Leaders and Stakeholders of the ruling People Democratic Party in Abia state, have warned against thwarting the charter of equity propagated by the founding fathers of the state for the rotation of the governorship seat of the state among three Senatorial zones in the state.
Baring his mind on the exchange of brickbat by political players, and socio-cutural and political groups on power shift, during an interview with newsmen in Umuahia, on Monday, a former Nigerian Senate President, Dr Adolphus Wabara, cautioned PDP might get a protest vote in Abia in 2023, should the party fail to cede its governorshiop ticket to his Ukwa clan or Abia North zone.
He argued that if Ukwa clan should not be considered because it belongs to Abia South senatorial zone where power currently resides, “then power should move back to Abia North where it started from in 1999”.
Wabara who said he was raising the alarm because of his love for PDP, advised Abia PDP leadership not to toy with the Abia specifically charter of equity and zoning arrangement for which the party is known.
He said that anything short of allowing power to come to Ukwa or rotate back to Abia North in 2023 would spell doom for PDP.
Senator Wabara who is also the Chairman of Governing Board Council of Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU), predicted that Abia might fall for the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, should PDP fail to do the right things and on time too.
He advised Abia PDP to borrow a leaf from the party’s national leadership which recently approved to set up a 37-man committee on zoning so as not to jeopardize its electoral fortunes in 2023.
“The Abia chieftain said, “zoning is an integral part of PDP. Abia PDP should learn from our national party and respect zoning.
“Our party shall not be doing the right thing at the centre and here somebody will be acting with impunity.
“No single person has the authority to decide the next governor of the state. The party caucus, elders and stakeholders will have to meet.
“Gov. Ikpeazu’s successor may be micro zoned to the Governor but that should only happen after the right thing has been done in line with the constitution of our great party which is macro zoning to Ukwa or Abia North”.
Continuing, the ex-President of the Nigerian Senate further stated, “I’m saying this because of my love for our great party PDP which of course enjoys large followerhip in Abia. But if the PDP leadership doesn’t do the right thing, the party will get protest vote in 2023.
“Abians will vote PDP 85% but if the governorship ticket is not ceded to Ukwa or Abia North in line with power rotation arrangement, there will be a protest vote”.
“Abia is not ready for Ngwa back to back thing. What they are doing now is exactly why PDP lost Plateau State to APC in 2015. Ukwa or Abia North should produce Ikpeazu’s successor”, Wabara cautioned.
On his part, the immediate past Governor of the state and Senator representing Abia Central, Senator Theodore Orji, declared his total support for power shift to Abia North.
He warned that anybody working against power rotation arrangement which is in tandem with the Abia Charter of Equity would be embarking on a dangerous political voyage.
Also lending his voice to the exchange of brickbat by political players over power shift for the seat of Abia Governor in the coming 2023 election, ex-federal lawmaker that represented Abia North district in the 8th National Assembly, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, advocated the return of power to the zone, saying it would help to engender peace and mutual trust.
On his submission, the immediate past-Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Eme Okoro, championed the campaign for power shift to Abia North, vowing to resist any attempt to shortchange the zone of its turn to preside over the affairs of the state.
According to him, “the three Senatorial zones have had their turn on the basis of the charter of equity. It will amount to injustice which is capable to cause disaffections and disunity should such undemocratic practice is allowed to stand. The people of Abia state will resist whatever attempt to truncate the Rotational agreement that has fostered lasting peace, unity and development of Abia state”.
It was gathered that despite several voices in favour of power shift to the Abia North Senatorial zone of the State come 2023, the Ngwa Council of Elders led by Dr. Max Nduaguibe, is however, vehemently opposed to the agitation, insisting that the Ngwa clan in Abia Central will take over from Ikpeazu.
Meanwhile, a number of chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party chieftains from Abia North Senatorial zone have confided that they would sabotage the party’s interest should PDP deny Abia North it’s governorship ticket in 2023.