Akpa Francis, a public affairs analyst interrogates the current succession plan into public offices in Enugu State, which excludes people of Greater Awgu cultural group from the zoning arrangement
There is no doubt that the phrase ‘zoning arrangement’ in Enugu state has become a tradition that has been deceitfully planted in the minds of Ndi Enugu without concrete evidence to back it.
I’m not in any way in doubt that people have been bandying the phrase ‘zoning arrangement’ in Enugu, but at this point I want to demand harmless answers to these questions: Assuming there was a zoning arrangement in Enugu State in 1999, can we be told where the decision was taken? Who are these Enugu elders/ political actors involved in the zoning arrangement meeting and discussion?
If we get answers to these questions, then Ndi Enugu will set up a committee that will pay the political actors a visit. Thank God most of the 1999 political actors are still alive and healthy.
I have personally discovered that those who are propagating zoning in Enugu State haven’t been able to name those at the meeting and the venue where this decision was taken.
According to their zoning sermon, they claim that the governorship position will rotate between the three senatorial districts in Enugu State. The question is, what happened to the four cultural groups in Enugu State which include: Nsukka Cultural group, Agbaja Cultural group, Nkanu Cultural group and Greater Awgu Cultural group?
Historically, His Excellency Okwesilieze Nwodo and His Excellency Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi are from Nsukka Cultural group. His Excellency Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo and His Excellency Chimaroke Nnamani are from Nkanu Cultural group, His Excellency C.C. Onoh and His Excellency Sullivan Chime are from Agbaja Cultural group. What happened to Ndi Awgu (Greater Awgu) Cultural group? Are they not part of Enugu State or are they not fit to produce a governor of Enugu State?
If Agbaja and Ndi Awgu cultural groups are lumped into one senatorial zone, that does not vitiate their specific cultural identities. There are four cultural groups in Enugu state and this is a verifiable fact that cannot be denied.
The politics of the South-east has been dominated by cultural groups. Why will Enugu state’s case be different. Is it because Ndi Awgu are involved and nobody is talking about cultural groups?
Let me remind us that in 2003, when Nnamani was seeking for his second tenure in office, Dr. Godsmark Ugwu, Hon. Fidel Ayogu, Chief Peter Okonkwo amongst others from Nsukka senatorial zone contested the election against Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani.
During 2007, Hon. Fidel Ayogu, Chief Okechukwu Itanyi and Chief Okey Ezea and others contested the governorship election against Barr. Sullivan Chime from Agbaja cultural group.
In 2011, when Barr. Sullivan Chime sought for a second tenure in office, notable Nsukka politicians like Chief. Ikeje Asogwa, Dr. Dan Shere and Chief Okey Ezea contested.
In the 2015 governorship election, Sen. Ayogu Eze, Professor Onyeke O. Onyeke, Hon. Eugene Odo, Hon. Chinedu Onu from Nsukka Cultural group and Engr. Anayo Onwuegbu from Ndi Awgu cultural group also contested against Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who later won the election. Similarly, the 2019 general election also had its own events.
If there was a zoning arrangement as they claim, why do people of Nsukka cultural group always contest for governorship?
During the 2019 election, Hon. (Mrs.) Cecilia Ezeilo from Agbaja cultural group was selected for deputy governor position, same group that produced an outgoing governor (Barr. Sullivan Chime) what happened to Ndi Awgu, can’t we produce a deputy governor also?
Nsukka cultural group has produced two governors, Agbaja cultural group has produced two, Nkanu cultural group has also produced two, Awgu cultural group has produced no governor of Enugu State yet. It’s time for Ndi Awgu to produce a governor of Enugu State. Justice demands that Ndi Awgu should be given a chance to produce the governor of Enugu State in 2023, so we can all live in peace. It’s totally unfair for anybody outside Ndi Awgu to talk about contesting for governor in 2023.
Or should Ndi Awgu begin to seek for its own State? In the choice of Ministers from Enugu State since 1999 till date, nobody has considered Onye Awgu fit to be nominated for as a Minister! How long will this injustice continue?
If at all there was a ‘gentleman’ zoning arrangement, it must be equitable and justified for equal representation.
For us to truly talk about equity, fairness, unity and good conscience in Enugu State, Ndi Awgu should be given the chance to produce the governor of Enugu State in 2023.
This brings to mind the recent campaign of calumny being sponsored against prominent Greater Awgu politicians, notably former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. This is coming even when Ekweremadu, who currently represents Enugu West senatorial district, has not told anybody that he wants to contest the 2023 gubernatorial election in the state. Assuming, he wants to contest, is it not his right to do so, given the examples of persons highlighted above from Nsukka cultural and other cultural zones who contested every governorship election from 1999 till date? Or are they afraid of Ikeoha’s intimidating political credentials?
Let it be known to those championing the dirty campaign against Ekweremadu, including some misguided (and sponsored) elements from Greater Awgu that no one can erase what Providence has written and what will be, will be. As mere mortals, our prayer always should be that the will of God be done in our lives. It should therefore be clear in their mind that they are wasting their time because no amount of such misguided and ill-informed dirty campaign will stop any son of Ndi Awgu who wishes to exercise his political right from doing so.