The vexed issue of zoning has become the most controversial debate ahead the 2023 guber elections in Enugu State.
The debate, argument, claims and varying interpretations have continued to linger even after the three Senatorial zones took their turns to hold rallies stressing their positions on zoning.
As the controversy rages, aspirants have continued to emerge mostly from the ‘favoured’ Enugu East should the current zoning be upheld.
The camps have continued to grow just as behind the scene manovres, schemings and horse trading take centre stage.
In all these there is one character that appear to be ‘tormenting’ the entire build up to the 2023 guber elections.
Former Deputy President of the Senate Chief Ike Ekweremadu’s larger-than-life image has become a source of worry.
It has caused sleepless nights to so many: the permutations have refused to fall into place without him.
Deliberate attempts to ignore or wish him away has not yielded any positive result.
Ekweremadu is from Enugu West. The zoning as it is does not favour him even though his people are also laying claim to the guber position.
The belief that the Senator would be contesting the Governoship election not minding the zoning has murdered sleep.
That fear is threatening. It is unsettling; and the reasons are not far fetched. The Mpu born politician has established himself as a major power broker in the politics of Enugu State.
He has taken time to build a politcial empire that cannot easily be neglected.
He is arguably the best performing Senator ever, from the South East. He has also touched lives beyond his Enugu West Zone which makes him a threat should he decide to contest.
In the build up to the 2015 elections, Ekweremadu’s mastery of the game of politics outclassed the then governor, Sullivan Chime.
He hijacked the party and armtwisted the governor to return to the Senate. It was a similar scenario to that of Ebonyi State, but a kind-hearted Senator agreed to come to the negotiation table where concessions were made.
Yes, things have changed since then; the scenario is not the same; the governor’s are not also same, but the playing ground has not moved
It’s not thus out of place to be ‘afraid’ of Ekweremadu. His pedigree cannot be ignored; he also has the contacts and most especially the financial power to prosecute the campaigns. Not many can boast of such.
Yet, Ekweremadu has not made a statement about 2023 even though there are visible pointers suggesting his interest.
His silence has not helped matters as politcial observers try to predict his next move.
In 2015 Ekweremadu fell out with Chime for the laters decision to zone the plum position to Nsukka zone.
The former Deputy President of the Senate was of the view that major stakeholders should have been consulted. The rest they say is history.
Having brushed Sullivan aside in the.last elections Ekweremadu’s next move is being monitored closely.
It is long chess game that is becoming more intriguing and interesting by the day.