Distorting Abia Charter of Equity Through Greed
The heat has been generated by the statement credited to Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe who had publicly declared his interest to take over from the current occupant of the office, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu in 2023 against, natural assumption that power shall automatically return to the Abia north, where it started in 1999. For record purposes, Abaribe and the current governor came from the same area.
There are strong indications that Ikpeazu and Abaribe are planning to swap positions. This has brought some level of concerns to Abians because it would distort the equity and rotation that has been going on in Abia state.
The question, why would Abaribe come to the point of talking about governorship to the extent of going to the governor to announce his ambition? It is surprising that the governor, who is his brother, could not tell him that it is not their turn since they are the ones occupying the office now.
For record purpose ,Orji Kalu, from the north ruled the state for eight years between 1999 to 2007 and he handed over to his erstwhile Chief of Staff, Theordore Orji from the central who ruled for another eight years 2007 to 2015 .
He handed over to the incumbent governor Dr. Victor Ikpeazu who started in 2015 till date. One of the major reasons canvassed by Theordore Orji to make Ikpeazu governor was the spirit of equity and justice. This spirit of unwritten arrangement began with Orji Uzor kalu in 1999, this has helped in seamless transition of power from one person to another and from one senatorial zone to another without rancor.
Abaribe, who was the former deputy governor under Orji Uzo Kalu hails from Abia South (Ukwa Ngwa) senatorial district; the same zone with the present Governor Ikpeazu and has been in the senate since 2007 and any dream to replace Ikpeazu would be a most disservice to the state he had benefited from so much politically.
It would be the height of sensitivity for him to have repeatedly said that he would take over from Ikpeazu in 2023. This statement appears as if the governor, a beneficiary of the rotational governorship position is trying to betray the process that threw him up as governor.
He, even went far to say that he had already told the governor of his decision to succeed him, which also may appear to be a conspiracy against the people of the state . Any step leading to the distortion of the peace being enjoyed by the people of Abia State through this swap arrangement will be an unforgiving sin against the people of the Gods own state .
Abaribe’s declaration to contest for the governorship position raised serious moral issue on Abia charter of equity. The process had ensured seamless rotation of political power among the three zones and everybody is happy with it .
Some political watchers have expressed opinions that Abaribe being one of the political actors in the state who worked assiduously towards the emergence of Ikpeazu as governor of the state ought not to dream or think aloud of contesting for the governorship since his zone is still in the power.
However ,there are some permutations in some quarter that Governor Ikpeazu wanted to barter the Senate position held by Abaribe as he is eyeing the senatorial seat – if this becomes the true position, the People Democratic party PDP may likely say good bye to Abia State .
If the governor would not like the state to slip into the hands of the All Progressive Congress APC, he should not venture into fielding any person from south as the governor of the state come 2023. Anambra state survived the onslaught from the PDP and APC because the party obeyed the unwritten rotational arrangement and people voted for the party based on the reality that Anambra South was the rightful zone to produce the governor.
It is also believed that Abaribe remains one of the pillars and beneficiaries of PDP and likely, he would be relied upon to prosecute the dreams of the party retaining power in 2023. Any selfish ambition will cost the party the state and PDP can hardly get back to it again immediately APC takes over.
However, some proponents of the Abia equity saw Abaribe’s declaration as a distortion of seamless process that has characterized the change of government in the state and warned him about the consequences of his action. They opined that it would be a sin for him to distort or disrupt the movement to north, noting that anything other than this would cause implosion and disunity in Abia State.
If the machinations finally comes to fruition, where the governor swaps position with Abaribe, nobody will trust an Ngwa man in Abia even at the national politics. However, Abia North PDP Elders have stated without equivocation that the governorship position in the state must return to Abia North in 2023 or face consequences.
The elders in a statement signed by the immediate past Secretary to Abia State Government (SSG), Dr. Eme Okoro said they are for power to revert to Abia North where it started in 1999, in order to build peace, eschew bitterness, rancour and disunity among people of the state.
The elders insisted on justice, equity and fairness and called on Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu to ensure that the peaceful rotation of power which he inherited must continue seamlessly and uninterrupted. According to them , this would enable him to write his name in gold and save himself and our generation from the harsh judgment of history.
It must been known that democratic ideals can only be achieved and made sustainable when justice, equity and fairness are on full display whenever democratic issues are at stake. It is also believed that democracy in Abia state is on test today by the desire of some persons to pull down the strongest pillar of fellowship by trying to change the goalpost in the middle of the game just to favour a particular team.
The governor must resist any attempt to change the cause of the state’s history by allowing some individuals to create problems .
“In Abia, God’s Own State, it was aptly christened Abia Charter of Equity by our founding fathers. The charter has served Abia very well and for the purpose it was established. Today, nobody would dispute the fact that the three Senatorial zones in Abia have had one of their own as the chief executive of the state. There is peace, everyone is happy, every zone is happy, Ndi Abia are happy. Don’t allow anarchy to take over” .
However, there are great men and women in Abia north with the capacities to move the state forward. It would be unfair for the rest of the state to allow another southerner to replace the incumbent administration after eight years.