Power must shift to Abia North in 2023 – Rights group

Alphonsus Nweze

As contenders for the Abia State 2023 Governorship race are declaring their interest, the Congress for Civil Society Groups, Abia chapter, has insisted that power must shift to Abia North Senatorial Zone in line with the rotational practice of the state.

The coordinator of the group, Comrade Damian Ogudike, in a press briefing in Onitsha, the Anambra State commercial nerve centre said the power shift to Abia North is sancrosant.
This, he said, was to ensure justice, equity , fairness and peace in the state.

He said Abia North through Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu of the then Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999 took the slot, then followed by Theodore Orji from Central Senatorial zone and now Dr. Ikpeazu from Abia South Senatorial Zone.

By May 2023, Dr. Ikpeazu would have completed his eight years tenure for the Abia South, bringing the rotation of the highest office among the three zones to full circle.
The slot automatically should come back to Abia North Senatorial Zone but unfortunately, some politicians from both South and Central zones have indicated their willingness to contest for the governor of the state.

Prominent among the politicians who have declared their interest were the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Abaribe from south, and the son of the former Governor who is the current Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly from central among others.

But the group told these politicians and others outside the North Senatorial Zone to shelve their ambitions to allow peace to reign in the state.
They told all the political parties that in line with zoning tradition already established in the state to search for their flag-bearers for the 2023 governorship election in the state from Abia North Senatorial Zone.

The group therefore called all stake holders in Abia State and persons of goodwill to join hands to ensure that the rotation of highest political office in the state was maintained to ensure peace and development of the state.

They argued that if Ndigbo is asking that the highest political office in the land be zoned to them for the sake of equity, fairness and justice, how can we come to Abia and want to jettison rotation of governorship position?

“It portends danger, crisis and instability. Abia State should maintain zoning practice which has worked for the state,” the group said.

The Civil Society group contended that it has been established that zoning brings peace which create conducive environment for the rapid socio-political and economic development in any state if it is strictly observed. They stressed that all over the South East where the key political actors respected zoning arrangement, there is always peace and development.

“We can see this in Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi States. In Imo State where they have destroyed zoning formula, we can see crisis there everyday. So, virtually in the entire South East even in other states of the federation, zoning principle is followed to maintain peace. We cannot on our own invite crisis by jettisoning zoning formula,” said the rights group.

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