From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Abia North Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Elders have based on the Abia Charter of Equity insisted that the governorship position in the state must go back to Abia North in 2023.
A statement signed by the immediate past Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Eme Okoro on behalf of the Elders, buttressed the need for power to revert to Abia North where it started in 1999, in order to build peace, eschew bitterness, rancour and disunity among People of the state.
“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.
“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”.
Okoro drew attention 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”.
The statement advised those in power today, that as avowed democrats who should truly practice what they preach, they must resist any attempt to change the cause of the state’s 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.
“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 down memory lane, the statement added, “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”.
The elders were of the view that as 2023 is fast approaching, 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 they said would further strengthen the unity and political stability in the state as well enable the governor leave his footprints in the sands of time.
The elders reminded Ikpeazu that on March 7, 2019, during his second term bid, while lauding the founding fathers of Abia for bequeathing the charter of equity to them, said, “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.”
Giving a comparative analysis, Dr Okoro said, “In the last Anambra governorship election, said the elders, “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”.
The elders appealed to governor Ikpeazu 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.