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Anambra 2025: APC must respect zoning to ensure victory

Political Zoning has proven to be the catalyst for equity and the most critical stabilizing factor in Nigerian politics due to the peculiarities and dynamics…

Political Zoning has proven to be the catalyst for equity and the most critical stabilizing factor in Nigerian politics due to the peculiarities and dynamics of our heterogeneous political culture. It has become almost impossible to divorce equity and fairness from zoning as they complement each other in the actualization of a peaceful and progressive society.

Contrary to the flawed idea that zoning is an APGA invention, it is imperative to clarify and highlight that fact that zoning is a natural law, a universal political principle and a fundamental egalitarian mandate for inclusivity, progressive politicking and equitable leadership.

Article 20(IV) (e) of the APC CONSTITUTION states that all considerations, rules, regulations and guidelines of our great party must reflect and uphold the principle of equitable rotation of political office and candidacy to reflect zonal spread, balance, fairness and equity.

In 2010, The eternal leader of Ndigbo, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu in his insightful and foresighted perspicuity broached the idea of Zoning in Anambra state when he highlighted the need to steer the state towards the path of equity by zoning power to Anambra North and this catalyzed the motivation for the then governor to mobilize towards ensuring that political moves are made to ensure that the northern zone of Anambra state succeeded him.

The politics of Anambra state has enjoyed relative stability, equity and fairness thanks to the adoption of the zoning principle as major political parties acknowledged the power rotation formula as reflected by the choice of candidates paraded in Anambra elections in the past decade.

In reality, no argument against power rotation and the relative peace it has brought to most states in Nigeria can stand against informed scrutiny as such argument is antithetical to the sagacity, inherent wisdom and political foresight which informed the drafters of the 1999 constitution and informed the enshrinement of the federal character which is a federal adaptation of the same principle of equitable inclusiveness in the constitution of our homogenous society.

In our post military political history, the introduction of equity in the governance of Anambra has proven to be the most stabilizing legacy bequeathed on our dear state by our democratic leadership. It is therefore a very worrying development for any school of thought, individual, group or political party in Anambra state to openly canvass or suggest for the discontinuation, interruption or truncation of the zoning arrangement which has ensured inclusiveness, fairness, equity, peace and progress in Anambra state. Such aspirations to thwart a working model can never be in the best interest of Anambra state but rather a stark manifestation of dubious, questionable and personal political/economic interests.

In reality, APC can no longer afford to continue playing opposition politics in Anambra state and all hands must be on deck to ensure a power shift in the 2025 governorship election.

Considering the disposition of the Anambra electorate, if the APC makes the mistake of failing to field a strong and popular candidate from Anambra south in favour of parading a candidate from any other zone, then it is safe to kiss the governorship aspirations of the party goodbye as the move would truncate the remaining four years tenure of Anambra south. The implication is that a new candidate from any other zone might tentatively lay claims to an eight year tenure instead of four and that is the last thing any right thinking anambarian wants at this epoch.

It is not rocket science neither is it difficult to understand that politicking against the established political culture of ndi Anambra is tantamount to political suicide as such a move will further alienate our great party from an already disgruntled electorate that has been negatively conditioned by the “nkea bu nke fa” ideology for almost two decades.

It is also fallacious, erroneous and outlandish to claim that zoning produces mediocrity, as some political jobbers with ulterior motives lamely but vehemently contend. For proper perspective, Lucky Igbenedion, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, James Ibori, James Bala Ngilari and Joshua Dariye have either been tried or convicted of mismanagement of public funds and abuse of office and none of them was a product of zoning in their various states.

The fact remains that there is an incredible abundance of political talent and world class leadership materials in every single LGA in Anambra state. There is no dearth of qualified individuals and party men in Anambra south with natural ability, professionalism, experience, clout and capacity to effectively run our beloved state.

Very importantly, the proponents and advocates of NO ZONING should be wary of what they preach as they risk swallowing their own vomit when the advocacy for IGBO PRESIDENCY arises considering the fact that an Igbo presidency without zoning would be akin to the fabled camel trying to navigate through the needle’s eye. These crusaders of NO ZONING in Anambra state must not discountenance the fact that the world is watching and the possibility that what they promote today might come back someday to strike a debilitating blow on their personal integrity, political fecundity and sincerity of purpose as supporting zoning at the federal level and then assuming a volte-face at the state level is ideological hypocrisy.

Considering the political culture of Anambra state today, any party that did not abide by the zoning formula adopted by stakeholders in rotation of the governorship seat of the state stands no chance of winning the forthcoming guber poll and historical indices support this position.

The Anambra state APC can only win the 2025 Anambra state governorship election if we can come together and unite to support a strong candidate from Anambra south who has the capacity, structures and personal grassroots’ following to match APGA at the polls.

The card carrying saboteurs in APC who have preoccupied and positioned themselves on the negotiation table with APGA with the goal to sabotage the party in exchange for a few wads of dollar bills should be identified by the national working committee of APC and punished accordingly.

Any APC member who is currently crusading for no zoning has been compromised and commissioned to work against the party and such a character (with their executive sponsors) should be considered enemies of the party who are actively working against the party interests.

APC cannot continue to betray its own candidates. It is time to come together, cage the white elephant in the room and make a strong statement in 2025.

Pope Amaefuna, An APC Stalwart writes from Oraukwu.

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