By Our Reporter
The clamour by the people of Owerri Zone for control of the Imo State seat of government come 2015 took a new turn when the zone’s Elders Forum directed the boycott of any political party that nominates a governorship candidate that is not of Owerri zone extraction in the next election.
The terse directive was issued at the end of a meeting of the Elders Forum and the Obiri-Ukwu-Owerri, a youth political organization of Owerri zone, recently in Owerri.
Addressing participants at the meeting, the co-ordinator of the two groups, Chief Nath Onyeukwu, told the crowd that it was part of the struggle to counter the moves to nullify the Imo Charter of Equity.
He said that such moves have made it possible for men of Orlu zone to govern the state for 12 years and Okigwe Zone to govern the state for 12 years and Okigwe Zone for nine years.
He regretted that the late Chief Evan Enwerem of Owerri Zone governed the state for only about one year and six months under the diarchy system before the military struck.
Chief Onyeukwu noted that since the, the governorship position had continued to elude candidates of Owerri zone because of the large number of candidates that emerge from Owerri Zone.
He also observed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with its lopsided leadership had always deceived the people of Owerri Zone, citing the cases of former Gov. Ikedi Ohakim of Okigwe zone and circumstances that brought to power Rochas Okorocha of Orlu Zone extraction.
All these, according to him, were at the detriment of the charter.
He declared: “once beaten twice shy. We can no longer place our destiny into the hands of others outside our zone.”
He said that Owerri has what it takes to govern Imo and called for a stout resistance to Chief Hope Uzodinma’s moves, warning those of Owerri Zone who hobnob with political enemies of Owerri Zone to retrace their steps.
Also speaking, one of the conveners of the meeting, High Chief Uche Njoku, told the gathering that the movement has the prime duty to unite the people of Owerri Zone to fight and struggle with one accord irrespective of clan differences. And declared: “This Movement has no distinction for the various clans of Mbaike, Uratta, Mbaise and Ngor-Okpala that make up the zone. We are one in this struggle. This can never be over emphasized. The cardinal point is the interest of Owerri Zone, and anything that detracts in any measure from this, will lead to a disaster”
He also emphasized that this “Movement does not belong to any political party nor is it attached to any aspirant. It is an organization belonging to the people of Owerri Zone”.
Chief Analyn Nwaneri informed the gathering that Owerri Zone PDP leaders had led a delegation to Orlu Zone PDP at the residence of Chief Achike Udenwa and discussed the issue.