The beautiful bride of Orlu Zone with its 12 Local Government Area peaked last Friday when prominent leaders from Owerri Zone led by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu stormed its domain to discuss issues vital to the state’s peace and progress.
The historic meeting of the leaders from both zones held at the Amaifeke country home of the former governor, His Excellency, Chief Achike Udenwa (Onwa) got underway when the event’s moderator cum master-of-ceremony, Chief Chyna Iwuanyanwu announced the conclusion of accreditation of delegates; recognized members of the high table and some other personalities that graced the epoch gathering.
Subsequently, His Excellency, Dr. Douglas Acholonu, the former Deputy Governor of the state, presented to Chief Iwuanyanwu kolanuts offered by the chief host and after the rituals of breaking the kolanuts and the opening remarks from Chief Udenwa welcoming the august visitors, Ahaejiagamba addressed the audience thus: Owerri Zone leaders came with two vital issues to be discussed with its Orlu Zone counterparts. One is to work together to get the new state zoned to South East. The other is for his Owerri Zone to produce the next Imo State governor in 2015.
Expatiating, Chief Iwuanyanwu informed that information gathered from the National Conference confirmed that one additional state would be created from the South East Zone, apart from the moves to make each of the six geo-political zones of the federation have eight states. “We in Owerri Zone will work hand-in-glove with you to ensure we get the new state created from Imo”.
Affirming further, “We plus Okigwe Zone will work together to realize the new state project”. Concluding that some part of Anambra State could be carved out to join the new state; saying that if the Anambrarians failed to join then, Imo is capable of getting two states since some existing states have as fewer as 6/8 Local Government Areas.
On his Owerri Zone producing the next governor of the state in 2015, Ahaejiiagamba went down the memory lane and narrated how the principle of zoning was captured in the constitution as federal character and how the zoning of the governorship position started in his Atta residence and averred that at the old age of 77, he “supports the principle of zoning which brings peace, progress, justice and equity”.
The President of Owerri People’s Assembly who had earlier told the gathering that the meeting “is not a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) affairs”, however, pointed out that PDP is the dominant party in Imo. And that it lost last election in the state due to some avoidable “acrimony”. But now that all the prominent aspirants from his zone have succeeded in uniting to get the gubernatorial ticket, he therefore implored Orlu leaders to persuade all the parties in the state to present Owerri Zone candidates as their parties’ flag bearers. Believing that Almighty God that anoints who will be governor to see through the zone’s charter of “legitimate and genuine demands”. Chief Iwuanyanwu called on Chief Ambrose Ejiogu to present gifts backing their visitation that included: 12 raps of kolanuts, 12 cartons of wine and 12 cow ropes with fat envelope accompanying it.
Speaking next, Senator Christy Anyanwu supported all that their leader, Chief Iwuanyanwu said and added that Owerri Zone meant serious business on the issues of their visitation and pointed out how their presence and representations demonstrated it.
Responding for Orlu leaders, Dr. Acholonu said among other things that “we have heard all you said. But you will come again for the answers”. Concluding that now that Orlu son is the state Chairman of PDP that Orlu people will work in good rapport with Owerri Zone.
Speaking next, the former state Chairman of PDP and now the Chairman of National Population Commission, Chief Ezeduru Iheoma (SAN) expressed his happiness for being part of the historic meeting stating that Owerri message was clear, distinct and captured in: “Ndi Orlu mere nu anyi ihe anyi mere unu”. A reciprocality appeal.
As a follow-up, High Chief Osuchukwu appreciated the fact that about a dozen of Owerri guber aspirants that were present at the meeting showed that Owerri Zone has put their house in order. He concluded that Orlu will “retaliate” what Owerri Zone did for Orlu when he was part of the delegation that presented Chief Udenwa’s second tenure issue to Owerri people.
To this end therefore, Chief Iwuanyanwu called on Professor Jude Njoku to read out Owerri guber aspirants present which included Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Sen. Christy Anayanwu, Prof. Jude Njoku, Chief Jerry Chukwueke, Chief Humphrey Anumudu, Barr. Ken Njemanze, Mr. Ken Ojiri and Chief Bethel Nzimako. Others are Chief (Mrs) Clara Njoku, Barr. Charles Onyagbako and Chief Bethel Amadi.
In his closing remarks, Chief Udenwa whose wife had earlier welcomed the members of the great gathering that elicited a supportive song from women present, thanked all for peaceful conduct of the meeting and appreciated the gifts from the leaders of Owerri Zone and re-echoed what his people said earlier that the visitors would return later on for answers to their prayers. He however thanked Chief Iwuanyanwu-led group for coming as one Owerri Zone united front which was the condition he laid down for hosting the meeting. Onwa-Imo further advised that the zone further pruned down the aspirants to about 3. But said if none wants to step down then, let all come forward for the party primaries which entails more “ikwo-ose”.
Moving the vote of thanks for both sides were Hon. Ikoro and Hon. Oguwike while Sir Ekeh offered the closing prayer at 4.27pm.
In an exclusive chat with Community Watchdog after the meeting, the former Executive Chairman of Orlu LGA, Hon. Chief Eze Mayor Chukwudi (Ikenga Orlu) expressed his appreciation for the manner Owerri Zone leaders approached the issues of their visitation and thanking God for the way Orlu leaders responded to the demands and its king makers positions.