By Onunkwor Stanley : The Government of Anambra State yesterday at the Government House declared open the 6th Anambra State Traditional Rulers Seminar. The theme of the 2-days seminar is “Political Power Zoning for Peaceful Elections and All Inclusive Democracy in Anambra State”.
The Governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke, enumerated his achievements ranging from security to workers welfare, agricultural revolution that have provided jobs and increase living standards of Ndi Anambra. He announced that the state now has the capacity to improve its rice production from 250 tonnes due to the introduction of dry season farming and that is why more roads are built in Anmabra North to enable farmers transport their products to where it is needed.
He said that his administration has attracted companies to build Cargo Airport at Umueri and to rehabilitate Onitsha Water Scheme. He therefore enjoined Ndi Igwe and the entire “Ndi Anambra to allow him complete the tenure of Anmabra North for Political Stability and more so, for the preservation of the only voice and Ralling point for Ndi Igbo which is the APGA party.
The Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council, Obi Alfred Achebe (Obi of Onitsha) in his opening speech, thanked the Governor for keeping faith with Anambra State Traditional Rulers council, and aiding Anambra State Communities with N20 million choose your community project initiative which is at the second phase for the communities that have concluded their first project. He also applauded the Governor for giving over 24 certificate of recognition to Igwe elect thereby reducing the back log of vacancies at the traditional stool of these communities.
Obi of Onitsha then called on the Federal government to implement the last constitutional conference organized by Goodluck Jonathan as one of the ways of addressing the inequity and inequalities in the nation, which is the primary cause of the tension and agitation from various quarters of the nation. He finally asked non Ndi Anambra to allow Ndi Anambra to have its election by 18th November peacefully.
The keynote speaker Senator Ben Ndi Obi in his address titled “Zoning, Fiscal Federalism, and Panacea to Nigeria’s Power Problem” said that the solution to the political problem. In Nigeria is to return back to Fiscal Federalism where the six geo-political zones as component units will control the resources found in their areas and pay tax to the government at the centre. This he said will encourage just distribution of income, efficient and effective allocation of resources, economic stability and healthy competition among the component units, leading to massive growth and even development.
He assert that, zoning of political offices is a harbinger of peace in the state because it creates and nurtures a sense of belonging in the people wherever they may come from for instance, the people of Anambra North now feel stronger. Peace reigns in this type of political environment and arrangement, because the people feel recognized, accommodated and are convinced that if it is not their turn this time, it would be theirs next. He calls zoning political inclusiveness and democracy in action.
He therefore administered for right leadership as the Panacea for good governance. According to him “the combination of an ideal structure of government and a credible, focused, visionary leadership will provide the desired change that we desire, restructuring alone will not solve the problem. Our leaders must rise up to the occasion of providing stellar leadership that will transmit into prosperity for all”.
He finally urged our political gladiators, not to overheat the polity with derogatory words and hate speeches, capable of throwing the state into chaos.
Barr. Nobis Elendu in his paper titled “Legal Perspectives on Political Power Zoning in a constitutional democracy” admonished for wholesale constitutional reforms with the codification of the Six geo-political zones as a structural basis for power sharing. The same should accordingly be replicated in the 36 states of the Federation so as to clothe the zoning arrangement with the force of law.
He called on the legislators to urgently look into this quest of zoning and rotation of political power mantra and codify same as a statutory framework for future zoning arrangement so as to avoid the type of crises that erupted at the onset of the 8th National Assembly which saw the APC pitted against itself, exposing our deficient leadership credentials and unpreparedness for the practice of constitutional democracy.
The Chairman of the seminar planning committee Igwe Engr. S.I Okafor in his remarks assured Ndi Anambra that the confused and riotous atmosphere experienced during election will be eliminated with the introduction and practice of political power zoning, and as traditional rulers who are not partisan politician are in the best position to create political platforms that will make elections free, fair, credible, rancor-free and peaceful.
The Chairman however enumerated the advantages of political power zoning to include:
Controlled Campaign Expenses controlled Movement limiting accidents during Campaigns, Creation of belonging for all zones throughout the state, Reduction in Acrimony by cross – zone gladiators, Engender Peaceful and Orderly elections amongst others.