By Anthony Ogbonna
The Assembly of Anambra Youth Groups under the G32 has rejected the attempt by some politicians in the state to introduce the idea of zoning into the forthcoming governorship elections in Anambra, saying such idea is as alien to the people as it is anti-egalitarian, the system familiar with ndi Anambra from time immemorial.
The group who condemned and refuted claims in some quarters that the governorship position in the state has been, unanimously, zoned to Anambra north by ndi Anambra and all political parties involved in the race, also said that as free people, all eligible Anambra citizens should be free to contest irrespective of zone and that Anambra people should be allowed the freedom under democracy to elect a governor of their choice irrespective of the zone the person comes from.
A statement signed by it’s Vice President, Comrade Anyaoku Oluchukwu Gilbert, the group said “those pushing for zoning are enemies of our state; selfish and unpopular political merchants who are afraid of electoral contest.”
Maintaining also that “Ndi-Anambra will not be tele-guided,” the groups added that “We are free people and our freedom to choose must reflect in this election.”
The statement reads thus:
“The G32 wishes to state without fear of contradiction that at no time has the people of Anambra under any banner whatsoever arrived at any agreement or contract to apportion the governorship position to any zone.
“In the same vein, we wish to state in very clear terms that no political party contesting the November 18, 2017 Anambra governorship election or any other group in the state has any form of consensus on zoning.
“Such anti-egalitarian agreement usually associated with oligarchic and oppressive mentality has never existed in Anambra and remains alien to us as a people, as persons from all the zones have always contested governorship elections since the creation of the state.
“In fact, contrary to their claims, we have taken copious note of the fact that none of the key political parties in this election, including the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), United Progressive Party (UPP), All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) applied zoning in the processes leading to their selection of candidates for the contest.
“These political parties had actually thrown the contest open to all the zones leading to a situation where aspirants from the three senatorial zones in the state were afforded the opportunity to contest in the primaries.
“The fact that the parties particularly the APC and PDP among others sold nomination forms, screened and cleared aspirants from Anambra Central and Anambra South to contest the primaries, and featured their names in the ballot papers for their primaries showed they do not recognize the idea of zoning.
“Furthermore, the fact that aspirants from Anambra Central and Anambra South were also voted for by delegates from across the zones in addition to the fact that governorship candidates from other zones other than Anambra North also have support and structures in the other zones, are clear indicators that the people of Anambra are in no way inclined to allotting the governorship position to a particular zone.
“What Anambra state wants at this critical phase of its political development is the enthronement of merit through an open electoral contest and that is where we stand.
“Our take therefore is that now that political parties have presented themselves for election the onus, as usual, must be left for the people to make their choice without recourse to moribund and non-existent idea of zoning.
“Competence, not zoning has the answer to the challenges we face as a state. Those pushing the idea of zoning are enemies of our state; selfish and unpopular political merchants who are afraid of electoral contest.
In this regard, any political parties, which for any reason failed to field a popular candidate and now wants to rely on zoning should have itself to blame
“We as ndi Anambra are resolute on our decision not to be tele-guided. We are free people and our freedom to choose must reflect in this election. We know the parties that are for us and those that are against us; we know those that relegate us and those that value us; we know those that have betrayed us and those that have been on our side and speaking up for us. Perhaps the time of reckoning has come.”