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Human rights group tells Ekweremadu to step down

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THE Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), a civil rights advocacy group, has advised the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, to back out of the 2023 governorship race in Enugu State.

In a statement signed by its national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, it advised the former Deputy Senate President to leave the governorship for a younger aspirant and aim at a higher office.

Ike Ekweremadu’s campaign organisation has raised alarm recently over alleged persecution but HURIWA, noting that zoning has always been adhered to in determining who bears the party’s governorship flag.

“Former Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu should not allow his personal ambition to push him into saying things that are not factually accurate because there is nothing like political persecution in Enugu. The lawmaker should not, whether directly or by proxy, claim persecution because he is running a lost contest already and should not raise the false alarm to curry public pity.

“The fact of the matter is there in the public sphere: it is the turn of Enugu East Senatorial Zone to produce the next governor of the state and anything outside that as Ekweremadu is doing is inciting political violence because the people are not foolish.

“Recall that earlier in February 2022, Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; former governor of Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo; former National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; former governor, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani; as well as his successor, Chief Sullivan Chime unanimously agreed to the principle of zoning, saying the principle of zoning of key political offices has been sustained in Enugu since 1999.

“Senator Chimaroke Nnamani from Enugu East zone was the governor of the state from 1999 to 2007, followed by Sullivan Chime from Enugu West Zone from 2007 to 2015, while the incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi from 2015 to 2023 is from Enugu North.

  “Automatically, it is the turn of Enugu East to produce the next governor in 2023 and not Enugu West which Ekweremadu belongs to. Anything other than that will lead to political chaos and deep-seated resentment.

“To put on record, contrary to claims by Ekweremadu, Enugu is currently witnessing good governance and Governor Ugwuanyi has even been applauded by the Army and many people as the most peaceful governor, ” the group said.

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