THE gentleman agreement by some notable indigenes of Uzo-Uwani and Igbo-Etiti local councils of Enugu State over rotation of the House of Representatives seat between  the two councils that make up the constituency is currently threatened.
The matter has gone beyond being a mutual disagreement over the council that should produce the next lawmaker to a cold war that requires urgent resolution. For this reason, Concerned Indigenes of Uzo-Uwani, CIU, recently convened a stakeholders’ forum in Enugu, where it was agreed that the rotation principle be followed to sustain the harmonious relations between the LGAs.
The event which attracted notable indigenes of Uzo-Uwani, provided an opportunity for the stakeholders to explain how the rotation agreement came about on February 10, 1998. On hand to tell this story, was the CIU President, Mr. Ignatius Onoduogo, who explained that the forum that gave birth to the zoning arrangement, was held at the residence of Mr. Aka Ogbogbe in Enugu.
“In recognition of the historical affinity and the need to foster peace and unity between Igbo-Etiti and Uzo-Uwani L.GAs, some wise men from both areas met on the 10th of February, 1998 and entered into an agreement that the House of Representatives seat shall rotate between  the two  local governments. They further agreed that Igbo-Etiti would produce the first candidate for the seat and this led to the emergence of Hon. Mathias Ozor in 1998 under the platform of UNCP,’’ he noted.
Onoduogo however regretted that the death of General Sani Abacha in June 1998, shortlived Ozor’s tenure.  ‘’His tenure was short lived because of the truncation of the Abacha transition programme due to his demise,’’ he added.
Accordingly, Onoduuogo said, ‘’ again, on January 17, 1999, by a broader representation, another agreement was entered into by political leaders from the areas reiterating the need to foster a harmonious co-existence between the two areas by rotating the seat. It was further agreed that Uzo-Uwani L.G.A shall take the first shot this time around having conceded the position to Igbo-Etiti the previous year but for the truncation of the transition programme.
This agreement led to the emergence of Dr. Romanus Ezike from Uzo-Uwani whose election was upturned by the electoral tribunal . He spent only three months in the office and was replaced by Hon. Chris Nnadi from Igbo-Etiti, who now stayed from September 1999 to 2007.’’
“Perhaps, it was assumed that the tenure enjoyed by Hon. Nnadi was meant for Uzo-Uwani, hence another man from Igbo-Etiti replaced him. However, in line with the agreement, in 2007, Hon. Paul Eze from Uzo-Uwani replaced Dr. Oke and served till 2011.Still in keeping with the agreement,. Hon. Stella Ngwu from Igbo-Etiti who is currently the incumbent was elected in 2011 and she is expected to serve out her tenure by June 2015 to give room for another man from Uzo-Uwani in line with the spirit and letters of the agreement.’’
Restating that subsequent meetings took place in 1999 and 2011 respectively, to ensure that the tenets of the agreement are followed, Onoduogo said, ‘’it is instructive to point out that three meetings on the need to maintain this one term rotational arrangement’ including a ‘thank-you’ meeting held at the residence of the incumbent ,were later held over the issue where stakeholders from both areas including the incumbent promised to keep to the agreement by serving only one term.


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