Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, may not be eligible to qualify to contest the 2023 governorship election in Enugu if the principle of zoning, which some stakeholders in the state are pushing forward, is accepted.
Others that may be barred against the same backdrop, include Chijioke Edeoga, a former member of the House of Representatives, current speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi and another chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chinyeaka Oha.
Their participation in the race for who succeeds the current governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, would make rubbish of the present arrangement, which has been going on smoothly, and which if maintained would ensure that the next governor would come from Nkanu East, the area yet to fill the number one job position in the state.
Anayo Edeh, a three-time member of the House of Representatives and a chieftain of the PDP, regretted that an attempt by others to join in the race against Nkanu East, would sustain the “persistent marginalisation of their area.”
Edeh, who bemoaned the plight of his people in Nkanu-East Local Government Area, explained that the marginalisation or exclusion of the people of Nkanu-East from major appointive and elective positions in government at all levels had led to the impoverishment of the people and caused a sense of exclusion among them.
Expressing worry over on-going scheming on which of the zones would produce the next Governor of Enugu State without recourse to the state’s zoning formula, he particularly regretted a situation where no Nkanu-East indigene had either been elected governor or Senator of Enugu-East Senatorial District since the local government was created in 1996 by late General Sani Abacha.
Hear him: “Going by the rotation arrangement in Enugu state, it is now the turn of Nkanu-East to produce the next Governor of Enugu State. Nkanu-East has capable sons such as Peter Mbah and Evarest Nnaji (Odengene), who can build from where the current Governor, His Excellency, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu) would stop.
“The ambitions of some of these governorship aspirants are out of place and improper, because it doesn’t consider consideration for equity and fairness. Enugu State has a zoning arrangement which should be kept intact in the interest of peace, equity and justice among the three zones in the state.
“The current zoning arrangement in the present Enugu State began in 1992 with Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo who comes from Enugu-North. Nwodo was succeeded by Senator Chimaraoke Nnamani from Enugu-East Senatorial District. Sullivan Chime from Enugu-West later became Governor after Senator Nnamani. Enugu-North has again produced Ugwuanyi. It is imperative that indigenes of local governments that had produced governors should be fair to others, particularly Nkanu-East in Enugu-East Senatorial District which has neither produced a governor nor a senator since its creation. Since all the three senatorial districts have produced governors, the rotation should now move back to Enugu-East Senatorial District with Nkanu-East producing one of her own as governor.”
Reports say, the issue of who becomes the next Governor of Enugu State after the exit of Governor Ugwuanyi is beginning to cause anxiety among our people of the state.
Despite what is now referred to as the Zoning Arrangement in the State, indigenes from almost all the zones have started jostling for the number one position.
Already, some prominent indigenes of the state, including Ekweremadu, Edeoga, Oha and the Speaker, have started positioning themselves for the office of Governor and have begun consultations across the State to generate support and sympathy for themselves.
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