A socio-cultural organization in Enugu North Senatorial District of Enugu State, known as ‘Nsukka Ezue Group’, has joined the league of partisan and non-partisan groups supporting the adoption and strict adherence to the established rotational zoning arrangement of the governorship position in the state, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Speaking when a delegation of the Nsukka Ezue Group, comprising intellectuals, academics, members of the clergy and traditional institutions, politicians, and men and women of different political persuasions, paid a solidarity visit to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, at the Government House, Enugu, the Chairman, Prof. Damian Ugwutikiri Opata, stated that they support the current zoning formula in Enugu State.
Prof. Opata pointed out that “Zoning, whether called Federal Character, or Rotation of offices, is very well established in Nigeria”, adding that ‘it is the embodiment of equity, justice, and inclusivity in any polity, especially one as diverse as the Nigerian Federation”.
The group, therefore, declared that “Any person openly or clandestinely against zoning or campaigning against it in Nigeria in general, and in Enugu State in particular, is neither patriotic nor altruistic and peace-loving”.
Speaking particularly about Enugu State, the Chairman said: “Any person or persons against the established zoning principle are selfish and self-bent on destabilizing the prevailing atmosphere of peace, security and stability your (Gov. Ugwuanyi’s) regime has successfully entrenched in the state”.
Commending Gov. Ugwuanyi for the good job he has continued to do in Enugu State, the group declared support for the governor and urged him to “go ahead and anoint your successor as your predecessors in office did”.
“Your Excellency, you did not start the zoning in Enugu State, and you should never allow it to fail or collapse under your regime. It is a sacred obligation for you to succeed where your predecessors succeeded.
“We, therefore, call on you to endorse and implement the current zoning formula which provides that the next Governor of Enugu State should come from Enugu East Senatorial District’’, the group said.
Stressing on the benefits of zoning, the group further said: “It is well known that zoning of political offices reduces the cost of primaries, and also reduces stress, friction, violence, and thuggery during primaries. It inculcates the discipline of one waiting for one’s turn and ensures that at one time or the other, each component unit gets its share of particular political offices.
“Particularly in a democracy, it ensures that minority populations are never shut off from political offices. Furthermore, the zoning of political offices has a soothing effect on the polity by assuring components of the state that their turn will surely come at the expected time.
“So, zoning brings peace and stability in the political processes of nations. Above all, zoning is ethical by ensuring that what ought to be done is actually done in electing and appointing people to different political offices”.
The Chairman of ‘Nsukka Ezue Group’, Prof. Opata informed and invited Gov. Ugwuanyi to their proposed National Dialogue on zoning scheduled for April 7, 2022, at Adada Hall, Nsukka Local Government Area, stressing that it will birth massive interactions with different groups with the aim of creating awareness and fully mobilizing the larger voter population.
They promised Gov. Ugwuanyi that they “will continue to produce ideological support positions from a non-partisan political perspective that will appeal to both PDP and non-PDP members in the state”.
Lending their voice, the Director-General of the group, Hon. Chineme Onyeke, Rev. Fr. Dr. Emeka Ngwoke, HRH Igwe Herbert Ukuta, Venerable Dr. Nnamdi Ijeudo, Prof. Mrs. Helen Nwamba, Hon. Celestine Ogbu and Hon. Kentus Eze reiterated the group’s stance on zoning and enjoined Gov. Ugwuanyi to remain focused, prayerful, strong, and steadfast in his untiring efforts at entrenching peace, and good governance, and providing effective political leadership in Enugu State.
They reassured the governor that members of the group, numbering thousands, are solidly behind him and his political decisions in respect of the choice of his successor and other engagements ahead of the 2023 general elections.