Imo Group Carpets Owerri Zone Leaders For Intimidating Uzodimma Over 2027

by admin


Our attention has been drawn to a so-called communiqué issued at the end of a meeting of some indigenes of the Owerri senatorial zone on February 18, 2024 and which was hosted by Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, former minister of Interior, at his residence in Emekuku in the Owerri North local government area of Imo state.

Prior to the Emekuku meeting, similar ones, according to the communiqué, had been held in Abuja and Lagos on February 4 and February 11, 2024 all hosted by the same Captain Iheanacho. According to the communiqué, the meetings deliberated on the issue of rotation of the office of the governor of Imo state and resolved as follows:

  1. That since the return of democratic rule in 1999, no indigene of Owerri zone has served a full term of four years as governor whereas Orlu and Okigwe zones have produced three governors and one governor respectively.
  2. That the position of the office of Imo state governor should be ceded to Owerri zone in view of the nullification of the tenure of Chief Emeka Ihedioha after only seven months, and in order “to further inclusive politics, brotherhood and harmonious co-existence”.
  3. The meeting, according to the communiqué, acknowledged the “commitment” of Governor Hope Uzodimma to the success of the Charter of Equity and his “avowed determination to hand over the reins of the governorship to an Owerri indigene which, in our considered opinion, may end up being his greatest legacy”.
  4. The meeting, however, resolved to embark “on a massive and invasive mobilization of Imo indigenes, home and abroad” and to consult “all critical stakeholders…” towards the realization of the Owerri governorship objectives; and that the organization that will be formed to drive that objective shall do so “through a well articulated programme of advocacy, mobilization and outreach/networking…”.

Having gone through the resolutions of the meeting we, concerned indigenes of Imo state, wish to make the following observations:

  1. First and foremost, we acknowledge the fact that the quest by the good people of Owerri zone is quite legitimate.
  2. It is heartwarming that those present at the meeting from which the communiqué emanated acknowledged the need to consult “all critical stakeholders” across the state towards the realization of the Owerri gubernatorial objective. However, we wish to draw the attention of the convener of the Emekuku meeting and all those that attended it that they glossed over a very vital issue: the plea by a section of Orlu zone for Owerri and Okigwe sons who are currently pursuing cases against the re-election of Governor Hope Uzodimma to withdraw their cases. We think it is a grave oversight to ignore that issue which has led to hot exchanges between some individuals and groups in Orlu zone and those in Owerri and Okigwe zones. It is our considered opinion that even if the Iheanacho-led forum might not be in a position to effectuate the request, to ignore it is at once a disservice to the governorship objective of Owerri zone and a slight to the people of Orlu.
  3. The communiqué under reference reeled out reasons why the office of the governor of Imo state should be ceded to Owerri zone in 2027 and reminded Governor Uzodimma of his “avowed determinations to hand over the reins of Imo governorship to an Owerri indigene …” Yet, the communiqué failed acknowledge the fact that the zone – Owerri – did not demonstrate enough commitment either to Uzodimma’s re-election nor the achievement of the objectives of the Charter of Equity. We say this because nobody has come up with an explanation as to why Owerri zone with nine (9) local government areas gave the governor’s party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), a total of 95,600 votes while Okigwe zone with six (6) local government areas gave 116,064.
  4. Before the elections, there were those – including pundits from Owerri zone – who argued that part of the considerations on which zone takes over the reins of power in 2027 should include the size of votes given to Uzodimma from each zone, especially those angling for the office in contention. We are of the firm belief that that point ought to be underscored and even if it has to be overlooked, it must be after other more convincing reasons are tabled and trashed out.

Invoking mere sentiments and emotions will not do. What will the leaders of Okigwe zone, for example, tell their own people who, after working so hard to give the governor and his party maximum support,are asked to go home like Aaron.

  1. In any case, in this matter of equity, the people of Okigwe zone insist that they are the underdog. They believe that they were unjustly denied a second term of four years in 2011 through a machination master minded and executed by prominent sons of Owerri zone. We can name names. It is not a hidden matter that Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, who now hosts meetings everyday on the Charter of Equity, sowed the first seed that produced the confusion that in turn made it possible for an Orlu fellow to take over as governor in 2011 regardless that the zone had earlier held the office for eight years. 6. Perhaps unknown to many , Ihenacho lost his job as minister because of that perfidy against the Imo Charter of Equity. As if that was not enough, several other prominent sons of Owerri zone again in 2019 backed another indigene of Orlu zone – Mr, Uche Nwosu, to be precise – in his bid to succeed his father-in-law, Rochas Okorocha also from Orlu zone.
  2. It is not a hidden matter that Nwosu nearly emerged governor in 2019 especially if a re-run election had been held between him and Emeka Ihedioha – as required by law – following the latter’s failure to get the required spread to be declared winner even though he had overall majority. Perhaps unknown to many Owerri zone indigenes, it took the efforts of some prominent sons of Okigwe zone for a run-off to be averted and Ihedioha declared winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election.
  3. The following passage from a book written by one of the leading champions of the Owerri zone governorship project (names withheld) and who was present at the Emekuku meeting, bears an eloquent testimony to this:

