From Steve Oko, Umuahia
As political intrigues and consultations gradually get underway for the 2023 polls, key stakeholders from the Old Isuikwuato District of Abia State, have insisted that it is the turn of the district to produce the next governor of the state.
The stakeholders from different fields of endeavour met yesterday at the country home of the immediate past Chairman of PDP and former senator representing Abia North, Senator Emma Nwaka where they resolved to collectively pursue the project with every weapon in their arsenal.
Some of the stakeholders who cut across different political parties including technocrats and non politicians include former Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Azubuike (rtd.); former Minister for Health, Professor Ihechukwu Madubuike; and former Lagos State Military Administrator, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd.).
Others include : the Chancellor of Gregory University Uturu, Professor Greg Ibe ; the State Organising Secretary of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Chief Obi Aham; former Military Administrator of Cross River State, Navy Captain Chris Osondu (red.); former Chairman of Ummunneochi Local Government Area, Dr. Jasper Uche; and APC chieftain, Dr. Uzo Egbo.
According to the stakeholders who met under the auspices of Isuikwuato District Welfare Association, the principles of Abia Charter of Equity demands that the next governor of the state should come from the old Isuikwuato Division comprising of Umunneochi and Isuikwuato LGAs.
They argued that each political bloc except Isuikwuato in the four letter acronym “A-B-I-A” that make up Abia state, had variously taken their turn at the seat of power.
According to them, three letters “A, B, A” representing old Afikpo , Bende and Aba divisions have produced the governor leaving “I ” (Isuikwuato ” marginalised.
The stakeholders said they would throw party barriers aboard and produce a consensus governorship candidate from among their illustrious sons and daughters aspiring for the exalted position.
They appealed to governorship aspirants from outside the district to perish their ambition in the spirit of equity, peace and brotherhood.
They also appealed to all political parties in the state to cede the governorship slot to Isuikwuato District in the spirit of justice.
The stakeholders threatened to declare persona non grata, any of their own “who sabotages” the project by accepting to be a running mate to any governorship candidate from other zones.
A six point communique issued after the one-day consultative meeting jointly signed by Dr. Jasper Uche read in part : “The people of Isuikwuato District (comprising Isuikwuato and Umunneochi LGAs) ofAbia State now poised to produce the next Governor of Abia State in 2023, in line with the Abia Charter of Equity met and resolved as follows:
“That without prejudice to other organizations working to actualize this noble objective including our revered Traditional Rulers, Isuikwuato District Welfare Association has been instituted and empowered to champion, galvanize and co-ordinate all effortstowards realization of Abia State Governor of Isuikwuato District extraction in 2023.
“That we strongly appeal to all well-meaning brothers and sisters from the Old Bende andUkwa/Ngwa political blocks to support and work to actualize this just aspiration.
“That we persuade all registered political parties intending to field gubernatorialcandidates in the 2023 elections to zone and elect their flagbearers from the indigenes ofIsuikwuato District.
” That we believe strongly that conceding the 2023 Governorship slot to Isuikwuato District will enhance equity, peaceful co-existence, political stability and social harmonyin God’s own state.
” That we state categorically that anybody from Isukwuato District who decides to play aspoiler’s game by accepting the Deputy Governorship position would be declaredpersona non grata.”
The stakeholders, therefore, encouraged illustrious sons and daughters of the District “who have the clout, pedigree and reach, to aspire and present themselves for the 2023 gubernatorial contest.”
Other dignitaries present at the meeting were : the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA House of Representatives candidate in 2019 Poll, Dr. Ejike Oji; HRH Eze Patrick Okafor of Lokpa community; Rev. Prof Chidi Akpata; Chief Emmanuel Erere; and Dave Agwalla.
Present also were Chief Ugochukwu Afulike; Dr. Tony Okam among other eminent personalities from the District.
Later in an interview with our correspondent, Madubuike said the stakeholders had been seriously consulting with other stakeholders from other zones who had pledged their full support.
He expressed optimism that the project would be realised.