By Cynthia Igbokwe
A socio-political group, Federation of Old Nnewi Division (FOND) in conjunction with community leaders and stakeholders from Old Nnewi, has reaffirmed its stance on the zoning formula in Anambra Political system and demanded that the 2021 governorship position be zoned to Anambra South Senatorial Zone.
The group however noted that it had been their position since the formation of the body in 2015 but was re-echoed on Saturday, 27th March, 2021, during their general stakeholders meeting at the Royal Palace of HRH, Igwe Orizu of Nnewi. They insisted that the rotation of the governorship position in the November 6 election remained sacrosanct and not negotiable.
However, for equity, fairness and justice, the group called on all political parties to give more attention to credible aspirants from Old Nnewi Division during primaries. This measure, according to the non-partisan sociocultural group, would ensure that equity and fair play prevailed since Anambra Senatorial Zone at inception of the state in August 1991, was made up of the Old Aguata, Ihiala and Old Nnewi divisions. Later Aguata, Orumba North and Orumba South Local Governments were carved out from the Old Aguata Division while Ekwusigo, Nnewi North and Nnewi South Local Governments were created from Old Nnewi Division.
‘Ihiala Division was not tampered with. Since Old Aguata and Ihiala Divisions have been fortunate to have produce Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife; and Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju, respectively as governors of Anambra State, candidates from Old Nnewi Division should be considered by the people of Anambra State on 6th November, 2021 during the election,’ the group said.
Speaking, the President, Federation of Old Nnewi Division, Dr. Jude A.P. Okolo, said the people of the area were being marginalised in the governance of the state, emphasizing that Old Nnewi Division had remained the goose that laid the golden egg.
He stated that the people of Old Nnewi were not happy over calls by some sections of the state to discontinue the zoning adopted to ensure equity and justice and fair play in the management of affairs of the state and to minimize the overheating of the polity during elections.
Dr Okolo noted that the group was purely non-partisan since its membership cut across political lines and includes non politicians who are ready to support any political party that hearkens to the cry of the zone in delivering equity and justice fairplay by presenting their governorship flag bearers from old Nnewi Division.
He said that power should return to the South Senatorial zone stating that the central had ruled for more than 11 years while Anambra North would complete 8 years by 17th March 2022. The South Senatorial Zone, they claimed, only occupied the governorship seat at Agu Awka for only four years during the current fourth Republic. He therefore posited that it was the turn of Old Nnewi to produce a governor if power should return to Anambra South, with Ihiala and Old Aguata having produced governors respectively.
‘This is the 3rd time we are having an opportunity to produce a governor from the south and it should come from Old Nnewi Division which is the remaining leg of the tripod that is yet to produce a governor among the three components of the senatorial zone,’ Okolo said.
The group said they had been sensitizing their people and also raising their political consciousness since 2015, adding that they did not have any anointed candidate from any party but that their main agenda remains that Old Nnewi should produce the next Governor of the state
Outlining the benefits, the group said such zoning would avail their neglected areas the opportunity to attract development to some of their communities as witnessed during the previous administrations in the other zones.
They said that their intention was not to intimidate anybody but to appeal to the conscience of Ndi Anambra to ensure that equity, justice and fair play be observed.