2015: Owerri, Orlu PDP Unite To Entrench Zoning In Imo



The Peoples Democratic Party preparation for next year’s elections in Imo State is gradually taking shape as party leaders moved to explore avenues to reconcile differences and stand on the zoning formula for governorship, reports Damian Duruiheoma in Owerri.
There is an end in sight to the question of which of the
three senatorial zones (Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe) in ImoState
should get the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governorship ticket in the 2015
This followed a meeting of stakeholders on Friday from
Owerri and Orlu Zones held at the country home of the former governor of the
state, Chief Achike Udenwa, in Amaifeke in Orlu Local Government Area of the
The meeting, convened at the instance of the Owerri Zone PDP,
saw leaders and all the governorship aspirants from the zone uniting to press
for the support of the people of Orlu Zone to ensure the rein of equity in the
party and the state in general by allowing a person from Owerri zone to be the
next governor in 2015.
They include Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Chief Ambrose
Ejiogu, General Ochulor, General S. N. Chikwe, Chief Alex Obi, General Rowland
Ogbonna, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Senator Chris Anyanwu, Barr. Humphrey Anumudu, Prof.
Jude Ejiogu and Hon. Bethel Amadi, Mr. Ken Ojiri, Barr. Bethel Nzimako, Lady
Clara Njoku, Chief Jerry Chukwueke and many others from Owerri Zone.
The Orlu hosts include Chief Achike Udenwa, Dr. Douglas
Acholonu, Chief Eze Duruiheoma, Chief Elvis Agukwe, Chief Chuma Nnaji, Nze
Ignatius Umunna, Hon. Thankgod Ezeani, Felix Idiga, Okey Ikoro, Chuma Nnaji,
Hon. Gerald Irona, Evangelist Chrisbrown Amadi etc.
The senator representing Orlu Senatorial Zone, Hope
Uzodinma, Chief Tony Ezenna and the Orlu zonal chairman of the PDP were however
not present in the meeting.
Addressing the people of Orlu, Chief Iwuanyanwu said their
visit was to get the support of the people of the zone to ensure that Owerri
was allowed to govern the state in 2015 and that zoning for governorship
position was maintained in the state.
According to him, zoning is part of Nigeria’s
constitution, a reason he said Federal Character Commission was created to
ensure that every part of the country was accommodated in the sharing of
political positions.
Iwuayanwu said that anybody saying zoning of governorship
position in the state did not exist was lying, because, according to him, the
exercise started in 1991 when a meeting was held in his Atta country home in
Ikeduru to decide which zone between Orlu and Owerri zones should lead after
Okigwe zone was assumed to have taken their first slot through Chief Sam
According to him, Dr. Douglas Acholonu was in a better
position to win the National Republican Convention, NRC, governorship ticket,
but was prevailed upon to step down for Evan Enwerem.
In 1998, he said, APP, his own party then and the PDP also
zoned the governorship position to Orlu, adding that he personally prevailed
upon Chief Evan Enwerem to drop his governorship ambition (because he and
Owerri Zone had tasted it) to allow an Orlu man go, a plea he said Enwerem
heeded despite the fact that he had billions to win and complete his botched
This he said the PDP also did by giving the ticket to Udenwa
from Orlu.
Iwuayanwu added that in 2007, he fought very hard to stop
Chief Tony Ezenna, who he said clearly won the first primary election, just to
allow Senator Ifeanyi Araraume from Okigwe to emerge the next time.
When Araraume was rejected, he said, Udenwa and others
picked Ohakim to ensure that the zoning system was maintained, saying that all
the zones had taken their full turns except the Owerri Zone.
He said his reason for going down the history lane was
because he is over 70 years old and “If I don’t say these things now, I am
doing myself great evil.
“We are therefore here to tell you that ImoState
is standing on equity and justice and we the Owerri Zone are united for the
course of ensuring that a person from Owerri zone emerges the next governor.
The churches, market women and artisans are pushing for it”.
Iwuanyanwu urged the people of Orlu zone not to listen to
people campaigning against zoning and equity in the state as they were only
interested in monetary gains and the peaceful coexistence of the state.
He also stated that those arguing that Owerri zone had
participated in various governorship elections in the past were missing the
point as the ultimate decisions in the past had been to entrench zoning
irrespective of those vying.
The frontline politician appealed to the PDP to hearken to
his voice, saying if the party failed to his advice, it would be very
Speaking also, Chief Ambrose Ejiogu, Dr. Alex Obi, Hon.
Ihedioha and Senator Ayanwu said their visit to Orlu showed how much they
respect the leadership and people of the zone, saying the course had now united
them more than before.
Responding, Chief Udenwa, Dr. Acholonu, Hon. Irona, Eze
Duruiheoma and other who spoke, commended the people of Oweri Zone for their
courage, expressing happiness that the meeting went successfully.
They told their guests that the meeting must be reconvened
even though they were at home with their requests because it was a legitimate
but genuine demand.
Udenwa particularly told them that no single individual in
Orlu Zone had the mandate to speak for the zone in any issue that concerns the
governance of the state.
He said he was part of the zoning arrangement in the past
where he later became a beneficiary and urged the people of Owerri Zone to
ensure the unity they brought to bear remains permanent for the benefit of the



  1. .But Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and most of Owerri do not believe in zoning/equitable distribution of development infrastructures in Imo state. Iwuanyanwu played on the intelligence of some Orlu politicians when he requested visiting President Jonathan, last February to have the federal government convert AIFCE to a full university as well as convert the FMC Owerri to a university teaching hospital, all to be located in Owerri. Both requests were clannish and motivated to further profit only Owerri zone, and perharps lower the prospects of the state’s university teaching hospital in Orlu. More academic institutions for the same Owerri where all the five tertiary academic institutions in the State were located to favour was a request meant to be an overkill against Okigwe and Orlu zones. Let Owerri zone first agree and have the incumbent govt relocate IMSU to Orlu zone as a quid pro quo agreement. IMSU is one of five public univerities and Polytehnics In Imo state that are LOPSIDEDLY located to favour only Owerri zone. But for the present govt of Imo state which considered modernization for Orlu and Okigwe, some of these PDP people had left Orlu and OKigwe remain in rural form all the years they were in power. The crave by Iwuanyanwu and Owerri to have other zones forgo the 2015 guber elections, if granted must amount to reversal of the ongoing modernization efforts by present government for Okigwe and Orlu. Owerri has doubled to two large towns since Imo state was created, while other towns in Imo state hardly saw any development, expansion or benefited from modern amenities from the state govt. The present stampede by Inwuanyanwu to hoodwink Orlu and Okigwe politicians must not be allowed. When all advantages accruable to an area that hosts tertiarry academic institutions are meant to belong to Owerri zone alone, what is it that accrues to another zone outside Owerri that provides a governor other than name? What else is Iwuanyanyanwu looking for now? Imo people have to ensure that the best candidare from anywhere governs the state beginning May 29, 2015.


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