From Magnus Eze, Enug
Some stakeholders in Abia State under the auspices of Abia North Citizens Forum (ANCF) have insisted that the rotational principle of the governorship of the state should not be altered in 2023.
A well-attended meeting of incorporated trustees of the group which met on February 13, 2021, at the country home of Amb E.O. Philips, stated that the next governorship slot favoured Abia North Senatorial District as stipulated in the Abia charter of equity endorsed by the founding fathers of the State.
The group after extensive deliberations on a variety of political developments in the state; faulted a puerile attempt by some persons to create the impression that there were two blocs in the State when in the real sense there are three political blocs.
A communiqué by participants at the meeting including Amb Philips; Hon. Maduako Uchechukwu, Chief J. U. Usensi (Udensco); Chief B. A. Nmeregini (Nmiri), Chief John Okocha, Chief Okafor Lawson Okechukwu, Dr. Silas Eke and Mrs. Charity Achinivu threw its weight behind the rotation of the governorship among the three Senatorial Districts of the State.
They declared: “That Abia North Citizens Forum is fully in support of the provisions of the Abia Charter of Equity, particularly as it concerns the rotation of the elective office of Governor of Abia State on the tripods of Abia North; Abia Central and Abia South Senatorial Districts.
“That since the three Senatorial Districts of Abia North; Abia Central and Abia South, have each produced the Governor of the State; it is therefore necessary and expedient that after the expiration of the tenure of the present occupant of the office on the 29th May, 2023, the position of the next Governor of the State should be returned to Abia North.
“That the insinuations from certain segments of the State that there are two divisions –Old Bende and Old Aba Divisions is not only irrational, but antithetical with the provisions of Abia Charter of Equity.
“That it is only proper we don’t change the goal post in the middle of the match.
“That as we quietly and consistently march towards 2023; all Political Parties should be gearing up to have as their flag bearers, Governorship candidates from Abia North Senatorial District.”
After meeting Kalu, ex-Chief Of Army Staff, Gen Ihejirika, joins APC
Former Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika, yesterday joined the All Progressive’s Congress (APC), few months after meeting with the Senate Chief Whip, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.
General Ihejirika, who served at the helm of the service from 2010-2014 under former President Goodluck Jonathan, made his declaration to join the APC at Isuikwuato country home in Abia-North Senatorial district.
The former COAS made his declaration and subsequently registered at Ezere ward 2, his registration was conducted by the APC ward Chairman Mr. Iheanyi Chukwu in the presence of stalwarts of the party which include:Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, State Secretary of the party, Barr. Perfect Okorie; Deputy State Women leader of the party, Lady Franca Osuwa; Chairman Abia APC Registration panel, Amb. Bala Mohammed Mairiga; Chief Ameobi Ogah; Dr. Lilian Obenwa; Abia-North APC Zonal Chairman, Chief Chris Ajah; Member Abia House of Assembly representing Isuikwuato constituency Hon Barr. Emeka Okorofor, party faithfuls and others.
In November last year, Senator Kalu had urged the former army chief to join the party.
Kalu made the move when he paid a private visit to the former COAS in his Isuikwuato country home. According to reports Kalu’s earlier visit to the residence of Ihejirika and other prominent Abians was to further push the efforts of the party in the state and national to woo prominent Abians and indeed the Southerners into the party.
In his remarks, Senator Kalu applauded the decision the former COAS to join the party, Kalu emphasised that Ihejirika’s decision is a result of the internal democracy in APC.
In his words “Gen Ihejirika’s decision to join us today in the APC is no doubt a great one and I must commend him for taking the bold step after over a year of convincing him to join to the party.
“He should be assured that he’s membership of our party will be a very fruitful one. I am loyal to the party this is why I have always subjected myself to the party’s decision making process.
“My appreciation also goes to the chairman Abia APC Registration panel, Amb. Bala Mohammed Mairiga and his team for joining me to be grace this exercise.
“The chairman can see for himself that the APC in Abia is deeply rooted, in the last few days he was accompanied me to some decamping ceremonies of people former other parties into our party. On behalf of our national chairman Gov. Buni I welcome you to our great party.
Disclosing his reasons for joining the party, General Ihejirika said that he’s coming into politics by joining the APC is to contribute to the progress of the party in the state and national level, the former COAS said further that having served in the Army for almost 38 years he has gathered sufficient experience to contribute to the democracy of the nation and the fortunes of the party.
In his words ” I am delighted by the presence of the leader of the party in our state, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to honour this event. Having served almost 38 years in the military, I am convinced that it will be a waste of experience for me to remain outside government activities. Thus is because I have a lot to offer and assure you all that I will operate an open door policy, I will also learn fast.
Gen Ihejirika said that his first goal is to unite the party, he said” My first goal is to unite the party, unity is very important because if we are united we can achieve all our goals for the state and the nation at large.
Also recall that similar advances by Senator Kalu had yielded results as the moves saw the founder of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and United Peoples Party (UPP), Chekwas Okorie; former Governorship candidate of the APGA in 2015 and 2019, Dr. Alex Otti; former Governorship Candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP),Chief Emeka Atuma; former Commissioner for finance in Abia State, Obinna Oriaku…(list others you know ) and among others have joined the party in the state.
Azubuike Ihejirika, CFR (born February 13, 1956) is a retired Nigerian Army lieutenant general and former Chief of Army Staff.