September 19, (THEWILL) – The former governor of Imo State, Dr Ikedi Ohakim, has called on the electorate in the State to elect the incumbent governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, for a second term in the November 11 governorship election, in order to guarantee the implementation of the Imo charter of equity.
Ohakim stated this in his Owerri residence while interacting with newsmen, adding that the Imo charter of equity, which started in 1998, was only truncated in 2011 by Senator Rochas Okorocha.
He maintained that it is only the incumbent governor, Uzodimma, who can implement the charter to the fullest, having only one more term to complete his Constitutionally guaranteed eight years in office.
Ohakim, who traced the historical background of the charter, however, blamed the collapse on the lies sold to the Imo people by Okorocha that he would serve only one term, as well as promoting false allegation against him of flogging a reverend father, hence the Catholics without proper investigation bought the lies which eventually truncated the charter of equity in the State.
According to him, “I totally agree with the elders who drafted the current charter with the proviso that its implementation will begin after the incumbent governor, Senator Uzodimma, would have completed his second term in 2028.
“Given our experience in 2003 and 2015 – forget the aberration of 2011 – we have to take into consideration the factor of a sitting governor. It is heartwarming that Governor Uzodimma is favourably disposed to the idea of returning to the charter because it will take a sitting governor to make it work. As we witnessed under Governor Achike Udenwa and in the case of all the States around us where power-sharing is working.
“But if Uzodimma gets his second term through another round of scrambling for power among the three zones, it will again be ‘to your tents oh Isreal. In other words, contrary to the thinking in some quarters that Governor Uzodimma might have engineered the new interest in the Charter, the truth is that it will be impossible to implement it without taking his interest – as an incumbent – into account”, he stressed.
On insecurity, Ohakim admitted that the situation is worrisome in the State and across the South East, but he exonerated Governor Uzodimma from the insinuations that he deliberately hoisted it in the State.
He described such a notion as nonsensical even when the governor and himself had been victims of insecurity, noting that Governor Uzodimma was on top of the situation.
Ohakim maintained that verifiable statistics with the Nigeria Police does not show that Imo State has the highest number of crime in the South East.
“As a private citizen, I move around the South East and I can say without any fear of contradiction that on the matter of insecurity, our dear State, Imo, is not worse off. That does not mean that we should give any room for complacency but we should not blackmail ourselves and act in a manner that would rubbish the collective integrity of our dear State and its people.
“I have been personally involved in several meetings on the matter of insecurity in the South East and I know that the governors are doing quite a lot. Whether we like it or not, the matter rests squarely on the shoulders of the Federal Government; which is why I would once again restate my position that in this highly tempestuous time, we need a governor who enjoys a good rapport with the federal authorities as Governor Uzodimma does”, he stressed.