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OWERRI ZONE: Now Or Never By Chinaenye Nwanne


I am pained by the present political situation confronting Owerri zone in which the past 20 years of leadership in Imo state has rolled over as a movie with Owerri zone only watching and wishing to be at the center stage and always playing the second fiddle.

I write this message as an advice to Owerri people and to open their eyes on certain realities of the on ground. I am not from Owerri but I have live almost all my life in Owerri since 1975 and observed with keen interest how Douglas House has remained elusive to Owerri zone except for Governor Evan Ewerem’s mere visit to the place of authority.

The problem with Owerri zone politicians is over bloated ego-self importance and smoking pride which has made it impossible for them to unite and push their way to Douglas House from one single front. Each year of election, all Owerri politicians pushed from different wings and all lost at at different wings.

In 1999 when the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, was the party that called the shots, Humphrey Anumudu won the PDP ticket to become governor for Owerri zone.

For the first time in the history of Imo politics, a winner was persuaded by party chieftains to surrender his ticket to another, on grounds of equity, and he obeyed. Humphrey Anumudu gave Chief Achike Udenwa his PDP primaries ticket because according to the party chieftains, Okigwe had taken a turn through Barrister Sam, Mbakwe, Owerri had also taken a turn through Chief Evan Enweem and Orlu was yet to have a turn.

What Humphrey Anumudu did then was an exemplary gesture that should have remained a commendable reference point in Imo political behavior of gubernatorial candidates except for greed, betrayal, double standards and lack of conscience that has bedeviled Imo politics.

After the 8yars of Chief Achike Udenwa in 2017, power was supposed to return to Owerri zone which gave it to Orlu zone. But in the little brouhaha that ensued over who should succeed Chief Udenwa, Owerri which went into the election with a crowd of candidates each of who could not score high number of votes, having split their votes; consequently Chief Ikedi Ohakim was picked to succeed Udenwa. And so Owerri zone missed the chance.

Then came 2011, Owerri zone again produced another set of guber hungry candidates-all with discordant dance steps. In addition, Owerri people seemed not have believed in their own candidates hence Rochas won that election with majority of votes from Mbaitoli, Ngor-Okpala and Owerri Municipal as he bamboozled the people of the zone with the promise of one tenure.

Rochas second tenure in 2015 in negligence of his promise of one tenure was made possible by another massive support from Owerri zone even when he had dropped an Owerri son as deputy through a faked impeachment.

2019 is here. What readiness is Owerri zone showing? How is Owerri zone exploring facts of the past for present actions that will shape its posture in the 2019 elections and subsequently the future political history of the zone.

One can see another deluge and avalanche of Owerri zone candidates scrambling for the power seat in the Douglas House. Again?
Will Owerri zone politicians this time around strip themselves of pride, ego and arrogance to muster a front for their chase?

If they do and galvanize themselves into one reputable candidate that must accommodate others after victory, then can they win the support of Orlu and Okigwe democrats for the actualization of their political dream?

But if Owerri zone wishes away 2019 in another individualistic political jamboree, it will not only lose the 2019 governorship election but is not very likely to win in the next 16 years.

If Orlu zone takes advantage of the political disunity of Owerri zone and wins the 2019 governorship election and rules for the next 8 years which terminates in 2027, Okigwe will come out in a desperate mood to bulldoze into Government House in 2027 as the zone shows more knack for political unity than Owerri zone. If Okigwe dares win in 2027, Owerri zone should be expecting another chance in 2035, Too Bad.

At present those with political third eye can  perceive political body language of Owerri people which is that other political candidates should allow Barrister Humphrey Anumudu to go for the zone since he weighs heaviest on the character scale and since he was the sacrificial lamb of equity and zoning in 1999.

The political body language of Orlu zone is that Owerri zone should have its votes if it presents a candidate preferably Humphrey Anumudu, wo gave Orlu zone opportunity of Chief Achike Udenwa being the first governor from the zone in 1999, and whose character is without blemish and can win any election without controversy.

The success of Owerri zone at the 2019 polls will be determined by the voicing out and actualization of these political body languages of Owerri and Orlu zones to present the man of the moment, the most credible alternative, Barrister Humphrey Anumudu as the Owerri Zone consensus candidate that is totally acceptable by Orlu zone.

This consensus may sound impossible but what makes it possible is that when a consensus is reached every stakeholder who disagrees with it is on his own. 

As long as the majority abides by the consensus agreement, it is finished.

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