From Steph Clem, Umuahia
It has been protests upon protests against the 4th term ambition of senator Uche Chukwumerije to the Nigerian Senate by his constituents of Abia North senatorial zone of Abia State.
Groups after groups have held protest matches to the government house in Umuahia where they expressed without any reservation their disgust at the senator’s re-election bid.
The latest of such protests is that from the elders of the zone in the People’s Democratic Party, led by Dr. Eme Okoro.
The group consists of men and women from the five local government areas that make up the zone who spoke with one voice of total rejection of senator Chukwumerije.
Even though they acknowledged the senator’s wealth of experience and the respect he commands as a notable Igbo son, they maintain that he has outlived his usefulness in the senate and therefore needs to recline to Ohaneze Ndigbo where he will offer the desired services to the Igbo people.
According to Dr. Eme Okoro, senator Chukwumerije is not the only intelligent, and gifted person from the zone, saying there are lots of men and women of quality other than him, and added that they will not accept a 4th term senator for the zone.
He said age was no longer on the side of the serving senator who he described as his personal friend, adding that he should give way for younger blood to represent the zone.
He further added that in a ‘guided democracy as they call our own, in a delegated democracy there is also absolute need that those who make up that constituency have every right to make contribution as to who will represent them.’
He said that even if the position were to have been foisted on him, Chukwumerije should have rejected it this time around to uphold his promise in 2011 that he would not seek re-election again.
As for former Secretary to state government, Mazi Donatus Okorie, they will not tolerate any imposition of persons in the zone.
Immediate past chairman of the PDP in the state and kinsman of the senator, Chief Ndidi Okereke, said it will be unfair to deny other aspirants a fair contest for the seat, saying they want a level playing ground for all the aspirants other than one man being specially favoured by the powers that be.
All the speakers summarised their position by stating that they have no proof of the so called promise by the president to Chuikwumerije for an automatic ticket but offered in strong terms that the constituents of Abia North senatorial zone will be the ones to choose who represents them at the senate and not anyone outside the zone.