Magnus Eze, Enugu
Traditional ruler of Nawfia in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, Chijioke Nwankwo, has said he did not sign a communiqué allegedly endorsed by about 40 of his colleagues backing zoning of next year’s governorship to Anambra South senatorial district because he did not believe in it.
He said zoning would not allow the best candidate to emerge as governor, adding that it would have been necessary if there was inequity in the state.
Daily Sun had reported last week that Anambra traditional rulers were allegedly being intimidated by government officials to back the zoning arrangement of the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state.
A communiqué endorsing zoning was eventually published by the traditional rulers from across the three senatorial zones, including those who had about a week earlier kicked against it.
The Osuofia II of Nawfia denied that the people of the state adopted zoning in 2017; challenging anybody with such document, including video evidence to make it public.
“In 2014, I supported Akachukwu Nwankpo from the South for governor; he was then the senior special assistant to the president. Then, I said I didn’t like zoning; that it does not bring out the best candidate; only when there is inequity but there is no inequity between North and South or Central in Anambra State.
“How did they expect me to change now there is equitable distribution of power among the three senatorial zones? It is impossible. When they brought that thing; I said I cannot sign, and fortunately, nobody called me to threaten me. I have not received any call of threat that if I don’t sign something will happen. I think the government has always known my stand, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the state has always known my stand. In 2017, I challenged the zoning at the traditional rulers’ hall at the Government House.
“Damian Okeke-Ogene, who was and still the president of Ohanaeze, Anamabra State and everybody in that meeting knew I challenged zoning, and I cannot change now. It is not by force. I have my own right,” he said.