Demands governorship position zoned to Anambra-South in 2021
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A social-political group, Igbo Leadership Development Foundation, ILDF, Tuesday, threw its weight behind demand for president of the country to emerge from the South-East geopolitical zone in 2023.
This was contained in an address signed by its leaders, Director-General, Dr Godwin Udibe; Director, Public Affairs, Dr Law Mefor; and Director, Contact & Mobilisation, Comrade Austin Ifedinezi, and made available to newsmen.
The group also called on the All Progressives Congress, APC, People Democratic Party, PDP, and other political parties to zone their presidential position to the South-East, in the spirit of equity, justice and fairness as the zone is yet to occupy the presidency since the return of democracy on May 29, 1999, and will be unfair for power to remain in the North after eight years.
It said: “The simple reason is that the South East is the only geopolitical zone in Southern Nigeria that has not produced a President for the country in present democratic dispensation and the zone producing Nigeria’s President will no doubt, usher in unity and healing in the land and end the lingering mistrust caused by the Nigeria civil war.
“We therefore believe in rotation as a democratic process that will ensure political inclusivity and reduce the rancor associated with elections as well as cut down costs of electioneering by narrowing candidature to particular zones in each election circle.”
Meanwhile, the group made its position clear on Anambra governorship ahead of 2021 gubernatorial election, which it said the two other senatorial zones, Anambra Central and Anambra North respectively have produced governors who were in power for 11 years and eight years respectively after the second term of the current Governor, Willie Obiano, hence power should shift to Anambra-South in the spirit of equity
“The attention of Igbo Leadership Development Foundation (ILDF) has been drawn to the unwholesome moves by some politicians to truncate the beautiful rotation arrangement of governorship position in Anambra State.
“The argument of these people is that governorship has moved around the three senatorial zones in State, and the chips, therefore, should fall where they may starting from 2021 governorship election in the state.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Their Excellencies Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju (Anambra South), Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige and Mr. Peter Gregory Obi (Anambra Central) and currently Chief Willie Obiano (Anambra North) have all governed Anambra State in the order.
“What equity demand now is for Anambra governor to come from Anambra South in 2021, in the spirit of rotation through which the past and current governors of the State had emerged. Some politicians are fighting against it.
“This argument against the continued rotation of governor is warped and self-serving. Those who propel it do not have the interest of Anambra State at heart. Anambra is the gateway to the South East and blessed with abundant and uncommon human and material resources. It is very crucial that Anambra should get its acts right and show an example to the rest of the South East and the country at large.
“Leaving governorship election as an all-comers affair in Anambra State particularly can only create wide latitude for confusion and conflict as well as incur many costs that could have gone into the development of the State.
“In Anambra State particularly, the rotation has reduced rancor in the gubernatorial contest and ensured even development in the 3 senatorial zones, given that each governor has ensured that his zone received its fair share in terms development and representation in governance. This has led to the transformation of Anambra transforming into a one-city state and one of the most developed States in Nigeria”, it said.
The group also expressed concern over what it described as disturbing in Anambra politics and said that, “It is therefore quite disturbing that aspirants are sprouting in all the three senatorial zones in utter disregard of the rotation arrangement, which has subsisted and sustained the State since the return to the current democratic dispensation.
“Again, apart from the fact that South Senatorial District produced governor who left office since 17 years ago, the zone has the least number of years in office with Mbadinuju who did only a four-year tenure compare to Central and North who are having 11 years and eight years respectively.”
The group, therefore, called on stakeholders in the State to quickly look into the unpalatable development in order for it not to escalate.
“We call on the elders and leaders and friends of Anambra State and Igbo land, in general, to prevail on those pushing for the jettisoning of rotation of Anambra Governorship to regain perspective and retrace their steps.
“They can wait for the rotation to reach their zone again in due course. They can also contribute meaningfully to the development of Anambra State without being governors as only one person can be a governor at any given time.
“Igbo Leadership development Foundation (ILDF) therefore calls on all Ndi Anambra and Ndigbo in general not to allow rotation and rotation of governorship to be sacrificed on the alter selfishness and ego of some politicians who do not see governance as service but as business and aggrandizement.
“The Foundation is so concerned because we believe that if we get Anambra right, we shall get the South East and indeed Nigeria right! Let Anambra South produce the next Governor of Anambra State in the spirit of rotation, equity, fairness, and social justice. We are counting on the political sagacity of Anambra people”. It added.