As the people of Nkanu East local government area of Enugu state continue to woo stakeholders across the state irrespective of political parties to support their gubernatorial aspiration ahead of the 2023 general elections, a former three times House of Representatives Member, Rt. Hon. Anayo Edeh, has revealed the reasons behind the massive support being garnered by council area.
Hon. Edeh who made this known yesterday while addressing newsmen in Enugu after their meeting with Chief Onyia Dubem, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and a major stakeholder in the state’s People’s Democratic Party also added the movement was yielding positive results as people with diverse political orientations are queuing behind their ambition.
While stressing that the mainstream political stakeholders in the state have assured Nkanu East council of their support, Edeh further stated that the rationale for the tumultuous solidarity were for obvious reasons. According to him, the existing zoning formula in the state would swing in favour of Enugu East Senatorial District which has six local government areas, comprising Enugu East, Nkanu East, Enugu North, Isi Uzo, Enugu South and Nkanu West. Declaring that Nkanu East council area was the most politically disadvantaged in terms of elective offices, appointments and Infrastructure, he said that equity, justice and fairness were on the side of the council area to produce the next governor.
In his words: “AS the 2023 general elections approach, the people of Enugu State are gearing up to elect a new governor, just like other Nigerians in the other states. As it is the tradition in Enugu, the new governor will be elected in accordance with the Enugu Charter of Equity which ensures that the governorship of the state is equitably rotated among the three senatorial districts in the state.
“Nkanu East is the only local government area in Enugu state that has neither produced a governor nor a senator .From all indications, the pendulum of power is swinging in the direction of Enugu East Senatorial District where Nkanu East falls. Our local government was created in 1996 by late Gen. Sani Abacha who was then Nigeria’s Military Head of State. From inception till date, Nkanu East has remained undeveloped and bereft of all forms of government presence . Today, there is no Nkanu East son or daughter that is occupying any position of power and influence at the state and federal levels.
“The under-development and isolation of Nkanu East have become scandalous and worrisome, not only in Enugu state, but in other parts of the country. This explains why almost all the prominent politicians in Enugu State are throwing their weight behind the local government. These leaders include: former Enugu state Governors; Senators Jim Nwobodo, Chimaroke Nnamani, former President of the Senate, Senator Ken Nnamani, former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dubem Onyia, Senator Ben-Collins Ndu among others. These leaders are aware that a Charter of Equity which has brought unity, peace and stability exists in Enugu state. As statesmen, they are prepared to defend the truth without fear or consideration for parochial interests.
“Recently, the leaders of Nkanu East, under the aegis of Nkanu East Consultative Forum(NECF) embarked on visitations meant to bring the plight of the council area to the front burner and solicit the support of the leaders and entire people of the state to enable Nkanu East produce the next governor. They visited former President of the Senate, Senator ken Nnamani. At the visit, Senator Nnamani described Nkanu East as backward and under-developed. While responding to the presentation of the Nkanu East leaders who were led by a former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, he said he was totally “sold” to the idea of an Nkanu East governor come 2023. This declaration was made before other outstanding figures from the council who were in the Prof. Nnaji-led entourage . They were: Former Enugu State Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Chief Sunday Onyebuchi, HRH, Igwe Abel Nwobodo, HRH, Igwe Felix Nwatu, former Secretary to Enugu State Government, Chief Gabriel Aja, mni, former Chairman of the council, Hon. Ejike Ani and the Chairman, Nkanu East Traditional Rulers, HRH, Igwe Hycinth Edeani.
“These Nkanu East leaders were always quick to declare that their struggle and agitation for a governor of Nkanu East extraction was to entrench the values of equity and justice in the leadership recruitment process of the State, which would, in turn, benefit the entire people of the State. At another visit, Senator Jim Nwobodo also advised that in the interest of fairness, Nkanu East should be allowed to produce the next governor of Enugu State. Senator Ben-Collins Ndu and Hon. Onyia have equally lent their full weight to moves geared towards producing an Enugu governor from the council area. Nkanu East has both the human and natural resources required to provide leadership for the entire state.
“Over the years, Nkanu East has received little attention from governments which accounted for its backwardness. For example, the people of the area cannot access their Council Headquarters directly. They must pass through four other local government areas before they can access their headquarters. Also, the poor road network in the area has made it extremely difficult for even the farmers to convey their produce to cities where they are in high demand. The poor and pitiable state of infrastructure in the area makes it imperative for an Nkanu East governor who knows where the shoe pinches, to emerge and tackle the challenges on ground. The terrain of Enugu state would be better understood by such a candidature.
“In Nkanuland, the council area is the least developed. In fact, it is the weakest link in the chain. Even in the whole of Enugu state, there is no other local government area that is as backward as Nkanu East. All men and women of good conscience are in agreement that Nkanu East should now produce the next governor of the state. The fact remains that the people of Nkanu East alone cannot produce a governor. This is why it is imperative that other citizens of Enugu from all the zones should fight along side Nkanu East to achieve this lofty objective.
“The few who are opposed to this idea should examine the facts on the table and take a position on the side of equity and justice. The Enugu state Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has made it clear that equity and justice will be the determining factors in deciding who succeeds him. He has done so much for Enugu state for which history and posterity will remember him. He has no reason to fail in giving justice to the marginalised in Enugu. The two sons of Nkanu East who have so far declared for the governorship race are capable of providing quality leadership. They are: Chief Captain Evarest Nnaji (Odengene) and Barr. Peter Mbah. The whole of Enugu state will eventually decide who to pick. Any of these two will be able to fulfil the dreams of the people of the state.