Ahead of the 2023 governorship election in Enugu State, former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani declared support for Nkanu East Local Government Area.
There has been contention in Enugu State over which zone should produce Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s successor.
But speaking while addressing leaders of Nkanu East Consultative Forum, Senator Nnamani threw his weight behind Enugu Nkanu East Local Government Area.
The Forum was led by the former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji on a visit to Nnamani’s Amechi Awkunanaw country home in Enugu.
Professor Nnaji had sought the support of Senator Ken Nnamani in the quest for Nkanu East, in Enugu East Senatorial Zone to produce the candidate for governor based on zoning.
According to Nnaji, apart from the fact that some other council areas in the zone have had a shot at the guber position, “Nkanu East is a very neglected area of Nkanu land without a single all-season road or government presence.”
He complained that the need for a good road network was acute, so much so that the greater majority of the council area had to detour through five other local government areas before accessing their council headquarters at Amagunze.
He observed that whereas the area is brimming with solid minerals and agricultural potential lying unexploited due to road problems, all it would take to easily address the problem was to put a bridge across the Idodo River and connect the vast areas with good roads.
Prof. Nnaji said: “We have sons who are well qualified to advance the interest of Enugu State. We are not asking to make any of them governor in order to help just our own localities; all we are hoping for is that if our son becomes governor, some of the winds of development that he initiates in the State will also blow in our area.
“This will end our marginalized condition and give us a sense of belonging. This is why we are appealing to you as a major pillar in this State, nay in the whole country, to lend us your support and speak up for us in our cause”.
Agreeing with Prof Nnaji, the former Senate President, Nnamani retorted: “You used the term marginalization to describe the situation in Nkanu East, I would rather you use the word backwardness. It is part of it”.
He said further: “I am totally sold on the idea and if there is a way we can spread developments and other amenities in Nkanuland, I am all for it. I wholly support your move and urge you to remain resolute and steadfast in it.
“Your mission is a noble one. Follow it to the end. Leave no stone unturned and neglect none in your consultation efforts whether the person will support you or not.
“The roads in the area are horrible but you can’t blame any one government for the shortcomings. It has been a perennial problem.
“You have made no mistake by agitating for full inclusiveness in Enugu East zone, in Enugu State and in Igboland to be treated fairly as everyone else”.
Nnamani told his visitors to bear in mind that there are two major political parties dominating the politics of the time.
He advised that they should first endeavor to help their sons make strong showings in their efforts to clinch the nomination tickets of the two parties, as well as in other parties.
He said after this was done, they would decide whom to urge to step down for the other and whom to urge the people to support.
The former Senate President also asked the Nkanu East leaders to be sportsmanlike in their effort and to recognize that other parts of the State could also aspire to the same office, stating that the Nigerian constitution guarantees their inalienable right to do so.
However, he reasoned that in all fairness, other parts of the Enugu East Senatorial Zone have enjoyed governorship positions and have received more government patronages whereas the Nkanu East Local Government Area was yet to receive even a serious government appointment.
He called for concerted efforts of all sons and daughters of Enugu East Senatorial Zone to queue behind Nkanu East to make sure that the coveted office does not elude the council area.
Only recently, a former governor of the old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo had declared that he would only support a governorship candidate from Nkanu East Local Government Area, also citing their prolonged marginalization.
Receiving the Prof. Nnaji-led Nkanu East Consultative Forum, Senator Nwobodo stated that “you don’t preach to a man who is already converted”.
He said was speaking up for the cause and would support it to the end, calling on everyone to do the same.
“It is your turn and nobody will take it from you. God knows it is your turn. For if you want peace, there must be justice; without justice, there can be no peace”, he maintained.
The former governor said Nkanu East has suffered much neglect.
“They have not put anybody in the Senate. No governor; no jobs; so serious employment or position has ever been given to them”, Nwobodo lamented, adding that as far as he was concerned, “Nkanu East is overdue to have a governor.”
Also, a former governor of Enugu State and current Senator representing the Enugu East Senatorial zone, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani spoke in the same vein earlier in January when he described the council’s case for the governorship slot while receiving the group as compelling, expressing the hope that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and other political leaders in the State and the various communities will be guided by conscience in picking the next governor of the State.
Enugu zoning controversy: Ken Nnamani backs Nkanu East