Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has tackled the governorship candidates of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Mr. Alex Otti, and All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr. Uche Ogah, on their failure to grasp the essence of the charter of equity which was agreed by the forefathers of the state to ensure social justice and inclusiveness.
Ikpeazu, who is the Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Saturday’s governorship election in Abia State, added that his opponents can’t comprehend the scale and scope of what his administration has done for the development of the state.
A statement by the governor’s chief press secretary, said “Our opponents are not on the political firmament of our state, and they do not exist. How can those who lack basic sense of social justice and equity, want to run for the position of governor in a state. We will not allow them to destroy the understanding of equity and justice which our fathers signed in the Abia Charter of Equity, at the creation of our dear state.
“The Abia Charter of Equity stipulates that governorship seat of Abia will rotate among the three senatorial districts of the state – that is Abia North, Abia Central and Abia South.
“Abia North governed from 1999 to 2007 when Chief Orji Uzo Kalu was Governor. After his eight years tenure, he handed over to Abia Central from 2007 to 2015 with Senator Theodore Orji in charge. I came in 2015 for Abia South, going by the provision of the Abia Charter of Equity, Abia South should be supported by Abia North and Central to complete their term of eight years.
“No one zone in Abia is more Abian than the other zone. Abia belongs to all Abians, and we from Abia South will not allow anyone to deprive us our right.”
In a related development, former secretary to the Abia State government, Prof Mkpa Agu Mkpa, has cautioned on the need to uphold the Abia Charter of equity, signed by the founding fathers of the state.
Mkpa who spoke ahead of the next Saturday’s governorship election in the state said Abia South Senatorial zone should be allowed to complete its eight years tenure in keeping with the charter of equity.
Mkpa who hails from Abia North Senatorial District and served former commissioner for education during the Orji Kalu (1999-2007) administration and former Secretary to State Government (SSG) (2007 -2015) during the Theodore Orji administration, has called on his Abia North brothers – Ogah and Otti, to abide by the provisions of the Charter of Equity, which he argues favored the zone when Orji Kalu governed the state for eight years of two four year terms.
Professor Mkpa, who was also a former Vice Chancellor of the Abia State University said: “Equity in Politics is all about sharing political power among the three zones of the State. Our charter of equity has to be binding on anyone who wants to run gubernatorial election. It is not optional to be obeyed. It is only greedy people and those who do not respect agreements that would disobey equity.
“As you know, we are Igbos, we cry and weep that Federal Government relegates and marginalises us, since after the war, we have been crying, asking when will it be our turn.
“That is the same thing those that founded Abia decided in 1981 and they planned it, I have a copy of the document. Out founding fathers said the seat of governorship should be rotatory. These people used their God-given knowledge to come out with that plan, they did it in a way that it should be legislated upon.
“Anyone who wants peace in Abia and wants development in Abia should accept and obey the Abia charter of equity. It is not lawful for people not to allow Governor Ikpeazu to complete his second tenure. We should respect it. Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu took eight years for Abia North, Chief T.A. Orji took eight years for Abia Central, in Abia South, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu should be allowed to complete eight years too”
” I think it is greedy, disobedience, ignorance, negation of peace that made people to disregard equity. If not greedy, those two men from Abia North should have waited for another time”.
“I call on them to be patient as four years is not four centuries. Would they like it if they are denied the opportunity to run for election when it is shifted to their zone.
“Abia charter of equity should be sustained. If it is destroyed, it would affect Abia North and Central negatively because Abia South and their brothers of Isialangwa North, Isialangwa South and Osisioma LGAs who are part of Abia Central, has the population-1.2 million out 1.9 million registered voters in Abia State. So if they want to continue in governance for ever, they can, based on the number”.
“I also want to use this opportunity to remind all Abia people, particularly, Abia North, that we are business people, three quarters of our businesses are situated in Aba, which is in Abia South, if there is no peace in Abia, how do we make progress in our businesses?
“I use this opportunity to call on our brothers and sisters from Abia North to come out enmasse on Saturday and vote for PDP, bacause, that is what would show whether you people supported Abia charter of equity or not”
It should be noted that Uche Ogah hails from Isiukwuato local government area in Abia North, while Alex Otti hails from Arochukwu local government area in the same north, where former governor Kalu also hails from.