4thestatereporters.com|AACDU LEADERSHIP AND THE REST OF NDI ABBA.
REVIEWING HOW THE JOURNEY STARTED :
- Njoku Macdonald Obinna
Nwangele LGA , Imo State .
Precisely 10th March, 2010, four visionary , patriotic and illustrious sons of Abba namely: Prof Cyril Chimezie , Barr. Stan Ofoma, Dr. Okechukwu Akogu and Chief Phil Anele ; having taken into disturbing cognizance the bickering , rancor and mutual distrust through suspicion amongst Abba indigenes especially ; during the inglorious days of Ikwu-Ato socio-cultural and political saga convened a meeting at the home of late Chief Cosmas Chukwuemeka Ofoma (Ochu-Udo of Abba).
That singular social gathering and watershed event set a new agenda for reconciliation , restitution and restoration in Abba ; as the rich attendance list had creme da la creme of the leadership of the community amongst whom were :
Late Eze Emmanuel Madukwem Unaka (Uburu 1 of Abba), Eze Godwin Shiweobi (Duruebube of Durunna), late Eze -Designate, Eze Timothy Uzoka and Eze (Justice ) G.G.I Ojiako (CJ, Rtd)-Dim Ohamadike of Ogwuaga .
Other community leaders in attendance were ; Prof. Francis Dike, SAN, Hon (Justice ) Lawrence Alinor (CJ, Rtd), Chief (Nze) , Ndubueze MadusonChief Sir, D.C. Obialo, late Surv. Barth Uzomah, Engr. Kenneth Ebubeogu ,Sir Godson Anumnu, Dr. Okechukwu Akogu, Mrs Ikeata, Mrs. Maggie Nwadike , etc, while Rev. Fr. Nick Anudu served as the Spiritual Director of the newly conceived forum
These respected leaders drawn from the four communities unanimously agreed to ‘ religiously ‘ set aside all bickering (-pretending they never existed ) so as to instill unity of purpose and the reawakening of the spirit of Abba Nwaurugo , creating greater opportunities for Abba youth while finding sustainable ways of moving the great Abba clan forward . As such spirit of oneness had the potency of opening unlimited window of opportunities in politics, commerce , industry and infrastructural development of Abba.
The above vision as encapsulated by these leaders gave birth to Abba Stakeholders ‘ Forum which had since its formation been playing a prominent role of reuniting NDI Abba while raising the bar for the social consciousness of those in the diaspora about community development .
Regrettably , the above vision and concerted efforts of Abba Stakeholders ‘ Forum was greeted with challenges of mistrust , animosity and lingering misunderstanding amongst our leaders, kinsmen and communities in some session of Abba thus ; the Peace and Reconciliation Committee was constituted by the Forum to address some of these challenges .
However , it should be noted that the first leadership of this Forum was piloted by Chief Lawrence Alinor (Umuokpara Abba nay Abba Autonomous Community ) with late *Surv Barth Uzomah as its Secretary while Barr. Stan Ofoma was the Coordinator and *Arch Madubuike Ohiaeri* as an official .
Despite the un relenting efforts of the Abba Stakeholders Forum which started by first seeking the consent of all the Presidents- general (PGs) and blessings of the Royal Highnesses and other illustrious sons and daughters of Abba both at home and in the diaspora , it was eventually criticized and politicized prior to the 2015 elections as the Forum was accused of having a political undertone .
Some community leaders from the other side of the political divide discarded it while others disparaged the leadership calling it a PDP affair !
And true to the guesses of those dissenting voices , it turned out to be “like one” as the political drama and shenanigan that played out between 2014 and 2015 amongst leaders of Abba Stakeholders made political pundits and other conservatives to draw their conclusions .
It should be noted also , that the 2014 Abba Day Celebration (- a yearly ritual ) under the Committee Chairmanship of Dr. Akogu did not hold water ; as he voraciously accused Chief Jeff Uju of truncating the event by his delay tactics in releasing the funds donated by Abba United USA under his leadership .
THE BIG STORY AND IRONY :
When our Media Team probed deeper into what happened , we found out that the Stakeholders under the leadership of Arc. Ohiaeri had clandestinely taken a stand to support its Coordinator , Barr. Stan Ofoma as the anointed candidate of the PDP in Abba ; leaving Sir, Jeff Uju in political wilderness .
Many of them were said to have argued that since politics is local and is not played in absentia, far away United States, Chief Jeff Uju should give space for Stan Ofoma : A seeming household name in Nwangele politics who was at that moment the Legislative Aide to Hon. Jones Onyerieri (KSC) .
