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Anambra 2021 and zoning controversy

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ALTHOUGH the year 2021 is still far nevertheless, intense political activities are already in top gear and seem to be gathering momentum, as political gladiators in Anambra State are busy perfecting their strategies and fast assembling their political arsenal or machineries for what promises to be the political tsunami of the century.

  The rather too early campaign by these political heavy weights is obviously aimed at positioning themselves for the sole purpose of capturing the seat of power in Anambra State, which is the governorship position come 2021. The political stakes are very high occasioned by the political sophistication and awareness of Ndi Anambra who must no longer be taken for granted in the political equation or calculation in the state.   

  The zoning controversy currently raging in the state among political elites is totally uncalled for and diversionary and therefore must cease forthwith. It is instructive to observe that Anambra State has witnessed unprecedented socio-economic cum political transformation and stability for a long period of time which was engendered by over 13 years of uninterrupted APGA administration. Hence the state has suddenly become so attractive, a beacon of hope and “a beautiful bride” for all manners of political buccaneers who simply intend to grab political power purely for their self aggrandizement. 

  It is needless to emphasise the point that these politicians who had decided to jump the gun in the upcoming gubernatorial election will be totally disappointed as Ndi Anambra who are now wiser would definitely beam their search light on all potential candidates irrespective of their political platforms with a view to making their right choices at the appropriate time.

The sordid era of godfatherism and one simply jumping into a major political party with the aim of using such platform to acquire power is completely over as all potential candidates will be subjected to intense scrutiny as well as their antecedents verified and critically evaluated before Ndi Anambra will make their final choice.   

  It is regrettable however, that the opponents of the current zoning or rotational arrangement for the governorship position in Anambra State had argued basically on the premise that the arrangement is undemocratic and that there was no formal or written agreement by the people on the issue. However, those who are opposed to the zoning arrangement should be reminded that the principle of justice, equity, fairness and good  conscience demands that people generally should be treated equally to enable them  have a sense of belonging in society.

Should we now jettison the principle of rotation of political offices in the country, it then follows that we as a people have lost the moral ground to demand that the Presidency should be zoned to the long marginalised South East geo-political zone in 2023, since other geo-political zones in the country at one time or the other had produced the President of the country, except the South East region.

The people of the South East geo-political zone had for long been calling for the equitable distribution of all political positions or patronages in the country including the Presidency.  The popular Igbo adage states, quote: “Ewelu, ewekwalu na ese okwu” translated thus: “The lack of justice, equity and fairness in the sharing of common assets breeds discord, distrust and crisis in any society”.

  Now coming down to Anambra political scenario, one would make bold to state here and now that the zoning arrangement for the governorship position had already taken root in the politics of the state. It will be recalled that the South Senatorial zone was the first to occupy the governorship position in the State since the advent of the present political dispensation in the country.

Former Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju from the South Senatorial zone was at the helm of affairs in the state, from 1999 to 2003. Thereafter, former Governor Chris Ngige from the Central Senatorial zone held sway in the state for about three years, from 2003 to 2006 and was quickly followed by former Governor Peter Obi, also from Central Senatorial zone who governed the state for eight years, from 2006 to 2014. The incumbent Governor Willie Obiano from the North Senatorial zone took over the mantle of leadership in 2014 and his tenure will end in March 2022, after eight years in office.    

  Without mincing words or any fear of contradiction, it is only fair and just that the South Senatorial zone should be allowed to produce the next governor of the state come 2021 in the interest of equity and good conscience. Nothing whatsoever should be allowed to upset the applecart –the noble zoning arrangement which had obviously brought enduring peace and stability in the State. 

  The good people of Anambra State, (Ndi Anambra) must begin now to beam their search light on all the potential candidates from the South Senatorial zone irrespective of their political party leanings or affiliations with a view to making an informed choice at the appropriate time.

What should be uppermost in the minds of Ndi Anambra on the election day is to elect a credible candidate with proven track record and antecedents who will strive not only to consolidate the gains already made but surpass the enviable records of outstanding achievements by his or her predecessors during the past almost two decades.

The would-be governorship aspirants or candidates from the other two zones are hereby enjoined to give peace a chance and drop their ambitions in the mean time until the governorship position gets back to their zones in due course.

  It is equally pertinent to mention in this piece that what recently played out in the neighouring Imo State during the just concluded gubernatorial election should be an eye opener to Ndi Anambra and must not be allowed to happen in Anambra State.

The zoning controversy that had engulfed Imo State during the election, which later turned out to be the deciding factor, eventually produced the winner in the gubernatorial race. It will be recalled that the Imo East (Orlu zone) had previously produced former Governor Achike Udenwa who had governed the state for eight years.

 And the immediate past Governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha, also from Imo East zone had just completed, his eight years tenure and attempted to foist his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu (Ugwumba) also from the same zone on the people of Imo State which was stoutly resisted by the people and that evil plot eventually collapsed and crashed like a pack of cards. Former Governor Okorocha tried to play god as he rejected all genuine advices to pick his would-be successor from Imo West (Owerri) Senatorial zone which had long been marginalized and never occupied the exalted governorship position since the advent of the present political dispensation in the state. The principle of equity, justice and fairness demanded that the governorship position ought to have been zoned to Imo West Senatorial zone by all political parties in the gubernatorial election to enable the people of the zone have a sense of belonging in the affairs of the state.

The Imolites who are known for their political sophistication and sagacity voted overwhelmingly for a candidate of their choice from Imo West Senatorial Zone, Emeka Ihedioha, who is the incumbent governor of the state, and thereby ending once and for all many years of gross injustice and marginalization suffered by the people of that zone in the scheme of things. 

The new Imo State helmsman, Emeka Ihedioha, won the gubernatorial election not necessarily on account of his political party platform but his triumph was obviously to correct the gross injustice and as such Imo people had sent a clear message that the era of godfatherism and crass marginalization was over in Imo State.

  Finally, Ndi Anambra should therefore be guided by their consciences and borrow a leaf from the recent political development in Imo State by voting for only the gubernatorial candidates from the South Senatorial zone and reject all other candidates from the other two senatorial zones namely; Anambra Central and Anambra North in the upcoming election in the interest of justice, equity, fairness and good conscience. And by so doing Anambra State would indeed earn the popular appellation as truly “the Light of the Nation”.

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