Anambra 2014 guber, zoning and Obi’s gaffe



One thing that readily distinguishes the Igboman from other Nigerians is his fierce republicanism expressed in personal freedom, independence and uncanny industry. While northerners literally worship their emirs and see nothing wrong in lining up at the house of their rich uncle to take food, the Igboman would rather starve than live such a subservient life.

While the Yoruba pay allegiance to their obas and venerate them as a second god, the Igbo man scoffs at the idea of being dictated to by anybody. It was that attitude that spawned the concept of Igbo enwe eze (Igbo have no kings). Though traditional rulers are now dotted in any hamlet in Igboland, they alone can testify to the potency of their power. Among the Igbo themselves, the people of Anambra State manifest more of these characteristics of independence, owing largely to their early contact with the Europeans, their native intelligence and their cosmopolitan nature. Their belief in competition and struggles had been responsible for their phenomenal rise, be it in the military, education, health, commerce or skill acquisition.

They suffer not lazy people or those who wait for their turns. Their methods may not pass a morality test, but it has engendered the spirit of hard work and self-help. There is no area, which Anambra people have demonstrated and put these characteristics at work than in politics where, again and again, they have proved that only merit, hard work and resourcefulness can win anybody a seat, be it at the councillorship, parliament or governorship. The concept of zoning is alien to them because it presupposes the humouring of the weakling and devaluation of competitive spirit of a people. The restrictive practice of zoning robs the people of the essence of what defines them. It is on this light that majority of Anambra people were shocked over the pronouncement of their Governor, Peter Obi, that the governorship of the state has been zoned to Anambra North for the election in 2014.

This absurd, selfish and unworkable proposition not only rankles but also meant to be an insult on the intelligence of Anambra people. But for the purposes of academic argument, it is obvious that Gov. Obi simply wants to ridicule himself. Neither the leaders nor the followers in Anambra State have set out, as a body, to adopt the principle of zoning in the distribution of political offices since the present Anambra State was created on August 27, 1991. That was why, even after the first civilian Governor, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, emerged from Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra South, the people still went ahead and elected another man from Anambra South, in the person of Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju, as the second civilian governor.

Of course, in those two elections, candidates also came from Anambra North and Anambra Central. Mbadinuju would have been re-elected if not for non-performance as Governor. In the 2003 elections, all the three senatorial zones also presented candidates. The incumbent governor, Mbadinuju, who was denied ticket by the PDP also contested. At the end of it all, Dr. Chris Ngige of PDP who hailed from Anambra Central, same as Governor Obi was declared the winner by INEC. It took three years for Obi to prove at the courts that he was the actual winner of that election. If there was zoning and Obi emerged governor, would it not have served the interest of justice for the governor not to seek re-election, since, together with the years of Ngige, Anambra Central would have done eight years? Obi sought re-election, of course, because there was no zoning entrenched in Anambra State.

In that election, which he ran with Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, at least two candidates came from Anambra North. The governor also knows that he went into that election with a damaged ticket because Anambra people were dissatisfied with his performance. The late Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was so alarmed over the poor popularity of Obi that he sacrificed his life for his re-election. “This is my last wish,” he told Anambra people. Grudgingly out of respect for Ikemba, Anambra people got Obi back to office. Having thrashed out the issue by establishing that the contest for Anambra Government House since 1991 had always been a free for all and the survival of the fittest, it is obvious that zoning had never appeared on the political lexicon of Anambra people. So, why is Gov. Obi mischievously heating up the polity by his current grandstanding?

The answer is not far fetched. Contrary to the high hopes of the people, Gov Obi has disappointed them with just an average performance. To shore up his dwindling political fortunes, the governor resorted to cheap political propaganda to win the sympathy of Anambra North people, especially those from Onitsha who are aware of his investment portfolios in the commercial city. Is it not curious that a man, who, in the last six years, has failed to conduct local government elections, even in defiance to his party’s directive, could be talking of justice, equity and fair play? What are the democratic credentials of Obi to be an advocate of zoning, when, in the actual fact, he is yet to advance the cause of democracy? This diversionary tactic, which he has employed to cover up his lapses and sustain his lame-duck governorship, cannot subsist. It can also not succeed because the issue of zoning is unconstitutional.

