*OWERRI ZONE AND DOUGLAS HOUSE 2023*.

"WHENEVER YOU ARE ABOUT TO FIND FAULT WITH SOMEONE, ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:
WHAT FAULT OF MINE MOST NEARLY RESEMBLES THE ONE I AM ABOUT TO CRITICIZE"?. Marcus Aurelius

In less than two years or approximately 14 months from today, Nigeria will conduct another national election to elect people into various offices at State and Federal levels, namely: President, State Governors, State Legislators, Senators, Federal House Members, plus the Representative of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.

The race for the aforementioned positions have began clandestinely in the Country. Groups are emerging in different parts of the Country angling for one position or the other. Subtle alignments, realignments and horse- trading amongst groups/people is the order of the day now. However, in Imo State presently the abnormal is coercively and by way of wanton blackmail being supplanted for the normal a negation of the established constitutional and democratic practice of dialogue, negotiations, alignments, realignments, horse-trading cum alliances for political offices in a liberal democracy like ours. Imo State stands on a tripod of three distinct zones, viz: Imo West (Orlu Zone), Imo East (Owerri zone) & Imo North (Okigwe zone). The common denominator amongst the three zones is the SEAT of GOVERNOR of the state. To the best of my knowledge and to the extent history can unveil, there has never been a time any of the zones occupied this SEAT by way of violence or coercion or harassment of the other zones. It has never been given away (dashed) either to any of the zones freely since the inception of the state in 1976 and the reintroduction of democratic rule in 1979 in Nigeria. It has always been by hot contest among them even in times when this SEAT is pretended to be set aside for a particular zone. In a recent chat with news men on his current ambition, Chief Anyim Pius
Anyim a lawyer, former Senate President and SGF respectively, while answering question on whether the South East should have the prerogative for the post of Nigeria's President come 2023, gave an emphatic NO as answer saying it will amount to a breach of right of other zones as the constitution of Nigeria provided that any Nigerian up to 40 years and above is qualified to vie for the President of Nigeria. It is also common knowledge that the same Nigerian constitution provided for a two term tenure for every elected Executive position.

Imo State as an integral part of Nigeria is guided by the same quoted constitution. The much taunted Imo Charter of Equity is a matter of group convenience and not constitutional. It is simply a gentleman agreement whose enforcement rests solely on the whims and caprice of the group concerned. Conversely, the resolutions of a Charter of Equity may not be binding on all the people or group in a particular geographical zone since it was not arrived at via a popular plebiscite. The renowned MLK Jr. admonished that, *We must learn that passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil*. From the foregoing, the coercive and groundless demand by some paid agents of disintegration and separatism from Owerri Zone for the post of Governor to be ceded to them come 2023 by Okigwe and Orlu Zones is a total negation of the provision of the constitution of Nigeria, an assault on the right of both Okigwe and Orlu Zones and therefore must be rejected by Ndi Imo. In as much as all discerning minds would love all the zones to produce Governor, no zone must be falsely and intentionally blackmailed as marginalizing the brothers in a democratic setting like ours. *Under mutual agreement with God, the devil can enter heaven*. Imo must play the game of democracy the way it is and should be played and not the contrary.

If H.E. Governor Hope Uzodinma wish to go for a second term in office, the principles of democracy, the law of Imo and Nigeria, respectively guarantees that and nobody can debar him except a court of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria. QED.

*IMO BU NKE ANYI NILE*.

Mr. Dikeukwu F. M.
Political Analyst/Public Affairs Commentator.

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