Following the declaration of intent by some political leaders in Owerri zone to produce the next governor of Imo State, a socio- political group, the Owerri Zone Patriots, OZP, has advised Governor Hope Uzodimma, not to seek for a second term in 2023 and rather back Owerri zone to produce his successor.
OZP in a statement in Owerri on Monday and signed by its co-coordinator, Hon. John Igwe, however said it is also “fully in support of the 4th anniversary of Egbu Declaration, where some leaders of the zone at the All Saints Cathedral, Egbu in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State, reechoed their resolve to take over the reigns of governance of the State in 2023
According to the group “the Egbu Declaration is an article of faith adopted by the people of the zone to push the quest for equity and rotation of the office of the governor of Imo State.
The group noted that “there is unwritten but mutual agreement to rotate power among the three geo political zones for fairplay and equity. The renewed quest for power shift to Owerri zone in 2023 is therefore in order, legitimate and not out of place
“Based on the foregoing, we call on Governor Uzodimma not to seek re- election, though he has the right to do otherwise.He will etch his name on the sands of history if he considers the in-balance in the power sharing arrangement in the state which is unfavourable to Owerri zone, by quitting office in 2023 and hand over the baton of governance to the zone
Part of the statement read “ Governor Uzodimma is from Orlu zone and by the time he completes his first term of four years in 2023, Orlu zone would have spent 20 years on the saddle of governance of Imo State.
“Former Governors of the State- Achike Udenwa and Rochas Okorocha, both of them from Orlu Zone and Uzodimma’s kinsmen had collectively spent 16 years in office each of them spending eight years in office respectively
“Okigwe zone had a single term of four years under Ikedi Ohakim.
“Since the return of democracy in 1999 in Nigeria, Owerri zone through Emeka Ihedioha spent seven months in office before the Supreme Court sacked his administration and declared Senator Hope Uzodimma as governor of the state.
Backing calls for an Imo Governor of Owerri zone extraction in 2023, the OZP said it will embark on wide range consultations with genuine leaders of Okigwe and Orlu zones, “to tow the path of equity, honour and support Owerri zone for 2023 Imo guber”
The OZP said it will also persuade the leadership of the three major political parties in the State- the All Progressive Congress, APC, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, to field candidates of Owerri zones as its governorship flag bearer, stating that it is not in anyway aiding or backing the governorship bid of any individual.