As politicians continue to strategise on who takes what office ahead of the 2023 general elections, a group, known as Enugu Rebirth has described those advocating for the zoning of the governorship position in Enugu State as selfish and manipulative, saying that the governorship of state shall choose on the bases of competence and proven capacity to productively manage the resources of the state.
In a statement signed by its Director-General, Hon. Chuka Eze, Enugu Rebirth noted with regret that while other forward-thinking states are desperately in search of quality leadership to unify and move the economy of their states forward, selfish politicians in the state are preoccupied with enthroning a socially divisive and economically retrogressive phantom called “zoning.”
The statement pointed out that the people of Enugu State have not derived any benefits from the allocation of offices by influential political briefcase investors, adding that the real beneficiaries of the so-called zoning have always been the political class, to the detriment of the masses.
“We restate our position that since the dawn of democracy in 1999, the good people of Enugu State have not derived, in measurable, tangible economic and social terms, from the phantom zoning of elective political offices. On the contrary, the real beneficiaries have been the political class who have found it easy and convenient to divide up political offices, and by extension, the resources and opportunities in those offices, among themselves and their cronies, at the expense of the people,” the group said.
Continuing, Enugu Rebirth said in the statement: “We note with deep regret that our people have, through years of mind manipulation, been made to believe that the values and benefits of democratic rule begins and ends with having someone from their community, town, local government area and senatorial zone, occupying a sensitive political office, whether elected or appointed. The more the people from one zone win government positions, the higher their perceived political weight at the detriment of others not so privileged.”
While calling on the people of the state to rise and defend their rights to make the choice of their leader themselves, it also noted that zoning has potential to slow the pace of social, cultural, and economic integration of the people of the state.
“We reiterate that the people of Enugu State, on their own, want and need a leader that will embrace the entire state as one constituency. This cannot be possible through zoning, because primarily, the centrifugal undertone behind such convenient political selection process impels the candidate to see himself as responsible to the zone whose turn he is benefiting from, thereby creating unhealthy cycles of bottled-up hatred that is only unleashed when power shifts,” Hon Eze said in the statement.
On the mission of the socio-political group, Hon. Eze said Enugu Rebirth is advocating for the emergence and adoption of a candidate from any of the zones in the state that “proves himself or herself as capable of not just rising above primordial forces and sentiments, but also has proven capacity to respond proactively to the social and economic challenges of a modern progressive society,” adding that the group is already mobilizing the people to search for a candidate with demonstrable competence, capacity and vision to consolidate the foundation already laid by the founding fathers and other worthy past leaders of the state.