One of the reasons Senator Rochas Okorocha is almost a political leper in Imo state is because he went against the wishes of the people by trying to foist his son in law, Uche Nwosu as his successor in 2019. Against wise counsel, Okorocha refused every entreaty to pick his successor from Owerri zone which going by the imo charter of Equity was the right zone to produce the governor in 2019. Okorocha failed in his vaulting ambition. Imo people rejected his son in law in the polls. Today, Okorocha is regretting his I’ll advised obduracy and naivety in trying to take the people for granted.
Unfortunately, history is about to repeat itself,but this time in nearby Abia state, where the incumbent governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu wants to travel the same road as Rochas by attempting to swim against the tide. A product of zoning himself, Ikpeazu wants to repudiate the Abia Charter of Equity which prescribes zoning among the three senatorial zones in the state.
At the return of the current democratic dispensation in 1999, the Abia North zone produced Orji Uzor Kalu as governor.Inspite of overwhelming pressure from his kinsmen, Orji Uzor Kalu at the end of his tenure insisted that power must shift to another zone. That was how Abia Central produced the governor in 2007 through T.A. Orji. In the same tradition, when T.A ended his tenure,the governorship went to Abia South in the person of Okezie Ikpeazu. That was how TA Orji was nicknamed the father of equity. He resisted pressure from the old Bende and Imo and Anambra indigenes who warned against making an Ngwa man the governor.
Now that Ikpeazu is about to end his tenure,is not natural that the governorship should revert to Abia North? It is. Before his sudden death, the Chairman of Abia state Elders Council,Ezeogo Anagha Ezeikpe had reiterated that 2023 was the turn of Abia North to produce the next governor of the state. All well meaning people in the state irrespective of their political leanings have also supported this open truth.
But for inexplicable reason,the man who benefited from zoning, Governor Victor Okezie Ikpeazu wants to torpedo this political arrangement, by working to enthrone his fellow Ngwa man as his successor. Although he has not publicly come out to tell Abia people the zone ,he prefers,both his body language and action suggest that he is inclined towards ethnic irrendentism.
It is an open secret in Abia state that Ngwa people are boasting about two rounds ( onu abuo) which means that an Ngwa man will succeed Ikpeazu. And to give credence to that, the governor has told some elders that the governorship to Abia Central, excluding Umuahia North. The calculation is that the three Ngwa local government areas of Osisioma, Isiala Ngwa North and Isiala Ngwa South are primed to produce the next governor.
While the feasibility of this satanic arrangement which will certainly set Abia on fire is yet to be seen,it is necessary to warn Abia elders and PDP that they should immediately wade into this matter to restore sanity before things go terribly wrong and the peace of the state ruptured.
We don’t believe that those who are goading Ikpeazu to commit this political harakiri mean well for our state. They want the governor to self destruct. They want to erase his legacies. If not, they ought to encourage him to find a successor from Abia North. Indeed contrary to the blackmail by fifth columnists, they are many qualified and loyal PDP members and technocrats from where Ikpeazu can pick his successor.
His Excellency should also take a cue from what is happening in nearby Cross River State where the governor,Prof Ben Ayade has thrown his weight behind the South senatorial district where the rotation started in 1999. Ikpeazu should strive to be a statement and not an ethnic jingoist who will destroy all the good work he is doing by pandering to the wishes of his Ngwa kinsmen. He should also not destroy the relationship between him and those who risked everything to make him Governor. Above all he should not wittingly hand over the state to the opposition APC. Yes, any attempt by him and PDP to zone the governorship away from Abia North will automatically mean handing over the state to APC. Is that what Ikpeazu actually wants to be his legacy?
“But for inexplicable reason,the man who benefited from zoning, Governor Victor Okezie Ikpeazu wants to torpedo this political arrangement, by working to enthrone his fellow Ngwa man as his successor. Although he has not publicly come out to tell Abia people the zone ,he prefers,both his body language and action suggest that he is inclined towards ethnic irrendentism”