The last Time Owerri Zone Man Occupied Douglas House (Imo State Seat of Power) was around 1993 under His Excellency Late Senator Evans Enwerem of the blessed memory. As a child, i grew up to hear the cries of Owerri zone people clamouring to re-occupy the seat of power in other to balance power equation after military interregnum that truncated their son Enwerem not to complete his second tenure after Dee Sam Mbakwe of blessed memory from Okigwe Zone did complete his 2nd Term.
Constant Military incursion into Nigeria Polity denied them Owerri Zone that opportunity. As Democracy returned in 1998/99, Owerri Zone People started agitating for a return to Douglas House to complete their Tenure, but Imo Political Leaders Led by Late Senator Echeruo and then PDP State Chairman Chief I.D Nworga in their wisdom throw their PDP Party Ticket open, stating that any Zone that wins, from their, the Zoning will start.
You could recall that Senator IFEANYI Arararume then APP State Chairman and His Party Leaders in APP chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Chief Arthur Nzeribe left their Party and Joined PDP, Senator Arararume Using his Contact with PDP National Leader Chief Tony Anineh, took Over PDP senatorial Ticket won by Ikedi Ohakim.
Chief Achike Udenwa of PDP emerged Governor from Orlu Zone and after his 2nd Term in Office, an Okigwe Zone man in the person of Dr Ikedi Ohakim of PPA emerged as Governor, thanks to Prof Maurice Iwu then INEC chairman, who insist Power must return to Okigwe Zone after Orlu Zone, then Owerri Zone to complete the new Round of Zoning.
By 2011, Ohakim secured PDP ticket for reelection to complete his tenure and handover power to Owerri Zone in keeping to the Zoning arrangement or formula. Alas, Owerri Zone man in the person of Chief Martins Agbaso conspired with Orlu Zone and Betrayed his Zone by handing over APGA Gubernatorial Ticket to Owelle Rochas OKOROCHA from Orlu Zone. Except Mbaise Nation and Ikeduru LGA, the Other 6 LGA's of Owerri Zone Voted for an Orlu person and Sacrificed an easiest opportunity to be Governor by 2015 when Ohakim will be rounding his tenure.
They claimed, OKOROCHA promised them One Tenure of 4 years and he will hand over power to them (OWERRI ZONE). There are rumours then that Ohakim intend to handover power to an Owerri Zone man from Mbaise extraction. Hence the entire Owerri federal Constituency ganged Up to ensure he did not return as they voted massively for OKOROCHA from Orlu Zone.
When INEC declared the election Inconclusive, another opportunity for an Owerri man to redeem herself, because there will be supplementary election in the Whole of Ngor Okpala LGA, Orji Ward all in Owerri Zone and Oguta LGA which was later cancelled. Owerri zone of the aforementioned Areas Voted massively for an Orlu Man.
In 2015, OKOROCHA reneged on his promise of One tenure, started campaigning for second tenure, Ohakim from Okigwe came out to complete his Tenure promise to seamlessly handover power to Owerri Zone, Behold, 24 Owerri Zone sons and daughters came out campaigning for Governor. Ohakim during one of his campaign tours of LGA in Owerri Zone. Informed them ( Ndi-Owerri) that most of his signature projects Like Inner ring road, Outer ring road and Inner Inner Ring Roads, flyover projects, New Government House, and New Imo state University are all sited in Oweeri zone. That they should allow him to complete them and set ground running for an Owerri zone person to takeover. He reminded them, that it's better they allow him who have 4 years and OKOROCHA who have 4 years to go into the contest, that he has learnt his lessons and will be a better Governor to serve Imo better than OKOROCHA whose governance are mere cosmetic. But such plea fell on deaf ears as an Owerri Zone man, manipulated the Party primary process to favour himself.
Hence, the Gang up by all other Owerri Zonal Gubernatorial Aspirants across party Lines against one of their own. It took the plea of some Imo leaders and Traditional institutions and some agreements for few of them to concede to their brother.
But heaven was let loose as election approaches, virtually all owerri zone Political leaders, stakeholders, and party stalwarts deserted their own and embraced OKOROCHA of Orlu Zone. My little enquiry proof revealing. Their calculations; for the fact that they all are almost on same age bracket with Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, that if he eventually wins the Gubernatorial election, he will serve 8 years and before he could complete his tenure, return power back to either Okigwe Zone or Orlu Zone, they(Owerri Current Aspirants) will not be in good position to contest for IMO Governorship again considering what their age will be by telling on them by then. They prefer to pull him ( EMEKA) down for OKOROCHA to complete his remaining 4 years then power will according to them return to Owerri Zone the next four years, where then they will not be competing with a sitting Governor.
Without remorse, the leaders and politicians of owerri Zone decamped to Support Rochas OKOROCHA from Orlu Zone and the Result is alarming. Instead of supporting their Own Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha from Mbaise Clan, internal Zonal wranglings, Clannish sentiments, peer group jealousy, selfishness and vaulting ambition beclouded their sense of reasoning and judgement, they denied their own and the church dismissed.
By 2019 , information at my disposal have it that Senator-Hope Uzodinma of Orlu zone, Senator ifeanyi Arararume of Okigwe Zone and Dr Ikedi Ohakim of Okigwe Zone among many others across the 27 LGA's of IMO will be angling for Imo Governorship.
In sympathy to my numerous friends and political associates from Owerri Zone, i cry for Owerri Zone.
Ifeanyi-Cy Njoku is President IMO YOUTH VANGUARD. +234 8067 3936 86, 08177868332 . Writes from Ehime Mbano LGA.
First published in April 14th, 2015