A political pressure group, Equity Turn by Turn Movement, has flayed the Anambra North Traditional Rulers Council, for making a U-Turn on their earlier stand on zoning ahead of the 2021 gubernatorial election in the state.
The monarchs had recently endorsed a free for all contest on the argument that there had never been zoning.
But in a press statement made available to Fides and signed by the chairman and secretary of Equity Turn by Turn Movement,
Hon. O. C. Gaius Ezeh and Hon. Dan Ejianya, respectively, the group faulted the argument of the Anambra North monarchs which was premised on the fact that in past guber elections, candidates from other zones participated; a development, the monarchs, argued, indicated that there was no zoning.
The Equity Turn by Turn Movement's chairman, Eze, however described the argument as flawed, as well as a miscalculation, especially after earlier agreeing with others on the zoning formula.
'Just like other prominent sons of Anambra State, elder statesmen, Anambra State Elders Council, etcetera, the Anambra North Council of Ndi Igwe, in our meeting with them at Oyi L.G.A. Headquarters, Nteje, whole heartedly agreed with our campaign for the sustenance of the rotation system for the governorship seat in Anambra State. They encouraged us and blessed our efforts.
'Zoning system is not a constitutional issue but a gentleman's agreement among Anambrarians. Therefore 100% conformity was never expected or even necessary. The fact still remains that it was the zoning system that produced the incumbent governor in both his first and second term elections,' Eze stated, pointing out that in each of the elections, the opinion moulders comprising the Elders' Council, Ohaneze and elder statesmen, simply guided the people's choice by educating the populace on the benefits of the zoning system.
He therefore said it was neither right nor necessary to dissipate energy trying to plead or force any candidate from the wrong zone to withdraw.
'They all gradually saw the realities on the ground at different stages. Many fizzled out at the primaries, while the remaining few experienced a colossal failure in the main election. At the end, the voice of the people prevailed,' he reflected.
Eze wondered how anybody could now point at what those he called deviates, who, he said, learnt their lessons the bitter way, as evidence of non existence of zoning when the zoning went as planned in spite of those deviates.
He said the state had an abundance of qualified people to vie for the governorship seat, regardless of where they came from, noting that zoning and securing good materials could not be mutually exclusive and blamed the monarchs for failing to provide what he called substitutes for all the gains of the zoning system.
'What is their substitute for peace and stability that zoning system provides? What is their substitute for the reduced cost of politicking?' he queried, noting that the Igbos should not be clamouring for zoning in the larger Nigerian society, while working against same at home.
Eze expressed satisfaction that the group had discussed the issue with many eminent sons of the state from the three zones and that their views had been 'positive and progressive on the issue.'
'Chief Emeka Anyaoku did not only accept the idea but presented it to the Elders' Council a day after our meeting with him and it was endorsed,' he recalled, while conceding that being a democracy, people were within their rights to hold their views.
He advised the monarchs of Anambra North to consider holding fast to their initial view on the issue, noting that it was for the greatest good of the state.
'What should concern them is the position of Ndi Anambra and not the position of the few deviates,' Eze insisted in the press statement.