A socio-political group, the Owerri Zone Awareness Coalition (OZAC), has cautioned a former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, against making claims that Owerri Zone truncated his tenure and Imo Charter of Equity in 2011.
Ohakim, in a lengthy letter, alleged that leaders of Owerri Zone wanted power at all costs in 2011, when he wanted to seek a second term as governor of the state.
“In 2011, when it was time for me, and in effect, Okigwe zone, to go for a second term of four years—to level up with Orlu zone’s eight years—hell was let loose.
“Some elements in the Owerri zone joined the fray even with greater vehemence—that it was the turn of the zone,” Ohakim wrote in his letter.
Reacting to the former governor’s allegations, OZAC Chairman, Hon Eugene Anyanwu, in a telephone interview, said Ohakim completely twisted facts in his letter, aimed at painting Owerri zone in a bad light, as part of his plans to contest for Imo governorship in 2028.
Anyanwu said, “Our respected former governor missed the point in his letter.
“He forgot that in every election season in Imo State, governorship aspirants from the three zones of Orlu, Okigwe, and Owerri join the governorship race.It has been a tradition since 1999.
“2011 was not an exception; candidates from the three zones equally joined the race, and unfortunately for Ohakim, he lost to Rochas Okorocha, from Orlu zone at the governorship election.
“The former governor seems to have forgotten that Okorocha’s entry into the race was like a tsunami.
“After he was blackmailed that he (Ohakim) flogged a Revered Father, which I believe was a lie, that lie however destroyed Ohakim’s government, made it lose support and goodwill from Imo people, and weakened his chances for a second term.
“I think it is uncharitable for the former governor to accuse Owerri zone leaders of denying him a second term and truncating the Charter of Equity.
“He should direct his anger to Orlu Zone, who scuttled his second term bid, produced his successor and have continued to occupy the seat of power in Imo State for more than 20 years.
“It is an open fact that Orlu Zone has continued to truncate the Imo Charter of Equity. For 20 years, they have held onto power in the state.
“They have produced three governors since 1999. And it is strange that Ohakim is also advocating for another term for another Governor from Orlu zone.
“Owerri Zone produced a governor, Emeka Ihedioha, for seven months, and he, Ohakim, took Okigwe’s turn for four years.
“It is therefore within the ambit of natural justice, fair play, and equity that Owerri zone should produce the next governor of the state” Anyanwu stated.