A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State, Chief Mudi Erhenede, has blamed the pressure in the polity over zoning of political offices on the insincerity of politicians in the country.
He maintained that patriotism and statesmanship should be the guiding principles of political actors at this point in the nation’s democratic journey.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Erhenede, who examined the issue of zoning in the country, stressed that it should not be a subject of conjecture after over two decades of the current democratic dispensation.
“Being among the founding members of PDP, I know that zoning is one of the cardinal principles in the party’s constitution and so, it should not be a subject of debate at this point in time,” he said.
While expressing the hope that reason and wise counsel would prevail to preserve the country’s unity and democratic progress, Erhenede said attempts to use political expediency to change the rotation convention would threaten the country’s socio-economic harmony.
He noted with dismay the efforts by some political leaders in even PDP controlled states to change the zoning arrangement in those states, adding that the electorate is taking conscious notice of the doublespeak among the politicians.
Citing developments in Ebonyi State, Erhenede condemned attempts to introduce zoning by political blocs, saying it amounted to trying to cut one’s nose to spite one’s face.
He explained that he was fortunate to be part of former Governor Sam Egwu’s administration, insisting that the question of zoning was very much in discourse.
“At the time Egwu was ending his tenure as governor, some of us who were his appointees were of the view that power should rotate to Ebonyi South. That was our agitation and we argued in favour of the Abakaliki and Afikpo blocs.”
We had argued that Egwu had taken the turn of the Abakaliki bloc. But the then governor had a different opinion. He advised that there was nothing like blocs and that we should go by the three Senatorial zones and that was why Chief Martin Elechi emerged as governor,” he said.
While noting that Governor Dave Umahi was serving his second term as governor from Ebonyi South, Erhenede said the three zones have enjoyed the rotation on the basis of what Egwu introduced.
He expressed concern that some politicians were trying to subvert the arrangement even in the PDP, insisting that power rotation was never negotiated on the basis of the Abakaliki and Afikpo blocs.
He, therefore, urged leaders and stakeholders of the PDP to convene a meeting to agree on the most appropriate arrangement for the 2023 elections.