Buchi Nnaji weighs in on the conversation concerning which senatorial zone in Enugu State should produce the next governor in 2023
The recent analysis published in THISDAY newspaper of 18th June 2020, with the title, “The Deceitful Propaganda for Zoning in Enugu State” by one Akpa Francis deserves more than a passing consideration, otherwise one may be accused of keeping silent in the face of disinformation, misinformation and incoherent facts embarked by the writer to fly an unhealthy kite, that is, pushing his dreams, nightmares and hallucinations beyond his capacity.
The issue of cultural bloc is a voyage embarked by the writer out of sheer desperation and want of facts to keep his unsubstantiated agreement alive; which is indeed a journey in futility to resuscitate and rejuvenate an ailing political conversation and enterprise.
The writer in the bid and frustration to keep his argument tenable brought in the issue of cultural groups which is entirely his creation to push his ill-fated luck far. Also permit me to say that this is the first time we are hearing about the so called cultural blocs as the basis for sharing political offices in Enugu political engineering, management and administration.
Indeed, this is a personal invention of the writer to embark on political rigmarole. The Enugu I know and understand is fully standing on a comfortable political tripod “Ekwu na ato.” The triangle equilibrium in Enugu, is highly revered and regarded as sacrosanct and they include Enugu East Senatorial Zone, Enugu West Senatorial Zone and Enugu North Senatorial Zone. And the issue in contest is the zoning arrangement which was extracted from the three zones in question. So, if we are discussing a zoning template, it should rotate within the three zones already created as basis for the rotation of public offices meant for the state and not cultural groups (using the exact words of the writer). In several climes, critical issues like zoning formula are usually effected in manners like gentleman’s agreement, and elsewhere, most conventions and treaties are sometimes not written as the case may be.
The adherence is not only in Enugu but the entire country. In most states of the federation where zoning arrangement has been entrenched, watery issues like written document or agreement do not suffice, like what is obtainable in states like Delta, Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi and Cross River among others.
In these states, zoning arrangement is like a doctrine that goes down well with the people and it is predicated on senatorial basis and not cultural blocs, or clannish tendencies as being propagated by the writer. Having done with this preface, I want to say that we have a seamless zoning arrangement working comfortably well in the state and that is not only fundamentally sacrosanct but has created peace and understanding.
The British constitution cannot be found in any book. It is an unwritten constitution, yet it is an age long convention which has guided the foremost ancient country. The same with the zoning arrangement in Enugu, which is embedded in the consciousness of all the indigenes and the good people of Enugu State.
It has been deeply assimilated and has found a place in the minds of the stakeholders, electorates and political gladiators in the state and anybody singing a different song is just being vicious and economical with the truth. The fact that each time a zone is required to produce a candidate, people from other zones will try to fly a kite does not vitiate the irreparable fact that at the end of the political contest, the zone whose turn is to produce the candidate will still emerge victorious at the polls. This information is a truism and cannot be faulted by anybody who has been following the political trends in the state. So you can fly your kite but the big question is how far can it go. And seriously speaking, discussing zoning arrangement now is an effort in futility because we already know where the next governor will come from based on reliable and efficient zoning understanding and not a sermon. Secondly, it will look very uncooked and highly irresponsible to continue to distract the result-oriented governor of the state, who has said in many fora where his successor will come from based on facts and figures on the ground. Thirdly, it is the governor’s prerogative to pick his successor. I may not want to join issues with the writer unnecessarily because I can quickly see the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob in the ill-fated argument as presented by the writer in his near deceitful analysis.
All I can say is to wish him and his sponsors luck but when we get to the bridge, we know how to cross it, knowing very well that the present governor is conversant with the political arrangement of the state and will act when it is necessary. Meanwhile, let us not distract him from his avowed determination to provide legacy projects for us having in mind that he still has three solid years to administer the state or does the writer and his Oga’s have an intention of putting a sharp knife in the remaining tenure of the governor? More over, posterity will never be kind to any person or group of persons who want to plunge the ever peaceful Enugu State into undeserved and avoidable political misunderstanding or crisis, though that will definitely not be the position during the period under review.
Naturally, superior arguments will always prevail over inferior and selfish ones. So in summary, the three zones having had their own share of the plum job seamlessly on the completion of the tenure of the present governor, equity, fairness and justice demands that since the circle was completed, the gubernatorial slot and the subsequent political engineering will start from the beginning and simultaneously move around again.
To further illustrate the entrenchment of the zoning understanding in the state, the gubernatorial trajectory started with former Gov. Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu East Senatorial Zone for eight years from 1999 to 2007, after which Gov. Sullivan Chime took over the helm of affairs for another eight years from 2007 to 2015 for Enugu West Senatorial Zone, which now paved way for Enugu North Senatorial Zone with the incumbent Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi doing his second term in office which commenced in 2015 and will elapse in 2023. Then in view of the foregoing, the zoning arrangement is not only entrenched, internalized and assimilated in the minds of the people of Enugu State but it is an established fact that the next governor come 2023 will definitely emerge from Enugu East Senatorial Zone.