Imo 2027:Owerri Zone Stakeholders Step Up Pace To Produce Governor

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With three years to the next governorship election in Imo State, the political landscape is already heating up.

Key groups and stakeholders in Owerri zone, one of the three geo-political zones in the State, have stepped up their pace to produce Governor Hope Uzodimma’s successor in 2027, resisting strong moves by Okigwe zone who are staking a claim to the governorship seat.

This is amid concerns that the current governor, Hope Uzodimma, is barely spending his fifth month in his second tenure of four years and needs all the time to focus on governance.

Aside from Owerri zone, Okigwe is also coming up strongly in its quest to produce a governor after Uzodimma.

Former Governor of the State, Ikedi Ohakim, who hails from Okigwe zone, has been in the spotlight lately, as a political leader in the State, Prince Bob Njemanze, had drummed support for the ex-governor to return to Douglas House.

However, Some Owerri zone stakeholders and several groups are not only insisting that it is their turn, but they have also called on well-meaning sons and daughters of the zone to begin preparation for the contest.

Kemdi Iwueke, Convener of Owerri Wu Oke Mba, a political advocacy group championing an Imo governor of Owerri zone extraction, said it has already begun the search for “a credible, competent, acceptable full-blooded Owerri zone son, acceptable to Okigwe and Orlu zones, who possesses the leadership qualities to govern a complex state like Imo.”

“Those who want to contest from Owerri zone can step forward and begin their early preparations.

“We believe the assurance of Governor Hope Uzodimma that he will hand over to Owerri Zone is sacrosanct. And on such assurance, we stand,” Iwueke said.

Tony Okpe, another notable leader in the zone, said there is no going back in their quest for an Owerri zone governor in 2027.

He dismissed claims in some quarters that the zone should concede the governorship to Okigwe zone, particularly to former governor Ikedi Ohakim.

“The Ohakim governorship candidacy as projected in 2024 in a transactional manner sounds like a broken plate.

“The only reason Owerri zone is mobilizing to finally accomplish the principles of the Charter of Equity is because for the first time a governor has publicly taken a position,” Okpe told The Sun.

Other groups, such as Owerri Zone Awareness Coalition (OZAC), have vowed to sustain the campaign for Owerri zone to succeed in its quest to produce a governor in 2027.

Ernest Nkemedirim, spokesman of the group, said the principles of the Imo Charter of Equity must be upheld to end the marginalization of Owerri zone in the power distribution of the State.

“We are not political slaves in Imo State. We cannot say we are part of Imo State when Owerri zone has only governed the State for seven months since 1999.

“Okigwe and Orlu zones have collectively done 28 years by the time Hope Uzodimma completes his tenure in 2028.

“Imo State is the only State in the South East where the governorship seat is not rotated among zones and this will be corrected in 2027” Nkemedirim said.

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