Today, Senator Ike Ekweremadu held a press briefing where he formally declared to contest the 2023 governorship election in Enugu state. During the press briefing, he was asked to make clarification on zoning understanding in the state and here is his response;
“…if there is going to be any discussion on zoning and going forward I believe that the leaders of Enugu would be happy to have that conversation but before now it never took place. And I challenge any person who say there was zoning to tell us at what point, in whose house and who and who were there. People have asked this question, up till today nobody have answered it.”
It is unfortunate that the inordinate ambition of Senator Ike Ekweremadu to become the governor of Enugu state could lead him to lie even on a period of Lent when christians are enjoined to speak truth as followers of Christ..
Senator Ekweremadu while throwing a challenge to those advocating for zoning to tell him at what point, in whose house and those at the meeting where zoning was agreed, failed to make clarification on the statements made by some leaders like Sullivan Chime, Okwesilieze Nwodo, Ben Collins Ndu and others who have stated unequivocally that the leaders of Enugu state met in 2013, and agreed on zoning.
On February 18, 2021, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo an elder statesman and former governor of old Enugu state at a PDP campaign rally in Igbo-etiti LGA disclosed that the PDP leadership in Enugu had zoned the governrorship position of the state to Enugu East senatorial zone in 2023.
Dr Nwodo who is also a former National Chairman of PDP said that he was in the party meeting alongside other leaders, such as the then Governor, Mr. Sullivan Chime, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the then State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Vita Abba, where the decision was taken.
The former Governor revealed that it was Chief Dubem Onyia who moved the motion at the meeting, which was seconded by Senator Ben Collins Ndu, with an amendment by Dr. Charles Egumgbe that the governorship position should go to Enugu East Senatorial District in 2023 after the turn of Enugu North Senatorial District, which is presently occupied by Gov. Ugwuanyi.
Senator Ben Collins Ndu who was at the said meeting of the State Caucus of the PDP in 2013. collaborated the statement made by Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo at a rally in Awgu LGA on August 7, 2021.
At the solidarity rally held at the Awgu local govt council secretariat to draw support for the rotation of the governorship seat in the state tagged: “Ife-Emelumma Enugu West Unity Rally”, attended by leaders of the zone, Senator Ndu told the audience that he was at a meeting of PDP leaders in 2013 where decision to zone the 2015 governorship of position to Enugu north senatorial zone was agreed.
He confirmed that it was Chief Duben Onyia who moved the motion in the presence of Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Sullivan Chime, Okwesilieze Nwodo, Vita Abba and others which was seconded by himself. He went further to state that Dr. Charles Egumgbe brought in an amendment that the governorship position should go to Enugu East Senatorial District in 2023 and it was supported by all.
Another former governor, Barr Sullivan Chime at a meeting with leaders of Nkanu east LGA told his visitors what transpired at a town hall meeting in Nike Lake hotel in 2013 where a journalist wanted to know the zone that would succeed him.
Chime said, “In 2013, while we were at Nike Lake holding a town hall meeting, one journalist raised his hand and I asked him, what is it? He asked that since my administration has gone half way, which zone will produce my successor at the end of my tenure. I told him it will go to North.
“It was only reasonable that I insisted that ndi Nsukka will produce the next governor after me with the hope that after Nsukka zone, it will be a kind of circle, so that it will go to Enugu East Senatorial Zone after which it will come to Enugu west.. “
Therefore, Senator Ekweremadu was only being economical with the truth while addressing the issue of zoning at his press briefing.
Since Senator Ekweremadu challenged us to name who and who that were at the meeting where the issue of zoning was agreed in Enugu, I urge him to speak on the statements by these prominent leaders who said he (Ekweremadu) was at the meeting of PDP state Caucus with them in 2013 where the decision on zoning was made.
He should tell us if he was not in the said PDP state Caucus meeting with Chief Duben Onyia, a former Minister; Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, a former PDP National Chairman; Chief Vita Abba, the then PDP state chairman; Barr Sullivan Chime, the then state governor; Ben Collins Ndu, a former senator and Dr Charles Egwumgbe among others when the zoning understanding in the state was reached.
It is good that it was Ekweremadu who threw up this challenge and I am glad that those in the meeting have spoken. I would want him to be specific on their statements. He should either confirm or deny them.
Eneh Victor Chigozie