From Steve Oko, Umuahia
As the quest for power gradually gathers momentum ahead of the 2023 elections, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State has been warned to ensure it “strictly adheres to the zoning arrangement in the state started in 1999” or risk losing the state to the opposition.
The ruling party has been specifically urged to ensure that power returns to Abia North Senatorial District in 2023, and to ensure the re-election of the current state Chairman of the party, Chief Johnson Onuigbo for a second term in office.
In a statement after a joint meeting in Umuahia the State Capital, yesterday, Abia North Integrity Group, ANIG, and Ikwuano/Umuahia Political Forum, IUPF, raised the alarm that “some politicians of Ukwa Ngwa bloc have perfected plans to abort the Abia Charter of Equity.”
According to the statement endorsed by Chief Kalu Kalu Idika-Agwu for ANIG; and Hillary Ndubuisi Ojukwu for IUPF, the groups warned that any attempt to subvert the subsisting Charter of Equity would spell doom for the PDP in 2023.
The groups disclosed that “some mercenaries working for some Ukwa Ngwa politicians are working to truncate the re-election of Chief Johnson Onuigbo as Abia State Chairman of PDP as a prelude towards retaining power beyond 2023.”
They further revealed that “through some of the politicians, the Ukwa Ngwa elements are pushing for the repudiation of the zoning formular which has been the strength of PDP in Abia.”
They recalled that “PDP lost power at the centre in 2015 because some people had similarly scorned the zoning principle”, noting that Abia might also be on the verge of suffering a similar fate unless “the promoters of the hegemonic and selfish campaign are called to order”.
The groups insisted that the only way PDP would retain power in Abia come 2023 “is for the strict adherence to the zoning arrangement whereby Abia North Senatorial District will produce the Governor while Chief Onuigbo from Ikwuano/Umuahia retains his post as state Chairman of PDP “.
“For the sake of unity and social cohesion of our state; for the sake of generations unborn who deserve a state founded and guided by the principle of equity and fairness, we urge the promoters of this divide and rule syndrome to desist from their evil plot in order not to set the state on fire”, the statement warned.
The groups while pledging their loyalty to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu-led government , however boasted that they had the capacity to ensure that the Abia Charter of Equity is enforced.
They, therefore, advised leaders from Ukwa-Ngwa “to disown the reactionary elements so as not to be construed as supporting evil.”