By Suleiman Anyalewechi, Aba
The question about whether Ukwa land and its people are indeed part and parcel of the Abia State will be clearly answered during the tenure of the Gov-Elect, Dr Alex Otti. Similarly, the treatment Ukwa people will receive from the new government will determine if they will continue to remain as part of Abia and or seek a separate State.
These assertions were made by a prominent son and opinion leader of the area, Dr Tom Otuka in an interview with NewsCritic online on Wednesday May 3rd 2023 in Aba.
According to the medical expert turned politician, Ukwa land despite being the proverbial cash cow of Abia state and the area that confers on the state its oil producing status, has not been accorded due and commensurate attention in terms of socio-economic development.
The strongman of Ukwa politics and chieftain of the Action Peoples Party, APP, lamented that successive regimes in the state, since the advent of the current democratic arrangement in 1999 have been paying lip service to the aspirations, and interests of Ukwa people, adding that this has resulted in complete absence of infrastructural facilities and abject poverty among the people.
He said that Ukwa people are being treated like slaves used only for the achievement of some narrow political interests by the political class and thereafter dumped, warning that a continuation of this ugly narrative will leave the people of the oil bearing community with no other option but to reconsider their Abia citizenship.
Dr Otuka, however expressed optimism that the incoming administration of Dr Otti will squarely address the Ukwa peoples’ plights, going by the credible antecedents of the Gov- Elect. “l have the firm belief that Abia and Abians are going to witness a regeneration in view of the track record of the Gov -elect. This is the first time since 1999 that Abians are having the opportunity to elect a leader of their choice and Otti is aware of that. So, he knows that we are expecting some things different from him. For us Ukwa people, Otti has no other option than to prove to us that we are still part of Abia state, he said.