Source: thewillnigeria.com

Chief Dr. Ogbonnia Ajah was adopted by the Ezza nation as their son on 8th August, 2014 at a grand Obuji festival, an adoption event that is celebrated once in every ten years. This was specifically in the effort of the Ebonyi North/Central/South senatorial zones to place the burden of governorship of Ebonyi state on his shoulders come 2015. The event was extraordinary. But it is not our focus in this topic. Suffice to say that Dr. Ogbonnia Ajah, largely the next governor of the salt of the nation, was honoured by Ezza people who constitute the key voting power in the state, especially in the Ebonyi South. By the adoption witnessed by the elders of Ezza as well as those of Ehugbo (Afikpo), Dr. Ogbonnia has become the strongest contender for the gubernatorial position from the Ebonyi South from where the next governor is supposed to emerge, according to the zoning principle of the state's equity charter in particular and the intention of the incumbent Governor, Chief Martin Elechi, at large.

Since Dr. Ogbonnia has accepted the call by his Ezza and Afikpo people to run for the governorship position in 2015, there have been wide publicity from well meaning Ebonyians and Nigerians who know his worth and capacities in the political arena. Ebonyi is a state blessed with both natural and human resources, which have not yet been developed and utilized. Though comparatively fixed among the youngest in Nigeria and seen as backward as can be describable, the state cannot be excluded from being among the poorest in terms of infrastructure and human capacity building.

In his meetings with his many political blocs, Dr. Ajah has always proclaimed: What is governance than service to the people? What should governance be in Ebonyi state than service to Ebonyians from the north to the south? I have seen where our politicians have erred in the governance of our blessed state. How can we explain that our youths are the hawkers in Abuja, Enugu, Aba and Port Harcourt? How can we defend, amidst many untapped natural resources that our children cannot go to school because of hardship and lack of educational infrastructure? How can we feel happy with our women and young females used as house help and labourers in our neighbourhoods? How can we face our mothers and children in terms of hard labour and abuse, all resulting from lack of comprehensive plans to fix them in the society and make them relevant in the economic building of the state? Our roads! Our schools! Our hospitals! Our farms! Our people! Yes, Ebonyians! What is the position of Ebonyi in the comity of states in Nigeria! It is change and only change that we must strive for with our body and soul.

He continued, “I have personally carried out investigation on the condition of our youths. I severally shed tears when I discovered that six out of petty hawkers in the highways of major cities of Nigeria are Ebonyians. It is time to develop our natural resources. It is time to become the real salt of Nigeria, the rice producer of Nigeria and the agricultural base of the Igboland. Our youths have to leave the streets. They must go to school in very condusive environment. Yes, our people should farm but it must be advanced farming and with the full support of the government. This is our key mandate: to involve Ebonyians in the governance of their state and to provide them food, good educational, health facilities, shelter and social amenities that will make them feel proud of belonging to the state. The civil servants in the state will be empowered and we will encourage entrepreneurship and reward excellence in pursuant to the development of our dear state”.

ebonyi.citynewsline.com.ng/news recently reported an article titled: Ebonyi equity charter and the demand for a trustworthy leader which had a central focus on the political prowess and intellectual pragmatism of Dr. Ogbonnia Ajah to pilot the affairs of Ebonyi state as one of the rare political gems, unstained democrat and vibrant economic builder of contemporary Ebonyi. One who has been in politics since Afikpo was in Imo state, then Abia state and then Ebonyi in 1996 without being corrupt is the person Ebonyians need. One who has been a crusader for the unity of Nigerians of diverse interests, a frontline harbinger of the merits in humanity, in hard work, in humility, in trustworthiness, in unity and in progress is the person needed to salvage the salt of Nigeria. One who is down to earth in the service of his people without favour; one who has clean track record of unalloyed loyalty to his party the Peoples Democratic Party at ward, state and federal levels; one who has supported the best in the governance of the state since its creation and one who looks at tomorrow as too long to bring happiness and succour to his people is he who should lead Ebonyi from 2015. This is the mission of Dr. Ogbonnia Ajah, the Afikpo-Ezza big son of Ebonyi state.

That is the good intention of Ezza people. For the first time in the history of Ebonyi the Ezza people are standing tall to take their destiny in their own hand. For the avoidance of doubt, the Ezza people have not had the best from the state governance despite their sacrifices to keep Ebonyi peaceful, united and progressive. Therefore, this political marriage between Ezza and Afikpo in the 2015 electoral feat will be the best thing that will happen in the history of the state. It will be the only way out from the tension, confusion and animosity created by some politicians who do not mean well for the state.

The spokesman of one of his political blocs, Social Justice Advocacy (SJA), Ekuma Elijah Igwe, has described Dr. Ogbonnia Ajah as a social crusader, an established academia, a public manager and administrator of both national and international repute, a human right activist and a politician of integrity. “Dr. Ajah is the only sincere Ebonyi politician who can best manage the peoples' mandate and equally restore prudence, accountability, equal rights and justice to the entire Ebonyians. There is no equal personality for this rating in Ebonyi of today. So, Ebonyians demand for this true Bridger in 2015.” Igwe concluded.

