By Uche Aguoru

It's quite amusing how some people have been struggling to wear a clannish toga to the politics of bitterness and hatred going on in Abia state.

Shockingly, I have read some of our Ngwa brothers blame people from the old Bende for the attacks and insults being hauled at Dr. Ikpeazu in the media.

For clarity, those who initiated and orchestrated the attacks, insults, and abuses on the person of Dr. Ikpeazu are his Ngwa brothers. 

I have yet to see any individual from Old Bende who has hauled a quarter of the measure of the vulgar attacks and malignment on Dr.Ikpeazu's image and family more than Hon. Dannie Ubani.

No other politician in the history of Abia state had launched the volume of abusive campaigns the way Hon. Ginger Onwusibe did to the former governor, and the last time I checked, they were his Ngwa brothers.

The present government in Abia state led by Dr. Alex Otti, has encouraged and elevated bitterness and hate, making it an unofficial state policy. To fully understand the origin of hate and bitterness that has permeated the fibers of Abia politics, one must take a journey back to history beginning from the M I Okpara era.

Dr. Michael Okpara, a revered leader who was loved by many governed the Eastern Region as its premier, an entire geographical sphere that covers what is today known as South East and part of South-South, though highly respected, his arch-political rival then was Dr. JOJ Okezie, his Ibeku brother in the present-day Umuahia North LGA, history has it that their rivalry was very tense and bitter and most often degenerated into physical exchange of blows between the supporters of Dr. Okpara and those of Dr. Okezie.

Upon his globally celebrated return from exile in 1979, his Ohuhu brother,  Dr. O B Aguocha, a commissioner in the cabinet of Dr Sam Mbakwe in the then Imo State became his major opposition and political adversary.

Apart from the hostility that existed between the late Lamidi Adedibu, the political godfather of Oyo state who is famous for his Amala style of politics, and ex-Governor Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo state, history has yet to record another political hatred and bitterness comparable to the one that has existed between Senator T.A Orji and Prince BB Apugo.

Overlook the pretenses, apart from Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, who genuinely forgave, the average Ohuhu political class has not fully forgiven former Governor T.A Orji, because of the fierce governorship contest of 2007/8, they still accuse him of intentionally under-developing Ohuhu politically.

The political crisis between then Governor T.A Orji and Dr Orji Kalu, was an avoidable crisis that only benefitted a few individuals while the state suffered political backwardness.

I was shocked when Chief Charles Ogbonnaya (Evule Ogu) a politician I have deep respect for because of his sincerity on issues, told me a story about why he would never forgive Chief Sam Okwulehie, narrating what he did to them when his brother the late Chief Johnson Onuigbo (Akinbod) was contesting for the chairmanship seat of Umuahia North, in his usual frankness swore never to support any of his children in any political contest both now and in the future. 

The major obstacle in Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu's governorship journey in 2014 were his Ngwa brothers,  many of them stood against him as a preferred choice of the then-Governor T.A Orji, it took the intervention of Elder Emmanuel Adaelu and a few other respected Ngwa elders to convince his Ngwa brothers to support his candidacy. 

The Abia political history from creation has been a story of "Iro no na Ulo" which has done us more harm than good, it has stunted societal growth and development and has left a malignant cancer in the Abia political system thus creating confusion, disrespect and mutual suspicion amongst brothers and sisters making it difficult for people to lift or assist their brother's political growth genuinely. 

It is only in Abia that Former Governors maintain enmity with the serving governor to the point of distancing themselves from government functions and programs and are even refused in most cases to contribute experience, ideas, or suggestions necessary for the growth and development of the state where they once administered and are supposed to be statesmen.

This piece will be incomplete if I don't emphasize the devilish roles of merchants of political crisis whose stock in trade is to stoke crisis even where it does not exist, these politicians who we all know as ndi "ori na crisis" intentionally create these crises for purposes of selfish political and financial benefit at the expense of the peace and development of the state, truth be told no society can experience holistic political, social, and infrastructural development when their leaders are at war with each other. 

This cycle of hate and bitterness needs to stop, we must separate opposition politics from politics of hate, animosity, and resentment, This generation must begin to see images of our past and present political leaders in one picture dining, wining and laughing during state functions just like we see in other states.

It does not diminish our individual political beliefs or differences nor stop us from exercising our political rights of criticizing or advising the government where necessary.

Peace and unity are priceless in every society, they make us more effective and help accelerate societal growth and development, our leaders should learn that any society that sows animosity must reap crisis. 

Let me take a quote from one of the most influential musical icon in history Jimi Hendrix   “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”  

Aguoru is A Public Affairs Analyst