Who is afraid of Ekweremadu?

SIR: A national daily quoted the Governor of Enugu State Sullivan Chime to have said in a town hall meeting in Enugu that it is the turn of the Enugu North Senatorial District (Nsukka Zone) to produce the next governor come 2015. In a swift reaction, Senator Ike Ekweremadu was also quoted to have told reporters in Abuja that there was nothing like “zoning” in Enugu governor’s seat.
Zoning is not enshrined in the Nigerian constitution of 1999 so amended. It is only unpopular and weak aspirants that would base their ambition on such parochial tendencies. Enugu North Senatorial Zone has taken refuge in zoning and power shift. They have expended so much energy on zoning in a manner that suggests that aspirants from the zone are incapable of competing in a free and fair contest.
Since the creation of Enugu State in 1991, the contest for governorship in the state has always been opened to all aspirants from the three senatorial districts. As late as last election, Governor Chime had contested against aspirants from Enugu East and Enugu North and no one was barred from contesting the PDP primaries.
In 2015, Enugu people are desirous of a leader who would consolidate on the achievement of the Chime administration. The people desire a development –minded leader with a disposition towards making the whole state his constituency and not one who comes with a “zoned” mentality. Such mundane and primordial consideration as “zoning” and “power shift” as being canvassed by those who cannot match the intimidating profile of Ekweremadu should be consigned to the dustbin.
It will be terrible for the ambition of such a political heavyweight to be sacrificed on the altar of zoning. One is left to wonder why the gentleman governor would now be involved in such an undemocratic principle. I am worried that if this discriminatory policy is allowed to stand, we will not only be encouraging illegality, but also be destroying the core values of merit, hard work and excellence in favour of indolence and mediocrity.
It needs to be stated that Senator Ekweremadu has not yet thrown his hat into the ring but has met the constitutional requirement. Be that as it may, his perceived ambition has featured prominently in the political discourses in the state and my candid advice to the North Senatorial District (Nsukka Zone) is to device a means of winning the gubernatorial election come 2015 than basking on the euphoria that the governor had erroneously zoned the coveted seat to them.
• Emeka Ozoagbo
Enugu, Enugu State.