By Vincent Osuji
The Owerri Zone Political Leaders Forum (OZOPOLF) came under heavy attack, recently, at the summit of the Coalition for Owerri Reawakening held at All Saints Cathedral Church field, Egbu, in Owerri North Local Government Area.
Frontline politician and Board of Trustees (BOT) member of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Engr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, who was one of the lead speakers at the summit accused the OZOPOLF of being money conscious and had consequently failed the people of Owerri zone.
OZOPOLF is a group supposed to be working for the actualization of the zone becoming governor of Imo State.
Chief Iwuanyanwu told the gathering that a group of Owerri people met him in 2014 for the purpose of ensuring that Owerri zone produces the next governor of Imo State.
According to him, he rallied round some other top politicians who gave the group money, but that he was shocked to note that the group began to focus on more money and the highest giver.
According to the business mogul, Owerri zone has the problem of poverty. He has, therefore, called on leaders in the zone to embark on massive industrialization of the zone to reduce unemployment and poverty in the zone.
In a keynote address, Second Republic legislator in Imo State, Chief Mike Ahamba SAN, noted that the zone lacked unity.
He stressed that the attainment of political unity in the zone is of serious necessity and a sine-qua-non to collective political, economic and social achievement in the zone.
He raised the issue of establishing cottage industries in Owerri zone as earlier pointed out by Chief Iwuanyanwu, saying that economic relevance plays a very prominent role in political relevance.
He also mentioned the problem of stereotyping of one section by another in the Owerri zonal political horizon, observing that often the stereotyping has a false base but does far-reaching damage.
The legal luminary said that patriotism and sense of equity in political relationships will foster unity in the zone.
According to him, Owerri zone has made equitable political concessions to achieve friendship and better understanding amongst the people in the three senatorial zones in Imo State.
Going down memory lane, he informed the crowd that Owerri zone opted out of the governorship race in 1999 to make room for Orlu zone and to respect the unwritten charter of equity.
The summit, presided over by Dr. Paschal Dozie, resolved that the next governor of Imo State should be an indigene of Owerri zone.
It also urged Gov. Rochas Okorocha to stop the demolition of properties and markets in Owerri zone in view of the prevailing harsh economic conditions.
Government, it stated, should pay all outstanding arrears of pensions and gratuities to mitigate the sufferings of retired people .
In attendance were top politicians in the state, leaders in the academia, business men and women, professional bodies, public servants, artisans, among others.
By Vincent Osuji