The 2023 Governorship race in Enugu State seems to be taking shape, with the Enugu West Senatorial zone joining Enugu North and Enugu East Senatorial Zones to declare support for Enugu East to produce the next governor of the State.

At a mega rally tagged: “Ife-Emelumma Enugu West Unity Rally for Gburugburu”, held at Awgu Council headquarters on Saturday, attended by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, his deputy, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi, State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Augustine Nnamani, present and former National and State Assemblies members, Convener and Chairman of the Central Organising Committee of the rally, Senator Ben Collins Ndu, said the people of Enugu West were in support that the zoning of the governorship seat of the state favoured Enugu East Senatorial zone.

Senator Ndu said the people of Enugu West support Gov. Ugwuanyi and his decisions in respect of his successor in 2023, and were equally in support of the decision of the State Caucus of the PDP in 2013, that the governorship position of Enugu State should rotate to Enugu East after the expiration of the turn of Enugu North, presently occupied by Governor Ugwuanyi.

Senator Ndu recalled that he seconded the motion, moved by Chief Dubem Onyia, at that PDP Caucus meeting held on July 7, 2013, that Enugu East should produce the next Governor in 2023.

He mentioned those present at the meeting to include former State Chairman of PDP, Chief Vita Abba, former Governor Sullivan Chime, former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, former Speaker of State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Eugene Odo, and other members of the National and State Assemblies.

He claimed that it was based on that decision 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.

He then 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, members of the State House of Assembly in Enugu West, Chairmen of the five LGAs in the zone, members of the State Executive Council (EXCO), PDP LG Chairmen, Traditional Rulers, youths, former member of House of Representatives, 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 was the turn of Enugu East to produce Gov. Ugwuanyi’s successor in 2023.

Addressing the mammoth crowd at the rally, Gov. Ugwuanyi thanked the people of Enugu West for their unwavering confidence in his leadership and reaffirmed the unflinching commitment of his administration to act in their best interest.

“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.

For quite some time, the issue of zoning, or rotational governorship, has dominated political discussion in Enugu State, with some people arguing that there was no previous agreement for the Governorship position in Enugu State to be rotated among the three senatorial districts of the state, and others contending that the zoning was a gentleman’s arrangement for peace to prevail.

This was after Enugu East, which kick-started the Governorship under the present political dispensation had occupied the position for eight years, through former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani; Enugu West, also eight years, through former Governor Sullivan Chime; and now Enugu North, through Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who will be rounding off his eight years tenure in 2023.

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