Ahead of the Anambra State governorship election scheduled for 2017, intense lobby to ensure the Anambra North gets a second term. The incumbent governor, Willie Obiano hails from the zone. The group, the Anambra North Unity Forum (ANUF) said that is the only way it could be given a sense of belonging it by granting it this one wish.
According to the chairman of the group, Chief Sylvanus Ohaemesi (Ochudo), the agitation is not entirely about the incumbent governor.
“The mandate currently enjoyed by Chief Willie Obiano belongs to the people of the area and ANUF is prepared to work round the clock to ensure that Anambra North senatorial zone takes the second tenure with or without the incumbent governor. Our agenda is to ensure that Anambra North senatorial zone is allowed to complete eight years in office, that is joining the first and second tenure.
Anambra Central has been in power for eleven years, Anambra South has taken six years, so, it will be good to allow Anambra North to complete eight years,” he said.
Don’t you think that some people are going to accuse you of working for certain governorship aspirants?
Constitutionally, a person elected as governor is entitled to a maximum of two terms in office. However, once power rotates to a zone, it must not be for a particular person, the zone should be allowed to complete the eight years either by the political party in power or another party. It is a political arrangement, which has the capacity to keep the state in equilibrium.
As it stands today, at the completion of the four-year tenure of Obiano, Anambra North will still be lagging behind as per its number of years in leadership of the state.
Anambra North Unity Forum is neither an agent nor fronting for any governorship aspirant or any political office aspirant at all. This group evolved out of the need to bring a lasting peace and mutual understanding in the political atmosphere of our state and to give every section a sense of belonging.
We intend to do so by ensuring that we accommodate all the political parties so that every group will go to their party and ensure that their own political party comes up with a candidate from the zone.
Some have accused us of working for the incumbent governor, but we are just working for the long-term peace of Ndi Anambra and our state.
There can only be progress where there is peace and tranquility. In this case, the zoning arrangement for any state must start from somewhere and those of us in Anambra North Unity Forum have matured, both politically and in age, to bring a mutual political arrangement in the state. Once our people agree to this arrangement, the state will join the group of peaceful political arrangement in the federation. If we continue to wait for a day all the contestants in the state would agree on zoning arrangement, greed will not allow most of them to see the truth.
We know what the activities of our self-styled godfathers and moneybags have done to our people and our state, and we have resolved that the issue of money should not be allowed to continue to control elections in Anambra State.
There are people who say zoning has always enthroned mediocrity, and therefore should be done away with…
Those saying this should bear in mind that problems in the country today arose as a result of people feeling alienated. In dealing with problems one must device workable solutions.
There is no way you get to any of the three senatorial zones without finding a qualified and competent material for governorship position of the state. So, there is no way the rotation arrangement would hamper quality service delivery.
Zoning has worked in other states, so Anambra won’t be an exception. People of like minds in the state- business people, politicians, and elders- who are politically experienced evolved this idea with the aim of reducing tension associated with election processes.
The traditional rulers in the state in their own wisdom recently came together to say Governor Willie Obiano should be given a second tenure. In particular, the traditional rulers stated that it would be only fair that the zone is allowed to complete eight years. There is a growing consensus on this.
Has the group considered option B should Anambra people decide to vote someone from another zone?
Well, we are not God and cannot see the future, but it is not our wish to begin to imagine what would that would look like. We want Anambra State to remain peaceful, and Ndi Igbo have a high sense of fairness and justice. The implication of not allowing power to stay in the north is that people from the zone have started seeing themselves as second class citizens. It will not be good for everyone of us in the state, if a section of the state is being suppressed and marginalized,
ANUF has started reaching out to politicians from the ward, local government levels in the zone to ensure that all hands are on deck to achieve noble dream because we are not forcing people.