“While the collation of votes was going on in the early hours of March 10, 2019, insider information from NEC showed a likelihood of a run-off between Nwosu and Ihedioha. I reached out to Chief Tony Chukwu who I knew had access to the Presidential Villa, Abuja. As collation entered a critical and determining stage, I drove to his residence at the Civic Center. I met him with Chief Longers Anyanwu sitting alone in his expansive parlour. I intimated them with the feelers I was getting from INEC and demanded to know from him who, between Nwosu and Ihedioha, we should support. He replied angrily that Nwosu was a no-go area because of his strained relationship with Rochas Okorocha. He explained that he was not ready to help sentencing Imolites to another gruesome eight years since he was certain that Nwosu was going to be a surrogate governor to his father-in-law, the outgoing governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha. On Ihedioha, he had mixed feelings based on the latter’s disrespect to him and an allegation that Ihedioha had told some powerful people in the presidency that he, Chukwu, voted for Atiku Abubakar rather than Buhari the previous week.

It took me close to forty minutes to placate him with an appeal that he should forgive Ihedioha since time was of essence. Longers intervened and spoke in a similar vein, pleading with Tony to help in delivering Ihedioha. Before going to Tony’s place, I had called Ihedioha to find out how he is faring and whether reports from his election control room was favourable. Typical of Ihedioha, he confessed that he was having problems with the issue of spread but had hoped that the six remaining local government areas would sway in his favour, a hope that was eventually dashed.

While Tony Chukwu was still trying to make up his mind… Chief Anyanwu took a step further by putting a call across to Chief Emeka Offor, a well known and influential business man from Anambra state and solicited for his intervention. Not long after, Chief Offor called Tony and spoke with him. After their conversation, Tony received calls from the governors of Ebonyi and Abia states, respectively, Engineer Dave Umahi and Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu. Apparently, Offor had called the two to further help in persuading Tony and I called Ihedioha to alert him that action would soon commence… Chief Chukwu called Mallam Abba Kyari, the late Chief of Staff to President Buhari; the Minister of Interior, Major General Dambanzua; the Attorney-General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami as well as the National Security Adviser, Major-General Monguno. According to him, they all agreed with him that Okorocha’s candidate, Nwosu, was not favoured by the new power configuration for 2023… When it appeared that our efforts were beginning to yield fruits – in fact over 70 per cent successful – with directives communicated to the INEC chairman from the appropriate quarters, I suggested to Tony to invite Ihedioha and Jones Onyereri … While the two – Ihedioha and Onyereri – were in Tony’s house, the result was announced and Ihedioha was declared winner. An obviously dazed Ihedioha tuned to Tony and asked: “What is the source of your power?”. Tony brought out his Rosary and waved it before Ihedioha…”

  1. We have gone this length in order to demonstrate that contrary to the thinking in some quarters in Owerri zone, there has never been a conspiracy to deny the zone of the governorship of the state. The truth is that Ihedioha did not win the 2019 governorship election and that, as we have seen in the above passage, it took the concerted efforts of some Okigwe zone indigenes to have him declared winner.
  2. Therefore, instead of its current posturing, what Owerri zone should do is to enter into meaningful dialogue with both Okigwe and Orlu zones. We are aware that inside the same Owerri zone, there are quite a number of well meaning leaders who believe that for equity to return, Okigwe zone should be allowed to do another four years in the office of the governor of Imo state. Right or wrong, it is a matter that cannot be dismissed.

11.It is interesting that the conspiracy theory being pushed by some Owerri indigenes got re-enforced by the portion of the communiqué which reminded Governor Uzodimma of his “avowed determination to hand over the reins of Imo governorship to an Owerri indigene”. It is our opinion that the two words, “avowed” and “determination” are meant to both intimidate and blackmail the governor. 12.Why would Ihenacho and his group mount pressure on a governor who is less than two months in his second term over an election that will be held more than three years from now? 13.Witness that the Emekuku gathering failed to extend a modicum of compliment to the governor for the state of the art Owerri-Umuahia road that passes through Ihenacho’s house. 13.As if that was not enough, the authors of the communiqué went ahead to tell the governor that handing over to an Owerri fellow “may end up being his greatest legacy…” Haba!

That claim is an affront to the efforts being made by Governor Uzodimma to develop the state in all fronts.

  1. From feelers,the desperation among some members of the political elite in Owerri is not shared by the generality of the people they claim to lead.If any thing, majority of Nde Owerri zone believe that holding meetings all over the world for an election that will be held in more than three years time amounts to cheapning their cause. Who knows?The next meeting may hold in London or Washington! We acknowledge the generosity of Ihenacho but as the saying goes,there is no free lunch! What does Ihenachowant?15.Which bring us to the fact that most of those in attendance at the Emekuku meeting are only leaders by default and we have concrete evidence to prove that. Governor Uzodimma and his party, the APC, lost in the polling units and wards to which most of those who attended the meeting belong . Enough of the grand standing, therefore. Rather, let’s borrow from the words of the late icon, Senator Arthur Nzeribe: “AGA AKPA YA AKPA”! By Uzoma Nwachukwu & Paschal Nnodi.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
Update Required Flash plugin