The people of Enugu East Senatorial District of Enugu State comprising leaders of political, religious and traditional institutions, on Thursday, converged on the popular Michael Okpara Square, #Enugu, for a Mega Rally, requesting #Governor Ifeanyi #Ugwuanyi to uphold the long established rotational template with regards to the Office of the Governor of the state by lending his support for the district to produce his successor in 2023.
Speaking at the well-attended rally, themed “Oganiru Enugu East Senatorial District”, the Convener and Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi said that the only agenda of the gathering was to demand for the governorship seat of the state in 2023 in the spirit of equity, fairness and justice, stressing that it is the turn of Enugu East Senatorial District going by the long established rotational template in the state.
The Speaker who applauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for attending the rally stated that it was the unanimous stance of the people of Enugu East Senatorial District and beyond that the governor has a major role to play in the choice of his successor since his predecessors enjoyed such privilege during their tenures as governors of the state.
“Your Excellency, your own will not be different. We are waiting for you to take a decision on your choice of your successor from any of the six local government areas of Enugu East Senatorial District and we will support the person overwhelmingly”, Rt. Hon. Ubosi said.
Aligning with the Speaker’s speech, the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State, Dr. Ben Nwoye announced that the party has zoned its governorship position in 2023 to Enugu East Senatorial District.
Dr. Nwoye eulogized Gov. Ugwuanyi for his uncommon leadership qualities as a peaceful, humble and development-oriented governor, saying: “When you have peace you have order; when you have peace you have development, you (Ugwuanyi) are a peaceful governor and you have brought peace to our people”.
The APC State Chairman emphasized that the governor’s presence at the rally was a prayer answered towards the quest for his successor to come from Enugu East Senatorial District.
“Your Excellency, the fact that you are here, means that you have answered our prayers in our midst. It means that you have agreed to endorse someone from Enugu East Senatorial District come 2023.
“We (APC) have zoned the governorship candidate to Enugu East Senatorial District. We are following the PDP people to beg you to also nominate and zone their governorship candidate to Enugu East Senatorial District.
“So, Your Excellency, you will do the right thing. You will anoint someone from Enugu East Senatorial District; if it goes to APC, you anoint someone from APC; if it goes to PDP, you anoint someone from PDP”, Nwoye said.
In his speech, the former Governor of old Anambra State and the former Senator who represented Enugu East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Jim Nwobodo, expressed optimism that Gov. Ugwuanyi will endorse his successor from the zone, pointing out that “Gburugburu is a peace-maker; Gburugburu entrusted Enugu State to the hand of God; Gburugburu will give Ndi Enugu East Senatorial District governor in 2023; we are only waiting for the time to come to know who will be the next governor from our zone”.
Expressing his confidence in Gov. Ugwuanyi, Senator Nwododo maintained that it is the turn of Enugu East Senatorial District to produce the next governor of Enugu State in 2023, appealing to other senatorial districts to support the choice candidate of the governor from the zone when the time comes.
Nwobodo added that the candidate should be someone “who will be as humble and peaceful like you (Ugwuanyi) and also a governor of the entire Enugu State not governor of Enugu East Senatorial Zone, as Ugwuanyi is today the governor of Enugu State, not governor of Nsukka”.
Lending his support, the former President of the Senate, Senator Ken Nnamani endorsed the stance of the people of Enugu East Senatorial District at the rally and commended the organizers of the event for galvanizing the people of the zone to come and appraise the existing rotational principle of zoning in Enugu State.
Represented by the Ambassador-designate to the Republic of Poland, Major General Christian Ugwu (Rtd.), Sen. Nnamani lauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for the peace being enjoyed in Enugu State, expressing confidence that the governor’s disposition to peace and good governance will guarantee a peaceful transition in 2023, where a candidate from Enugu East Senatorial District will be elected governor of the state.
In their separate goodwill messages, the members of the National and State Assemblies from the zone, the Council Chairmen, the Clergy, traditional rulers, State Executive Council, among others, equally paid glowing tributes to Gov. Ugwuanyi’s leadership qualities and appealed to him to stick to the existing rotational zoning arrangement in respect of the Office of the Governor of Enugu State, stressing: “We want governor of Enugu State come 2023”.
The state leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by the Chairman, Hon. Augustine Nnamani, said that the party has not yet taken decision on the issue but he expressed hope that the outcome will be favourable.
Responding, Gov. Ugwuanyi appreciated the people of the six local government areas of Enugu East, Enugu North, Enugu South, Nkanu East, Nkanu West and Isi-Uzo that make up Enugu East Senatorial District for their outstanding support during his 2019 governorship election, noting that they “emerged as the Senatorial District that mustered the second highest number of votes in support of my candidacy, after Enugu North Senatorial District”.
While recognizing the pedigree and sterling contributions of leaders of Enugu East Senatorial District to state and national development, such as Senator Jim Nwobodo, Senator Ken Nnamani, Senator Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, and Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi, Gov. Ugwuanyi reassured the people of the zone that “the content and context of your speeches are understood”.
His words: “I admit, in all humility, that I have listened to all the speeches and I salute your uncommon political literacy and consciousness.
“Ndi Enugu are famed for being a peaceful and united family irrespective of religious bent or party affiliations. I, therefore, enjoin you to stay the course of peace and remain united.
“I pray that at the end of our administration, we will bequeath to all, a just, equitable, peaceful, united and prosperous Enugu State that has ascended more rungs on the development ladder”.