Don Ubani’s Characteristic Desperate Pursuit of Popularity through Notoriety
By Matthew Iwuoha
The name Don Ubani in Abia today is easily associated with creating crises in the State. There is hardly any crises in Abia State, especially intraparty and intragovernment that the former Commissioner in Abia State does not author. He has proven over time to be a man whose prosperity is tied to his propensity for creating crises. He abhors peace the same way fish abhors hot water. He feeds fat on crises and political turbulence to the extent that he has become a professional seed sower, just that his type of seed is that of discord.
While his father was an established produce merchant, according to Ubani himself, he obviously did not pass the noble values of his trade to his son who has since turned a merchant of trouble. No one should blame Pa Emmanuel Wigwe Ubani for the notoriety of his son, he must have done his best to shape the character of his beloved son to a peace embracing one but recalcitrants like Don Ubani usually carve out a niche of mischief, deceit and belligerence for themselves as a source of livelihood.
As a man in his sixties who has held many high ranking positions in the state, many were left bewildered when Ubani in his usual self penned an ill advised missive against one of the current Governor’s protocol officers for passing him by in the distribution of cards that would give guests access to the rice served at a banquet organised by the state government in celebration of its third anniversary.
In that full blown article titled “Avoidable Conquest of Protocol in Government by Sheer Parochialism” which he penned on the 29th of May, 2018, just shortly after the event in Umuahia, and caused to go viral in blogs and the social media, Ubani went as far as calling the said Protocol Officer names and concluded by vehemently calling for his sack, over a plate of rice, not minding the ripple consequences on the official’s dependents. But, of course, the Governor must have laughed off Ubani’s foolishness and completely ignored him. If the Governor who has tolerated Don Ubani’s many serious gaffes has not sacked him, how then did Ubani expect such a highly tolerant man to sack one of his aides just for denying him a plate of rice? People like Ubani have tried endlessly to drag the Governor to their own level of pettiness but they keep failing.
The Governor who has always held the peace of the state together took ill in the heat of COVID-19 pandemic and was away on treatment sometime in 2020, and no sooner had the Governor gone away than Ubani stoked the fire of trouble again by needlessly attacking the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly. The Speaker having known his strategy of creating crises where there is none in order to milk the system in the guise of quenching the same crisis he created, ignored him, simply described him, and aptly so, as a “political jobber”, and moved on to face more serious matters of State.
Ubani’s latest attempt to forment trouble in the state is contained in an article he wrote in response to Dr Eme Okoro’s protestations against the State PDP chairman for a botched appointment of some Abia North PDP stakeholders with the Party.
While reprimanding Dr Okoro for going public with his protestations in that essay, Ubani committed a foul by also attempting to correct Dr Okoro and bitterly excoriate him in public when he could have reached out to the respected septuagenarian privately, calling him all manner of names despite Dr Okoro being his senior in all ramifications.
However, Ubani’s misadventure and intent to cause trouble and thereafter profit from it would not, at least in his own estimation, work if he did not involve Senator T.A. Orji and his family in the essay. Pray, but for the purpose of creating crisis, what was the connection between Dr Eme Okoro’s issues with the state PDP chairman and Senator T.A Orji? Dr Okoro’s protestations, Ubani falsely claimed to have confirmed in his follow up article, was personal, even though it was about Abia North and their rights to seek the highest office of the state. There was nowhere it was said that Dr Okoro and Abia North PDP stakeholders consulted Senator Orji before fixing their appointment with the PDP chairman, nor before he went public to express his reservations at the cancellation of the appointment. So why did Ubani involve Ochendo in his diatribe against Dr Okoro if not just to stoke unnecessary fire and heat up the polity? His attempt to diminish Ochendo’s status as The Father of Equity in Abia State with lies and concocted postulations in that essay was facile, jejune and puerile.
If Senator T.A Orji needed to support anyone from Ngwa land as his successor in 2015 just so he could get their votes for his senatorial ambition then, he would have supported someone from Isialangwa North or Isiala Ngwa South LGAs, the two Ngwa LGAs that are part of the Abia Central Senatorial District. Ochendo would not have had any need going as far as Obingwa LGA to seek a successor since Obingwa LGA would play no part in the Abia Central Senatorial election. Ochendo insisted against all odds that power must shift to Abia South Senatorial District since Senator Orji Uzor Kalu had taken the turn of Abia North while he took the turn of Abia Central.
Having said that, the disingenuous and belated theory propounded by Don Ubani that the Abia Charter of Equity which has seen power rotate seamlessly and peacefully among the three senatorial zones of the state be reverted to the ancient Divisions of Old Aba and Old Bende, something that is akin to asking Nigeria to revert its power rotation arrangement to the ancient Northern and Southern Protectorates, all just because Ubani wants to promote a clanish, selfish and divisive agenda.
Don Ubani’s hypocrisy became even more audacious when in the same essay he said, “As long as I am concerned, unlike Dr Eme Okoro who allegedly claimed that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is close to him, I am holistically for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction”. Even though Dr Eme Okoro’s claim that Atiku is close to him does not imply that Okoro is not in support of a Nigetian president of Igbo extraction, Don Ubani in his usual stock in trade of trying to make his own light shine brighter by attempting putting off that of others, made a meal of that to make himself appear more Igbocentric than others.
Nevertheless, Ubani shot himself in the foot when he accused others of hiding “under the administrative creation of Senatorial Districts to play down on the reality of the Two Major Blocs in the State” which is tantamount to accusing those, including himself, agitating for Nigerian President of Igbo extraction based, in his words paraphrased here, on the “administrative creation of geopolitical zones” of playing down on the Two Major Blocs of Northern and Southern Protectorates of Nigeria. What hypocrisy! If rotation of power in Nigeria were to be based on the old dichotomy of Northern and Southern Protectorates, the Igbo citizen may never be president of Nigeria as power might just only rotate between certain areas in the South and certain areas in the North. But agitation for rotation among the geopolitical zones is to promote fairness and equity among all the zones. It is the same in Abia.
Let me end this piece by using the exact words Don Ubani used on Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi in that his ill-advised essay for supporting Atiku, a northerner, in the upcoming 2023 Presidential election as against an Igbo citizen based on rotation among geopolitical zones of the nation, only that for everywhere Dokpesi’s name was mentioned, it will be rightly replaced with Don Ubani’s:
“It was tantamount to absurdity for a man of his (Ubani) age and assumed education and possible exposure to have ranted like an uncouth motor park tout.
“What in the infantile imagination of Don Ubani could have led him to a state of complete imbecility for him to infer that (rotation of Governorship in Abia State is based on old and tribal division other than the modern and more uniting senatorial District)?
“Don Ubani must be suffering from both mental and psychological haemorrhage’.
Not my words but Don Ubani’s.
He who lives in a glass house must not throw stones!
Matthew Iwuoha sent this piece from Aba