Crisis may be brewing within the political terrain in Enugu State following rejection of prevailing zoning formula of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state by people of Awgu, operating under Save Awgu Forum, Enugu (SAFE).
Instead, the group vowed to contest all possible elective positions during next year’s general elections, including the Enugu West senatorial seat that has been perceived as a subject of running battle between Governor Sullivan Chime and incumbent senator, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, who is the Deputy Senate President.
Governor Chime had severally insisted that he was standing on existing zoning arrangement, insisting that the governorship position would go to Enugu North Senatorial Zone, which is the Nsukka axis of the state.
The group, which seems to have the backing of the main notable leaders of the people of Awgu, has also caused upset for the group agitating for the creation of the proposed Etiti State in the South East geopolitical zone when it protested any attempt to include them in the proposed state.
Although in the communiqué of the SAFE after its day-long summit did not state that the people would support the bid of Ekweremadu to return to the senate come 2015, it appeared from the speeches made during the summit by notable Awgu personalities, that they are likely to be favourably disposed to supporting the Deputy Senate President instead of Governor Chime.
In the communiqué read by the leader of SAFE, Emperor Chris Baywood Ibe, the group vowed to take Awgu local government back to the epicentre of Enugu politics, regretting that the people of the area had been progressively relegated to the political background in the state.
Also contained in their communiqué was a point which formed part of the misgivings of the notable speakers, including the chairman of the occasion and former military administrator of Imo State, Commodore Anthony Oguguo, (rtd), fiery charismatic Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, and the leader of SAFE, was the drama that played out on Saturday as the venue originally advertised for the function was shut when the members of the group arrived for the maiden summit.
“SAFE agreed that the major goal and objective of the summit is to take Awgu people back into the mainstream of Enugu Politics.
“The so called zoning formula/arrangement of rotation of governorship position in Enugu State is non-existent and unacceptable to SAFE as it promotes discrimination and marginalisation of Awgu people.
“We are ready and prepared to field candidates of All Elective Positions in Enugu State for the forthcoming 2015 general elections”, the group stated.