By Ikechukwu Odu

A socio-cultural group under the umbrella of Nsukka Ezue, yesterday, enjoined Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State to ensure that his successor comes from Enugu East Senatorial District of the state.

The group which has membership drawn from six local government areas in the state, also condemned the attempt to diminish the power of the governor by those it described as “forces,” spread throughout the state.

In a communique by the chairman of the group, Prof. Damian Opata, and the Director General, Political Affairs, Chineme Onyeke, it also condemned an attempt by some persons in the state to frustrate the well-established zoning policy during the regime of Governor Ugwuanyi, adding that the plan is neither fair to the governor nor the people of the state.

Part of the statement reads “NSUKKA EZUE group is a socio-cultural organization whose membership is drawn from the six local government areas in Enugu state. Our goal is to enhance the discourse on peace, stability, and the forthcoming transition in Enugu state along the vision established by Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Executive Governor of Enugu state.

“We do this in the understanding that his regime has brought tremendous peace, stability, and monumental strides in the overall development of Enugu state, development that is positively manifest in human welfare and infrastructural dimensions.

“Consequently, we the members of NSUKKA EZUE met today, 26th March, 2022, and took the following decisions;

That we stand by our Governor, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyiin hisattempt to ensure a seamless and peaceful transition in Enugu State.

“That we strongly support the current zoning formula in Enugu state, as has been the practice in the state since 1999.

“That we therefore strongly canvass the idea that the next Governor of Enugu state should come from Enugu East Senatorial District. 

“That we call on the Governor to engage the stakeholders in Enugu East Senatorial District to ensure equity in the choice of a candidate.

“He should encourage the various strata of stakeholders there to recognize the peculiar nature of the composition of Enugu East Senatorial District to ensure that all the component constituents are carried along.

“Inclusivity, rather than exclusivity, should guide the negotiations for the choice of a candidate from Enugu East.

“We strongly condemn attempts to diminish the power of the Governor by forces spread throughout Enugu state.

“Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani successfully ensured that the mantle of leadership in Enugu state went from Enugu East to Enugu West. Barr. Sullivan Chime too successfully ensured that the mantle of leadership moved from Enugu West to Enugu North. 

“We strongly condemn all the forces that assail Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s attempts to do what his fellow Governors in Enugu state seamlessly did? We are tempted to believe that the reason is that Nsukka people cannot muster the political strengths other zones in the state have.

“Consequently, we condemn all attempts to frustrate the well-established zoning policy during his regime. This is neither fair to the Governor nor to the people of Nsukka.

“We are worrisomely disturbed by the denial of any zoning policy in Enugu state by those who should know better.

“We highly respect Senator Professor Ike Ekweremadu, a man of great national and international exposure. A senator of immense experience like him is wellaware of the enshrined Federal Character in the Constitution of the Nigerian Federation. As a very senior member of the PDP, he should know more than us that zoning is top on the agenda of PDP as it searches for a President come 2023. He knows better than us that zoning by way of Federal character operates in the National Assembly where he served as Deputy Senate President.

Senator Professor Ike Ekweremadu argues that he is not aware of any zoning in Enugu state, but surprisingly he is worried that Enugu West has produced one Governor, Enugu East three Governors, and Enugu North two Governors, and he asks: “So, where is the equity? Where is the justice?”His questions about equity and justice imply that it is the turn of Enugu West to produce the next Governor. Is this not the principle of zoning he is denying?

“But Senator Professor Ike Ekweremadu is not respecting Truth. C. C. Onoh, and Jim Nwobodo belonged to old Enugu Zone, while Dr. OkwesiliezeNwodo belonged to old Nsukka zone. It was in 1999 that three senatorial districts became operational in Enugu state. It is also the beginning of the current zoning arrangement in Enugu state. In this regard, if we go by the old Enugu and old Nsukka zones, Old Enugu has produced four governors, and Old Nsukka has produced two governors. In actual fact then, it is Old Nsukka zone that should be asking, ”where is the equity? Where is the justice”?So, who should be asking about equity and justice? A “path way to a new Enugu state” cannot, in all fairness, be asking for Old Enugu zone to produce five Governors while Old Nsukka has only two Governors. 

“We call on Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to remain undaunted in his peace building process in Enugu state. He should not allow this peace building process to be truncated by those opposed to the current zoning formula in Enugu state under his command. If he succumbs to the unwieldy pressure from politicians and stakeholders of all colours in the state, damage could be done to this zoning policy. He should not leave for himself a legacy of weakness. He should succeed where other Governors before him in the state succeeded.”


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