A former speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Agwu U. Agwu, has said the provision of the Abia Charter of Equity is still relevant in the selection of the principal officers of the state, especially the state governor, despite not having no legal or constitutional backing.
The Charter, which was formulated by the founding fathers during their quest for the creation of the state out of the old Imo State, specified that state principal office positions should be rotated among the component divisions of the state to give every division a sense of belonging, ensure unity/cohesion, as well as allay fears of domination of some divisions or sections by others, if the state was created.
Agwu, who recently joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), who stated this while interacting with journalists in Umuahia, the state capital, recalled that the move made some years ago by Abia elders for the charter to be enacted into law failed, pointing out that although zoning is not constitutional and reduces clamouring, it is a convention that should be protected.
The position of the state governor had rotated from Abia North to Abia Central and is now held by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia South, who is now seeking a second term, like his predecessors from North and Central-Chief Orji Uzor Kalu and Senator Theodore Orji, respectively.He attributed his dumping of the PDP for the APC, many years after he withdrew from active politics, to the sidelining of many members, including himself, by the state PDP, saying he used the period of his withdrawal to pursue postgraduate programmes.
He described the ongoing political re-alignment as healthy, predicting that more members would join the APC from state PDP, who he accused of not properly reconciling its aggrieved members and not maintaining the state administrative structure that hitherto gave all members sense of belonging.