Nigeria, as a nation, is toying with it because of the prevalent injustices against some sections of the country. Those injustices are not present in Anambra State, which is homogenous in culture, religion and otherwise. Power, therefore, is open to whoever that is qualified. It is ironic that the people who Obi is crusading for, that is Anambra North, do not believe in his latter-day crusade. Olisa Agbakoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and former President of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), who hails from Onitsha, does no believe in zoning, just like other prominent citizens of the town. So, what is Ob’s beef?

In any case, if Obi, in his obduracy, continues to engage in this anti-people and anti-merit advocacy and succeeds in foisting his preferred candidate on his party (APGA), he should be warned that Anambra people will certainly reject him and the candidate. Everybody knows that it is in a bid to impose such a candidate that Obi instigated crisis in APGA. But the scheme will fail in a state controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). If, as a sitting governor, Obi could not deliver any of the senatorial zones to APGA, how then can he anoint and impose an APGA successor?

While Obi is free to hallucinate over his imaginary powers, he should be advised to desist from ridiculing Anambra people with archaic and anti-democratic zoning formula. Gov. Obi must stop this dangerous, primitive and clannish politics, which has the tendency to dwarf the intellectual and sophisticated accomplishment of a cosmopolitan and republican people. • Agbu, an accountant, wrote from Onitsha.

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  1. Pingback: Anambra 2014 guber, zoning and Obi’s gaffe – Daily Sun | Safes

  2. You are a paid agent.Who is your paymaster?Anambra is far better under peter obi.There is nothing you can do to bring him down.You are your own enemy.

    • Mr Agbu is right and men should stop calling him names. Peter Obi is a big dissapointment to democracy. No Local government elections for 6 years. Did he appoint Anambra North as his members of Cabinet? Now he is mischeviously calling for rotational government. He and His party will soon be a history (there was a party). He should go and take care of his wealth.

  3. mr Agbu what are you saying in simple words,you seem to hide your real intention in too much words,seem you are writing from your heart not from your brain

  4. Point of correction Mr Chris Agbu, the fact that Anambra north senatorial zone has been grossly marginalized in political scheme of things in the state is never in doubt, as verifiable data of political appointments, portfolios, and social amenity distributions have shown.
    So, for the Governor to draw attention to the need to address this abnormally which by error or omission has remained a moral burden for any social justice crusader in Anambra state is a commendable step and not a crime, except for people with ulterior motive which I don’t want to believe you are one.
    Like the igbo adage says, “umu nna nwezuo aku iloo anaa. (even distribution of wealth among breathers eliminates envy and conflict)

  5. Point of correction Mr Chris Agbu, the fact that Anambra north senatorial zone has been grossly marginalized in political scheme of things in the state is never in doubt, as verifiable data of political appointments, portfolios, and social amenity distributions have shown.
    So, for the Governor to draw attention to the need to address this abnormally which by error or omission has remained a moral burden for any social justice crusader in Anambra state is a commendable step and not a crime, except for people with ulterior motive which I don’t want to believe you are one.
    Like the igbo adage says, “umu nna nwezuo aku iloo anaa (even distribution of wealth among brethrens eliminates envy and conflict).

  6. Let nobody mention that zoning in Anambra again. In terms of development and federal appointments etc,anambra north has more than other zones. Obi is an ingrate. This is his payback to Ojukwu for making him gov. He is no more wearing ojukwu’s uniform with his wife.God will help Umeh to succeed.

    • Even without zoning Anambra North has the material and candidates to clinch the next Governorship of Anambra state, as far as the oil well is still flowing”.

  7. This chris agbu must be a ninconpoo whose brain is filled with silly notions, please somebody should help tell him to save his borrowed pen because we are far more comfortable with peter obi and his programmes for anambra.

  8. Peter Obi should just finish his remaining term and give way, Nothing like zoning in Anambra state. If as a aspirant you know and have confidence on yourself and ur manifesto you shouldn’t be afraid of anything, peter has the right to support/sponsor any candidate but not to say it’s been zoned to anambra north,unless he want to bring anachy to a state he labored so hard to bring peace. God bless Anambra state.

