[Opinion] 2023: Intrapolitics geometry, Political Game of Chess, Governorship Upmanship, and Abia North Zone
Previous synoptic Analysis on Abia North geopolitical Zone, ended concisely on emphatic warning : “Abia North United We Stand. Divided We Crumble”.
In this present Analysis more attempts shall be made herein to examine, evaluate, and X-Ray the ” enabling/unifying” salient factors, on one hand, and “disenabling/divisive” factors, on the other hand, in Abia North geopolitical Zone as one bloc; and as separate competing blocs in the context of Abia Charter Of Equity and Zoning of Governorship position:
Specifically, with focus on intrapolitical dynamics and intrablocs political jokeying and 2023 governorship position, as the premise of the framework of Analysis.
Good starting point, shall be to take cursory look at the compositions of the political-administrative divisions or units of Abia North geopolitical bloc and entity. Arochukwu, Bende, Isuikwuato, Ohafia, and Umunneochi, constitute the five political cum administrative blocs and systems of Abia North Zone.
Geographically, Arochukwu and Ohafia are located in the northwards axis, with Arochukwu at the extreme point northwards. Located southwards are Isuikwuato and Umunneochi, and the latter occupying extreme point southwards. Located traversely in the center is Bende bloc and LGA, which bestrides or nestling across in the middle, providing a kind of buffer zone and landscape between the two extremities of north and south political-administrative blocs. Each of these five geopolitical-administrative partions, enjoys unique strategic strengths, but in the same token, lacks equally certain strategic advantages, or suffer certain strategic weak points, respectively.
Based on historical or cultural affinities and perspectives, ample evidence shows distinctive peculiarities in the modes of linguistic dis-similarities, customs or traditions, and in terms of professions or vocations, amongst the different segments found in Abia North Zone. The roles or influences of high rate of population mobility, marriages across boundaries, and similar factors, have helped immensely to blur or reduce, rather than accentuate or sharpen these distinctive lines of peculiarities, over time.
The present geopolitical architecture and configurations of Abia State, referencing Abia Charter Of Equity, bestows on Abia North geopolitical Zone, apparent or undeniable sense of homogeneity; despite seemingly heterogeneous identities and peculiarities commonly associated with different political-admnistrative units. This salient observation, is very true in the other two geopolitical Zones of Abia Central, and South.
Abia Charter Of Equity, by virtue of carving out separately the five LGAs under reference, as a distinct geopolitical bloc, inherently placed the common political fate or fortunes and survival of Abia North Zone under a common or single unifying zonal political “Umbrella”, providing essentially common sense of direction, identity, solidarity, and ultimately unity among the people of Abia North Zone.
Essentially, minor differences or peculiarities often associated with belonging to different political platforms, advocacies of different idealogies or perspectives, have not eliminated or robbed the people of Abia North of the threads of common sense of identity or oneness in terms of binding or bonding together to assert, defend or protect collectively the claims or rights of the Zone, whenever these become expedient. The sense of devotion to this singular act of obligations, provides strong or formidable foundation and motivations in cementing the geopolitical unity of Abia North Zone.
In another dimension, particularly in terms of external perspectives, common sense of identity and Unity existing in the fold of Abia North Zone, is fortified, as a result of the impetus and powerful momentum gained from external forces largely on account of well meaning or magnanimous dispositions and wisdom on display by patriotic Abians from other geopolitical Zones. These patriotic Abians, discarding or disregarding parochial sentiments have expressly thrown their respective weights individually or collectively, in maximum support of Abia North geopolitical Zone to produce the governor in 2023. Relying on the express provisions of Abia Charter Of Equity, these patriotic citizens, have advanced robust advocacies and justifications, and have presented passionate arguments in favour of Abia North geopolitical bloc as the rightful Zone to produce the State Governor in 2023.
Classic example of these highly patriotic Abians, include pre-eminently Dr. Emeka Donald Wachuku’s Equity Legacy Group. In a recent interview with Allfacts Newspaper, Wachuku, Coordinator of Equity Legacy Group, declared: “our interest is to ensure that Equity prevails in Abia”. Wachuku, further declared boldly, “Anybody or group who wants to jettison the return of power to Abia North is not thinking well for Abia as a State”. In this context, Equity Legacy Group, is completely in alignment with Abia North Zone by endorsement of the strict observance of the provisos of Abia Charter Of Equity, in the context of 2023 governorship position, specifically..
