Enugu North senatorial district of All Progress Congress (APC) party stakeholders in Enugu State on Sunday refused to accept the zoning arrangement of the party state executive for the State Working Committee (SWC) and other positions.
The rejection was announced by the stakeholders after a meeting hosted by Chief George Ogara, a governorship aspirant in Enugu State during the 2019 general elections at his residence Obaka Unadu in Igbo-eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The meeting approved the election of Dr. Simon Ideka, a former Commissioner of health in Enugu State who is from Aku in Igbo-etiti LGA, who replaced Mr Emecheta Okwu as the new chairman of APC in Enugu North senatorial district.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting Chief Eugene Odo, former Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly and APC senatorial candidate in Enugu North district in 2019 general elections who chaired the meeting said state exco from the district and stakeholders were not carried along in the purported zoning arrangement.
“We are surprise that Dr Ben Nwonye led State Executive Caretaker Committee and few others would stay in their bedrooms and announced zoning arrangements for APC in the state without due consultation.
“Enugu North district, interchangeable called Nsukka zone has over 50 per cent of APC faithful in the state, it’s unfair and amount to marginalisation for the zone to discuss issue of zoning arrangement of positions without carrying the district along.
“So stakeholders which comprises party chieftains, state, LG and ward executives, after deliberation on the issue unanimously reject the zoning arrangements that allocate governorship position to Enugu East district, state party chairman to Enugu West district and Secretary to Enugu North district,” he said.
Odoh added that “we have told our members in district to ignore any zoning arrangement and contest any position of their choice, and at the same time the district called for all inclusive stakeholders meeting of the entire Enugu APC so that everybody will be part of the decision-making.”
Asked the position he think Nsukka will be comfortable with, Odoh said, “an average Nsukka man is not a greedy person, we are interested in equity, but if you give us the opportunity basically we will be interested in the chairmanship and any national position of the party that is zoned to the State.
“Mind you, Enugu North zone just served out the secretary position, therefore, if in earnest there was
zoning arrangement, secretary position should not be zoned again to us, our zone should be rotated to another position.
“So what the zone want is to be part of decision-making and occupy party position that will be comparatively to their numerical strength,” he said.
Also, Hon. Fidel Ayogu, APC chieftain and former Nigeria Ambassador to Uganda who affirmed the decision of party stakeholders in the zone to reject the zoning arrangement to newsmen.
He said “rejection of the zoning arrangement is very fundamental given that enugu North District have 102 Electoral Wards where the entire state has 260 wards.
“You can now understand why we rejected the zoning arrangement and demanding that the matter be looked into for redress,” he said
Earlier in a welcome remark Chief Ogara, thanked the party stakeholders in the district for coming together to present their position of the district as it concerns the recent alleged zoning by state exco.
“I thank you all for this unity of purpose to address the continued marginalisation of Enugu North district by Enugu State APC.
“I thank you also for your personal efforts and steadfastness towards achieving victory for APC in all elective positions in Enugu state come 2023 general elections, “he said
Other stakeholders that attended the meeting include; Hon. Barth Ugwoke, APC National Director Research and Strategy, Mrs Amaka Onu, APC Enugu state financial Secretary among others.