The resentment which residents of Aba and indeed the entire people of Abia State have for Gov Theodore Orji played out once again yesterday as he was booed and pelted with sachet water in the commercial city when he attended the burial of the pioneer Catholic Bishop of Aba Diocese, late Most Rev Vincent Valentine Ezeonyia.
This is about the sixth time the governor would be booed in the city due to poor performance, gathered the SUN Newspapers.
What awaited Gov Orji who came with his wife, Mercy and who many believed had no business coming to Aba for anything since he totally neglected the city for the over seven years he has been governor started unfolding immediately he entered the Cathedral of the Christ the King Church where the Holy Mass for the late Bishop was conducted.
Hardly had the governor taken his seat and the master of ceremony announced Gov Orji’s arrival than hundreds of people who were watching events inside the church through large TV, started screaming, “No! No! We don’t need him, No! No! We don’t need him; he has killed us in this state.”
Before then, the governor’s aides had hurriedly set up the stage box where Gov Orji was to address the people.
However, the crowd’s hostile attitude towards their governor, did not only stop him from making any speech at the funeral as his aides out of shame folded the stage box back into the bag they brought it with at the end, but Gov Orji’s name was not officially mentioned again perhaps out of fear of the trouble it would cause.
As the crowd jeered and booed Gov Orji, they intermittently cheered and hailed when faces of people like the former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, APGA governorship candidate, Dr. Alex Otti; PPA governorship candidate, Sir Chikwe Udensi and Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, former governor of old Abia State were shown on the TV screens.
What happened to Gov Orji inside the church, for film producers, was part one.
Gov Orji’s main ordeal began after the corpse of late Bishop Ezeonyia was interred and he made to enter his vehicle. As the people inside the church premises sighted him sandwiched by security personnel, they started booing uncontrollably, calling him all sorts of unprintable names.
The crowd followed the governor’s convoy booing as it made towards Asa road where a huge crowd joined in the show, jeering, booing and pelting his vehicles with bags of sachet water.
The military Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) which accompanied the governor to Aba, could not stop the people some of who even climbed the road’s median so that they could be properly identified.
Some people who spoke to Saturday Sun said they were not happy with the way Gov Orji neglected Aba and the entire Abia state, allowing almost all the roads built by former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu to go bad.
“Kalu built so many roads in Aba when he was governor and we did not suffer at all, but see what we are going through now in the state, this governor has not cared to rehabilitate the roads, he is not paying workers salary, in fact we don’t know what he is doing with our money and we will like to get the answer before the election.
“Kalu who Gov Orji betrayed, modernized the Enyimba Stadium, tell us of a single project the present governor executed in the city that will make us to be happy with him. I know you came from Lagos, but sample opinion around, no single soul living in this city is happy with the governor and his PDP government and we will show him this very soon”, one of the angry residents stated.
Although Dr. Alex Otti, the APGA guber candidate and Sir Chikwe Udensi of PPA were not officially recognized, the crowd watching the event through large television screens mounted at various locations around the church premises gave standing ovation each time their images were shown.
It was gathered that several efforts and entreaties made by Gov. Orji’s protocol officers to persuade the church authority allow their principal address the people failed, as aggrieved residents ordered the aides who had mounted the state box by a corner of the church to dismantle it and take it back to their vehicle.
Some Aba residents who watched the drama commended the Catholic Church for not allowing the Orji to talk, wondering what a governor who they accused of not performing would come to tell them.