Equity Legacy Group well meaning position and unambiguous statements contrasts significantly with Ukasanya’s highly convoluted, dexterously diffused, dilemmatic and slippery political pronouncement “Abia Charter Of Equity is out of fashion”, in interview with Allfacts Newspaper. Indeed, it is encouraging and interesting to note in this very context, younger stocks of Abians, represented by the likes of Wachuku and Equity Legacy Group in general, appreciate, understand, and value true essence of Equity and peaceful coexistence, as the catalyst for the well being of Abia society. Whereas, certain individuals, who belong to older generation or Old Order, are busy stoking and fanning the embers of confusion, disaffection, and disunity, unrelenting.
Another significant aspect closely connected to external dimensions of the impetus and momentum in favour of Abia North, specifically is the issue of Statesmanship, posture, and anticipated roles of the incumbent State Governor, Dr. Victor Okezie Ikpeazu, in the matrix of the Zoning equations. The Governor, essentially as a Beneficiary of the system, primarily as a great Son of Abia State, leveraged on the Abia Charter Of Equity, understands the imperatives and great significance of preservation of the Sacred Sanctity of the provisions of Abia Charter Of Equity, much better than some political stakeholders. Especially, for continued peace and tranquility to prevail in Abia State, as core issue.
Amongst other critical constitutional obligations and duties of the State Governor, principally as the Chief Security Officer, of Abia State; it is reasonable to presume accordingly, the Governor shall direct his focus beyond temporary political considerations; or intense temptations of political manipulations and maneuvering of power equations in favour of his Abia South geopolitical Zone. The State Governor, as “Father” of Abia State, must rise above political correctness or expediencies, above premordial or petty sentiments, especially in the contexts of intense pressures.
The Governor, must not succumb to these pressures but be totally resolved and resolute not to compromise his position in the capacity of “Father” of the State; nor barter his personal Integrity in exchange of amoral or unethical Machiavellian Principles, often associated with the “end justifies the means”; considered as the bane of amoral politics.
In the complex contexts of the roles of State Governor, it must be borne in mind accordingly, Abia South, Abia Central, Abia North Zones, respectively are constituencies of the State Governor, irrespective of the particular Zone or bloc, LGA, or political Ward, the Governor comes from. Specifically, in this particular regards, Abia Charter Of Equity, should not be simply viewed myopically or essentially as “Power-Sharing Formula” based on geographical or geopolitical aggregations, equations, or experiments. Such views are basically erroneous, simplistic misperceptions and perspectives of Abia Charter Of Equity. Abia Charter Of Equity, in its essentially comprehensive or robust essence, is designed and deviced to ensure Even Distributions of political power and political offices; Even Distributions of social aminities and infrastructure; Even Distributions and spread of development across different breadths and lengths of geopolitical blocs and landscapes of Abia State. In these important contexts, all nooks and crannies; every soil of Abia State or Zones are basically considered One or wholesome bloc of political entity, made up of integral components or units from North, Central, and South.
It is principally in the contexts of these broadened insights and perspectives; or Universal ramifications of Abia Charter Of Equity, I disagreed completely with Ukasanya’s recent sermon of pessimism, as preached recently: “Abia Charter Of Equity is out of fashion”, in a “Rejoinder” to All Facts Newspaper. I subscribe to the notion and maintain accordingly, Abia Charter Of Equity stands firmly, solidly, and sturdily like the “Rock of Gibraltar”.
With such critical outlook or mindset, dictating the complex balancing and sequencing art in effective leadership and management of socioeconomic or political affairs of Abia State, State Governor, shall be in a strategic position to steer ship of the State in the right directions, and towards safe harbours. Though, certain influential members of Governor’s
“Kitchen Cabinet”, especially the Hawks or opportunistic-minded elements, as well as other influential political interests groups, no doubt, shall pile intense pressures on the State Governor, to veer off the right course or tracks, to enable such short-sighted elements to reap immediate short-term political gains. In the final analysis, it is the responsibility of the Governor to keep at bay or curtail the excesses of such political associates or interests groups, in the overall best interests of Abia State; and avoid plunging the State into totally avoidable, unnecessary crisis.
Ultimately, it is to the credits of the incumbent State Governor, to emulate the commendable examples of his Predecessors in Office, who adhered strictly in observance and compliance of the Spirit or tenets of Abia Charter Of Equity in passing on the baton of the Governorship position to the rightful Zone in accord with the dictates and provisions; Spirit and tenets of Equity, as a State Legacy.
Aforestated issues are part of the prominent highlights of unifying or centripetal factors or points of convergence in the political algebra and equations of Abia North geopolitical Zone, viewed internally or externally, in terms of political dynamics.
