By Anayo Okoli
ENUGU—AS the Enugu State governorship zoning debate rages, Presidents-General of town unions in the five local government areas of Enugu West Senatorial Zone have appealed to politicians to leave them out of the debate, saying that they have not endorsed any zoning agreement in Enugu.
According to them, it is not part of their duties as community leaders to endorse or otherwise the zoning of political offices.
The community leaders have consequently urged the people of Enugu State to disregard any communiqué purportedly signed by them endorsing the zoning of the 2023 governorship seat.
The President- General were reacting to a communiqué said to have emanated from a meeting of local government representatives of various town unions in the state held at Filbon Hotel, Upper Chime Avenue, Enugu, yesterday, where signatories were said to have been collected for the endorsement of zoning in Enugu State and the consequent zoning of the governorship to Enugu East Senatorial Zone.
Dismissing such communiqué, the Zonal spokesperson for Enugu West Presidents- General, Ejike Ilo-Tasie, disowned it as a “charade”, and urged that they be left out of partisan politics.
“We were invited to a meeting of representatives of PGs of the 17 local government areas of Enugu State. We thought it was about one of the various pressing issues facing the state but it turned out to be all about the endorsement of zoning.
“They also came with an already prepared communiqué, which they asked us to sign and threatened to withhold the monthly stipends of PGs that refused to sign, in addition to other possible sanctions.
“But many of us spoke out. Number one, this is pure partisan politics. What is our business with governorship zoning as PGs? Such level of politics should be left to politicians.
“Two, even if for whatsoever compelling reason we have to dabble into partisan politics and endorse zoning, are we not supposed to discuss it and draw our communiqué therefrom if we agree to it?“
“Furthermore, if we have to endorse something as sensitive as zoning, especially zoning the governorship to a particular senatorial district, are we not supposed to consult our communities and leaders whose mandate we are exercising?
“If we sign it, what are we going to tell our people? How do we convince them that we have not collected millions of naira to take such out-of-schedule action? They are not fools. They know that this is political season.
“Besides, the Governor has not named anybody as his preferred successor. If he does, then we can go back to our people to discuss it.
“In Igbo land, it is when you see a question, that you now know the answer to give. But in this instance, they are working from a predetermined answer to a question and we collectively decided that we will not be part of such shenanigan.
“We publicly wash our hands off this scheme and want the world to know that we were not part of any such endorsement by Enugu town union PGs if they go-ahead to publish same.
“There are many pressing issues in the State requiring our attention as PGs, not zoning, especially the type being promoted by political jobbers.
“We also have it on good authority that they want to use unauthorised persons to sign for some of our local governments like Aninri and Awgu”, the statement alleged.