–         Insists Owerri Zone Must Produce Next Governor

A group that Identifies its self as Imo Critical Stakeholders has thrown their weight behind the modified Imo Charter of Equity that was recently endorsed by the Imo State Elders Council at the instance of Governor Hope Uzodinma.

The group, in a release dated July, 4, 2024, and signed by Chief Damian Ezeagu, as Convener, Sir Bon Unachukwu, as Coordinator, Prof Obioma Iheduru, Member, Board of Trustees, and Comrade Ken Akunwanne, as Spokesperson, averred that, in the spirit of equity, justice and fairness, it is the right turn of Owerri zone to produce the next Governor of Imo State, come, 2027 when His Excellency, Hope Uzodinma will exit office.

The group noted that, “It is an indisputable fact that politics is intricately a game of numbers. Invariably then it is essentially measured by the generally accepted concept of majority carries the vote. Nonetheless, the beauty of politics is overtly and covertly encapsulated in its symbolic and unifying tripodic stand on equity, justice and fairness. 

“Imo State, just like the other 35 states of the federation, is distinctly and constitutionally   divided into three geo-political constituencies aptly named senatorial zones. These are Owerri Zone otherwise known as Imo East., Okigwe Zone also tagged Imo North., and, Orlu Zone also known as Imo West senatorial zone based on their geographical positions in the state. Senatorial constituencies are based on equality, hence each is represented by one senator.

“By the underlying factors of political exigencies and democratic sophistries rather than any known particular sophistication or consensus, Imo political power equation since the return to democratic rule in 1999 has been largely and quite unjustfiably imbalanced, especially as it concerns who occupies the governorship position. 

“The imbalance, most regrettably, has thrown up an unprecedented  precarious political demeanor in the state which has made it possible for the Imo West senatorial district or Orlu Zone to produce three governors who have administered Imo state for 21 years of the last 26 years of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. 

“And since the serving governor will be in office till 2027, it therefore means that Orlu Zone would have been at the helm of Imo affairs and in control of the  State Government House for 24 out of 29 years by the time he exits office. This, certainly is against the fundamentals and principles of equity, justice and fairness. 

“As a matter of fact if not for 4-year coincidental governorship of Okigwe zone  2007-2011, and Owerri’ seven months under Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, Orlu senatorial zone would have been from 1999 to 2028. For emphasis:  Okigwe Zone just held sway as governor for only  four years, while Owerri Zone ward reigned for only seven months.

“Taking it from inception in 1976, Okigwe Zone has ruled for eight years (Samuel Mbakwe and Ikedi Ohakim). On the other hand, Owerri has managed to rule for two years (Evan Enwerem and Emeka Ihedioha whose administrations were both truncated).

“The foregoing has provoked a sense of injustice and clear internal marginalization which has caused severe disunity and disaffection within the political class and  the masses of Imo people.

“As true democrats who believe in rule of law, and who promote and  encourage equity, justice and fairness, we the Imo Critical Stakeholders unequivocally  support the letter and spirit of  the Imo Charter of Equity as enunciated by His Excellency, Governor Hope Uzodimma and endorsed by the Imo Elders Committee which unequivocally states that Owerri Zone will take over the mantle of governorship in 2027.

“This our noble stand is predicated on our motto of Mmegbu Adighi Mma. And our elders maintain that to maintain fairness and and a level playing ground, “Emenyere Nwaogwugwu, emenyere Nwanosike, menyekwere Daa Nnediya no n’ulo”. 

“For the sake of equity, justice and fairness, Imo Critical Stakeholders hereby calls on the good people of Imo state to work for the election of a ward of an Owerri Zone to emerge the governor of the state in 2027. This is the practical meaning of “enye ndi ebe a, enye ndi ebe a”.  It is on this point we commend Governor Hope Uzodimma for his avowed stand and support of the Charter of Equity which explicitly says 2027 is for Owerri Zone to produce Imo governor”.