Days after the Coalition for Owerri Reawakening resolved to work towards an indigene of Owerri zone becoming the next Imo State governor in 2019, groups likely to truncate this move have begun to rear their heads.
High Chief Henry Njoku, leader of Imozurukwuo, in a statement in Owerri, described these groups as saboteurs, alleging that one of them has been bought over by the present administration in the state to derail the plans.
Njoku, whose group is also working toward the realization of an Owerri indigene as governor, alleged that a top politician and member of the Imozurukwuo is being used to cause confusion in the group.
He said that the politician is now making money from the whole affairs but declared: “We, the Imozurukwuo people have woken up, stamped our feet down and the devil has panicked”. Orlu have had the governorship three times. Owerri zone will have the governorship come 2019”
In a twist of events, a youth group in Owerri zone called on leaders in the zone to drop their agitation for the zone to produce the next governor of the state and to rather support Okigwe zone for the next four years.
The group, labeled Imo Youths for Good Governance and democracy (IGG and D) and led by Pastor Ekele Umezuruike, alleged that Owerri zone elders have been “making one mistake over and over again”.
The group accused the elders of “selling their birthright to Orlu in 2011”, alleging that Chief Martin Agbaso 'sold' the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) ticket to Orlu-born Rochas Okorocha who later became governor.
According to the group, the elders that gathered to issue the Egbu Declaration should not talk about equity on that basis.
“Also, it was the leaders in Owerri zone who insisted there was no zoning and allegedly used both their bank and radio station to bankroll the 2011 governorship campaign of Owelle Rochas Okorocha,” the group stated.
There is nothing to show that Owerri zone will not sell out in 2019, it continued, due to the level of distrust among them, and therefore recommended that the leaders should support Okigwe zone to complete their term of four years “and then the new governor would use his office to hand over power to Owerri zone after four years.
The group said that failure to heed this call would force an alliance of Okigwe and Orlu which will ultimately result in the rotation of the seat between the two zones.
It has been widely speculated that Gov. Okorocha's son-in-law and his chief of staff, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, from Orlu zone is nursing the gubernatorial ambition which he is pursuing through his Ugwumba Movement.
Already, Chief Nwosu has been accorded indigeneship of Owerri Nchi Ise by a group from one of the new autonomous community in the state capital.
Also in the race, according to sources, is Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and former Gov. Ikedi Ohakim all of Okigwe zone, among others.
(c) Christian Voice Newspaper