In his article titled Politics of Ebonyi 2015 guber race published in Daily Independence Newspapers, Felix Uka observed: Ezza ethnic group is not letting the situation to chance. Typical Ezzas are of the perception that they are being politically marginalized. Some of their elite allege unwritten plot to deny them chances of governing the state. This particular reason fuelled the Ezza/Ezillo clashes that claimed many lives. The unfolding development, thus causes the apprehension within some quarters that should the ruling PDP fail to present a popular candidate from the south for the race, the Ezza factor could pose a credible challenge to Governor Elechi.

He recalled the position of a stalwart of the PDP in the state, Comrade Chinedu Ogah who said, “The governor has changed the fortunes of the state in infrastructure, economically and socially. It will be in the interest of the party if he nominates someone who will follow his footsteps on leaving office and also reposition the party which has helped in actualizing the ideals of its founders. At the right time, we would support whoever the governor nominates whether he is a cripple or a blind man”. This is an indication that the governor will not make the mistake of jeopardizing his own interest to contest and probably win the senatorial seat from the Ezza territory. And now that the Ezza people are rallying round Dr. Ogbonnia Ajah, the implication is that the governor, for his own interest, has to yield to the demand of the Ezza people by nominating their choice, Dr. Ajah.

An Ebonyi indigene and graduate of International Studies and Diplomacy of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Comrade Agha Ajah, in his Open Letter To Ebonyians published in http://ebonyi.citynewsline.com.ng/news/an-open-letter-to-ebonyians, queried: What level of democratic dividends have we seen in Ebonyi state? Why are the professionals, the most advanced, the elites, the social comrades, the welfare campaigners, the justice advocates and the media houses silent over the gory and high sufferings of poor Ebonyians? How many Ebonyians ask why despite all the agricultural and mineral resources of our dear state the larger percentage of Ebonyians are still uneducated, unemployed and poor, living below standard in hunger and deprivation? The lackluster approach towards the harnessing of Ebonyi natural endowments towards the growth, development and advancement of the welfare of Ebonyi people is highly lamentable.

Yes, all hope is not lost. Our educational system can still be redeemed, our infrastructure can get better, our agriculture can get boosted, our economy can get bigger and our yearnings can still be actualized. That can only be achieved when the leadership position is given to a vibrant, visionary and development-driven crusader who is loved and accepted by the Ebonyi people themselves. Guess who can fit in this onerous task! Sure, Chief Ajah is the man Ebonyians should trust.

Dr. Ajah's political profile has steadily been growing. He worked with the then Executive Governor of Abia State, Dr. Christopher Ogbonnaya Onu as a Director, Abia Health Foods Limited under the Chairmanship of Dr. Gensha Amuta; he was once the Chairman of Itim Ward, State delegate and national delegate of the National Republican Convention (NRC) between 1990 and 1993. He was also a hard working founding father of Ebonyi state creation movement. In fact, he donated his office and facilities for the use of the Movement in the old Abia State. He has contested the seat of the Federal House of Representatives four times in an effort to bring genuine development and effective representation to the Afikpo North/South Federal Constituency in the defunct Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN), All Peoples Party (APP) and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was a member in the State PDP campaign committee which delivered power to the current Governor Chief Martin Elechi. He is a lover and cherisher of Ndigbo agenda, a national interest mover and an ardent supporter of the current leadership of PDP at the state and national levels. He also looks on to President Goodluck Jonathan as a role model in governance.

Feelers have expressed support to the Ezza movement for Dr. Ajah. Many of them in an online network, Ebonyi 2015 Interactive Forum, have supportive opinion on the movement. Nwankwo Edith said: I think we the people of Ezza nation should support this move and it is highly in line with our yearnings as well. We hope the PDP we stand for can support this course. Emeka Enwo said: I believe with this development there is light for Ebonyi at last. An Ehugbo man of this caliber can final match the race. We don't want partiality anymore or sentiments. It's a good sign for us.

And cautioning against imposition of candidate by the Governor, Prince Daniel Ifeanyi wrote: What will be the gain and fate of Ebonyians for the next eight years if we allow sentiment, tribalism, partisan, favoritism or disunity to lure us into voting another godfatherist, Ebonyi creation architects, dictatorial, vindictive, sadistic, insensitive, egotistic, manipulative, propagandist, opportunistic, undemocratic, depressive, selfish or paranoid officer into the 'Throne' of our welfare as citizens. We must make the right choice.

As it is today in Ebonyi, having in mind that Nigeria has overgrown to an extent, certain level of sentiments in politics, the way is clearing on daily basis as Dr. Ogbonnia Ajah gets closer to becoming the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2015 gubernatorial elections, and subsequently the Ebonyi peoples' choice governor. The PDP, which is the party of choice in Ebonyi state, will surely succeed with Dr. Ajah's candidacy.

Muhammad Ajah is an author, publisher and socio-political analyst.

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