Past Governor of Abia State and Senator representing Abia Central, Chief Theodore Orji, has declared his total support for power shift to Abia North come 2023.
This has put paid to the growing tension across the state over which zone will produce the next governor as some individuals, groups and various political blocs are making case for the number one seat.
It was gathered that Senator Orji, invited some key political stakeholders from the 17 Local Government Areas in the state to his Umuahia-country home on Sunday “where he told them in a plain language” that power has to rotate back to Abia North in 2023 in keeping with Abia Charter of Equity.
According to a source present at the meeting, the former Governor expressed rage at those opposed to the prevailing zoning arrangement in the state, saying they are on a dangerous voyage.
The former Governor who was instrumental in the power shift to Abia South in 2015 was said to have expressed fury over moves by the Ngwa bloc to retain power beyond 2023, vowing that such injustice should not be allowed.
He reportedly told the gathering to return to their various communities with the unambiguous message that power must return to Abia North in 2023.
The position of the former Governor received a thunderous ovation by the crowd of political players present at the meeting as echoes of ‘father of equity rented the atmosphere’.
According to a source present at the meeting, what the former Governor did “is exactly what we had expected the incumbent Governor to do so as to reduce the unnecessary tension in the polity but for reasons best known to him he has not boldly come out to declare his stand”.
” We appreciate Papa Ukwu for speaking out when others are too cold to talk. He has made it clear that zoning has come to stay no matter what anybody thinks.
” This is the same man who has also told anyone that cares to know that he would not be seeking a return ticket to the Senate in 2023 so that the Ngwa bloc in Abia Central will take their turn. How I wish our politicians will learn from him”.
The declaration has also put paid to speculations that Orji’s son and the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji has been positioned to take over as Governor in 2023.
A source close to the family said blackmailers were behind such speculation to portray the family as greedy, saying that the Speaker has never at any time schemed to be governor in 2023.
When contacted, Liaison Officer to the Senator, Hon. Ifeanyi Umere confirmed the development and said that “Ochendo has spoken the mind of many Abians who believe that power rotation is the best thing to uphold for peace and mutual trust”.
He said the former Governor had spoken as a father and an indispensable political force in Abia politics, adding that anyone opposed to equity does so at one’s peril.
Umere said Senator Orji had once again proved that he is truly the father of equity having firmly stood behind power shift to Abia South in 2015 when some dark horses wanted to rob the zone of its turn to produce the governor.
” Now again Senator Orji has sent a clear signal to all those scheming to truncate Abia Charter of Equity recommended by our founding fathers that they are on their own”.