The Need for a Rotatory Governorship In Imo State

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By Prof. Nathan Protus Uzorma

This article is a continuation of the previous ones in relation to the highly trumpeted equity charter. For some time now, I have been writing on “OWERRI ZONE IN 2015, 2019, 2023 AND 2027 IMO POLITICS,” however, this is a continuation of same and I humbly implore my reader to enjoy it as we journey together.

Based on the above analyses of causes and outcomes of destabilizing the equity charter in the State, there is need for a mandatory rotatory governorship in Imo State, and possibly let such be passed as a bill into law. However, to realize this proposal of a rotatory governorship, certain structures have to be put to place. The three senatorial zones need to harmonize their human resources, interests (that have been individualized) as well as other factors as godfatherism, revenge, etc., and thus share them among the dominating political parties in the State, which candidatures would be worthwhile personalities that can deliver when given mandate.

Once this is done, the first step towards ensuring a rotatory governorship is set for 2027. What remains is what Rev Fr (Prof) Jude Uwalaka calls “the necessity for a new covenant for mutual existence which would be an outcome of a formal national dialogue of all ethnic nationalities”. This could be conventionalized or relativtized to Imo as a State.

A new charter, a new agreement or a new political covenant has to be drawn and finalized for non-distortable equitable power-sharing and shifts, with its harmonious mutuality kept aside), in a gathering like a Summit but in a wider range of invitation where people of various class will come and discuss the way forward.

In this sense, on a wider range that would include all registered political parties, elites and stakeholders of the State, all politicians across the State for a State’s political-dialogue of all the three Senatorial Zones, Federal Constituencies, Local Government Areas and Ward Leaders.

Like Jude Uwalaka that suggests a political platform that co-operates with neighbouring political units (for the Igbos to get to a rotatory presidency), this Igbo political platform demands that the component parts, groups and peoples having claims of Imoliteness will have to spell out the basic socio-economic and political structures, rights and policies necessary to establish a new Imo State that meets up with the demands or democratic inclusivism and equity in power-sharing and shifts.

While mandating this rotation, it further necessitates that the component Federal Constituencies, Local Government Areas and Wards rotate this rotation in a manner that gives belongingness to others. It further necessitates that other elective and appointive political positions be spread across the remnant component parts. This is the sense of true federalism. If this charter of equity is not ensured, in a Ward, in a Local Government, in a Federal Constituency, in a Senatorial Zone, a particular group of majority set-up or upper hand framework will perpetuate domination of power and Commongood to the detriment, nay, to the deficiency of others- To be Aristotelian in perspective.

More so, factionalism within the privileged class could be adduced as a factor for the disruption of the equity charter in the State. Okwudiba Nnoli (in his Ethnic Politics in Nigeria) noted that factionalism within the privileged class (in every society, political party or association) contributes to the politicization of ethnicity, and in Imo case, of zones and class, which result to inequitable power shifts and sharing.

Many political parties today were born out of factionalism amongst the privileged class. Many intrigues and manoeuvrings that resulted in the distortion of the equity charter in 2003 and 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023 were all from this privileged class. The emergence of most apex political office holders (appointive and elective) often to the shattering of already reached rotatory charters, were from the privileged class.

A recent and perfect example of this claim is the emergence of Chief Ikedi Ohakim in 2007 as the Imo State Governor. Fresh in our memories are the PDP clashes of the Titans, which resulted to Senator Ifeanyi Ararume bearing the ticket and Engr Charles Ugwu holding the flag; none of whom finally made.

This crisis during the last moment of Chief Udenwa’ regime was at the root of factionalism in the ruling party in Imo State then: Agenda and Onongaono, then the emergence of CAN (especially the Alliance for Good Governance facet) as a strong political party in the State after PDP and APGA, and later PPA ascended to the stool of leadership in the State because of the clash, and without any of the three strongest political parties making it. These clashes of the Titans and factions amongst the privileged class in PDP, not only generated ACN’s emergence but made Imo then a none PDP-led State; echoes of which still linger today.

In the regime of Chief Rochas Okorocha, APGA also entered into deep factions within the privileged class and certain clashes of the Titans was at the neck of dragging the party’s political swiftly mobile feat to the mire. But one common feature in the depth of power possession, power sifts and sharing in the State, is the very idea of the always distorted equity charter.

Each time the ruling party is in power, it always tries to envision the equity charter, believing continuity of their political party in the steering of the State affairs, and by the time inter-party clashes or inter-senatorial zones rivalry occur among the privileged class, or even when a strong godfather-monster rises in furry and determination to achieve a private end, the party not only looses the State’s headship but destroys the equity charter already formed and Imo goes back to zero status again.

Thus, for 25 years of Democracy (1999-2024), Imo State has been ruled by PDP (1999-2007), PPA (2007-2009), PDP (2009-2011), APGA (2011-2015), APC (2015-2019), PDP (only seven months in 2019), APC (2019-2024+) . In each distortion, the equity charter suffers, mostly as it was a PDP’s envisioned model of ruling and interchanging the baton of leadership (with APC) from one senatorial zone to the other in Imo State and Nigeria till 2050.

In this decision, the PDP-led Government of Chief Udenwa justifiably turned the charter of 4 years rotation (in the spirit of 2nd tenure that reigned in his time) to 8 years before it became Okigwe’s turn and which he ensured. Yet, the Orlu zone that distorted this charter in 2003 and 2011, can still correct it by either giving the turn to an Owerri zone and then it becomes Okigwe 4 years, Orlu 4 years and Owerri 4 years or allowing an Okigwe man to complete their 4 remaining years, then Owerri zone takes over for 8 years.

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