An Open Letter  To ‘Ikuku Abia’


By Chukwuma Odimuko

Dear Engr. Chinedum Orji (alias Ikuku Abia),

I have the utmost regard for you because I see you as someone who has made it in life in terms of wealth and influence considering your age.

If not for the numerous sycophants around you, who have wilfully failed to tell you the truth, you would have been much better than you are now in the area of your name and reputation. Their self-interest-motivated pieces of advice and lip-service all contributed to the negative perception people have about you now. I would not be surprised to learn that the idea of contesting for the House of Assembly seat originated from one of them, but the truth is that this move is the most ill-conceived one you have ever made in your brief  period of existence around the corridors of power.

Truthfully, when the rumours about  your House of Assembly aspiration started, many people, including me, assumed that it was just the work of some not-so meaningfully-engaged people around you, who were looking for an opportunity to get some cash out of you. Then you went on air to say that you had no such ambition, I felt proud of you, believing that you were wiser than the rumour peddlers.  But to my utter amazement, not too long after that announcement, I learnt that you had bought an expression of interest form for the same seat you came up on air to deny being interested in. I must say that I felt disappointed in you, disappointed because I felt that you should have known better that the timing for your aspiration  was wrong. Not only because  of your father’s senatorial ambition, but also because of the obviously known high possibility  that most of  the returning members from Abia Central would not allow themselves to be bought over by you for you to become the  next Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, which everyone already knows is your ultimate goal.

I also gathered that you, your family and your cohorts are conspiring to ensure that no old member returns to the House. That will not help our state. Abia State is not your family chessboard. Please sir, think about what I am saying to you now, because this kind of advice can only come from someone who has your interest in mind.

Honestly, I think that the level of influence you command in this state could be put to better use than trying to throw yourself into this mud water your friendly enemies are preparing for you. You could use the remaining months of your father’s stay in office and your own “stay” in your undefined office to cross the t’s and dot the i’s. You could use this period to solidify your influence as the first son in God’s own state and become the first Governor’s son to create and establish the office of the first son and not the way you are going about it. You could persuade relevant authorities at the state and national levels to make the office of the son of the Governor official and constitutional for other states to copy as one of the legacies of your father’s  administration in God’s own state.

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Just think about it, even if you succeed in buying yourself into the Abia State House of Assembly, the Ngwawuruotu will defiantly not allow you to act as the Ikuku we know anymore. And once you fail to achieve your political aims those sycophants around you will begin to reveal their true colour to you. These are my suggestions which I sincerely pray that you should give heed to.

Beware of those sycophants around you and question their motives for whatever advice they are giving to you. Be selfless and concentrate your efforts on helping your father secure a senatorial seat, at least for his protection when he leaves office as governor if not for any other thing, even though Abians would prefer that your family stays out from any political office for now.

Your father was a Chief  of Staff for 8 years and then a governor for another 8 years, yet he wants to go for Senate while imposing the next governor of the state on the people, not to mention your own bid to be the next Speaker of the House of Assembly. Trust me, you do not want to know what people really think about that. Please sir, I advise that you use the remaining few months to do things that will restore the good will of the people towards your family and please, stop taking back the empowerment vehicles that you gave out to some people simply because they are no longer in your family’s camp. That singular act is seriously damaging the goodwill of the people towards you. Use the influence you have now to create and consolidate your presence in the global market place.

Among all the 36 states of the federation, you are probably the only governor’s son to be contesting for a political position at the same time as your father. Please just think about it for a second time, which other governor’s son  is receiving the same amount of negative media attention that you are receiving? How many are constantly being vilified by the few people that they have not succeeded in intimidating? You know, if only everyone will start calling a spade a spade, you would really know what people really think of you and I tell you, it’s not good. This truth might be hurting, but it is true. I am talking now because I have a conscience that is very much alive and kicking even though I can’t reveal my true identity to you for the fear that you might take back the yellow taxi you gave to me for my tireless service to you for these past eight years as you have done to some people who told you the truth when it was necessary.

As the saying goes, “ a word is enough for the wise” and so I hope these words of mine will be enough  and where they fail, I can only take solace in the fact that my conscience has been appeased. My brother and friend, please be wise and do the right thing.

•Odimuko writes from Umuahia, Abia State.

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