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Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The component sections of Abia North senatorial zone are in for a big battle over who will produce the successor of Abia State Governor, Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
Already, two sections of the zone, namely Ohafia clan and Isukwuato district, have come out strongly to lay claim to the coveted seat.
The Ohafia Udumeze clan in a statement signed by some of its prominent personalities has declared that no other political bloc in the state deserved to produce the next governor of Abia State than it.
The Ohafia agitation to have one of its own in the Government House, which is tagged “Ohafia for Abia Governor 2023,” is being championed by a burgeoning pressure group and political think tank, known as Mben Political Assembly (MPA), with full support of elders and senior citizens from the clan.
The MPA is currently making inroads into the minds of who is who in Abia State and winning the support of their neighbours in the senatorial zone.
A statement endorsed by the President of MPA, Dr. Eme Uche Onuh, said: “We have risen to ask for Abia governorship and are getting the backing of top politicians across the local governments in the Abia North zone.”
The Ohafia’s quest for the governorship of the state has also won the endorsement of eminent citizens of the clan, such as the Udumeze of Ohafia, His Royal Highness Professor E. U. Imaga; former Minister of Finance, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu; Nze Uche Uche Ohafia, Prof. Ezichi Imaga; Mr. Okwara Osonwa Okwara and Mr. K. K. Oyeoku.
“Based on unassailable arguments we made, notable politicians across parties and communities have agreed to support us to produce the next Abia State’s governor after Okezie Ipkeazu,’’ the MPA said, adding that “we are still reaching out and will get to every political party and community in Abia State to make our case.”
The MPA and leaders of the clan noted that the community had supported other clans in the zone to occupy various top positions in the past and now hope that the gesture would be reciprocated come 2023.
The MPA claimed that: “Nde Ohafia supported our brother clans during their ventures and waited patiently for their turn. Every equity-seeking Abian and all truthful Abians will agree that it is time to support the Ohafia-Udumeze clan to produce Abia State governor come 2023.’
“It is payback time for other Abia clans to, in fairness and equity, support a son or daughter of Ohafia Udumeze to bring to the benefit of Abia State the doggedness, determination and can-do spirit the clan is noted for,” MPA said.
The stakeholders also pointed out that Ohafia, which is composed of 26 villages with huge voting population, has the political strength to back its quest as it had always used its “block votes to greatly influence” the outcome of governorship polls in Abia.
Ohafia Udumeze, which has the highest number of registered voters in Abia after Umuahia North and Obingwa councils, had during a civic reception for Ikpeazu at the peak of electioneering campaign sought his support to produce his successor.
The community had also used the occasion to ask for the support of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, other parties and politicians in the state to avoid “an impending orchestrated marginalization of the clan in the politics of the state.
“As the Abia charter of equity runs through the three zones of the state and alights in Abia North for the governorship position in 2023, it’s time the exalted position is occupied by an Abian of Ohafia extraction,’’ the MPA and the leaders of the clan stated.