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Owerri zone stakeholders split over Uzodinma’s reception, Egbu declaration

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By Buchi Iwuji, Owerri

Leaders of Owerri zone seems divided over the political future of the zone, as leaders and stakeholders are pursuing separate political agenda.

While a group of leaders and stakeholders in the zone, mainly those who belong to the All Progressives Congress (APC), intend to host a grand reception for Governor Hope Uzodinma before the end of December this year, the coalition of all socio cultural Organisations, known as Coalition For Owerri Re-awakening in the zone, is poised to hold the 3rd anniversary of the popular Egbu Declaration with the theme “Whither the Imo Tripod.”

The Egbu declaration, which was first held in 2017 at All Saints Cathedral, Egbu, was the stance of the people of the zone, which reinforced the quest of the zone to occupy the governorship of the state, after suffering unjust marginalisation from other zones.

Since the return of democracy in the country in 1999, Owerri zone had produced governor of Imo state for a meagre seven months, when Emeka Ihedioha governed the state, between May 29, 2019- January 15, 2020. He was removed by the Supreme Court and replaced with Governor Hope Uzodinma.

Ikedi Ohakim from Okigwe zone was governor for four years, while Orlu zone produced two governors: Achike Udenwa and Rochas Okorocha, who collectively spent 16 years on the saddle. Governor Hope Uzodinma is also from Orlu zone, and if he gets a second term in 2024, it will entail that Orlu zone has 24 years on the saddle of governance of Imo state.

This is the grouse of leaders of Owerri zone, who have resolved to revive the tenets of the Egbu declaration to reinforce the state charter of equity, which is to raise awareness on the lopsided political imbalance in the state.

The Owerri Re-Awakening Coalition, made up of some socio political organisations, in a statement signed by Oliver Enwerenem, president, Odinma Owerri; Chief Fidel Onyeneke, president, Amala Owerri, and Chief Martin Opara, president, Olu Owerri, said the event to be held December 3rd, 2020, at Mayfair Suites, will be attended by all “stakeholders, the clergy, the academia, religious organisations, socio cultural organisations, town union president generals, as well as all political appointees both in the present and previous governments.”

The statement continued, “The event is also expected to provide an ample opportunity for the people of Owerri zone to retrospect and clinically appraise the position of Owerri zone in Imo state political firmament vis a vis the Imo tripod and at the same time, make firm resolutions on the way forward.”

The event is coming few weeks another group consisting stakeholders, leaders and political appointees are planning a reception for Governor Uzodinma in December, 2020.

Arrangements for the reception are led by Chief Charles Amadi and Prince Lemmy Akakem, and supported by stakeholders and other appointees of the governor of Owerri zone extraction. Details of the reception have remained sketchy, but the organisers say the event is “to appreciate the governor.”

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