Thursday, June 26, 2014

2015, Isikwuato and Abia Charter of Equity


Leadership positions, such as the position of a state gov­ernor, should not be a case of filling or a balancing of terror, as has been the case in many states of the federation. Whenever a governor from a different zone comes to power, he would try to undo most of the things that his predecessor from another zone did with regard to appointments and lo­cation of projects.
The people from the governor’s zone always insist that their son must use the opportunity of his po­sition to recover all that they had lost or cut their own pound of flesh.Governorship position ought to be a case of a state putting its best foot forward, no matter the zone he comes from, for the general good of the state.What provoked this is­sue is the never ending insistence of the people of Ukwa-Ngwa in Abia State, who,  at the beginning of every democratic transition, insist that it is their turn to produce the next governor of the State.
In this, they told a lie, made it big and had continued to reinforce it. Most people have unfortunately been deceived into believing that it is true. Some even now think that they are being marginalized with regard to governorship position. But, the fact is that under the Abia Charter of Equity,which is the doc­ument that determines the area that would produce the governor under the state’s gentleman agreement, it is the turn of Isikwuato to produce the successor to Governor Theo­dore Orji in 2015.

For those who are denying the existence of Abia Charter of Eq­uity, the document was produced in 1981 with Dr. Michael Okpara as the chairman of the committee. The other members of the committee in­clude Dr Anagha Ezikpe, Dr Nwag­bara, Chief Aja Nwachukwu,HRH Eze Isaac Ikonne, HRH Eze Ber­nard Enweremadu, Chief Bob Og­buagu, among others.The charter recognised four zones in the fol­lowing order: Aba Division, Bende Division, Afikpo Division and Isik­wuato District. The way the docu­ment was written was exactly the way the state was created in 1991 by General Ibrahim Babangida,  but the people who influenced the cre­ation, using their connection in the Army were General Ike Nwachuk­wu (rtd), Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd), Late Amadi Ikweche, Chijio­ke Kaja, among others, while Chief Nnanna Kalu,Eze Ikonne and Eze Enweremadu contributed funds for logistics and public relations.

The Abia Charter of Equity rec­ognised the zones in the follow­ing manner: Aba Division, Bende Division, Afikpo Division and Isikwuato District (ABAI). The acronym, ABIA, is Afikpo, Bende, Isikwuato and Aba (ABIA).There­fore, no matter the angle anybody looks at the zoning formula, that is whether from the charter or the present acronym,it it is the turn of Isikwuato to produce the governor in 2015 because if one wants to go by the charter which recognised Aba division first, the division was probably in slumber when Afikpo and Bende took their slots and, as such, Isikwuato should be allowed to have its own slot.
However, one important thing that one must not lose sight of is that Aba division or the present Abia south,especially Ngwa people, are the only ones that have never re­spected the issue of zoning or rota­tion in the state. Since the inception of democracy in 1999 till date, their sons had contested all the governor­ship elections held in the state.The only thing is that none of them had had the capacity or the muscle to get the Peoples Democratic Party gov­ernorship ticket in the state which is being decided in Wadata Plaza, Abuja and not in Umuahia.All the eight years that Governor Orji Uzor Kalu was in office, they never stopped insisting that after Dr Kalu, it would become their turn. When the tenure of Dr Orji Kalu came to an end, their sons contested for the next transition to claim what was theirs but lost.
Now, 2015 which would mark another transition is around the corner and they are still playing the same card. They are now claiming that the two other zones have pro­duced governors, therefore, justice demands that they should produce the governor in 2015. But, the fact is that when the other so-called zones were taking their turns, the people of Aba zone never stayed away from the ring. They had their sons in the contest. The most recent be­ing in 2011, when one of their sons, Chief Regean Ufomba, contested the governorship under the All Pro­gressive Grand Alliance (APGA) but failed.According to the result published by INEC for the election, Chief Ufomba got about 15,000 votes. But the problem is that in Ni­geria, no politician admits that he lost an election.They were always rigged out, even those who lost in their own polling booths, forget­ing that nobody can rig an election where he is not popular because it takes human beings and not robots to rig election.
But, assuming that Chief Ufomba had won the election in 2011,would his people have advised him to re­linquish the victory because it was not yet their turn to produce the governor? Whoever wants to go to equity must go with clean hands.
So, going by the charter, it is the turn of Isiukwuato to produce the successor to Chief T.A.Orji in 2015. But, as has been the case since 1999, people from the other areas are very free to throw their hats into the ring. That is one of the beau­ties of democracy, the freedom of choice it gives to the electorate.
Last year, when Peter Obi as the governor of Anambra State said that it was the turn of Anambra North to produce his successor,that did not stop people from the other zones from contesting the election but, hecause APGA had the best candidate for the election and go­ing by Obi’s impressive achieve­ments while in office, it won.So, the people of Aba division should stop heating up God’ s own state with the claim of “their turn” because they have never respected zoning or believed in it.