As the above power -play did not go down well with the Ogwuaga Abba American based Entrepreneur and Politician , Jeff Uju , who on his return to Nigeria decided to play a spoiler-game for the PDP in Abba while accusing the leadership of Abba Stakeholders’ Forum of playing the script of ‘ a certain popular and respected community leader’ in Abba for hijacking the Forum rather than create a level -playing ground for all to test their popularity !
With the above rumblings and grumblings , the leadership of Abba Stakeholders Forum was polarized and factionalized along two follwership visa viz:
Abba Stakeholders ‘ Forum- Nigeria , Abba Stakeholders’ Forum- Diaspora ; which made the Forum to almost loose its initial focus , direction and vision of reuniting NDI Abba while creating socio-economic roadmap for the development of the community .
Ironically , this Forum was not registered throughout its five years of existence until a new Sheriff came on board and the Forum now metamorphosed into Association of Abba Autonomous Communities Development Union (AACDU).
Nevertheless , since nature abhors vacuum , the leadership vacuum created by the defunct Abba Development Union (ADU) Nationwide and Abba Stakeholders’ Forum , had given rise to a more embraced , respected and recognized socio-cultural and traditional leadership Association . As one of the steps taken by AACDU was to sustain some of the good policies and programs of the defunct Associations .
Today, AACDU is a registered Association under Corporate Affairs Commission and had ever since constituted a Constitution Drafting Committee which its membership was drawn from the four communities .
If leadership is not about ‘ personality and position ‘ but about ‘ vision and character ‘ ; then , we should be conscious and meticulous in choosing , electing or appointing those who are to be at the helm of affairs on our behalf as a people, as a community and as a local government .
Despite whatever misgivings some people may have against the leadership of AACDU . This Union, which is a fulcrum and brainchild of the defunct Abba Stakeholders Forum , has become a reference point for developmental and excellent leadership not just in Abba and Nwangele LGA but across IMO State.
The new Sheriff , Chief (Engr) Paul Ozigbu piloting the affairs of this Association is gradually but assiduously returning Abba back to its glorious developmental winning ways just like the Founding Fathers of this great Ancient Kingdom.
Yes, good leaders passionately believe that they can make a difference . They envision the future , creating a template for achieving set goals !
They unravel bureaucracy when it impedes action; they put up signposts when people are not sure of where to go or how to get there ; and they create opportunities for victory .
Good leaders , through their magnetism and quite persuasion , enlist others in their dreams . They breath life into their vision and get people to see exciting possibilities for the future !
Is the Abba 7.3 KM abandoned road project which became a challenge to the State government a reality ? Yes, it is . Because it is borne out of dogged and pragmatic leadership with commitment to a leader’s vision – Many thanks to High Chief Johnbosco Ozigbu
The economic roadmap for the development of the entire Abba as envisioned by the leadership of AACDU is really a commendable stride although, the initial approach was very wrong .
Nonetheless , accomplishing extraordinary projects in a strong community like Abba is quite a daunting and challenging task . But to keep hope, the vision and determination alive , the leadership of AACDU should recognize contributions and opinions that other leaders make as well as individuals . Because in every winning team, every player needs to be on the same page with the vision of the larger organization while the leaders should celebrate the contributions of the team members making them feel like heroes .
To Chief (Engr) Paul Ozigbu , we honestly salute your zeal, passion and candor for the development of Abba through the leadership of AACDU ; which is now creating a new dynamism and paradigm shift in community development . Whatever challenges your Association is faced with today is not peculiar with Abba and anybody advising you to disregard the seeming agitation of the community and its leadership is not quite patriotic .
Rather than resort to Court , I think that the people who first took the step for a lawsuit should have given more time for continuous dialogue , negotiation and consultation .
I strongly believe that at the end of the day , this matter shall be addressed on a round-table meeting with mutual understanding where every community is accorded its due respect in Abba .
This is the intervention approach and stand of the National leadership of Abba 4th Force as we make moves to visit some respected community leaders .
JOIN THE CONVERSATION : EVERY OPINION COUNTS !
This article was first published on 22rnd September, 2017 and republished on popular demand .
Njoku Macdonald Obinna :
Media Consultant|•News Reporter|•Blogger .
Abba 4th Force
Unbiased S🐶cial Watchd🐶g|Advocacy group.
… Redefining news reportage in the new media .
The Abba 4th Force
(Centre for Rights Advocacy)