Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria(HURIWA), on Tuesday, raised the alarm that Abuja political forces bent on undermining good governance in Enugu State have started selfish, anti-people campaign to maliciously discredit Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and foist their moneybag as the next governor of the state by disregarding the zoning formula in existence in the South-East state.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the political desperados attempted to bribe the foremost human rights group to join scores of other non-government organisations to launch massive campaign of calumny against Ugwuanyi but HURIWA refused to be part of such devilish scheme.
The Rights group also said that the report about some political desperados also recently attempting to buy into the hearts of members of the Enugu State House of Assembly by offering them juicy sums each to play by their scheme to enthrone and endorse a certain individual whose origin is not deserving of the zoning arrangement in 2023, is despicable and reprehensible just as the group called on the good people of Enugu State to back their governor whilst he endeavours constructively to deliver democracy dividends.
HURIWA insisted that there has been a gentleman agreement and zoning formula in Enugu State since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999 and anything outside that is crudely anti-people and aimed at undermining the charter of equity should be resisted sternly in order not to destabilise the political sanity and serenity in the state.
Recall that former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who hails from Enugu West zone, recently declared his intention to run for the governorship election in 2023, saying there was never a zoning agreement in the state.
But HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “It is not true that there is no zoning arrangement in Enugu State. We urge the distinguished Senator Dr.Ekweremadu to as a matter of recollection of memory, to consult the contemporary political history of Enugu State in which he is a stakeholder to confirm once more that there is a written agreement on zoning. At the end of his two terms of eight years, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani of the Peoples Democratic Party, as the first governor of the state in the 4th Republic, handed over to Barr Sullivan Chime, who, in turn, handed over to Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in 2015. And all things being equal, Ugwuanyi will complete his two terms by next year and also hand over to a successor, who will also be chosen through the same relay fashion that has come to define Enugu’s leadership recruitment process.
“HURIWA has intelligence that Abuja political forces bent on foisting their moneybag as the next governor of Enugu State have assembled a media team and over 100 briefcase carrying NGOs to launch massive but misguided campaign against the government of Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. We do not exactly know the big masquerade behind the political dance in Abuja but we are sure that some of their agents came seeking our hands in their notorious political gimmicks targeting to rubbish the reputable name that the governor of Enugu State Right Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has made for himself over the last decade. Their underlying objective is to scuttle the well-ordered and well-settled zoning of the office of governorship slot in which Enugu West Senatorial Zone which is not how it should be because since the Enugu North and West have had their opportunities it should rotate to Enugu East as elder statesmen including Chief Jim Nwobodo and Chief Nnia Nwodo have logically argued.
“HURIWA was contacted to join forces to fight the Enugu governor by launching massive campaign of calumny to distract his administration from achieving the remaining segments of his revolutionary programmes and to scuttle the already agreed zoning arrangements by the Peoples Democratic Party which supporters of ex Deputy Senate President are opposed to because of his personal ambition but HURIWA turned them down. Once again, the agents who came disguised as independent opinion moulders of Enugu State and so did not unveil their Chief sponsor.
“It is important that security agents take note of what is going on and the plot by political hijackers and Abuja moneybags. Politicians must stop overheating Enugu because of selfish ambitions for governorship ticket in 2023 or any other positions. Let the overwhelming decision of the good people of Enugu State prevail. The security agents should know those to hold responsible should there be any breakdown of law and order in Enugu. Security agents should clamp down on political bickerers and sponsors of rebellion against the government of Ugwuanyi.”
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
March 22, 2022