Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
A pan-Igbo socio-political group, Igbo Leadership Development Foundation (ILDF), has insisted on strict adherence to the zoning arrangement for the Anambra 2021 governorship election, warning that the incident rocking Imo state must be avoided.
Briefing reporters in Abuja on Tuesday, the forum’s Director-General, Public Affairs, Law Mefor, argued that in the spirit of equity and strict adherence to zoning, the next governor of Anambra State should come from the South Senatorial District.
“The attention of has been drawn to the unwholesome moves by some politicians to truncate the beautiful rotation arrangement of governorship position in Anambra State,” Mefor stated.
“The argument of these people is that governorship has moved around the three senatorial zones in State, and the chips, therefore, should fall where they may starting from 2021 governorship election in the state.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju (Anambra South), Dr Chris Ngige and Mr Peter Gregory Obi (Anambra Central) and currently Chief Willie Obiano (Anambra North) have all governed Anambra State in the order.
“What equity demands now is for Anambra governor to come from Anambra South in 2021, in the spirit of rotation through which the past and current governors of the State had emerged. Some politicians are fighting against it. This argument against the continued rotation of governor is warped and self-serving.
“Those who propel it do not have the interest of Anambra State at heart. Anambra is the gateway to the South-East and blessed with abundant and uncommon human and material resources. It is very crucial that Anambra should get its acts right and show an example to the rest of the South-East and country at large.
“We believe in rotation as a democratic process that will ensure political inclusivity and reduce the rancour associated with elections as well as cut down costs of electioneering by narrowing candidature to particular zones in each election circle.
“Leaving governorship election as an all-comers affair in Anambra State particularly can only create wide latitude for confusion and conflict as well as incur much cost that could have gone into the development of the State.
“In Anambra State particularly, rotation has reduced rancour in governorship contest and ensured even development in the three senatorial zones, given that each governor has ensured that his zone received its fair share in terms development and representation in governance.
“This has led to Anambra transforming into a one-city state and one of the most developed States in Nigeria. It is therefore quite disturbing that aspirants are sprouting in all the three senatorial zones in utter disregard of the rotation arrangement, which has subsisted and sustained the State since the return to the current democratic dispensation.
“We call on the elders, leaders and friends of Anambra State and Igboland, in general, to prevail on those pushing for the jettisoning of rotation of Anambra governorship to regain perspective and retrace their steps.
“They can wait for the rotation to reach their zone again in due course. They can also contribute meaningfully to the development of Anambra State without being governors as only one person can be a governor at any given time.
“lLDF also calls on all political parties in Nigeria to respect the popular opinion of Anambra people by adopting the present zoning arrangement which favours the South Senatorial District for 2021 governorship election.
“Again, apart from the fact that South Senatorial District produced governor who left office since 17 years ago, the zone has the least number of years in office with Mbadinuju who did only a four-year tenure compare to Central and North who are having 11 years and eight years, respectively.
“lLDF is at the moment canvassing for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction come 2023 based on the principle of rotation of presidential power between North and South Nigeria. We cannot be making a case for the emergence of Nigerian President of Igbo extraction based on rotation and close our eyes to the truncation of rotation of governorship in Anambra or any South-East State for that matter.
“One major advantage of zoning is that it enhances the act of choosing credible candidates devoid of sectional sentiments. He who goes to equity as the saying goes must go with clean hands,” the group said.