2019 is close and the political drum beats are beating again. Owerri zone is shouting hoarse, using the song of marginalization as a tool to trumpet its quest to produce the next governor of the State.
Their song is justified. They are the most marginalized in the power alchemy of the state. It had only produced a state governor for a meager 22 months. Other sister zones- Okigwe and Orlu- have had more than a bigger bite of the pie.
Orlu zone where Governor Okorocha comes from would have done 16 years when the incumbent completes his tenure in 2019. Achike Udenwa from Orlu Zone had governed the state for eight years from 1999- 2007.
Okigwe zone had done 8 years. Late Dee Sam Mbakwe (1979-1983) and Ikedi Ohakim(2007-2011).
Owerri zone only had Evan Enwerem in Douglas House for 22 months- I year, 6 months. Indeed, the zone are the wailing wailers, the deprived and the rejected in Imo State. It had strived unsuccessfully in the past to get the attention of other sister zones to see the need to imbibe the tenets of equity, fair-play and justice as encapsulated in an unwritten and non existent zoning or power sharing agreement.
As legitimate their demands are, Owerri zone is plagued by political indecisiveness. Political Individualism is the bane of the zone. There is no political leadership. What we see are politicians who run from pillar to post and hunted by the factor of disunity. The inability of the elites to close ranks to address the political ordeal of the zone is the key factor militating against the actualization of Owerri zone governor.
Because of the plurality and configuration of the zone, it is difficult for political leaders in the zone to sit and dialogue. Mutual suspicion and sentiments reign supreme among the political elites. These divisive tendencies are strong, remain prevalent and endemic.
Owerri zone ought to have a governor in Government House in 2019. But what are the steps to get there?Confrontation or dialogue, handshake across the zone or mere talk and no action? History has shown that no zone in Imo state can single-handely produce a state governor. And with nine of the 27 local governments, certainly there is need for a handshake or dialogue across the borders of the zone.
Which political party best serve the interest of the zone. APC, PDP, or APGA? Has the APC opened its doors for the realization of an Owerri Zone governor? Does the PDP, enmeshed in turbulence serve the interest of the zone better? Does APGA which is in bits and pieces the best option? Owerri cannot have a governor for Imo state by fire and brimstone. Yes, power is not given but taken but has the zone located the chemistry to take power? Where is the roadmap, where are the congregation of men in the zone to speak truth to power and advance the cause of the people?
Owerri Zone leaders need to think before they embark on a misplaced journey again. There may be a flicker of hope in the long run if the zone can get their steps right.