Similarly, divisive or centrifugal factors, no doubt exist in Abia North bloc.As was pointed out before, compositions of Abia North Zone landscape, is not composed of monolithic bloc. The relative homogeneous or heterogeneous complex nature ultimately portray Abia North Zone as potentially divided or partioned units jockeying for political ascendance. Two closely aligned politico-administrative Axes can be easily identified or isolated accordingly.
Arochukwu-Ohafia Axis, historically, in the past comprised one unit before gaining autonomy as independent units.
The long standing legacies or sense of communal common affinities and identity remain strong or formidable unifying bonds even as autonomous or independent Arochukwu and Ohafia LGAs. Separations of once single political-administrative entity have not dissolved these bonds or ties but reinforces close cooperation in cases of expediencies, as shall be considered or X-rayed shortly.
Arochukwu-Ohafia Axis, viewed as closely allied blocs or Unit, is determined and unpretentious in its bid to produce in 2023 the governor of Abia State of Abia North extraction. Keenly interested and qualified personalities from the two-in-one Axis, covertly or overtly are gearing up preparations to contest accordingly the position of governorship on the shoulders of Abia Charter Of Equity, on the platform of Abia North Zone. APC, APGA, and PDP, as the dominant parties in Abia State, parade prominent members of these parties, intent on clinching the position in 2023.
Arochukwu-Ohafia Axis is in the trenches, hardworking strategically to counter and ward off perceived interests or encroachment on the position from the rival bloc or camp.
Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Axis, similarly has closely linked politico-administrative common legacies or identity. The two as autonomous or independent units, prior to separations operated as one entity, designated Isuikwuato LGA. The two blocs before the creation of Abia State, belonged to Old Okigwe LGA, before Isuikwuato LGA was carved out as a separate unit from Old Okigwe LGA. Okigwe LGA is in Imo State but curiously is sandwiched in between Isuikwuato and Umunneochi LGAs of Abia State, respectively. By virtue of curious geographical contours demarctions and configurations, Umunneochi LGA forms the extreme tip of Southward projection of Abia North Zone geopolitical architecture.
Isuikwuato-Umuennochi Axis, leveraging on persistent agitations and robust arguments of the unique place occupied by Letter or Symbol “I” and identity, in the Acronym:ABIA, which “I” specifically relates to, refers to, or is identified with Isuikwuato and components units originally, including Uturu; and Umunneochi LGA, accordingly is Adamant in staking serious claims as the rightful bloc to produce the governor in 2023. Lt. Gen Azubuike Ihejirika, Rtd., Navy Capt. Chris Ibe Osondu Rtd.,
Raymond Nkemdirim, Senator Emma Nwaka, Professor Greg Ike Ibe, Dr. Sampson Uche Ogah, Prince Chris Odinaka Igwe, are some of the Superheavy Weights and prominent personalities in Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Axis, in the vanguard of the cause.
Viewed on the basis of the two parallel, competing, or seemingly or evenly opposed Arochukwu-Ohafia Axis versus Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Axis, the subtle divisive undercurrents or elements earlier highlighted in existence in Abia North geopolitical Zone, apparently can be perceived to be more pronounced and sharpened, in the contexts of intra-Axes political power jockeying or jostling, in respect of 2023 governorship position contest.
Leaders of Arochukwu-Ohafia and Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Axes are expected to take cognizance of the significant need to engage in and construct “bridges” for robust dialogues and other robust mechanisms to extinguish perceived differences; de-escalate potential tensions, and ultimately harmonize effectively 2023 governorship politics in Abia North Zone, in consideration of this dilemmatic situation or scenario. This central or primary objective can be pursued and effectively achieved under a unifying political “Umbrella”, based holistically on politics of Accommodation (Egbe bere Ugo ebere); principles of Rotation or Transmission of Governorship position to Abia North geopolitical Zone, in the Spirit of Abia Charter Of Equity.
Bende bloc or LGA has formidable role to play, in the context of this Analysis. Presumably, as the “Umpire” by virtue of Orji Uzo Kalu, of Bende bloc, who governed Abia State for eight years, it becomes politically imperative for this bloc to act as”Stabilizer” in the Zone, as non-contesting bloc for the position, theoritically.With Bende, acting the part of “Shuttle Diplomacy” in the contexts of Arochukwu-Ohafia or Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Axes, political dexterity of Bende bloc leaders is a necessity to keep in focus the primary goal and objective of Abia North Zone producing the governor in 2023, leveraging on Abia Charter Of Equity.
In 2023, anticipatorily, the pendulum of Equity principles and governorship position shall irrevocably swing to either Arochukwu-Ohafia Axis. Or swing to Isuikwato-Umunneochi Axis. These two parallel Axes blocs shall lock horns politically and one of the Axes is destined to give Abia State credible governor in 2023. END