The people of Enugu West Senatorial District have declared that it is the turn of Enugu East Senatorial District of the state to produce the next governor of Enugu State in 2023.
The argument is based on the existing rotational arrangement, which was reaffirmed by the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, during the state caucus meeting of the party in 2013.
The people of Enugu West Senatorial District took the decision during the well-attended solidarity rally tagged: “Ife-Emelumma Enugu West Unity Rally for Gburugburu”, held at Awgu local government area secretariat, on Saturday.
Speaking at the rally which was graced by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state, his deputy, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi, State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Augustine Nnamani, 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, the Convener and Chairman of the Central Organising Committee of the rally, Senator Ben Collins Ndu, told Gov. Ugwuanyi that the people of Enugu West Senatorial District have assembled to speak with one voice that the zoning of the governorship seat of the state favours Enugu East Senatorial District.
Senator Ndu who disclosed 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, maintained 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 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.
“What we are saying in Enugu West Senatorial District is that in Enugu State, 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. The motion was amended by Dr. Charles Egumgbe that after Enugu North Senatorial District, it would be the turn of Enugu East Senatorial District. The amendment was adopted by the Caucus at that meeting”, Senator Ndu said while displaying the minutes of the meeting.
The Chairman of the Organising Committee therefore reassured Gov. Ugwuanyi that “the entire people of Enugu West Senatorial District are with you”, stressing: “Wherever you go, we go with you…Odikwagi N’ aka”.
In their goodwill messages, other speakers at the unity rally, such as all the members of the State House of Assembly in Enugu West Senatorial District, Chairmen of the five LGAs in the zone, members of the State Executive Council (EXCO), the PDP LG Chairmen, the Traditional Rulers, the youth, former House of Representatives member, Rt. Hon. Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, former Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, former Minister of Aviation, Amb. Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, Chief Anayo Onwuegbu, among others, endorsed the pronouncement made by the Convener, reiterating that it is the turn of Enugu East Senatorial District to produce Gov. Ugwuanyi’s successor in 2023.
Addressing the mammoth crowd at the rally, Gov. 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.
“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. In doing so, we shall be consultative, just and equitable.
“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”, the governor said.
Rt. Hon. Ofor Chukwuegbo, Hon. Prince Cornelius Nnaji, Senator Hyde Onuaguluchi, Rt. Hon. U.S.A Igwesi, Sir. Chinyeaka Ohaa, and Dr. Tony Okam, were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion.