At the end of the Nigeria-Biafra War in 1970 (52years ago) the Igbo nation of Nigeria found herself confined in the East Central State with Ajie Ukpabi Asika as Administrator and General Yakubu Gowon as Head of State.

On February 3rd, 1976 when the Murtala/Obasanjo regime created 7 new states, the Igbos found themselves in two states of Imo and Anambra. 
No sooner the 2nd Republic took off in October 1979, the people of Imo State from the old Afikpo, Bende, Isuikwuato District and Aba Divisions under Dr. Michael Okpara, Premier of the defunct Eastern Nigeria led the agitation for the creation of ABIA State. This became a reality on August 27, 1991 in the regime of the Military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida. Dr. Moses Agbara was the Secretary of the Abia State Movement after the pioneer Secretary, Barrister Adighije from Olokoro died in a motor accident while going round to collect signatures to back the demand for creation of Abia State.

The old Afikpo was part of the former Ogoja province (colonial days) and later Abakaliki province during the Nigeria – Biafra war with Samuel Mgbada as the Provincial Administrator. The old Bende was former Umuahia Province with Simeon Ojukwu (from Item) as the Provincial Administrator.

The Isuikwuato District was part of the old Isuikwuato/Okigwe of Okigwe Division in Okigwe Province with Zachaeus Nwosu (from Ibinta Okigwe) and later Samuel Mbakwe (from Obowo) as Provincial Administrators.

The old Aba Division was the Aba province of Biafra with Moses Onwuma as the Provincial Administrator. It was the best of patriots from these areas that canvassed and sponsored the agitation for ABIA STATE out of the old Imo State with capital in Owerri.

If the Isuikwuato District (former Okigwe North Federal Constituency) had been part of the old Bende, the “I” in the A.B.I.A acronym would not have been there in the first instance. The name ABIA, then would have been spelt A.B.A for the old Afikpo, Bende and Aba Divisions. Isuikwuato contributed immensely towards the creation of ABIA State. 

It is therefore of great concern and worry that since 2019, Abians have been deceived and made to believe that what remains of ABIA state to-day (with the exit of old Afikpo Division in 1996 to Ebonyi state) is made up of the old Bende and Aba Divisions without the deceivers explaining to the people why the Isuikwuato District with the acronym “I” has been completely forgotten in the scheme of things in what is supposedly GOD’S OWN STATE; with “ONYE AGHALA NWANNEYA” as the motto in the ABIA CHARTER OF EQUITY. This is most unfair and a deviation from the dreams, of the founding fathers of the state, with few still alive. 

Right from the time of Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu in the aborted 3rd Republic (1992 – 93) all the federating components beginning from the old Afikpo Division have been producing Governors and their Deputies without any coming from the Isuikwuato District. 

Between 1999 – 2007, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu from old Bende (Igbere) was the Governor with all his deputies from Aba Division. He handed over to Chief T.A. Orji also from old Bende part of today’s Abia Central Senatorial Zone. T.A. Orji had his (2) deputies from the old Aba Division / Abia South Senatorial Zone. 
Then in 2015, came Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu from the Abia South Senatorial Zone of the old Aba Division. He will be there till 2023. His deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu (Nkporo) Ohafia LGA is of the old Bende Division.

In the interest of equity, good conscience, it is expected and natural in the spirit of “Onye Aghala Nwanne ya” that the next Governor of Abia State should come from Abia North Senatorial Zone where the “I” i.e. Isuikwuato District in the ABIA Configuration is.

ISUIKWUATO DISTRICT of Abia State since 1996 now comprises Isuikwuato and Umunneochi Local Government Area made up of the 5 clans of Isuikwuato, Uturu (Isuikwuato L.G.A) and Umuchieze, Nneato and Isuochi (Umunneochi LGA) that have never produced neither a Governor nor Deputy Governor, Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Secretary to the State Government S.S.G, Chief or Deputy Chief of Staff, Chief Judge, High Court Judge, or Chairman of the State Civil Service or Local Government Service Commissions, since 1999. Ewoo! ANYI KA BUKWADI NDI ABIA? EMERE NWAOGWUGWU, EMERENU NWANOSIKE, EMERE ADA NNE NULO.
Isuikwuato District which is the “I” in the A.B.I.A acronym should not be consigned into the dustbin of history despite our contributions to the creation of ABIA State. If Isuikwuato District is denied its place in the annals of God’s Own State the state should then be spelt ABA and no longer ABIA with the “I” removed.

