The apex socio-cultural organisation in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, Asa Development Union, ADU, has stated that zoning is limited to only elective positions within the boundary of Ukwa West.
In a statement signed by the President General of the Union, Prof. Onwubiko Dike, explained that the zoning of the Seat of House of Representatives, which was the initiative of the Union, was frustrated by the political gladiators of the particular clan of Ukwa West that the Seat was zoned to, adding that the reality on the ground was that the zoning arrangement being a moral policy should be limited to elective positions within the boundary of Ukwa West.
“The reality on ground now is that the moral policy is limited to elective positions within the boundary of Asa”, he stated.
He, however, said that a consensus candidate for the House of Representatives Seat in Ukwa West would be contested between the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Barrister Nnadozie Okpokiri and Engr. Adinigwe Nwoke who is the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, stressing that the exercise would involve the participation of representatives from all the villages in the Local Government Area.
Full text of the statement:
INTERACTION OF ASA DEVELOPMENT UNION LEADERSHIP WITH FOUR
ASA SONS, SEEKING ELECTION INTO NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AS HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES MEMBER IN THE FORTH-COMING 2023 GENERAL ELECTION.
The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines consensus as an opinion that all members of a group agree with. Sequel to the resolution of Asa Consultative Assembly meeting of Saturday, July 2, 2022 held at Isi-Obehie Town Hall, ADU leadership was saddled with the responsibility of facilitating the emergence of a
consensus candidate among the four illustrious sons of Asa (Chief Sylvanus Nwaji,
Engineer Adinigwe Nwoke, Barrister Nnadozie Okpokiri and Mr Eze Nwoloki) seeking
election into the National Assembly as House of Representatives member. Present at the meeting were Chief Nwaji and Engineer Nwoke who voluntarily expressed
willingness to abide by the outcome of any selection procedure adopted by the union
to achieve this goal.
Asa Liberation Movement(ALM) Intervention.
A group of concerned Asa Youths by name Asa Liberation Movement (ALM) who bound themselves together for the purpose of retrieving the House of Representatives Seat domiciled at Ndoki for sixteen years running, volunteered assistance to the Union. Prior to this meeting, the group had completed sensitization
tours of the ten electoral wards in Asa and interacted with the candidates except Barrister Okpokiri who was on foreign trip at the time. ALM waited patiently for his return and interacted with him on Friday July 22, 2022. The meeting for the selection process took place on Saturday, July 23,2022 at Aba. The choice of Aba for the meeting venue instead of Asa was predicated on ensuring a neutral and secure place. All documents that would facilitate the meeting were prepared with the names of the four candidates.
Selection of Participants.
The method of selection was free and fair through secret balloting by 25 participants made up of the four(4) candidates, nine(9) elders-three(3) each from the three sub-
cultural zones of Asa viz: Asa Group, Ipu and Ozaa, six(6) women- two(2) each from the three zones and six(6) youths-two(2) each from the three zones. Some candidates came with a few of their supporters who acted as observers.
The Selection Process.
The purpose of the meeting was re-emphasized and the names of the participants were announced to the hearing of everybody and no objection was raised. As the process was about to commence, the Chairman of Asa Liberation Movement raised the issue of zoning the House of Representatives Seat to Ipu and demanded that Barrister Okpokiri be excluded from the exercise as Ozaa man. To the chagrin of
everybody, the issue created dissension and almost shattered the process.
Recall that the issue of zoning elective offices in Asa was the initiative of ADU in 2016 & 2019. Incidentally the political gladiators from the beneficiary zone of the
House of Representatives Seat frustrated the implementation of the moral policy.
Even the political party in power that bought the vision at the time did not uphold the policy. The reality on ground now is that the moral policy is limited to elective
positions within the boundary of Asa.
The central theme of the consensus principle is the achievement of a generally-accepted level of agreement necessary to make the right choice.
Consensus decision-making is therefore not effective when a group inadvertently or advertently blocks the process by promoting its interests and not open to other people’s opinion.
This circumstance prevailed in the meeting and virtually derailed the process.The scene immediately became rowdy. A break was declared for refreshment and to enable elders interact personally with the candidates. The three candidates from Ipu zone(Chief Nwaji, Engineer Nwoke and Mr Eze Nwoloki) were advised to hold a
private meeting and present one person for the selection exercise. The deliberation of the trio ended in deadlock. The concerted efforts made to provide a level-playing ground for all the candidates to participate in the selection process proved abortive. At this point, Barrister Okpokiri and his supporters registered their disapproval of the
premeditated action of ALM and left the scene.
Finally the selection exercise was carried out for the three candidates from Ipu zone after a brief presentation by each person. The candidates signed a binding agreement to abide by the prescriptions of the document, including the outcome of the selection process. Twenty four participants including the three candidates wrote the names of their preferred candidate in a plain piece of paper and dropped in the ballot basket. Of the twenty-four ballot cast, Mr. Eze Nwoloki, Chief Nwaji and Engineer Nwoke scored one (1), five (5) and eighteen (18) votes respectively.
Engineer Nwoke emerged the winner.
The failed candidates soon engaged in physical fight. They inflicted deep injuries on the camera man in their attempt to snatch the equipment. What we feared initially that led to the choice of Aba as the meeting venue eventually manifested. We found this unruly behavior of the potential leaders embarrassing and condemnable in its
The first phase of the selection process produced a candidate in the person of Engineer Nwoke from Ipu. For a truly consensus candidate to emerge, the next phase will involve Engineer Nwoke and Barrister Okpokiri and a wider participation of
representatives from all the Asa villages. The selection exercise is expected to commence soonest.
We sincerely thank Ndi-Asa for finding us suitable to execute this enormous task. With deep sense of responsibility, Asa people reserve the right to adopt, amend or reject the decision of ADU on this matter. The power lies with Ndi-Asa to remain in political servitude or rise up to claim their right.
Together we stand, divided we fall.
God bless Asa-Land, the treasure base of Abia State and the good people of Asa.
For and on behalf of Asa Development Union (ADU).
Pastor Onwubiko Ngozi Dike, Ph.D, FICCON.
Associate Professor of Marketing.