Stakeholders and elders from Abia North Senatorial Zone has reiterated their position that power must return to Abia North come 2023.
In a communique signed by former Secretary to the state Government Dr. Eme Okoro and sent to the State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party Rt. Hon. Allwell Asiforo Okere through the State Vice Chairman Elder Amah Abraham, the elders stated that “As democrats, we are being tested today by the desire of some persons amongst us to pull down the strongest pillar of our brotherhood by trying to change the goalpost in the middle of the game just to favour a particular team. Being avowed democrats who truly practice what we preach, we must resist any attempt to change the cause of our history. In the present circumstances, we must be compelled by the tenets of democracy and natural justice to abide by the time-honoured virtues of equity and fairness and work tirelessly towards preserving the gains our fledgling democracy has made in our dear state”.
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2023 GOVERNORSHIP: ABIA NORTH ELDERS INVOKE CHARTER OF EQUITY, INSIST ON PRODUCING NEXT GOVERNOR
(Pleasantries and protocol duly observed)
History is the best judge of men and power. Our past is our history, the present is our history in the making, whatever we do tomorrow becomes our history hours after tomorrow becomes yesterday. Let our actions, inactions, utterances and silence not allow history judge us harshly.
I begin our speech today by drawing the attention of everyone gathered here and beyond, to the relationship between natural justice and democracy. Equity and fairness are not just the basic and underlying principles of natural justice; they are also the ingredients and spices that give flavour to democracy; the best form of government ever practiced by mankind. Democratic ideals can only be achieved and made sustainable when justice, equity and fairness are on full display whenever democratic issues are at stake. As democrats, we are being tested today by the desire of some persons amongst us to pull down the strongest pillar of our brotherhood by trying to change the goalpost in the middle of the game just to favour a particular team. Being avowed democrats who truly practice what we preach, we must resist any attempt to change the cause of our history. In the present circumstances, we must be compelled by the tenets of democracy and natural justice to abide by the time-honoured virtues of equity and fairness and work tirelessly towards preserving the gains our fledgling democracy has made in our dear state.
Based on the foregoing and the need to build peace and eschew bitterness, rancour and disunity among ourselves as brothers, I stand here today on behalf of elders, leaders, stakeholders and all men of goodwill of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Abia North Senatorial zone, to call for justice, equity and fairness in upholding the peaceful transition of power to Abia North come 2023 as enshrined in the Abia Charter of Equity bequeathed to us by our founding fathers.
Since the beginning of the Fourth Republic in 1999, many states including Abia have enjoyed peaceful rotation of power between and among the senatorial zones that make up each state. Different states call the arrangement different names to drive home the essence and benefits of rotating executive power among the zones. Some call it accord of power rotation; others call it peaceful rotation of power. In Abia, God’s Own State, it was aptly christened Abia Charter of Equity by our founding fathers. The charter which is anchored on justice, fairness, and equity has served Abia very well and for the purposes it was established. Today, nobody would dispute the fact that the three Senatorial zones in Abia have had one of their own as the chief executive of the state. There is peace, everyone is happy, every zone is happy, Ndi Abia are happy. We are all happy.
Going forward and as the next political dispensation approaches, we stand on the altar of justice, equity and fairness to call on our amiable governor, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu to ensure that the peaceful rotation of power he inherited must continue seamlessly and uninterrupted. This would enable him write his name in gold and save himself and our generation from the harsh judgment of history.
At this juncture, it has become imperative to take an excursion into the historical voyage that brought us to the present peace we enjoy. This excursion would also enable us navigate the present as well as set the compass to the future to enable us preserve the peace and stability that has naturally become part of us.
At the onset of the Abia Charter of Equity in 1999, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu from Abia North Senatorial zone emerged as the governor of Abia State. By 2007 when Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu was leaving office after two terms of eight years, he ensured that power shifted to Abia Central Senatorial zone. He respected the Charter of Equity.
As it turned out, Senator T. A. Orji from Abia Central Senatorial zone emerged as the governor because former governor Orji Uzor Kalu and other stakeholders rallied in support of that cause in obedience to the worthy Charter of Equity. In continuation of that unbroken process, former governor T. A. Orji toed the line of his predecessor and ensured that Abia South Senatorial zone produced the present governor, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu after Governor T. A. Orji had served two terms of eight years. He respected the Charter of Equity.
