From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
Political stakeholders from the Enugu-East Senatorial Zone Sunday have advanced reasons why the zone should be allowed to produce the next governor of Enugu state in 2023.
Their reasoning was made public barely two weeks after a pressure group from the Enugu-North Senatorial zone, known as ‘Odinma Nsukka’, advanced that Enugu-North should retain power for the next eight years after their son, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had completed his second term in office.
Speaking at the meeting which was held at the palace of the Late Igwe Julius Nnaji, the foremost traditional ruler of Nike Land, the ex-Governor of Enugu state and current senator representing Enugu-East, Sen. Chimaroke Nnamani, cautioned that agreement in power rotation and zoning principle in Enugu state must be maintained.
Nnamani highlighted that going by the agreement; it is the turn of Enugu-East to produce the next governor of Enugu state in 2023, when Gov. Ugwuanyi would have completed his second term as governor of the state.
Nnamani harped that it was the zoning principle that endeared peace in the political atmosphere of the state, stressing however that Enugu-East must reach out to other political blocs in the state and build bridges.
Speaking to news men thereafter, the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Edward Ubosi, who is the convener of the meeting ,said they were hopeful that Gov. Ugwuanyi will pave way for somebody from Enugu-East to succeed him as governor of the state, due to the zoning arrangement which has permitted power to rotate across the three senatorial zones of the state.
He also posited that the zoning principle has endeared political peace in Enugu state and should start all over again from Enugu-East zone.
He recalled it was during the era of Sen. Nnamani as governor of the state that the zoning and rotational principle started with Chimaroke having handed over to Sullivan Chime, who hails from Udi in Enugu-West senatorial zone.
He noted that in the same principle, Chime considered it wise to nominate his successor, the current governor, Ugwuanyi, who hails from Enugu-North as his successor.
He expressed the confidence that Gov. Ugwuanyi will facilitate the return of power to Enugu-East by supporting a successor from the zone, so that the political peace endeared in the state through the zoning principle will be consolidated.
His words: “We want every other senatorial zone to support us (Enugu-East).The zoning principle started with Sen. Chimaroke Nnamani. At the end of his tenure, he handed over to Sullivan Chime, who is froerym Enugu-West . At the end of Sullivan Chime’s tenure, he handed over to Ugwuanyi, who is from Enugu-North. So at the end of Ugwuanyi’s tenure, we are very hopeful that power will come back to us (Enugu-East)”.
The meeting was also attended by a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, who hails from Enugu-East.