December 11, (THEWILL) – Before Senator Hope Uzodimma took over the mantle of leadership as the Governor, the power-sharing formula among the three political units in Imo State was never maintained by his predecessors.
Interestingly, Uzodimma had announced at various forums that power would be ceded to the Owerri zone in 2027. That is to say, the next number one citizen of the State could come from Ahiazu Mbaise, Ezinihitte Mbaise, Aboh Mbaise, Owerri Municipal, Owerri West, Owerri North, Mbaitoli, Ngor-Okpala or Ikeduru Local Government Areas of the State (Th does not mean people of Orlu and Okigwe zones are barred from aspiring for the governorship position).
Indeed, the charter of equity has become an issue of the moment as the 2027 political year gradually draws nearer. It can be defined as the rotation of power among the three units (Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe zones) of the State. This adoption would take care of agitation by any political unit over the occupancy of the Imo governorship seat since it has been generally agreed upon that Owerri zone is producing after Sen. Uzodimma completes his people-oriented second term in office.
The charter of equity really worked out during the 1992-1993 short-lived civilian government of the Late Evan Enwerem (governor, Owerri Zone), Late Douglas Acholonu, his deputy, from Orlu Zone, while Rt. Hon. Maxwell Duru was the Imo Assembly Speaker from Onuimo in the Okigwe zone.
At the return of democracy in 1999, Chief Achike Udenwa from Orlu LGA ruled from 1999 to 2007, while the late Engr. Ebere Udeagu, who hails from the Okigwe Council Area, was the deputy governor. That time, Rt. Hon. Noel Chukwukadibia from Ahiazu Mbaise was the Imo State House of Assembly speaker.
In 2007, Imo State governorship went to Ikedi Ohakim from Isiala Mbano LGA, while Dr. Ada Okwuonu of Ezinihitte Mbaise deputised throughout the four years Ohakim stayed in office. The immediate-past Minister for State, Education, Rt. Hon. Goodluck Nana Opiah, emerged as Imo State House of Assembly speaker as of then.
From 2011-2019, Ideato South produced Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who had Chief Jude Agbaso from Emekuku in Owerri North as his deputy. Unfortunately, he (Agbaso) was sacked and Prince Eze Madumere of Mbaitoli was brought in as a replacement and the late Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu, a freeborn of Ihitte-Uboma LGA in Okigwe zone, emerged as Imo State House of Assembly speaker under Rochas Okorocha of the Rescue Mission.
As the year 2027 has already started ticking by seconds, Governor Uzodimma’s political disciples from the zone and perhaps, other areas, would have been fastening their belts for the guber race. These loyalists – Chief Jude Ejiogu from Owerri North; Hon. Theodore Ekechi from Ngor-Okpala; Imo State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), McDonald Ebere (Owerri Municipal); Chief Jerry Chukwueke (Owerri North); Senator representing Imo East Senatorial District, Ezenwa Onyewuchi (Owerri North); Barr. Enyinna Onuegbu (Ngor-Okpala), Prince Alex Mbata (Owerri North), Hon. Chijioke Williams, Chief Alan B. Onyemaechi, Hon. Ikenna Elezieanya, Shavon Akarachi and a host of others from the nine Local Government Areas that made up Owerri zone – are most likely to vie in the coming gubernatorial polls come 2027.
Now that he has made Imo’s power rotation seat apparent and has been wholeheartedly accepted, Governor Uzodimma should move on with that resolution. His leadership has been an exemplary one because he is not running a “Familiocracy” government. To be candid, Uzodimma has been commended for upholding faithfulness in his system of governance.
Lo and behold, the 2027 political year will be tough. Mark my words! There would be lots of contestants for the guber seat even though the anointed one comes from the Owerri zone. But it would only be a leeway exercise.
Therefore, the Governor should not make the mistake one of his predecessors, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, made during his outing by projecting his in-law, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, who was holding purse of the State to succeed him as governor. That move contributed to Owelle’s downfall and in fact, Imo people battled against his selfish action. There is a necessary need for Governor Uzodimma to learn from the unforeseen circumstance that threw Chief Okorocha into what appeared to be his political flaws.
The Governor should mindfully look “well well” before he leaps. To amplify this point, The choice of a better successor in 2027 matters a lot to Ndi Imo. The credible candidate Governor Uzodimma will be presenting to the people of the State to determine acceptability and intending contenders from other zones in Imo could be forced to drop their ambitions.
Governor Hope Uzodimma would not like to make a mistake in the choice of his successor in 2027. Major things he would consider as elements of his successor’s personality include, humility, trust, obedience, loyalty, sincerity of purpose and other leadership qualities. As a strategist and critical thinker, Sen. Uzodimma would not like to make the mistake his counterparts made while anointing who succeeds them when they leave office.
Uzodimma’s projects in his first term in all ramifications forced the Imo people to re-elect him for a second term. He made a positive impact on all sectors of the economy. Residents are also impressed with the Governor for the solid infrastructure across Imo. It is, therefore, their belief that whosoever takes over from the Governor in 2027 shall continue from where he stops.
No matter what happens, he should never lose focus on delivering quality jobs on half the roads he has declared interest in constructing or rehabilitating. Then he could go down in history as the best governor to have governed Imo State who completed his projects.
He raised credible hopes for delivering better quality roads and other physical infrastructure than his predecessor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha. I would like the Governor to not make the same mistake made by Okorocha, who put up too many projects at the same time and failed to deliver much.
He carried everyone along in the scheme of things as far as his shared prosperity administration was concerned. People, irrespective of political party memberships or inclinations, benefitted. Uzodimma has set a standard in his system of leadership as Imo Governor.
If governorship power is shifted to Owerri, Okigwe or Orlu zone in the year 2027, those opportune to clinch the seat should regard the position as a call to serve and not for settlement of a ruling party loyalist.