of power or abdication of responsibility demonstrating to keen observers who is really in charge; who the bully is and who is the bullied or the victim. Following this strange (re)arrangement/reshuffling, the Speaker accordingly is briefed first by visitations in his office in the Assembly Complex and approves/disapproves any subjects of concerns or state business. Following the Speaker’s official endorsement or seal of approval or otherwise, the Speaker issues relevant directives/orders to Ikpeazu as the state administrator and occupant of Government House Annex to deal or not to deal. The directives must not be flouted.
In this wise, the set up/inaugurations of various Committees/Panels of Investigation by the Speaker, with specific mandates (though not in absolute breach of the constitution) was clearly a manifestation of the superior political game plans/maneuverings designed to incapacitate and/or appropriate the duties and functions of the executive branch. Following the dissolution of the erstwhile state Executive Council; protracted delays in the processes involved in forwarding names of commissioner nominees for screening/confirmation by the Assembly; and pending the reconstitution of a new ExCo, the Speaker, slyly and cleverly pounced on and hijacked this critical responsibility of the government exclusively; while Ikpeazu was reduced to a mere spectator. As the findings and recommendations of the Committees land on the table of the Speaker, invariably Ikpeazu would be further pushed into narrower/tighter corners of political quick sands with only enough space to recede or retreat into obscurity, leaving his paymasters to glitter and sparkle in the limelight.
Ikpeazu’s supine status and sterile performance in Abia State are the logical results of the orchestrated absurdities masterfully programmed and managed the same way robots are designed, constructed and installed to carry out tasks. His Excellency, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu’s toxic political profile is a travesty of the zoning formula in the context of the Ukwa/Ngwa zone.
However, recent developments and events seem to suggest Ikpeazu suddenly is finally waking up from his erstwhile deep slumber to face realities; consciously realizing the urgent need and the importance to shake off the toga of a hostage and to free and liberate himself from the asphyxiating and soporific stranglehold of his political captors, hostage masters cum benefactors. It appears the strange hypnotic effects of whatever unnatural or supernatural powers used to cast a spell on Ikpeazu may be losing its mystic hypnotizing powers gradually, as the prelude to Ikpeazu regaining ultimate emancipation and freedom.
One such remarkable and recent development includes the strategic appointments of a Chief of Staff and a Senior Special Assistant on Media as aides to Ikpeazu. The choices made and the decisions in favour of the two strategic appointees and the circumstances surrounding their respective emergence are clear indications and signs signaling/mirroring the bold resolve and mindset of Ikpeazu to establish himself as truly the Governor of Abia State and categorically declare his independence and freedom; break and cut any ties of attachments, encumbrances and vestiges of the past years of vassalage.
These bold initiatives of Ikpeazu, definitely will trigger counter responses, even some attempts on suppressions, and reprisals to cut him to size accordingly. In certain circles, these bold emancipator initiatives ostensibly carried out without the usual consultations requiring approval are considered sacrilegious acts of audacity/impunity, breach, infraction and open rebellion, deserving of sanctions and punishment. No one else but the prime actors of the unfolding drama can exactly estimate the extent these muscles flexing exercises can go on. Likewise, no one can under-estimate the potential positive or negative outcomes of the ripples effects on Abia politics and polity as 2023 draws closer.
Notwithstanding, if Ikpeazu is finally poised and resolved to declare himself independent, and accountable to Abia electorate, he must equally be prepared to brace up for a brutal political war of attrition that would ensue and that requires the wise deployment of different types of arsenal in the open trenches and behind-the-scenes-battles or confrontations. As often as is the case, overt and subtle tactics/strategies clinically deployed as maneuvers by the opposing forces, especially psychological warfare characteristic of USA/USSR Superpowers’ tussles in the Cold War era would feature prominently.
Given the likelihood and prospects of the outbreak of a titanic clash and hostilities in the not too remote future, Abia State – God’s Own State, definitely needs armies of prayer Warriors to intercede and seek the face of God for Divine interventions, particularly in the fuzzy days, weeks, and months ahead. Abia, no doubt is on the precarious precipice and thresholds of monumental political fusion or fission with ominous prospects of renewed gladiatorial political scheming and bitter rivalries.
Most unfortunately, the contending factions/parties in the ensuing bitter political battles would massively and wastefully deploy Abia State’s resources to gain advantage over their opponents. At whose expense is the critical question? The bitter but plain answer is at your own expense, at my own expense, and at the collective expense of Abia citizens. Above all, to the detriment of Abia State’s fragile economy manifestly evident in infrastructural deficits and similar socioeconomic and political problems confronting the state currently. From all indications, Abia State ultimately is over-ripened for the scramble of the political soul of the State by contending political power adventurists.
Truly, Abia State is a theatre of absurdities.