On Zoning We Stand – Governor Ugwuanyi’s Eyes on the Ball


As the curtain on the 2023 general elections draws to it’s climax, one question on the lips of the generality of Ndi Enugu in the main is who shall we send to the Lion Building? Who will go for us? I’m certain that not quite a few individuals from the political block have continued to make subtle moves in this regard to help them stand out when the final whistle is blown to declare the contest open. Again I’m certain that not quite a few others belonging to the political class will cower under the humongous benchmark set by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. It may no longer be argued that after just six years on the saddle as the CEO of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has set a record that might be difficult to obliterate or surpass. The citizens of Enugu might therefore be in a state of dilemma to sieve from the hordes of politicians angling to replace Ugwuanyi in the Lion Building.
Even with the state of political activities hitting the crescendo before the whistle is blown, Gburu-Gburu of Enugu State has remained largely composed and calm with his eyes fixed firmly on the ball. Keen watchers of political events in Enugu would readily admit that Ugwuanyi’s calm dispositions even in the face of competing pressures have always had a synergy with his inherent psychological make up as a peaceful personality. Anything that would truncate the relative peace which Ndi Enugu currently enjoys would be first dealt with and considered above other extant issues. At the last count, all the three Senatorial zones in Enugu State have had cause to organize rallies in their respective domains to press it on Ugwuanyi that the ball is rightly in his court to tow the paths of his predecessors by supporting a credible successor from the right zone that will continue with his good governance mode. In the midst of all these events which Ugwuanyi personally attended each one of them as the people’s governor, he has yet to make any categorical statement just so that he be allowed to continue to deliver in his mandate to the people without unnecessary distractions. Those very close to his Excellency, would readily confirm that Ugwuanyi is a man not given to frivolity and at the nick of time, our next “Excellency” would be unveiled to the admiration of all.

It is important to buttress the fact that governor Ugwuanyi as a man of principle and high moral values would never attempt to drive against the same traffic that brought him to office in 2015. Those who might be making overt or covert moves in the hope that Ugwuanyi would be arm twisted to go against the rotational gubernatorial template that brought him and others before him into office will receive the shock of their lives when he decides as statutes demands albeit unwritten to make a pronouncement regarding his successor from the right zone. We may no longer have to argue that the rotational template which began its trajectory from Enugu East 22 years back through Enugu West will surely run its full course by the mid night of May 29, 2023. As with every relay race, the last man standing which happens to be Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi from the North zone will hand over to the next racer in the front and not back if the laws of clockwise rotation must be maintained. Of course anticlockwise remains an aberration and must not be supported by right thinking individuals. Though it may have an instant appeal, it has no enduring benefit.

Going down memory lane, between 1999 and 2007 Senator Chimaroke Nnamani from Enugu East Senatorial Zone had occupied this coveted position. At the end of his tenure he handed the mantle of leadership to ex -Governor Sullivan Chime from Enugu West. After successfully steering the ship of the state from 2007 to 2015, Gov. Chime equally handed the baton to a trusted successor in the person of the incumbent Governor Ugwuanyi from Enugu North. As stated earlier, by 2023 the first round of the tripartite chain would thus have been completed.

One of the many beauties of this Zoning process in the state was that the outgoing Governors have had a hand in the choice and emergence of their credible successors, which, perhaps, had accounted for the huge successes recorded.

If therefore, the past governors have had a right of choice and emergence of popular successors, one wonders the justification for the ongoing debate and fuse over Governor Ugwuanyi’s rights to back the rightful gubernatorial candidate from the Zone whose turn it is to produce the next Governor for Enugu state in 2023?. Why again should people fretting over Ugwuanyi’s rights to recommend a credible successor should consider him an exception to the existing rule, a man seen to be standing on an existing protocol?

Any attempt to scuttle or dismantle an institutionalized arrangement that have worked for our people over these years could only be viewed as an undemocratic handiwork of some over ambitious and unbridled greedy politicians.

The zoning arrangement has so far entrenched the spirit of hope, love, tranquility and peaceful coexistence by creating a sense of belonging among the people, as a result of which there had been some drastic reduction in cases of electoral malpractices in the state, such as election rigging and snatching of ballot boxes as well as wasteful post election litigations. Violent acts like killing or maiming of political opponents rising from bitterness, acrimony, rancour and the winner takes all syndrome have been minimal in Enugu State when compared to some other states in the country.

This Zonal arrangement also made it almost impossible to have cases of abandoned uncompleted projects. Call it Godfather syndrome or political sponsorship, the fact remains that no worthy son will be happy to betray the confidence and trust reposed on him by his father, let alone destroy the good works embarked upon by his father.

It is an established fact that Enugu State has been rated one of the safest and most peaceful state in the country, albeit being affected by the current wave of rising cases of insecurity in the country.

By upholding the tenets of political zoning arrangements in the state, Gov Ugwuanyi would have once again, demonstrated his trademark of selflessness and Peaceful dispositions. His envisaged commitment towards consolidating the existing triangular structure of tripartite zoning equilibrium which brought him to power would be
an excellent indication that the Governor is truly an exceptional leader worthy of emulation, and not one who would rather that a bridge collapses behind him after he had crossed it.

There is always a compelling need for people to walk their talk and to act what they preach. This is particularly apt now that our people are clamouring for a Rotational Presidency that would enable an Igbo man have a bite and the taste of the national cake. It is therefore tantamount to a political hypocrisy preaching zoning formula at the national level while making every attempt to kill same in our own state.
Charity, we say, begins at home and our home remains firmly in the hands of God.

Bibian Anekwe News added.. Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi May your passion continue to burn positively. May the seeds you sow grow to be a great blessing to Ndi Enugu State

Obodo Collins.
Retired Deputy Corps Commander.
Federal Road safety



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