Zoning should be extended to gender – Onyemelukwe

A female governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 6 poll in Anambra State, Lady Chidi Onyemelukwe, has suggested that the zoning arrangement as canvassed by many in Anambra State should be extended to gender and not only geographical zone. Onyemelukwu, who is daughter of Second Republic Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, made the suggestion in a chat with New Telegraph during a one day town hall meeting organized by Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State chapter. She said that Anambra State has never had any democratically elected female governor since its creation despite the fact that the state has a high number of great women.

Her words: “Zoning should be all round. While canvassing zoning based on geographical locations, we should also canvas zoning based on gender. Equity and fairness is not just all about geographical space, it should also be extended to gender. Among the aspirants from Anambra South, we have men and women of proven integrity and competence, who have what it takes to lead and be role models in Anambra. “We have a good example in Dame Virgy Etiaba, who was governor for three months and made a difference. Anambra has women, who have set precedents to show that a woman can do it.

Anambra State is known for having very strong women, we have the likes of Prof. Dora Akinyili of blessed memory, who had a record that any man is yet to beat. “I think I am also a very good role model for young ladies and girls, who are coming up to prove that a woman can do what a man can do.

We have women who are good managers. Women are, in fact, multitaskers; they perform more roles than men. The woman builds up the home, and when the home is built up, the society is built up, and our nation is built up too. “Today, we do not need muscle to become good leaders. In the Bible days, a leader had to be a general in the army; but today, we do not go to war anymore.

So, the question on whether a woman can do it should not arise in the first place. What we should be talking about is getting the person with a good heart and wisdom to make a difference. “We do not need extra preparations to get ready for leadership. Women have all it takes to take Anambra to the next level. I had always said it that men always have distractions in leadership; but for women, we bring compassion in everything we do.”

Earlier, the chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State chapter, Prince Emeka Udodeme, said that the apex Igbo Igbo body is canvassing zoning of Anambra governorship seat in order to promote peace and political harmony in the state. “Every citizen has the right to aspire for positions of leadership; but there is something called equity and fairness. You may have the power to do something; but it is important that you exercise your discretion in anything you do.

“In 2017, all traditional rulers, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Elders Council, and Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASTU), held meetings at different times, affirming that the governorship slot should be rotated among the three zones – Central, North and South. The Central took its shot under Peter Obi.

The North is completing its slot under Willie Obiano. Now, we canvas that the South should take its turn based on that agreement,” he said. Also speaking at the event, National Vice President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ichie Damian Okeke-Ogene, said that rotation of Anambra governorship seat is a collective understanding.

His words: “In August 17, 2017, during the buildup to the governorship election, the state chapter of Ohanaeze held a meeting endorsing zoning. The Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU) also had is own meeting where is also endorsed zoning. “On August 18, 2017, the Anambra State Elders Council, under Chief Emeka Anyaoku, also held a meeting at the government house, where they also endorsed zoning. Dr. Alex Ekwueme of the blessed memory was at the meeting. Some bishops from different church denominations were also in attendance.

Later, the state’s Traditional Rulers’ Council, led by Obi Alfred Achebe of Onitsha, also had their own meeting, where they affirmed and endorsed zoning.” The traditional ruler of Isseke, Ihiala LGA, Igwe Emmanuel Nnabuife, who spoke on behalf of the traditional rulers, commended Ohanaeze for their boldness in organizing the meeting. He urged political parties to respect zoning arrangement in the state; warning that parties that failed to field candidate from the southern senatorial district “is as good as not being in the race.”




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