2023 is the year for Isuikwuato District to produce the next Governor of the State. We align ourselves with the bold statement by one of the founding fathers of Abia State, Dr. Anagha Ezeikpe during the 28 Anniversary of the creation of the state (27/8/2019) that the Principle of Zoning and Abia Charter of Equity should be maintained and respected for peace to reign in Abia State. There cannot be zoning to two Senatorial Districts of the state at the same time. It can only be to one zone at a time. 

His Excellency, the academic Governor of the State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu who is a product and beneficiary of Zoning acknowledged the same in his broadcast message to the people of the state during the creation of the state anniversary. 
Abia South Elders and Traditional Rulers in their meeting (before the March 23, 2019 gubernatorial election) with their Abia North Counterparts agreed that the zoning arrangement must be obeyed in 2023. Our word should be our bond. Abia State should discard parochial momentary interest that would endanger the peace of the state and her long-term interest for generations yet unborn.

We appreciate the former two-term Governor and Senator, Chief T.A. Orji (OCHENDO) who God used to sow and water the planting of zoning in 2015 for equity in God’s own state. He was unequivocal in his recent demand that power should shift to Abia North Senatorial Zone in 2023 and not two Senatorial Zones.

To our brothers in Abia North Zone, to-day’s old Bende comprises of Arochukwu, Bende, Ohafia LGAs while the rest are Umuahia North, Umuahia South and Ikwuano LGAs of Abia Central Zone that has Isiala Ngwa North, Isiala Ngwa South and Osisioma Ngwa LGAs in the same zone. How then can we be talking of a political party zoning power to 2 Senatorial Zones of Abia North and Central Zones which vacated power just in 2015. Haba?
The “I” in Abia by the Abia Charter of Equity is the Isuikwuato and Umunneochi Local Government Areas of the Abia North Zone. The Isuiwkauto District, former Okigwe North Federal Constituency (Okigwe Northern County Council pre-1966 Military takeover) was in 1989 elevated to a local Government Status as other Federal Constituencies all over Nigeria by the General Ibrahim Babangida Military Presidency and named Isuikwuato Local Government which was one of the original 13 Local Governments that made up Abia State on 27/8/91 in the Military President’s broadcast creating Abia State. 
We know that with just the Isuikwuato and Umunneochi LGAs, we constitute the minority and marginalized area of Abia State. In the UNO, China with 1.5billion people as population has just the same 1 vote in the General Assembly with Equatorial Guinea of less than 1million. Anaghi eri ukpara nwata n’ ihi na aka ya ike.

The Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Traditional Rulers and Stakeholders wish to demand as follows:

All Political Parties should zone their gubernatorial positions to the Isuikwuato District of Abia North Senatorial Zone in 2023.

We call on our brother Traditional Rulers, opinion leaders, stakeholders all over Abia State to abide by the Anagha Ezeikpe declaration.
We appeal to other aspirants from Abia North to respect the Abia Charter of Equity. Mmanu Akara Di Uto, Onye Ratu Ibe Ya Aratu.

We call on the Youths, Women and entire people of Isuikwuato District to always support Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (Oke Zuo Abia) to complete his second tenure 2019-2023 like his predecessors. 

To our sons in the gubernatorial race, they should go ahead and not succumb to any other position below the position of Governor dangled before them. This is our time and chance to produce the Governor of God’s Own State 2023.
We urge all our sons and daughters to support their own in the gubernatorial race irrespective of their political parties.



For Isuikwuato / Umunneochi Traditional Rulers

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