NwandugbomJOK’s unending agony over Abia liberation from PDP’s captivity



By Ogbonnaya Ikokwu
The unrelenting efforts by the immediate-past Commissioner for Trade and Investment in Abia, Mr John Okiyi Kalu ( NwandugbomJOK), to continue to feed the unsuspecting members of the public with lies concerning the administration of Gov. Alex Otti, shows he is in deep agony over of the liberation of the state from the stronghold and bondage of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

There is no gainsaying that
JOK, who became notorious when he began to intimidate Abia civil servants and pensioners to abandon their several protests to demand for their salaries and pensions, while he was serving
as Commissioner for Information, is in pain that their Abia captors, who could not meet their needs under the PDP-squeezing policy of irregular salary and pension payment, stretching up to between three and 36 months cumulatively in some ministries and agencies of government, now receive their pay as and when due.

Okiyi Kalu obviously has no place to hide his face as Gov. Otti has sent PDP militant touts packing, thereby providing a conducive atmosphere for businessmen and motorists to operate in the state and pay their taxes in the most civilised manner without assaults as was the case under Okezie Ikpeazu government.

What will JOK tell residents of Umuahia, who now breathe fresh air because of the assiduous efforts of the Abia State Environmental Sanitation and Protection Agency at keeping the city clean?

How can JOK visit Aba the commercial hub of Abia State and speak against Gov. Otti given the massive infrastructural transformations going on in the city with six roads already inaugurated, including Aba/Port Harcourt Road and many others under construction?

Okiyi Kalu, who had vowed to lead a deadly opposition against the Labour Party-led government in Abia, obviously has no justifiable reason to distract Abia residents with unsolicited comparison between Gov. Otti and his Enugu State counterpart, Mr Peter Mbah by criticising Gov. Otti, who has shown commitment to keeping his campaign promises.

It is equally funny that the basis of the said comparison was a live broadcast of Enugu State 2024 budget estimates, which would make young Nigerians shout “on kolos”.

Ordinary budget estimate, which is still subject to the scrutiny of the State House of Assembly is what JOK is celebrating like a man who won a jackpot.

What other way will a man demonstrate that he has literally turned to a lion, with a mind that is wandering up and down the universe, looking for who to devour?

Although, I don’t want to dwell so much on the 2024 budget estimates of Enugu, a sister-state to Abia, because I want the state to succeed just like any other states in Nigeria, but I wish to remind JOK that residents of Enugu, the capital city, in response to his show-of-shame article on his Facebook page have informed him that the said gigantic 120m cubic water project he boasted about, is not supplying water to Enugu citizens.

One of the residents with Facebook ID, Chinedu Uba, had this to say, “Fine piece and, for once, you’re an opposition and I am sure that you’ll fire down to put pressure on Abia State governor to positively deliver.

“However, your comparison between Otti and Mbah is merely academic exercise as there’s ABSOLUTELY nothing physically on ground to draw such comparison.

“There’s NO WATER ANYWHERE in Enugu despite the government’s position, except maybe, at the Government House. So, who is drinking these 120m cubic of water? Which roads are being rehabilitated in Enugu? At least, nothing for now, maybe, in the nearest future, unlike in Abia, where there’s evidence of ongoing road constructions in both Umuahia and Aba.

“Politics is sweeter when you’re in government but you begin to see even clearer as an opposition”.

Another respondent with Facebook ID of Okwudili Ani further reminded JOk that his claims were better imagined than felt in Enugu.

He wrote: “My brother, John Okiyi Kalu, I am happy that you’re doing a great job as opposition but leave Enugu State out of your comparison because we have not faired well under PDP leadership.

“Use Anambra pls. Why not give LP a chance. Ikpeazu’s eight yrs with backlog of unpaid salaries and pension is a big minus.”

Again, I want the success of Enugu State and the city of power to the defunct Eastern Region of Nigeria, but I believe that those comments from Enugu residents had put to rest all the claims of the “American wonder” transformation in Enugu under Gov. Mba as colourfully but deceitfully painted by PDP’s Chief Propagandist, JOK.

One, an Igbo adage says, “when a man stays in a particular place, he begins to nurse the desire to visit another place”, which is Nwandugbom’s headache.

The few people who still find time to read JOK might be taken aback by the beautiful pictures he has painted about Enugu State under Gov. Mba. My advice is that they should ignore a lazyman who cannot cultivate his farm but boasts about the wonders he would perform in his neighbours’s farm!

Nwandugbom, who could not advise Okezie Ikpeazu, when it was widely believed that he was among those who deceived him by failing to tell him the truth as his kitchen cabinet member, is now advising Gov. Otti, a First Class Economist on how best to govern Abia.

No one is a sole repository of knowledge, Okiyi Kalu’s advice is not needed as he has nothing good to offer in the new Abia.

Gov. Otti had always acknowledged that the challenges facing the state are enormous, but he came prepared to tackle them.

He demonstrated his willingness to make a difference by assembling the best brains to serve with him as Commissioners and Special Assistants.

Still employing the Igbo wisdom of not giving a rat the community meat to safeguard, the governor also gathered another set of accomplished Abians to serve as mayors in the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.

The state chief executive had also carried out a lot of reforms in the state civil service, aimed at transforming it for better quality service delivery, through the verification of workers to weed away ghost workers and those using pseudonym to fraudulently take salaries from government coffers.

Gov. Otti has in the last six months toed a path that only a governor who did not take an oath in a shrine supervised by “Ndi critical stakeholders” could take towards establishing quality leadership in Abia.

The state is already benefiting from his reputation by the number of investors showing williness to bring their money to develop the state.

Nwandugbom can continue to carry over the rejection of his party by Abia electorate, who he frequently insulted their sensibilities during his inglorious years of “Ikpeazu sabi the work” mantra.
Ironically, he was proved wrong even by Ikpeazu’s constituents, who said no to his senatorial ambition.

They boldly told Ikpeazu that “he who failed two times in Umuahia, cannot be sent to Abuja to represent us”.

It is indeed a new era and the light of the new Abia is shining for all and sundry to see.

Abia will never go back to Egypt again! The oppressors and their wicked accomplices can weep forever.

Abia has been liberated from the bondage of “Ndi Stakeholders”.

#A new Abia is possible

Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, a journalist and public affairs analyst, writes from Umuahia.