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Power shift agitations morally wrong, but politically justifiable

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A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who recently defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State, Elder Chibuike Nwokeukwu, has declared that demands for power shift at the federal and state levels were morally wrong, but politically justifiable.

Nwokeukwu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), stated this while reacting to demands by northern youths that the North should produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023.

He also reacted to demands of Ukwa La Ngwa and old Isiukwuato District to produce the next governor of Abia State after Okezie Ikpeazu, whose second tenure will end in 2023.

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Speaking in an interview with The Guardian in Aba, yesterday, he said ideally, the presidency should shift to the South after Buhari, while the next Abia governor should be selected from outside Abia South zone where the incumbent governor hailed from.

He, however, stated that both arrangements would be based on stakeholders’ understanding, negotiation and agreement in the polity as long as political power was not given, but contested or negotiated.

He argued that the agitators hinged the demands at the Federal and Abia State levels on equity and justice to enable them to be at par with the number of years their counterparts held sway.

“The northern youths want another eight years to balance the 16 years the South held power through former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, while the Abia South zone wants power for eight years after Ikpeazu, like their Old Bende Division counterparts through former governors Orji Uzor Kalu and Theodore Orji, who are now senators.

“Where power shift is agreed for the Old Aba province, Isiala Ngwa North, Isiala Ngwa South and Osisioma-Ngwa councils, otherwise known as Umunneato, should be allowed to produce the next governor.

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“But where political gladiators agree that Abia North should begin another round of rotation among the three senatorial districts of the state, Isiukwuato District should produce the next governor in 2023,” he stated.

He, however, urged Old Bende Bloc to show understanding and allow their Old Aba Province counterparts to continue for the next eight years to be at par with the 16 years the Old Bende produced both democratically elected governors and military governors.

On whether doing so would not jeopardize the Abia State Charter of Equity that prescribed and had guided rotation among the three senatorial zones, he said both provinces were not aware of the charter when the Old Bende dominated the governorship position, even from the military era, adding that the arrangement should be reconsidered.

“If the Old Aba Province is not allowed to complete its 16 years, it would take another 32 years for them to taste power again,” he said, adding that he cared less where a governor comes from provided that he would be fair to all parts of the state.

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