How Senator Abaribe cheated, looted and abandoned Abia residents for 16 years

How Senator Abaribe cheated, looted and abandoned Abia residents for 16 years
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He is very popular with Nigerians, especially those of South East extraction, over his bombastic and grandstanding speeches on the floor of the Nigerian Senate. For 16 straight years, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe has stuck to the National Assembly like a leach, serenading Nigerians with ear-tingling speeches and acting as the champion or voice of the East.

But, for those familiar with the politics of Abia State and Abia South Senatorial District, Senator Abaribe is a man filled with words without any action. He has nothing to show in his senatorial district for the 16 long years he spent in the Senate.  Recently, a businessman at Ariaria Market in Aba, Hillary Nduka, asked a reporter in Igbere, in Abia North Senatorial District, if it was the same Senate that Abaribe and Kalu have been.

He said he could not understand how Abaribe failed to return anything to his constituency, while Orji Kalu has done over 60 roads in just four years.

Speaking shortly after he saw a road inaugurated by Kalu in Abia North, the trader said: “My brother, please, are Abaribe and Kalu in the same Senate? Or is Abaribe at the section where they only talk without doing anything? I mean, can you compare him with what Kalu or Senator Ike Ekweremadu have done in their zones? Why are we this unlucky in Abia South?”

In fact, in Abia South, it is a known fact that Abaribe now goes about blaming the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari for his failure to accomplish anything meaningful. But that is contrary to the facts on the ground.

For one, Abaribe has been PDP senator from 2007 to 2022. After recently losing out on the PDP governorship ticket in Abia State, he jumped ship to the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. He promptly paid N15 million to the holder of the APGA senatorial ticket and became APGA candidate for Abia South Senatorial District.

His constituents said that for the critical period he was their senator, it was PDP that led at the centre, yet, Abaribe could not deliver a single project to his people.

“All the major federal roads in his constituency were not fixed, including Aba-Ikot Ekpene federal highway, Aba-Port Harcourt federal highway and many others. Not even the road to his house was fixed,” a constituent said.

“Within the same period he has been at the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, Pius Anyim and others ensured that many roads in their respective constituencies were fixed by the federal government, including the federal road leading from Okigwe to Afikpo, Achi-Mmaku-Awgu-Mpu-Okpanku- Akaeze road, Ugwueme-Nenwe-Ezere-Mgbidi-Mmaku-Agwunta and Obeagu roads among others,” said a constituent, who preferred not to be named.

Indeed, in the first 12 years, Abaribe was at the Senate, he was literally sleeping until PDP made him the minority leader. That was when he found his voice, especially when the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) became strong in the South East. He moved to secure bail for the leader of the group, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and made a political gain of it as the champion of the Igbo cause.

“We challenge him to show what he did on the floor of the Senate to better the lives of his people.  Everything about Senator Abaribe is deceitful, including his public claim of signing a bail bond for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu,” a party leader said. “Reliable sources say that it was actually Senator Ekweremadu that posted the bond of N100 million and merely brought in Abaribe because he was the ranking senator from Abia State at that time. We challenge Senator Abaribe to come out publicly and contradict this fact.”

Said another PDP leader in his Constituency: “On the statement by Governor Wike that Abaribe was given money, we have since confirmed that the latter approached Wike for the money. He was initially given $100,000 and later N100 million. When Senator Abaribe received the initial $100,000, he lied to his supporters that it was given to him to support his governorship ambition under PDP, whereas it was actually settlement money. He later received another N100,000,000, and other agreed support being refund of his claimed campaign expenses and promised to remain in PDP as a result of that.”

He added that Senator Abaribe’s greatest political blunder must be his recorded denial of receiving money from Governor Wike because, unknown to him, the Rivers governor has evidence that he planned to publish.

After collecting $100,000 from Governor Wike, Senator Abaribe paid N15,000,000 to buy the APGA ticket from Don Ezenwa Nwankwo, who was then the APGA candidate for Abia South Senatorial District, to step down for him. Nwankwo, in turn, later used part of the money to acquire the senatorial ticket of YPP and is currently running against Abaribe, who has been threatening to “deal with him” for taking his money to run against him.

While Senator Abaribe is blaming Buhari and APC for his inability to achieve anything in his nearly 16 years at the Senate, he craftily forgot that he was also a senator during the years PDP held power at the centre with nothing to also show for it. Yet he wants another four years to waste at the Senate as if it is his birthright.

In four years of being in the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu has attracted more than 60 road projects to Abia North, whereas Abaribe’s highest achievement is abusing everyone that disagrees with his docile and ineffectual style of representation.

Abaribe blamed PDP national leadership for the use of a three-man delegate during the primaries of the party but forgot that he was among the senators that voted and passed the 2022 electoral law that gave birth to it. It is instructive that he claimed not to have been aware of passing that clause because he has never spent one second reading any piece of legislation but makes noise everywhere while his mates are achieving concrete results.

On the Electoral Act, Abaribe was on record to have said: “The National Working Committee of PDP misinterpreted Section 84 (8), there was no amendment that has led to the wrong interpretation of the electoral act section 84(8) by our NWC.”

“Every party has a constitution, and parties are bound by their constitution. What this means is that the persons that should vote in primaries are well spelt out in their constitutions

“Section 84(8) of the electoral act states that “elected delegates” will vote in primaries and conventions. It  will be subject to judicial interpretation if someone challenges it”
“It was to prevent such unnecessary litigation that NASS did an amendment to define what it means by elected delegates to include what is specified in the parties constitutions

“That our party chose to define it that narrowly was a function of a meeting in the last couple of days between NWC and PDP Governors without NASS members, who actually would have provided more insight into it.

“So you can see that it has nothing to do with any conflict(s) between legislature and executive,” he further stated.

Moreover, while Abaribe was negotiating for his APGA ticket, he never informed other PDP gubernatorial aspirants he was misleading them, and they all ended up withdrawing from the primaries to pave way for the emergence of Abaribe’s schoolmate as PDP candidate.

When some of the PDP aspirants realised what happened, they all dissociated themselves from Abaribe and his treachery. He also failed to negotiate with APGA leadership for his supporters when he left the PDP, as is typical of the fabled most selfish politician in Abia State, thereby leaving them stranded.

Many in his constituency now wonder why he wants to eat his cake and have it. His constituents have told him to sit down at home until he learns that the Senate is beyond bombastic words and abuse of the federal government.



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