Abia @ 27 : ‘Respect Abia charter of equity’, surviving founding father, Ezikpe advises politicians
. As ex-gov, Sen Orji bags ‘ Enyi Abia’ award for implementing charter of equity
By Steve Oko
One of the surviving founding fathers of Abia State, and the Chairman , Abia State Advisory Council, Ezeogo Dr. Anagha Ezikpe, has advised politicians in the state to respect Abia Charter of Equity.
The elder statesman who gave the advice while speaking during the 27th anniversary of the state’s creation held Monday at the International Conference Centre Umuahia, said the document would guarantee peace and stability in the state.
He noted that the founding fathers of the state in their wisdom agreed to enshrine in the Abia Charter of Equity, power rotation among the major political blocs in the state to ensure peace and stability.
Ezikpe who said he was the Secretary of the stakeholders forum that agreed on the charter added that it was their agreement also that the state House of Assembly would finally legislate on the document and pass it into law.
He expressed delight that in the spirit of the charter of equity, political power had rotated round all three senatorial districts in the state with Abia North taking the first shot followed by Abia Central and Abia South where it currently resides.
The octogenarian, therefore, appealed to politicians to allow Abia South complete its own turn of second term already enjoyed by other zones.
He cautioned that any attempt to truncate the power rotation arrangement could create ill feelings and ultimately affect the prevailing peace in Abia polity.
The Abia Advisory Council helmsman urged all political parties in the state to respect the zoning arrangement which he said had eliminated mutual suspicion among the zones.
Speaking at the event, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu paid glowing tribute to the founding fathers of the state for their resilience and spirited efforts that culminated into the creation of the state.
He noted with delight that Abia had made some significant progress since its creation by the successive administrations in the state.
Ikpeazu promised to consolidate on the various gains recorded by his predecessors to take Abia to greater heights.
He particularly thanked his predecessor , Senator Theodore Orji who he described as the ” father of modern Abia” for his instrumentality in actualising power shift to Abia South in 2015 in the spirit of Abia Charter of Equity.
Ikpeazu said the action of the former Governor was the secret of the prevailing peace and stability in the Abia polity as all major zones in the state have taken a shot at the seat of power.
The Governor confessed that he had continued to enjoy the support of major stakeholders as well as the masses from all zones ever since he came on board.
Later in an interview, Senator Orji who was honoured with the award of ” Enyi Abia” ( The Abia Elephant ” in appreciation of his great contributions towards the development of the state, expressed delight for the honour done him.
He particularly noted with immense joy his being acknowledged as the ” Father of Equity”, saying he has no regrets in insisting that power should move to Abia South according to the creed of Abia charter of equity agreed upon by the founding fathers of the state.
The highly elated Orji said it was not enough to formulate policy , explaining that until such a policy is implemented it only remained a paper tiger.
Senator Orji said that the implementation of Abia Charter of Equity remained one of the enduring legacies of his administration, and urged the state House of Assembly to quickly enshrine the document into the law of the state.
He restated his position that Abia South should be allowed to complete its turn of eight years come 2019 by re-electing Gov. Ikpeazu for a second term in office.
Highlights of the event was the award of honour of ” Ihe Abia” ( Light of Abia), “Enyi Abia” ( Elephant of Abia), ” Oke Oji Abia ” ( Great Iroko), ” Ada Ugo Abia ” ( Eagle daughter of Abia), and ” Odo Abia” ( Abia prestige) to deserving sons and daughters of the state .
Some of the award recipients include: Late Head of State Gen. Johnson Aguiyi Isonsi; Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe; Late Jaja Anucha Wachuku; Sir Bob Ogbuagu; Professor Mkpa Agu Mkpa, among others.