In the past one of this write-up, I made a foray into the political hemisphere of Imo State from 1999 till date. I paid much attention to the turn of events with regards to the governorship seat of the state from 2011 to 2015.
The outcome of the governorship of the state made a mince meat of the purported charter of equity in the state. By May 29, 2019, if the status quo remains, out of 20 years of our present democratic practice, Orlu zone must have enjoyed 16 years as the zone that produced the governor of the state, Okigwe zone 4 years while Owerri zone has not despite her numerical strength, which is a big advantage in politics.
Orlu zone that has enjoyed the plum position of the governorship seat of the state is not doing so because they are more sagacious than other zones, but the opportunity came their way, they utilized and leveraged on it by strategically positioning themselves at the places where power games are played.
In view of what Orlu zone has enjoyed with regards to the governorship position of the state, it is constitutionally right, but morally wrong for any politician from the zone to contemplate presenting himself for the governorship race of the state in 2019. It is a well known fact that body language of some prominent politicians from Orlu zone are eyeing the governorship seat of the state, of course, they have the right to nurse such aspiration, but their governorship aspiration would only be realized depending on how they are able to make political fortune out of political misfortune of Owerri and Okigwe zones because of the real political enmity between the two zones.
In all fairness and in the spirit of equity and justice, Owerri zone is morally entitled to produce the governor of the state in 2019, even if it means other zones of the state withdrawing their participation, but power is not given, but taken. The realization of Owerri zone governorship project, inasmuch as it depends on the co-operation of other zones, to a large extent depends on the co-operation of the various blocs in Owerri zone. The stumbling block to Owerri zone governorship actualization may not be other zones, but the zone itself as there is bad blood among the zone. Following the outcome of the 2015 governorship election in the state, governorship candidates from Owerri zone who felt sabotaged may in future elections seek their pound of flesh, a trend that will make the zone the political underdog of the state? For the zone to conquer other zones it must first and fore-most conquer itself of petty bitterness of vengeance.
In the first part of this write-up, in my analysis of the chances of Owerri zone producing the governor of Imo State in 2019, I sounded pessimistic, even though, not without an iota of hope. I believe one has to appreciate the enormity and near impossibility of a situation before expressing optimism.
Owerri zone vis-à-vis Owerri Federal Constituency in 2011 truncated the purported charter of equity of the state by spearheading the election of Owelle Rochas Okorocha from Orlu zone as against Chief Ikedi Ohakim and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume from Okigwe zone and deepened that truncation when they helped in re-electing Okorocha against their kith and kin, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha in 2015.
Even though the situation is precarious, yet it is not without remedy. It requires utmost honesty, trust and sincerity between Okigwe zone and Owerri zone to forge and dislodge their common ”political enemy”, which is Orlu zone because Orlu zone would always want to exploit the division, enmity and lack of cohesion between and among Okigwe and Owerri zones to their advantage.
To move forward, Owerri zone must right the wrong she did to Okigwe through Owerri Federal Constituency, not withstanding battle of supremacy that may be existing among political bigwigs in Okigwe zone. Owerri zone is under obligation to make restitution for being instrumental to denying Okigwe zone her second term opportunity in 2011 by further jettisoning governorship ambition until she has helped Okigwe zone complete her Constitutionally allowed tenure of two terms which was aborted in 2011. Owerri zone made sacrifice in 2011 as well as in 2015, they could equally do the same in 2019 by allowing Okigwe zone to produce the governor of the state by then, this is the only way Owerri zone could guarantee the support of Okigwe zone in future.
On the other hand, Okigwe zone, although betrayed by Owerri zone in 2011, can equally make sacrifice by letting by-gone be by-gone. They can forgo the betrayal of Owerri zone and lend their support to the zone to produce the governor of the state in 2019. The political leaders of the two zones should rise up to the challenge posed by this gridlock. Any attempt to hold on to their animosity would put them at the mercy of Orlu zone, which will exploit them to their advantage. As it is now, both Owerri and Okigwe zones have Orlu zone as their political Friend. In Robert Greene’s “48 Laws of Power”, law number 2 states, “Never Put Too Much Trust In Friends, Learn How To Use Enemies”. Owerri and Okigwe zones, though political friends to Orlu zone, should not rely on such friendship with Orlu zone to actualize their governorship aspiration.
Owerri and Okigwe zones should learn how to use the present animosity between them to actualize their zonal governorship ambition than relying on their friendship with Orlu zone which is prone to betrayal. How Owerri and Okigwe zones can manage the animosity between them will determine how the governor of Imo State would emerge in 2019. If they fail to exploit their animosity and utilize same to their advantage, then they have for a long time to come handed the governorship of the state to Orlu zone. 2019 will determine the self-acclaimed postulation by Orlu zone that “Orlu wu Eze”, meaning “Orlu is King” and their arrogant claim that it lies in their power to concede the governorship of the state to any zone they liked and whenever they deemed it fit. In 2019, in view of these insinuations and insolence from Orlu zone, Owerri and Okigwe zone should join forces together and save themselves from the public ridicule that would emanate from Orlu zone producing the governor of the state in 2019.
Of all the three zones in Imo State, it is only Orlu zone that is politically intact, coherent and a zonal leadership that has the ability to bring the people of the zone together and make them speak with one voice on issues of importance to them despite political linings. This type of zonal leadership that would command the respect and loyalty of her people is what even political leaders from Orlu zone that would sponsor and create multiple and factional political cum socio-cultural groups other to make the people sing discordant tunes when it matters most.
If the governorship of Imo State is thrown open for grabs to all the zones, definitely, with the underground political work of Orlu zone over the years, she would comfortably pick the mandate as it had subtly succeeded in establishing strong political structures in other zones that would even make the people of other zones playing second fiddle as a great honour.
The collective interest of both Owerri and Okigwe zones are at stake in 2019. It is not the battle of powerful individuals, but that of groups and it is only group efforts that can dislodge the oneness and unity of purpose of Orlu zone.