Abia Monarchs Urge Parties to Zone Guber Tickets to Isuikwuato

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Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo

As the issue of zoning of the 2023 Abia State governorship position remains unresolved ahead of party primaries, traditional rulers have waded into the fray with a demand that power should move to the old Isuikwuato district in line with the existing rotational arrangement.

The royal fathers made their position known in a statement entitled: ‘The position and demand of Isuikwuato District in the Abia State equation in 2023’. They lamented that the marginalisation of the Isuikwuato district (made up of Isuikwuato and Umunneochi Local Government Areas), represented by the letter ‘I’ in the acronym from which Abia State derived its name has remained an aberration in Abia politics.

In a statement signed by the Chairman of Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Traditional Rulers’ Council, HRH Eze Godson Ezekwesiri, and Secretary, Eze Uwadiegwu C. Ogbonnaya, the royal fathers insisted that the time has come to end the age-long exclusion of Isuikwuato from the power equation in the state.

Therefore, the monarchs called on all  political parties in Abia State to give their governorship tickets to candidates from Isuikwuato district in the spirit of equity, fair play and ‘being your brother’s keeper’ ethos of Igbo cosmology.

To make way for the resolution of the power equation, the traditional rulers demanded that “all political parties should zone their gubernatorial positions to the Isuikwuato district of Abia North senatorial zone in 2023.

“We call on our brother traditional rulers, opinion leaders, and stakeholders all over the state to abide by the Anagha Ezeikpe Declaration (which stated that Isuikwuato is in line to produce the next governor in 2023).”

 The royal fathers delved into the historical records of the agitations for the creation of Abia State and the power sharing arrangement put in place by the founding fathers, and concluded that the rest of the state has not been fair to Isuikwuato district.

They lamented that since the creation of state in 1991, no person from Isuikwuato has occupied the position of the governor, deputy governor, Speaker of House of Assembly, Chief Judge, Head of Service, Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, among other top positions in the state.

According to the traditional rulers, the erroneous narrative of lumping Isuikwuato into the old Bende has been deliberately used to deny the district its rightful place in the scheme of things, thereby deviating from the Abia Charter of Equity, which is the basis for power sharing in the state.

“It is therefore of great concern and worry that since 2019, Abia people have been deceived and made to believe that what remains of Abia State today (with the exit of old Afikpo division in 1996 to Ebonyi State) is made up of the old Bende and Aba Divisions,” the royal fathers said.

They challenged those “deceiving the people with the old Aba and old Bende narrative to explain to the people why the Isuikwuato district with the letter ‘I’ in the acronym has been completely forgotten in the scheme of things in what is supposedly God’s Own State?

“This is most unfair and a deviation from the dreams of the founding fathers of the state, with a few still alive.”

To further solidify their demand for micro-zoning of the governorship tickets to Isuikwuato, the traditional rulers appealed to other aspirants from Abia North to respect the Abia Charter of Equity, adding that aspirants from Isuikwuato should remain resolute in their pursuits.