The political stage in Imo State is set for a showdown as the revered Imo Charter of Equity comes under threat ahead of the 2027 gubernatorial elections.

Conceived by the Imo State Council of Elders, the Charter aims to establish a rotation system for the governorship seat across the state’s three geopolitical zones.

Governor Hope Uzodimma, basking in his recent re-election triumph, had pledged an unwavering commitment to adhere to the Charter, promising to usher in a successor from Owerri zone when his tenure ends.

However, dissenting voices and whispers of a clandestine plot are gaining momentum, particularly from influential figures in Okigwe and Orlu zones.

The historical disparity in governorship terms within Imo State adds weight to the brewing discontent.

Owerri zone has tasted governance for a mere seven months, while Okigwe enjoyed a four-year term. Orlu zone is on track to complete an imposing 24 years by 2024, coinciding with Governor Uzodimma’s anticipated exit.

Despite Governor Uzodimma’s assurances, skepticism looms large, with prominent politicians and stakeholders, both within and outside the All Progressives Congress (APC), vehemently opposing the imposition of a gubernatorial candidate from Owerri zone in 2027.

A vocal political figure from Orlu zone, choosing anonymity, told INNONEWS on Wednesday, saying, “Uzodimma alone cannot decide to shut out other gubernatorial aspirants from Orlu and Okigwe zones in the 2027 contest in the guise of Charter Of Equity.”

He argued that Governor Uzodimma should have set an example by relinquishing his ambition for re-election in 2023 and supported a candidate from Owerri zone during the recent November 11 governorship election.

The debate extends beyond Orlu, as critics of the Imo Charter of Equity contend that Uzodimma’s insistence on a successor from Owerri zone in 2027 is an attempt to exclude qualified candidates from Orlu and Okigwe zones.

Underlining the absence of any legal stipulation prohibiting candidates from any geopolitical zone, the political leader from Orlu further asserted, “When the time comes, Orlu political leaders will speak, and we cannot be short-circuited out of the contest.”

Adding fuel to the fiery discourse, an activist, Ebebuagu Ekenulo, founder of Save Imo group, issued a stern warning of legal action. He vowed to head to court if Governor Uzodimma fails to retract the purported Imo Charter of Equity within seven days.

Simultaneously, similar sentiments are reverberating in Okigwe zone, with several groups arguing that the zone is yet to complete its rightful term, citing Ikedi Ohakim’s one-term governorship stint as a precedent.

As the political landscape in the state gradually simmers with tension, the 2027 gubernatorial race in Imo State promises to be a battleground where competing interests will clash over the principles of equity and political fairness.


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