From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Enugu state chapter of All Progressives Congress[APC] seems to be settled with the acclaimed zoning principle of political positions in the state,which according to political enthusiasts is a panacea for the current peace and stability being witnessed in the state’s political circle. Whereas, the Peoples Democratic Party[ PDP] which has been the ruling party in the state,since the beginning of the current political dispensation,is yet to settle with the zoning formula.
The AUTHORITY checks in Enugu observed that within the ruling party[PDP], several political pressure groups are giving reasons to justify why their senatorial zone or power blocs should be allowed the opportunity to produce the next governor of Enugu state, to succeed Governor Ugwuanyi in 2023.
The dynamism in Enugu state politics since the commencement of the fourth political dispensation in 1999, has ensured that the governorship seat of the state rotated among the three senatorial zones of the state in sequence, every eight years.
Aftermath of the power tussle of the 1999 governorship elections, the benefactor, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani a native of Agbani in Nkanu West local government area ,under Enugu East senatorial zone governed the state for two terms[1999 – 2007], Thereafter,with less political frictions, Mr Sullivan Chime from Udi town in Enugu West senatorial district governed the state also for two terms[2007 -2015] .
The PDP which continued to wield unchallenged political power in the state towards the end of ex governor Chime’s tenure deemed it fit that the next governor of the state should be produced from Enugu North senatorial district. Amidst the internal squabbles during it’s governorship primaries, the party still went ahead to deliver it’s candidate,Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi,who will be completing his second term in office in 2023.
Political analysts in the state observed that the controversial issue within the Enugu state chapter of PDP is which zone of the state will produce the next governor of the state,now that providence has permitted the three senatorial zones of the state to having produced the governor of the state equilateral,when Governor Ugwuanyi tenure ends in 2023.
A close monitor of the scenario so far created by this development within Enugu state chapter of PDP shows that ,a socio political pressure group from Enugu North senatorial zone knwon as ‘Odinma Nsukka’ at their last meeting held in Nsukka, is sticking that the zoning formula should commence this time from Enugu North Senatorial district.
To the contrary, the political stakeholders from Enugu East senatorial district are insisting that the power equation for 2023 favours the zone.
Having gone the three senatorial districts, it should commence again from their zone. The political stakeholders from the zone irrespective of party of affiliation, met at the palace of Late Igwe Edward Nnaji of Nike Kingdom and took a resolution to that effect. They said the process will stabilize the peace already enthroned in the state’s political circle.
The stakeholders who attended the meeting were a former senate President,Chief Ken Nnamani,who hails from Amechi Awkunanaw in Enugu South local government area,under Enugu East senatorial district and Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, ex Governor of Enugu state, Hon Cornelius Nnaji, Hon Nnoli Nnaji, Hon Kingsley Ebenyi, Hon USA Igwesi, among others.
The AUTHORITY further checks in Enugu observed that in as much as the PDP is still unsettled on which zone it’s governorship candidate will emerge in 2023, the now harmonised APC in the state has gone ahead to zone the positions.
A week ago, the APC in Enugu state also resolved to apply the zoning principle in it’s search for a new leadership of the party in the state, as the timeline of the present caretaker committee of the party in the state led by Chief Ben Nwoye, gradually draws to an end.
The party is currently positioning credible and experienced members to continue the mantle of leadership of the party, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Among those with aspiration to take the Enugu state chapter of APC to laudable heights and hopes of giving the PDP which is the ruling party in the state a tough challenge are Comrade Adolphus Ude, who is currently the chairman,Contact and Mobilization committee of the party in Enugu state.
All the aspiring candidates so far are noted to come from Enugu West senatorial district to which the next chairman of Enugu state chapter of APC is zoned.