The clan of Dr. Michael Okpara, the late former premier of the defunct Eastern Region, Ohuhu in Umuahia North local government area of Abia State, has long been sidelined in the politics of Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency of the state.
House of Representatives aspirant for the constituency in the 2023 general election, Hon Obilo Ogbonna, stated this yesterday in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP Weekend in Umuahia, the state capital.
“It has been as if the constituents have forgotten the immense contributions of the late Dr. Michael Okpara to the sociopolitical development of the Constituency in particular and the defunct region in general,” he said.
Ogbonna, who picked the All Progressives Congress nomination forms for the election in Abuja, regretted that since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999 the clan was yet to occupied the seat when others have in some cases done twice.
“It a pity that since the dawn of the present democratic dispensation, Ohuhu, despite its strong voting strength and availability of competent and tested leaders in fields of human endeavour has not sat on the seat.”
He said nothing could be as rewarding to the late premier and other past leaders of the constituency from the clan as letting its voice be heard again on issues that concern the welfare of the constituents. According to him both equity and the odds are in his favour.
“With the anticipated movement of the seat from Ikwuano after a two-term stint fairness demands that it should be taken over by Ohuhu,” he said.
He added that in both 1999-2003 and 2007-2011 when it was in the area, it was occupied by Umuokpara and Ibeku respectively, adding that this time around, the clan should be allowed to enjoy its turn.
Speaking on his chances of winning both the party’s primary and the election, the former banker said: “It had been becoming brighter every passing day and God’s grace and the support of the voters I will be there.”
He, therefore, used the forum to appeal to the people to get registered and obtain their voters cards, adding that without the ability to vote, any hope of changing a government is nothing but absolute whishful thanking.