Hon. Ikechukwu Emenike is the South East Zonal Coordinator of Anambra State Equity Alliance, and the State Vice Chairman of the group. In this interview with AMAECHI PERCY ONYEJEKWE, he advocates rotational presidency, power shift to the Anambra South Senatorial District, among other things. Excerpts:
What is ANSEA?
ANSEA stands for Anambra State Equity Alliance. It is a non Governmental, Non political Organization (NGO) that canvasses for rotation of power, equity and balance in political dispensations.
What is your vision for Anambra State and mission in the state?
ANSEA visions an Anambra State where equity and fairness prevail in the selecting and voting of governorship candidates from the three senatorial zones based strictly on zoning and rotation.
Historically, what has been the political, leadership structure of Anambra State since inception of democracy in 1999?
Since the creation of Anambra State the politics of power sharing and governance has been the bane of Anambra unity and homogeneity and peaceful transition. At every political dispensation, the issue of which of the three senatorial zones in the state would mount the saddle of leadership was an issue in strong contention. Consequently, senatorial zones and stakeholders always engaged in battle of wits to the detriment of justice, equity and good conscience. At a point in time, there arose the Anambra Central Forum which before 2003 gubernatorial election shadowed the rotation of the governorship seat to the Central and it ultimately produced Dr. Chris Ngige from the Central.
The political tide that swept across the state brought in Mr. Peter Obi as governor from the central thereby making Anambra Central to be in the seat of power for 12 years.
Earlier, Anambra South Senatorial District had produced Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Dr. Chinweoke Mbadinuju, Sen. Nnamdi Uba and Dame Virgy Etiaba as governors of the state whose total number of tenure of office put together was five years, three months and 17 days. It was against this backdrop that the need for equity and rotation of power was made manifest and the beneficiary of that power shift to the Anambra North Senatorial District became Governor Willie Obiano.
Does it matter if Anambra North continues on the governorship seat given the number of years Central and South senatorial districts spent on the seat?
As Anambra North completes its eight years of two tenures, politicians and stakeholders in the state have commenced fresh alliances and amalgamation over which senatorial zone comes next. Apparently aware of the journey so far, for balance, equity, fairness, Anambra South Senatorial zone should produce Governor Obiano’s successor in 2021. Anambra State Equity Alliance finds it expedient and instructive to urge for the rotation of governorship seat to Anambra South Senatorial District. It is the submission of ANSEA that equity and rotation of power be be allowed up to the ward level.
You are advocating for rotational cum zoning system in Anambra State when the 1999 Constitution (as amended) does not recognize rotation and zoning of elective positions in the country?
The Constitution is there for all of us. The Constitution, when you study it carefully, you will see that it advocates peace, unity, progress, brotherhood, fairness, equity, justice, all inclusiveness among other positive things. Zoning and rotating the seat of a governor of a state among the zones in the state is a positive step in achieving peace, unity, all inclusiveness, fairness and equity among others, in the state because it gives a sense of belonging to all irrespective of status. The same should apply to seat of the President.
Advocates of Igbo Presidency have come under strong criticism. What is your take on zoning the Presidency to South East zone in 2023 and rotational presidency among the six geo-political zones in the country?
If you look at Nigeria’s political history from 1960 to date, you will discover to your surprise that Igbo has not tasted the Presidency. Such is the case with many minority groups in the country. Zoning the presidency to the South East in 2023 and allowing Igbo attain the presidency of Nigeria in 2023 will impact positively on Nigeria, in that, it will not only give a sense of belonging to the people it will also help to end agitations in the country.
Rotational presidency will allow Nigeria grow and develop and give every segment of Nigeria, every tribe and people of this country a sense of belonging .
For a better society