From Fred Itua, Abuja
A political lobby group, Enugu Rescue Group, has blamed former Enugu State Governor Dr Chimaroke Nnamani for claims that an alleged zoning arrangement eliminated the former Deputy Speaker of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, from the contest for the governorship of Enugu in 2023, saying that there has never been a time when the people of Enugu State zoned his governorship.
He warned those preparing to trade a purported zoning document to remember that falsification remains a serious offense under Nigerian laws.
The group, while describing the alleged zoning deal as a fictitious plot and elites to seize power to deprive the people of Enugu State of quality governance, reminded the former governor that gang politics were not working in Enugu.
Nnamani had, in a statement he personally signed on Sunday, praised what he claimed was a “principled position” by some political leaders like former governors Sullivan Chime, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, Senator Jim Nwobodo and the former President of the Senate, Senator Ken Nnamani and Governor Ifeanyi. Ugwuanyi, “affirming the principle of zoning as well as the turn of the Enugu East zone to produce the next governor”.
“This position of the Enugu elders may have put an end to the gubernatorial ambition of former Senate Vice President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu of Enugu West senatorial area,” Nnamani clearly stated.
But in a quick reaction on Sunday through his national coordinator, Ejike Iloh, questioned when Dr Nnamani became the spokesperson for former governors and state elders.
The group said: ‘We have observed the reckless statements and assertions of Dr Chimaroke Nnamani and wonder when he became the spokesperson for all former governors and political leaders in Enugu, including those with whom he was not. don’t agree.
“Nnamani in the usual air of arrogance and playing god said. We are bold to say that by verifiable records on contests for Governor of Enugu State since 1998/1999, there is nothing like the principle of zoning in the State. Power has circled the three geopolitical zones, but not on the basis of a predefined zoning principle, as Nnamani seeks to sell to unsuspecting Nigerians.
“Where was the so-called zoning principle when he himself from Enugu East was sponsored by Senator Jim Nwobodo to snatch the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governor’s ticket from Chief Nduka Agu of Enugu West who was sponsored by another former governor, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo in 1998, in an epic battle?
“Where was the zoning when Nnamani challenged All Peoples Party (APP) leader Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu from Enugu West in the 1999 main elections?
“Where was the zoning in the highly volatile 2003 gubernatorial election which became a direct contest between Nnamani of Enugu East and Ambassador Fidel Ayogu of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), originally from Enugu North ?
“Where was the zoning when even Nnamani’s Deputy Dr Ezenwata Okechukwu Itanyi of Enugu North challenged Nnamani’s designated successor Sullivan Chime of Enugu West in the PDP gubernatorial primary in 2007 and only lost by a narrow margin?
“And most importantly, where was the so-called zoning in 2011 when Dr Chimaroke Nnamani formed the Peoples Democratic Congress (PDC), aligned Dr Dan Shere and waged a fierce political war to unseat then-incumbent Governor Chime of Enugu West. ?”
This reminded Nnamani that the political gang does not work in Enugu State, no matter how powerful the forces behind it.
“We are surprised that Nnamani forgot that there was a gang against him by virtually all the political heavyweights in Enugu including Nwobodo, Nwodo and a majority of the Enugu State Assembly leaving almost like him, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. , and a few others standing on one side. We would like to remind him that the gang-up failed since he could not be dismissed or arrested from his second term.
“Furthermore, a gang of Nnamani, Nwodo as National Chairman of PDP and several others to deny Chime a second term failed because God used men of good will and principle like Ekweremadu to bring Chime to a successful conclusion.
“Similarly, the gang-up to arrest Ekweremadu in 2015 was unsuccessful. God saw him through as he was ultimately instrumental in this election season.
“We therefore wish to remind Nnamani that God is still alive to teach people, who enjoy playing God, some bitter lessons,” he added.
The statement also questioned when Nnamani would defend the zoning of other political offices in Enugu.
“Why is it good to talk about the zoning of the governorship seat of Enugu when he, Nnamai, is firmly holding the senatorial seat of Enugu East for two terms even as he plans to return?
“When will this seat be zoned in the political backwaters of Enugu East like Nkanu East and Isi Uzo?
“Why is no one talking about zoning the senatorial seat from Enugu North to Igbo Eze South to Igbo-Eze South in 2023?” they wondered.
He said that with the governorship having circled the three zones, he was more interested in the best hands emerging from the Governor of Enugu in 2023, regardless of who he or she is or where the candidate is from.