2023: Zoning tears Enugu political stakeholders apart

Posted by News Express | 20 March 2022 | 507 times

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Barrage of verbal attacks have trailed the recent assertion by former deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, to the effect that no zoning arrangement for the office in Enugu State was officially made at any time before now.

Some political stakeholders have angrily reacted to Ekweremadu’s position, insisting that there is governorship rotation arrangement in place since 2013, which they said was adopted to ensure peace and harmony among the people of the state.

Dismissing the position of Ekweremadu, a group, Equity and Integrity Assembly, insisted that the zoning arrangement in place was initiated for peace to reign.

The group, in a statement signed by Hon. Gary Ene and Mr. Justus Opah, the coordinator and Secretary, respectively, cautioned “on the danger of truncating the conventional or traditional formula of electing the state governor, which has had positive and salutary results so far.”

They warned that “any attempt to jettison this formula was bound to cause disharmony and hardship to the people, more so the youths, the ignorant and the weak.”

The group recalled that Hon. Dubem Onyia had in a full PDP caucus meeting moved a motion for zoning when Sullivan Chime was the governor of Enugu state, insisting that “Senator Ekweremadu was at the meeting.

 “The motion was that the governorship of Enugu state should be by zoning. At this point, Enugu West was in the saddle as governor. Before then, Enugu East had finished eight years as governor by Chimaroke Nnamani. The caucus decision was that the next governor should go to Enugu North after which the zoning will start from Enugu East,” the group said.

They explained that after Senator Collins Ndu seconded that motion, it was put to vote in which they claimed Senator Ekweremadu himself voted, adding that “It was Chief Duben Onyia who moved the motion in the presence of Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Sullivan Chime, Okwesilieze Nwodo, Vita Abba and others.”

Reacting to the attacks on him and his group, Ekweremadu through his campaign Organization, Ikeoha Campaign Organization, said he would not be deterred by what he described as “a galore of sponsored lies, forgeries, intimidation, and press statements against the governorship ambition of Senator Ike Ekweremadu.”

He said that “such would neither distract nor stop the senator from vying for the governorship of Enugu State in the 2023 general elections. The Ikeoha Campaign Organization has noted with dismay, but with utmost trust in God, the desperation of some elements to stop Senator Ike Ekweremadu from contesting the 2023 Enugu State governorship election.

“The communiqué-for-money bribery scandal rocking the state on a non-existent zoning, all in an effort to stop Senator Ike Ekweremadu; the forgery and manipulation of minutes of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), State Caucus meeting, which took the makers over two years to produce since they boasted about it. We unequivocally state, for avoidance of doubt, that it is not the business of the Caucus under the PDP Constitution to zone elective offices.

“There is intimidation of Ekweremadu’s supporters by agents of state, including the present detention in prison of the Paulinus Ugwu, the PDP Ward Chairman for Okpatu; the detention and subsequent charge to court for baseless offences of Joshua Ogbonna, Francis Akpa, and Obi Mamah as well as the ostracization of Barrister Emeka Asogwa, Engr. Armstrong Agbo, and Chief Charles Mbah for the simple reasons of their association with and commitment to Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

“The over N300 million squandered on series of rallies to drum up support for zoning, all in an attempt to stop Senator Ike Ekweremadu; the press statements, press conferences, and publications sponsored by agents of state against the Senator; all the nocturnal meetings and fetish practices being organized against Ike Ekweremadu; all the huge state and local government funds being wasted on stopping Ekweremadu, while basic utilities and services suffer utter neglect; and the appointment of known deadly thugs and cultists into state and local government offices all aimed at intimidating and stopping Ekweremadu.

“The Ikeoha Campaign Organanisation, while commending the people of the state “for their determination to resist this reign of terror and undemocratic tendencies,” reassured the people that Senator Ekweremadu remained undeterred.

“In spite of all of these, we want to assure the people of Enugu State that Senator Ike Ekweremadu is not deterred in his bid to fashion out a new Enugu State that will provide water, employment, provide security for all, pay pensions and gratuities, equitably distribute democracy dividends and opportunities, ensure massive road and infrastructural development, statewide electricity coverage, youth and women empowerment, and engender good governance, including non-interference with local government funds.

“We also want to assure the people of Enugu State that these excesses have been duly reported to the relevant authorities and we are quite sure that action will be taken very soon,” the statement signed by its Director-General, Hon. Ogbonna Asogwo said.  (Vanguard)

Source: News Express

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