  9. without obi how anambra would hv been by now under obasanjo’s agents, mind u d writer obi is d the first gorvernor who bring development to my town nawfia since I knew what is gorverment ,

  10. @agbu,yu have spoken well,@those that are calling agbu names for speaking the truth,nd his mind should wash their tongues, for using abusive words for s1, in matters like this. Obi shld be reminded of his campain word in his 1st term, i quot. are we coursed?. or are we the coursed?. now with the way he governs,has answers the question.the simple truth is that obi lack the skill of leadership, that is why he brought up the zoning stuff, but let him know that anambra state is biger than any body, the people of anambrarian are wiser now than ever before, history will be the judge between him nd anambrarians when he leaves of office. GOD bless anambra.

  11. Obiorah chimaeze on

    Peter is naive, his ways of handling anambra reminds me Aristocrats meshed with technocracy. Let him go spend billion of money he saved up for anambra state with his only two children. Though i know that wealth of a wicked man is laid up for the poor. Akuenwebe

  12. Although i am not from Anambra state but from the look of things this writter,Chris Agbu’s points are grossly misplaced. He acknowledged that former governors Ezeife and Mbadinuju are from Anambra South while Dr Ngige and incumbent gov Peter Obi hail from Anambra Central so it is very fair and more reasonable for the governorship position to be zoned to Anambra North which have never tasted power or produced the governor before and this is exactly what the governor is advocating. Mr Agbu is trying to be mischievious with his position. Labelling gov Peter Obi as none performing governor is to say the least very unfortunate and inaccurate for Obi’s performance is widely seen and acknowledged by not a few people all over the state and beyond. I would have labelled Peter Obi a wicked man had he chosen to retain the governorship position to his senatorial zone but what he did now is an indication that Obi is a man of peace so i urge Anambranians to rally round their governor in this regard and his zeal toward entrenching and bequeating peace to Anambra state. God bless Nigeria.

  13. Well! Mr agbu, ur words ar subject 2verification. But let me make my mind known.Zonin is not ideal 4democracy nd as far as am concern it cannevr b.

  14. Gov. Obi addressed Ndi Igbo last month in Johannesburg SA for almost 3 hours. Although i am not from Anambra State, he seem to have a clear vision for Ndi-Igbo in Nigeria. You can read and form your opinion about a leader until you meet him in person. Ojukwu didn’t mistake in entrusting Igbo leadership to Gov Obi. He has a vision for Anambra and Ndi-Igbo. Listen to him!

  15. It is unfortunate that an Anambrarian will open his mouth and say that Gov Obi is not performing. It is glaring that he has done well, only people of the old other or their like minds like mr Agbu thinks otherwise. I am not interested in zoning all i need is a good candidate and not a thief.

  16. Agbu is an acn paid agent. peter is entitled to his opinion. In as much as i dont agree with d amiable gov. obi on zoning, to say he is not d best among d rest is mischievious and satanic. Pls, mr. Agbu, be constructive in ur criticism and stop pulling d man who saved anambra from d enemies of d igbos and vultures down.

  17. Well am a deltan and igbo son….i weep wen ever people say peter obi is nt working..any sensible igbo man should appreciate mr obi…the problem there is dat must anambrarians ar in search of money dat dey do nt even know wat is happening around dem, apart 4rm peter obi dey do nt knw any oda office holder…..if nt primary and secondary education peter obi bu agu, oil refinary, brewery, increased private small industries…….though igbo leaders ar neva valued while on service in igboland…..nothing is wrong in giving power 2 anambra north, ar de nt in anambra state

  18. Agbo spoke well. He dat seeks equity must do equity. Obi should have sacrificed his 2nd term bid 4 his Anambra North stooge. Dats d way of great men. Reminiscience of local govt funds will haunt him.


  20. i believe governor obi was right by zoning the next gov to anambra north.He has done a lot to bring lasting peace to anambra state and to ensure that this peace continue to flurish,it is wise that anambra north produce the next governor of the state. Remember, without peace there will be no development.

  21. though i am not from anambra, but from the look of obi’s attitude. i don’t think he has any good intention in zoning method he is talking about. he just want to use it against those he is thinking that will probe his corrupt governance.every one knows obi messed up many people. because he is naturally wicked. even the people of his hometown has disowned him due to his wickedness.

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