The upcoming governorship election in Imo State on November 11, where Governor Hope Uzodimma seeks re-election, has already ignited political fireworks in Owerri Zone.

Governor Uzodimma recently promised Owerri Zone All Progressives Congress, APC political stakeholders that he would hand over power to them in 2027 if they are united.

However, some political interest groups in the zone view this as a political maneuver by the governor to secure votes for the upcoming election on November 11.

Already, there is a sharp division among various groups and stakeholders in the zone over the governor’s assurance and the Imo Charter of Equity.

While those in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, believe Owerri zone should align with Uzodimma’s ambition as a basis to produce his successor in 2027 in line with the Charter of Equity, some Owerri zone groups have voiced opposition to Uzodimma’s re-election, citing the original Imo Charter of Equity, which supports Owerri zone taking over power from Uzodimma in 2023, not 2027.

One of such groups is the Owerri Peoples Front (OPF), which has voiced its opposition to the new Imo Charter of Equity.

Ebere Chukwuemeka, president of the OPF, told journalists in Owerri that Owerri zone cannot continue to be political slaves in Imo State.

He said since the return of democracy in the country in 1999, Owerri zone has produced a governor for the state for seven months, while Orlu zone has occupied the governorship seat for 20 years.

“We are worried about how Owerri Zone has been shortchanged in the governorship of the state.

“Since the return of democracy in 1999, Owerri Zone has only occupied the governorship seat of Imo State for seven months.

“This is unacceptable to our people and a deliberate marginalization of the good people of Owerri Zone.

“Other zones in the state, such as Orlu and Okigwe zones, have produced three governors for the state since 1999,”

“Other zones, Orlu and Okigwe should support governorship candidate from Owerri zone in the upcoming November 11 governorship election” he said.

Another group, the Owerri Zone Awareness Coalition (OZAC), however, expressed doubts about Owerri Zone’s ability to produce Uzodimma’s successor in 2027, considering the zone’s lack of support for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

OZAC spokesman, Mr.Ernest Anuforo told INNONEWS that Owerri zone’s political leaders, especially those in the APC, need to make significant efforts to build their political influence and cultivate support, given the zone’s historically low alignment with the ruling party.

Anuforo said, “The governor’s promise to hand over power to Owerri zone is an attempt on his part to win the support of the zone, which holds significant voting strength in Imo State.”

“Owerri Zone’s historical voting patterns since 1999 indicate a preference for other parties, making it challenging for the zone to benefit from the Imo Charter of Equity within the APC.

“Owerri Zone’s ability to secure the governorship in 2027 remains a complex and challenging endeavor due to historical political dynamics.

He continued, “If Uzodimma’s friends in the APC believe Owerri Zone will produce the next governor of the state within the confines of the ruling party, then they have a lot of work to do.

“The zone is not APC-friendly in any way. Since 2015, the APC has not produced a senator for Owerri Zone.

“This is not likely to change, and these are factors that will shape and influence whether the zone is in pole position to produce a governor or Uzodimma’s successor in 2027.

He said with Okigwe zone having an eye on the guber seat in 2027, Owerri zone would be wallowing in a political fools paradise if it thought Uzodimma would come knocking on their door with power.

“Okigwe Zone is making a strong case. It has been marginalized for a long time. They argue that they need to complete Ohakim’s one-term tenure. And for me, it is a legitimate claim.

“All I’m saying is that despite Uzodimma’s promise that he will hand over to Owerri Zone, we are not taking into cognizance the proviso he added when he made that statement,which is that Owerri Zone leaders must unite.

“Owerri Zone has never united for any cause, and this is why power has continued to elude the zone. This will repeat if we fail to come together. And there is enough time to do so,” Anuforo concluded.


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