Zoning In Abia: I Will Soon Make My Position Known – Ikpeazu
Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has assured People’s Democratic Party stakeholders from Bende area of the state that on the contentious issue of power rotation in the state, ahead of 2023 elections, he will soon make his position known to all.
“Ndi Bende, unu sim gbaa torch. Azutalam battery and agam agba torch ahu in a matter of days,” (Bende people, you have asked me to light the torch. I have bought batteries, and I will deploy the torch in a matter of days.)
So declared Abia State Governor Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu to requests from Abia PDP stakeholders from Bende, who requested his political leaning in the succession to the Governor’s office in 2023.
Ikpeazu recalled the past and assured them about the future. “I have witnessed the two transitions in this State. I was here when Governor Orji Uzor Kalu managed his transition. He showed the way, and we all followed.
“My immediate predecessor also played his part during his time and showed the way, and we all followed.
“The lot is on me now, and I will live up to that obligation. I will show the way, and I know that we will follow,” he said.
The Bende PDP stakeholders (Abia North) visited Ikpeazu at the Government House, Umuahia, on Friday, 25 March 2022.
The request and assurances are against the backdrop of intense lobbying, advocacy, and contention over the geo-political leaning of Abia State after Ikpeazu.
It is on record that Abia State stakeholders are divided between those who insist that power rotation in Abia State and indeed all other states in Nigeria is today based on Senatorial zones and that in Abia State, the zonal rotation based on Senatorial zones is complete with the end of Ikpeazu’s tenure and so, should start afresh and go round again and those whose argument is based on what should, in Abia today (without old Afikpo) constitute the correct interpretation of Abia Charter of Equity, an understanding of power rotation between Old Aba Division, Old Bende Division and Old Afikpo Division that made up Abia. At the time the charter was made, Old Afikpo Division, now in Ebonyi State, was still part of old Abia State.
So, the stakeholders say Ikpeazu’s eight years tenure from Abia South Senatorial Zone has completed the triangle following Theodore Orji from Abia Central and Orji Uzor Kalu from Abia North.
They added that it should return to Abia North Senatorial Zone to start a fresh cycle.
But the opponents from Abia South Senatorial Zone, Old Aba Division, argue that Abia State politicians have not respected the Abia Charter of Equity as those from Umuahia Division have held office for 18 years against the current seven years for Aba Division. They submit that power should remain in Aba Division through the Abia Central Senatorial Zone.
Ikpeazu told the PDP stakeholders that he would indicate a leaning soon but would abide by the party’s decision.