There is a group who argued that zoning principle does not produce credible leaders and therefore should be altered in Enugu state. The above assumption is baseless because each zone in Enugu state has credible and better people who could occupy the number one position in the state. The three governors produced since 1999-date are credible whose performances could be seen from all angles; and Ugwuanyi administration is performing wonders today in digitalizing the state economy despite the lean resources in his disposal. On this basis, every zone in the state has credible people who can make good leadership in the state. For equity and fairness, power should be shifted to Enugu East by 2023 so that the consolidation of political culture of peace brought by Ugwuanyi administration will be in continuity. Every zone in the state should support Enugu East at this time. This is because the zone supported other zones and not only that groomed and pampered the zoning principle which is a benefit to all zones today. Other zones should accord them some respect by allowing them field a credible candidate and wait for their turn rather than fermenting trouble where there is none.
PDP as a party must resist distractions from It must be me politicians in the State and focused energy on how to unite political forces together to ensure that Enugu East is produced the next governor of the state.
In the basis of the benefits which zoning principle brought, I must submit that anyone or political bloc think that power will shift in Enugu under certain arrangement they are agitating rather than the existing principle is making a great mistake and an enemy to Enugu state political culture of peace enthroned by governor Ugwuanyi(Mr Fulfilment). There should be a political move in codifying zoning arrangement in our political system were it becomes constitutional since we have practiced it for almost 21 years now and it brought desired peace of mind and sense of belonging to all zones in the state. Those who are agitating that the arrangement should be altered and open contest be declared must be aware that Enugu North will be part of the contest and surely they will continue beyond 2023 if that should be the case. This is because many political forces will favour the zone and they are greater in number. Let us embrace politics of dialogue and understanding Ugwuanyi administration instituted; closed rank to embrace a more peaceful state. We all must rise up to the occasion and resist any move by enemy of the state who want to cause disharmony, political instability and draw us back to the era of tigbuo; zogbuo in the state.
In zoning principle, we stand for fairness, equity, peace and justice. We must consolidate this principle in the second phase of this power rotation which will start again by 2023 with Enugu East zone. We must collectively ensure that Enugu East clinch the position by 2023 which will deepen the spirit of brotherhood in the state.
The ideology of zoning system which Peoples Democratic Party adopted after its formation in 1998 was as a result of political distrust among the different ethnic groups in Nigeria. The zoning principle is elitist in approach because it tends to cure every form of marginalization and hegemonism power bloc the north was structured which have enabled them to produce more Heads of State than any other zones in the country. In fact, they saw the centre as their birth right and guarded it with utmost concern and jealousy. Since the principle was introduced in our nascent democracy, the proponent and believers of the principle has been defending it because it is believed to make more political inclusion instead of domination. The fear of political domination usually perpetrated by the northern political mafians/lords was a factor that led to the introduction of the principle.
Without the introduction of the principle in Nigeria political history by PDP, there is every tendency that one zone may hold on to power and maintain it by all cost which is prevailing in some constituencies in the country; were some persons defiled zoning and hold on to power in the national assembly as if it is their birth right. This has made other power blocs in their constituency skewed in everything. Zoning in Enugu State had helped each power bloc have sense of belonging. It has helped each zone being represented in the power distribution in the State; and no zone feels marginalized.
The PDP adopted the zoning principle to reduce political, religious and ethnic tension from 1999-2015. It also applied in all power distribution and appointments in the Enugu State. This is to ensure that each of the political zone is not short-changed in the scheme of things in the State but have their share of it for fairness and equity.
Since 1999-2015 featured the zoning principle as enunciated by PDP which helped in reducing political and socio-economic instability in the country. The distortion of the zoning formula in 2010 after the death of President Yar’Adua led to a political chain of reaction mostly expressed in the 2015 general election especially from the north who saw the move as an attempt to marginalize them; despite their calm and support during the 2011 general elections which produced Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who promised to return power to the north in 2015. Knowing fully well that their turn was short-lived following the death of their son Yar’Adua hence the political cold revolution, alliances that attracted the sympathy of some political heavyweight from the south who supported them. Regrettably, some PDP members mostly from the north worked against the party and deceived the then president Jonathan who believed that they are working to deliver his reelection bid Buhari. They attended secret meetings that plotted the removal in a democratically means. The PDP had maintained equity and fairness in its zoning arrangement which killed hegemony and marginalization into a more inclusiveness in decision making in the country. This enthroned some levels of political stability because each zone had sense of belonging and inclusively involved in the political development of the country.
However, Enugu State PDP must resist every pressure coming from those that want to truncate the zoning principle in our peace loving State otherwise the ugly experience in 2015 as enunciated above will repeat itself which may not be healthy to our nascent democracy. We have tasted it and it has become a norm in our state and therefore must be continued. The administration of governor Ugwuanyi re-engineered zoning into a more fruitful venture which restored political inclusiveness and social cohesion in the State. Ndi Enugu, wherever our governor stands on the issue of zoning; we all must stand with him and It is our civil responsibility too to resist these people who are bend to deny us peace and love again and enthrone tigbuo; zogbuo politics which governor Ugwuanyi annihilated.
BIBIAN ANEKWE NEWS ADDED”HIS EXCELLENCY GOV IFEANYI UGWUANYI ( MR FULFILMENT ) WILL PROJECT OUR GOVERNOR COME 2023
JUDE CHIJIOKE ACHU
MEDIA TEAM MEMBER OF ENUGU DI N’AKACHUKWU