Dr Max Nduaguibe, the leader of Ukwalangwa Elders Council has steadily blazed the trail of echoing the need for justice and fairness in the governance of Abia state, a system which he affirmed will pave way for equity, peace and justice for the old Aba zone.
In Abia politics, Dr Max sits on the sidelines. He was once one of the leading political lights in Abia states haven ran as the Abia guber candidate of the defunct Action for Democracy (AD) in 1999. He was also a senatorial candidate for ANPP.
As one who knows how politics is played, Dr Max was also a former National Deputy Chairman of the default Democratic Party of Nigeria(DPN), one of the infamous five party contraption of late General Sani Abacha.
But today, Dr Max echoes justice and fairness.
Dr Max and his Council of Elders has consistently emphasized that the successor of Governor okezie Ikpeazu, the incubent governor of Abia state should be from the same political block i.e the Umunnato extraction.
Dr Max holds the view that; “If three local government in Abia state, namely, Ikwuano, Umuahia north, Umuahia south can rule this state for eight years, there is no reason why Isiala-ngwa north, Isiala-ngwa south and Osisioma will not rule Abia for eight years”
“We are not looking for political position, we are looking for something that is our right.” Dr Max once said.
As an elders in the state which is said to be only interested in advising government and others in the state, Dr Max said he wants “people to understand that Abia state is not a clan winner takes it all.”
Before the primary elections, Dr Max at a time echoed that Every Abia Central person knows where they belong and urged the delegates to be fair in their votes.
In his words; “Every person in Bende knows where they belong and not claiming to be Ngwa, so I would expect that the delegates will reason with us and do justice to the course of our aspiration.”
So far, has the quest of Dr Max Nduaguibe and his fellow elders yielded results?
Presently, three political parties have picked the governorship candidates from the Umunnato extraction.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has chosen professor Uchenna Eleazer Ikonne as their candidate while the Young Progressives Party (YPP ) has chosen Nnanna Nwafor as their gubernatorial candidate and Accord Party(AP) has Chosen Bishop Emeka Nwankpa as their candidate.
Dr Max has always maintained that he and his elders are not partisan on their quest, thus, they cannot endorse any candidate for any political party. Rather, the Ukwalangwa Elders Council will only take position on how to support candidates from the area after speaking with them to understand their plans for the development of Abia states.
It could be recalled that the famous journey to produce the next Abia state governor began in the middle of the second term of governor Okezie Ikpeazu. Loud calls echoed from Abia North senatorial districts as they were already warming up to produce the next governor come 2023 based on the said Abia Charter of Equity. That quest literally took the wind out of their sails as the puzzle was knocked to another direction.
Dr Max had once explained that “some holds the position that the Charter of Equity is obsolete and can no longer be applicable, adding that the document was never signed into law till date. But also holds the view that the Charter of Equity has been maintained till date as a form of customary law which has made it impossible for the governor and deputy of Abia State to come from from the same zone. It is the respect for the charter of Equity”.
As the puzzle played out, PDP and the other two parties likely heard the loud call from Dr Max and the Elders Council of Ukwalangwa, or could it be said that the political parties probably or unknowingly went for justice and equity. But that development left the PDP bitter, bickering and divided.
In making the request, Dr Max steadily echoed their quest and resilience.
In his words; “our demand is based on justice, equity and fairness, nobody could force it. We are not going back on it, there’s no reason to react to the reaction from any quarter to our demand. But let me repeat that Ukwalangwa Elders Council is purely a social cultural organization. We are non-partisan, we accommodates all groups, shades of opinion in Ukwalangwa irrespectively or political affiliations. We are grassroots based, I do not know of any part of the Constitution as amended that forbids us making any demand for the good of our community. we do not meet as a political group but as a community based group to discuss issues for the well being of our people. I do not see any form of bullying that can put an end to that.”
As the election draws near, Dr Max and his fellow Council Members of Ukwalangwa is expected to approach and discuss with the candidates from Ukwalangwa extraction as said to be part of their gender.
More of the agenda and success story of Dr Max and his co-elders of Ukwalangwa will surface as the 2023 election campaigns and election gains momentum.