Former Governor of Anambra State and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2019 election, Mr. Peter Obi, did not introduce nor contemplate introducing zoning in the gubernatorial elections in Anambra State. This was made known by his Media Adviser, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, who was reacting to reports crediting Mr. Obi with the introduction of zoning in the gubernatorial politics of Anambra State.
In a release made available to the press on Sunday, Mr. Obienyem acknowledged that Obi was the person who, single-handedly, insisted that the governorship should go to Anambra North against even the position of his party at that time – APGA. He however said it was more of Obi, “in the spirit of justice and equity insisting that the governorship candidate should go to Anambra North since they were, at that time, the only zone yet to produce a governor.” Obienyem said it was more of Obi trying to achieve balance of representation to avoid what was clearly unjust and capable of snowballing into crisis for the state.
Clarifying further, Obienyem explained that the position of his boss was equity, saying that it should not be confused with entrenchment of rotation in Anambra’s Charter of Equity or whatever it is.
“If at any time the state wants rotation or any form of political arrangement, it would not be the imposition of one man because, if allowed to stand, history may interpret such as a predisposition of Obi to autocracy. In a democracy, decisions are by consensus and not a one-man-show,” Obienyem observed.
He condemned the reference to Obi by some elements whenever divisive issues come up, saying: “If they are looking for noble actions of Obi to commend and emulate, they are legion. They should start by imbibing his spirit of hard work and resourcefulness that made Anambra a reference point during his tenure. They should emulate his insistence on saving for the state even at a time the country was undergoing its worst economic crisis that enabled him to save over N75 billion for the state. They should imbibe his support to education and other exploits that made Anambra to be rated as the best in road construction and financial management under him. These are desiderata for the growth and development of our dear state.”