The Evolution Of Ebonyi Charter Of Equity

One of the greatest fallacies I have heard in recent times is that Ebonyi State has no written charter of equity depicting modalities for the rotation of political positions especially the seat of the Executive Governor among the three senatorial districts! I know that I am not alone in the audience as this untruth has been served the generality of Ebonyi people by some of our unpatriotic elites who have turned their ambitions into their gods. Ebonyi masses' vindication lies in the fact that no matter how far falsehood has traveled, truth shall surely overtake it.

Before the evaluation of the truth content of that obnoxious claim, it is necessary to point out that the greatest bane of our modern society is the abdication of the moral duty to do [or even aid] justice and equity. It is for this reason that some Nigerian leaders have cashed in on the weak links in the Nigerian constitution and the Nigerian legal system to frustrate the progress of the country. This is unacceptable in view of the fact that all that God requires of every human being sustained by His divine breathe and grace is “to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God” Micah 6:8. Equally, the Quran vividly commands the Ummah: “O you who believed, be persistently standing firm in justice …” Quran 4:135. African Traditional Religion similarly commands adherents to do justice and equity: If you pinch yourself and it pains you, do not pinch your neighbour!

The big question every Ebonyi man/woman needs to answer now is: Assuming without conceding that there is no written charter of equity for power rotation among the senatorial districts in Ebonyi State, is a charter of equity not necessary in Ebonyi State even now? What will it cost to make one? The naked truth is that a charter of equity for power rotation is so necessary in Ebonyi State that if there is none, one should be invented! I come from Effium community which, has been at the receiving end of injustice and inequity from the rest of Ohaukwu for close to half a century; and I know that nothing is more abhorrent than injustice and inequity.

Having said this, let us examine the claim which forms the major thrust of this piece: Has Ebonyi State a written charter of equity for the rotation of the governorship position among the senatorial districts? If the answer to the question under review is in the affirmative, where was it written and who endorsed it? The search for the answers to these core questions, compels a detailed study of the key word “written”! A thing is written when it has been reduced into writing in contrast to verbal or oral form. Simply put, to write means to inscribe letters, words or symbols on a surface for the purpose of communication. In the Bible, God wrote the Decalogue on stones. After some time, God in His omniscience decided that important documents like His commandments are better written on durable and better medium other than stones which can be broken like we saw in Exodus 32:19. In Jeremiah chapter 31 verses 33 to 34 and Hebrew chapter 10 verse 16, God promised a new covenant which would be written in the hearts of His people. By that token, it suffices that the heart of man is a better medium for writing solemn charters. Ebonyi people and the rest of the world are in the era of that new covenant!

At this juncture, let us pit the questions before us against the prism of historical facts in the hope of unraveling the answers: The truth is that from the onset, it was not the intention of the founding fathers of Ebonyi state to have a state where one section or senatorial district would be marginalized in whatever form. This was why the Movement for the Creation of Ebonyi State constituted a committee on Charter of Equity as one of its strategic committees on 2nd October, 1994. The committee headed by Chief Celestine Okeagu Ogada drew up the charter of equity for Ebonyi State which was submitted to Ebonyi founding fathers under the aegis of Ebonyi State Movement on 21st July 1996. That the charter of equity was not signed due to the selfish and intrasingent postures of Ebonyi elites did not in anyway constitute a derogation on the necessity or authenticity of that very charter of equity in Ebonyi state.

In my essay, Ebonyi 2019: A prophecy of what Ebonyi people will do in fact, I submitted that: “Ebonyi masses have been and continued to be the conscience of Ebonyi State; it is their resilience that has bequeathed us with the pride we have as a people and truly earned us the label of 'a people of honour and integrity'! This is contrary to the character of majority of our elites who have often pursued their personal interests/ambitions beyond bounds and at the expense of our common good”! This humble but considered submission is true even in this matter under review. When the democratic processes presented its opportunities, Ebonyi masses rose to the occasion by enforcing the contents of the unsigned Ebonyi Charter of Equity on power rotation by voting for an Ebonyi notherner, Dr. Sam O. Egwu, in 1999 as the pioneer elected governor of Ebonyi state. This was in line with the contents of the charter of equity which had specified that Ebonyi North which hosts the state capital should take the first slot in the governorship of the young state. In 2003, Ebonyi masses ignored the whinings of some desperate, selfish Ebonyi elites who constituted themselves into the notorious Abuja group and voted for Dr. Egwu to enable him consolidate on his achievements and complete most of his projects. In 2007, Chief Martin Elechi, a man from Ebonyi Central who was part of the struggle for the creation of Ebonyi state, took over from Dr. Sam. O. Egwu. Chief Martin Elechi allegedly ran a biased and unbalanced administration characterized by avoidable wars and inequitable siting of projects. Confronted with an impending electoral defeat in 2011, the cunning old man chose Engr. David Umahi who was undoubtedly Ebonyi good will ambassador as his running mate. For this reason and the fact that Elechi's predecessor had taken two unbroken tenures, Ebonyi people voted him into power for the second term in the hope that Elechi will complete his projects for whatever they were worth. Unfortunately, many of those projects were not just uncompleted in 2015; most of them like Ebonyi power project were equally discovered to be both ill-conceived and unviable!

When it was the turn of Ebonyi South to produce the Governor of Ebonyi state in 2015, the then Governor with some members of Ebonyi elite club foisted a curious political imbroglio on Ebonyi state in the hope of derailing the successful evolution of Ebonyi charter of equity on power rotation by denying Ebonyi south their turn to produce the Governor of Ebonyi state. Again, Ebonyi masses resisted the old man and his elite cabal by voting for Engr. David Nweze Umahi who personified justice and equity in the 2015 election.

It is instructive that through their voting pattern over the years, Ebonyi people have proved that Ebonyi charter of equity on power rotation is boldly etched on their hearts and endorsed in their heartbeats! We have seen in Jeremiah 31:33-34 and Hebrew 10:16 that the heart is the best medium for writing solemn or sacrosanct agreements, covenants or charters! It suffices that Ebonyi state has a charter of equity which stipulates rotation of the governorship position of Ebonyi state among Ebonyi North, Ebonyi Central and Ebonyi South senatorial districts in that order. The second clause of this solemn charter which is coordinate with the first clause is that each of the occupants of the seat has a right to two unbroken tenures. I dare to add that Apostle David Nweze Umahi who has in three years achieved more than any Governor in the history of democracy in Ebonyi state deserves not just an unbroken second term: He equally deserves an un-opposed second term come 2019!

It is well with Ebonyi state!
* Monday Eze contributed this piece from Abakaliki, Ebonyi state.

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SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (politics)

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