Magnus Eze, Enugu
Report of a research, recently conducted ahead of next year’s governorship election in Anambra State, has favoured competence/credibility over zoning.
The study by Media Awareness and Development Advocacy Forum showed that the fuse over zoning was not just inconsequential but unpopular among the electorate.
The findings of the group came at a time some political actors, mainly the elite, were pushing an argument that the next governor of the state should be zoned to Anambra South.
However, the research carried out, in the 21 local government areas of the state, revealed that the zoning narrative in Anambra State was an elitist’s agenda – aimed mainly at power grab.
The report noted that “majority of the citizens and the electorate are looking up to credible candidates in the governorship election – with capacity to deliver on good governance: address insecurity, unemployment among the youths, poverty, growing deficit of infrastructure and other socio-political and economic challenges in the state.”
The survey also stated that the citizens’ swelling disenchantment with the present state government over its alleged failure to deliver on campaign promises, became pronounced during the research, indicating that any candidate the government supports in the next election will be very hard to sell to the voters.
For a state, whose 90 percent of its voting population are not members of any political party, and 40 percent non-indigenes, the group described the argument that zoning would maintain peaceful political order, as “not just lazy, petty but silly conversation.
“Zoning is more as an elite strategy to negotiate continued participation in the political process and access to the state’s wealth at the expense of good governance and creative ideas to drive socio-political, economic and cultural potential of Anambra –as the state has witnessed in the past seven years.
“In all 5,211 people across the three senatorial districts were interviewed.
“The population of the research include, professionals, students, market men/women, artisans, Okada (bike) riders, local traders and others, across different age groups and sex in the three senatorial districts in the state: Anambra North, Central and South,’’ the media group said.