From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
Ahead of next year’s general election, a former governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani, has said that it is the prerogative of the incumbent governor of the state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to choose his successor in office.
He said the incumbent governor producing his successor without challenges was in line with the precedent set since 1999 in the state.
‘We have a tradition in Enugu State politics. The governor is the leader who directs affairs. He will determine who succeeds him without compromising the electoral processes and whomever he chooses will be our next governor,’ Nnamani, who governed the state from 1999 to 2007, said in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday.
‘I have absolute loyalty and respect for my governor, who is also the leader of Ebeano political family. He has demonstrated capacity and leadership. We are waiting for him to lead the way to go in 2023 and we shall follow.’
There have been discordant tones over zoning or rotation of the governorship in the three Senatorial zones of the state but Nnamani who is currently representing Enugu East Senatorial District at the Senate, believes the rotation was the way to go, as according to him the state has enjoyed political harmony on account of adherence to zoning or rotation since 1999.
After Nnamani, who is from Enugu East, left in 2007, Sullivan Chime from Enugu West took over from 2007 to 2015 while the incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi from Enugu North came to power in 2015 and is expected to complete the cycle in 2023.
Nnamani, however, expressed excitement over the political developments in the state noting that accomplished sons and daughters were showing interest in the politics of the state, praying that the best amongst them emerges as governor in 2023.
‘All the aspirants belong to the Ebeano political family. One hundred per cent of them are my primary, secondary and by-products. Some may have close affinity with me which explains the understandable speculations on whom I may be supporting. But it is the governor that will choose his successor. The political machinery in the state including the Ebeano family will be rolled out to support whomever he chooses,’ the ex-governor stated.
He stressed that ‘there is no war to be fought. We are one family, whomever emerges will be governor for all,” he advised those fanning the embers of war to sheathe their swords.
‘No matter the machinations, conspiracies and subterfuges over the governorship primary of our party, we will have a successful transition under the leadership and guidance of our governor.
‘It is understandable that some of those who are posturing are seeking for relevance or seeking for political appointments in other parties. That is the beauty of democracy.’
Assuring that he has forgiven all those who might have wronged him in the past, Nnamani said: ‘I harbour no grudges against any one. I have no fears or concerns about anyone. That era is confined to the dustbin of history. We are moving forward as one family for greater Enugu State.’