As we approach 2023, the present governor and the last beneficiary of Abia Charter of Equity has the singular most important duty and responsibility of ensuring that power transits peacefully to Abia North Senatorial zone. This would further strengthen the unity and political stability we have as well as enable the governor leave his footprints in the sands of time. Great men honour not just their words but also agreements even in the face of difficult choices. We know our governor is an honourable man. For men of honour, their word is their bond and they can go to any length to redeem their word whenever you give it back to them.
Dear governor, on March 7, 2019 Good your second term bid, while lauding the founding fathers of Abia for bequeathing charter of equity to us, you said and it was widely reported in the media,
“The Abia Charter of Equity stipulates that the governorship seat of Abia will rotate among the three senatorial districts of the state- that is Abia North, Abia Central and Abia South. Abia North governed from 1999 to 2007 when Chief Orji Uzo Kalu was governor. After his eight years tenure, he handed over to Abia Central from 2007 to 2015 with Senator Theodore Orji in charge. I came in 2015 for Abia South; going by the provision of the Abia Charter of Equity, Abia South should be supported by Abia North and Central to complete their term of eight years. “Based on this provision power should go back to Abia North where it started. We have men from the zone that can steer the affairs of the this state and make it work again”.
Vanguard Newspaper, March 7 2019
Again, on August 27, 2019 at a statewide broadcast to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the creation of Abia State, you also said again, and it was widely reported in the media,
“I thank God that we have sustained that charter and I will do my best to ensure that the torch of equity in Abia State remains alight.”
Daily Post Newspaper, August 28, 2019
Across the South East and beyond, democrats, progressives, men of honour and goodwill are standing up for justice, equity and fairness in their various domains to ensure that similar arrangements inherited from their founding fathers remain well and alive and passed unto the next generation to perpetuate peace, unity and stability.
In the last Anambra governorship election, Governor Willie Obiano worked with other stakeholders to ensure that power moved from Anambra North where he comes from to Anambra South, where it is supposed to go in support of the noble understanding of power rotation among the three zones in Anambra. Today, Chukwuma Soludo from Anambra South Senatorial zone is governor-elect of Anambra State.
In Enugu State, elder statesmen, powerful individuals, many organisations including the highly regarded Enugu State Equity and Integrity Assembly have all lent their weighty voices to the noble aspiration of Enugu East to produce the next governor by 2023, being the zone where it started in 1999.
And in Ebonyi State, the issue of maintaining the zoning arrangement without disruption has received resounding support and blessing of well meaning Ebonyians including former governor and erstwhile Minister of Education, Dr. Sam Omiyi Egwu who extolled the virtues inherent in an unbroken chain of power rotation.
The latest in this group of men of honour and goodwill who stand solidly behind uninterrupted zoning arrangement is erudite Professor Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River State. Ayade in his characteristic frankness has vowed to work with other stakeholders in the State to ensure that the next governor of Cross River State emerges from the South Senatorial zone, the zone where it all started in 1999.
We are here to appeal to you our dear governor to work with other stakeholders and men of goodwill to ensure that power rotates to Abia North come 2023 for justice, fairness and equity to prevail. We also enjoin you not to succumb to cheap blackmail and arm-twisting by the zone that wants to retain power or the one that wants to muscle out Abia North because it feels it has enormous resources to do that. Any attempt by any of these zones to covet power at the expense of Abia North would only torpedo the peace we have all enjoyed in Abia.
The flame-throwing by the Ukwa La Ngwa people based on old-time delimitations by the colonial masters for administrative convenience is not just archaic and unexcitingly laughable, it also create divisions and disunity among the peace loving people of Abia State.
It would be worthwhile to inform them that threats of violence and intimidation have never been used to secure power in Abia and Abia North, though, a peace-loving people would not be intimidated into abandoning what is due to it. The threat of violence and resort to it is an ill-wind that blows no one any good. It would only create disunity among us.
It is the turn of Abia North to produce the next governor of Abia come 2023. We are ready and we have our worthy sons who are more than capable to steer the ship of state.
In ending this speech, we would admonish our compatriots from other zones to reciprocate the support they have all received from Abia North when it mattered most by lending their voices to this worthy cause and prevail upon the stakeholders to do the right thing.
We are at the threshold of making history judge us right or wrong. Let us all be guided in our actions, inactions, utterances and silence as we continue on the arduous journey of building a strong, united and virile state all of us would be happy and proud of.
Long Live PDP
Long Live OVI
Long Live Abia North
Long Live Abia State