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Anambra guber election: PDP differs on zoning

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PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State, on Sunday, had a meeting in Amichi, Nnewi South Local Government Area of the state to decide on issues affecting the party, particularly, the November 6 governorship election .

The issue of zoning could not be decided on and that may mar the quest for Anambra South Senatorial Zone to produce a candidate for the governorship election.

While some aspirants and stakeholders who were from the zone supported the clamour for zoning, others argued that zoning was not enough but supported the need for candidates who have the capacity to win election in the election proper.

An aspirant, Valentine Ozigbo, said the Anambra South agenda was about the survival of the state and the chances of PDP in the coming election, adding that it was necessary PDP produced a candidate that was 100 per cent Anambra South.

He said while it was important that Anambra South produced a PDP candidate that represented the zone, there was a need to ensure that the flag bearer also had competence and acceptability across the state to win the poll.

“Today was a huge success in spite of the few challenges; we are in the process of ensuring that the next governor comes from the South,” he said.

Another aspirant , Ifenna Okwenna, said the entire Anambra was waiting for the South District to lead the campaign as the state had conceded the next governorship to it.

He said it would be unacceptable that Anambra South, which had been highest shortchanged in the administration of Anambra since 1999, should be in a needless squabbles over who should be the right person.

Okenna urged people from the senatorial zone to come up with a pronouncement as Anambra was waiting for them on the matter.

On her part, Senator Uche Ekwunife, representing Anambra Central, said what was important for the PDP in Anambra was to have a candidate that not only fits the zoning sentiment but with the ability to win election.

Ekwunife, who is an aspirant and maiden of Anambra South but married to Anambra Central, said she grew up in Onitsha, North Senatorial Zone and was, therefore, qualified to contest from every zone.

She said she had the capacity to win the election for the PDP having done so in the past, adding that women had dual citizenship in politics and should be allowed to enjoy the privilege.

“As we are clamouring for zoning, we should also clamour for winning and winning is the word in this game.

“I am not running this election because I am from the South or Central or North, I am running because I want to win,” she said.

Addressing newsmen after the meeting,  Secretary of the PDP in Anambra State, Mr Okoli Akirika, who hails from Anambra South, said that the party had set up a 15-man committee to champion the emergence of a candidate from the South Senatorial District .

He said the committee was set up at a stakeholders’ meeting in Amichi, Nnewi South Local Government Area of the state.

He said the committee would consult and engage major stakeholders of the party to ensure that the South Zone produce an electable and widely acceptable candidate for the PDP.

Akirika said zoning, though a thorny issue, was a matter of party policy as contained in Chapter 1(7) of the PDP Constitution which provided for rotation of political offices in line with general feeling that Anambra South should produce the state`s next governor.

“We resolved to set up a committee that will work out the nitty-gritty regarding zoning so that at the end of the day, Anambra PDP will have a united front and present a candidate that can win election.

“What happened was true to the PDP’s slogan that ‘power belongs to the people’, we threw the floor open so that everyone could have their say because we do not want imposition or usurpation of opinions.

“The PDP will not shy away from the political reality on ground in Anambra where all other political parties have zoned their tickets to the South,” he said.

Other aspirants who spoke in support of Anambra South Zone agenda were Chief Godwin Ezeemo and Mr Emeka Etiaba (SAN).

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