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Enugu 2023: Ekweremadu, Rep Member, Others Shun PDP Rally On Zoning

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Ex-Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, and  member of the House of Representatives, representing Awgu/Aninri Oji River  federal Constituency, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, weekend shunned a political rally staged by the peoples Democratic party PDP in Enugu West zone, to endorse Enugu East Senatorial district as the area to produce governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s successor in 2023.

Although, Ekweremadu, has not denied or made his gubernatorial ambition public, his body language and various social media comments  by his supporters and political allies, suggest that the lawmaker representing Enugu West Senatorial district  at the upper Chamber of the Nigeria’s National Assembly NASS is nursing governorship dream.

African Examiner reports that the former Speaker, ECOWAS parliament who has been in the Senate since 2003, and his close confidant Hon. Toby Okechukwu, as well as Hon. Denis Amadi, representing Udi/ Ezeagu federal Constituency  were conspicuously absent at the Enugu West rally attended by governor Ugwuanyi and his Deputy, Cicelia Ezeilo, held at the Agwu local government headquarters. 

While the Awgu rally was taking place, Ekweremadu, Okechukwu, Amadi, and their supporters were attending an age grade event, called the ‘Aju festival’, at Ugbo, Community, where Hon. Okechukwu, hails from, in the same Awgu Council area of the state.

However, Speaker after Speaker at the  PDP event  tagged: ‘Ife – Emeluma Enugu West unity rally’ had said the primary reason for the event was for them to come and give their full backing to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s bid to seek his successor from the Enugu East zone in accordance with the long existing  rotational arrangement that political leaders had earlier adopted for the state under the PDP.

The PDP  leaders who spoke at the rally convened by a former Senator that represented Enugu West  in the Senate, Senator Ben Collins Ndu, mandated  Governor Ugwuanyi to stick to the zoning arrangement which will favour the Enugu East Senatorial District in 2023.

The rally was attended by, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi, State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Augustine Nnamani,  some present and former members of the National and State Assemblies, Chairmen of Aninri, Awgu, Ezeagu, Oji-River and Udi Local Government Areas, Traditional Rulers, the Clergy, among others.

In his remark, Convener and Chairman of the Central Organising Committee, Senator Ndu applauded Governor Ugwuanyi for entrenching peace and stability in the state’s political arena and adding that  the people of Enugu West would not accept a reversal of the established rotational arrangement since it would lead to chaos and disunity in the state.

According to him,  the zoning arrangement which had earlier been established by political stakeholders, had worked well for the state and should not be changed.

Senator Ndu, told Ugwuanyi that the people of Enugu West Senatorial District had assembled to speak with one voice that the zoning of the governorship seat of the state favours Enugu East Senatorial District. 

He declared that the people of Enugu West Senatorial District are 100 percent in support of Gov. Ugwuanyi and his decisions in respect of his successor in 2023, maintaining  that they firmly stand by the decision of the State Caucus of the PDP in 2013, that the governorship position of Enugu State should rotate to Enugu East Senatorial District after the expiration of the turn of Enugu North Senatorial District presently occupied by the governor.

The Convener revealed that he seconded the motion moved by Chief Hon. Dubem Onyia, at the said PDP Caucus meeting of July 7, 2013, that the governorship position of the state should rotate to Enugu North Senatorial District in 2015 with an understanding that it should rotate to Enugu East Senatorial District in 2023, after the turn of Enugu North Senatorial District. 

Senator Ndu who produced and read from the document that proclaimed the zoning arrangement, pointed out that the PDP meeting of 2013 was attended by the party leaders such as the then State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Engr. Vita Abba, then Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime (from Enugu West Senatorial District), then Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, then Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Eugene Odo, other members of the National and State Assemblies who were members of the Caucus.

He added it was based on the PDP decision on zoning of the governorship position that Rt. Hon. Ugwuanyi from Enugu North Senatorial District emerged the governorship candidate of the party and thereafter the Governor of Enugu State in 2015. which was signed by the political stakeholders at that time.

“What we are saying in Enugu West Senatorial District is that in Enugu State, the governorship position rotates among the three senatorial districts. You (Ugwuanyi) are a beneficiary of the motion I seconded that the governorship seat should rotate to Enugu North Senatorial District.

Addressing the rally, Ugwuanyi thanked the people of Enugu West Senatorial District for their unwavering confidence in his political leadership and reaffirmed the unflinching commitment of his administration to act in their best interest, as always.

He said “It is significant that the people of Enugu West Senatorial District have willfully communicated their position without goading. I, therefore, assure you that we shall strive to sustain whatever has kept our state peaceful, united and on the path of development. 

“The theme of today’s rally (Ife Emelu  Mma) seemed musical to me when I got the invitation, but having listened to all the speeches, I now understand that Ife Emelu Mma mantra, is both a statement of fact and a philosophy; a philosophy that situates and inspires a just and equitable dispensation of political leadership in our polity.

“In its literal sense, it is ‘ofo’; an innovation of the divine spirit to bear witness to our acts of justice and equity.

“Your message is therefore clear. It is understood in all ramifications. May God grant your prayers and heart’s desire” Ugwuanyi stated.


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