Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Abi Chairmanship; the beginning of a new zoning cycle and the true definition of equity and justice

Zoning which effectively was introduced into Nigeria's politics in 1999 is a method of sharing public offices equally amongst political blocs geographically demarcated within the nation, state or local government area. 

According to Azogor Ideba, Chief Press Secretary to erstwhile Speaker of the 8th Cross River State House of Assembly - A true and worthy son of Abi and an astute believer and beneficiary of zoning, "Zoning of elective offices is a practice founded on the principle of equity, essentially to check political marginalization; to avoid the suppression of the few by the many". 

Some school of thoughts may want to highlight the demerits of zoning, but that does not mean zoning has no merit. Whether you choose to root for its  merits or demerits, I will advise that for the purpose of this document and for the fact that zoning is still part of our unwritten constitutional political norms enshrined in the hearts of our politics which has been given a name called convention, I pray thee, my brothers and sisters from Abi let's ensure that through the instrumentality of zoning all political blocs - in this case wards are adequately satisfied with no ward feeling marginalized or left out. 

Again permit me to still quote Azogor's master piece on zoning, "This arrangement(zoning arrangement) became imperative because ethnic entities within a political structure or environment often took advantage of number (majority) to deny the minority the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a shared political heritage. Thus, the proponents of number hold tenaciously onto that as a weapon to continue to oppress the minority".  

"... It is in fact, ostensibly loathsome, selfish, greedy and unjust for anyone or any ethnicity to subscribe to majority population as basis to determining the distribution of elective offices. Such subscription, given our circumstances, negates the principles of equity and fairness. It is oppressive and does not promote peaceful co-existence and brotherly love". 

It is also on record that his Excellency, the digital governor of Cross River State, Sen. Prof Ben Ayade had frequently on several occasions drummed into the ears of his supporters to endevour to play politics with ethics. 

It is based on the aforementioned that I want to draw your attention to a typical instance where ethical politics seems to be lacking, where a people have been marginalized and religated to the background, where their voices seems not be heard anymore. And that is the good and peace loving people of Bahumono extraction of Abi Local Government. 

Abi is said to be standing on the tripod of A- Agbo B- Bahumono and I- Imabana. History which cannot be erased has it that these three blocs have indisputably and successfully taken shots at the office of the Chairman. 

Our political integration in the said tripod is in the ratio of 4:4:2 with Agbo consisting 4 council wards, 
Bahumono also made up of 4 council wards while Imabana has two council wards. When this is mathematically deduced, it could be displayed as 2: 2 : 1 for Agbo, Bahumono and Imabana respectively. 

As such it is expected that for the purpose of equity and fairness so that the test of power as regards the office under review can evenly circulate across the 10 council wards of Abi. Abgo and Bahumono at every turn of the circle will have to have to take two shots at the seat while Imabana will have a single shot. 

So far,  Agbo has taken their two shots through Hon. Eko Atu and Hon. Edith Amadi , likewise the  Bahumono nation elected representatives in the persons  of Hon. Onya Osim and Hon.
 Francis Ettah also the Imabana nation took their single shot through Hon. Chuks Agube. This clearly shows that the mathematical 2:2:1 rotational equation has seen the light of the day with the three blocs evenly satisfied. 

With the completion of the circle, the rotational zoning formula needs to begin again, and expectedly, in the spirit of fair play and equity, the Bahumono nation that started the first cycle have been placed in the gracious position to begin a new circle. This is a plea and a peaceful bargain aimed at harmonizing all interest and ensuring the forthcoming Local Government elections remain peaceful and favours the People Democratic Party. 

Our submission is hinged on the above analysis, which is crystal clear that the first cycle of allocation of Chairmanship seat amongst the three blocs in the ratio of 2:2:1 has been completed. 

Having pleaded and prayed that the Bahumono extraction of Abi be allowed to begin the peaceful zoning structure that exist in the Local Government, just like Oliver Twist, we would want to beg for more by further pleading with stakeholders and leaders of Abi to as a matter of humanity, equity and fairness consider Ediba/Anong council ward for the Chairman as they prepare to zone the office in next year's Local Government polls in the state. 

An analogy of what we have is that when the zoning  pendulum fell on Bahumono Hon Onya Osim of Usumotong ward and HonFrancis Ettah  Afafanyi/Igonigoni ward grabbed it, meaning two council wards out of the four in Bahumono have enjoyed the seat within the period under review. 

This goes to mean that Ebom/Ebijakara council ward and the Ediba/Among council wards are yet to produce a Chairman in this dispensation. Since Ebom / Ebijakara council ward is currently represented in the Cross River State House of Assembly through Dr. Davies Etta, it is only logical and fair enough to allow Ediba/Anong council ward produce the next Chairman of Abi Local Government Area.xf

What an Ediba/Anong chairmanship slot will mean to the local government 

1. Zoning the office to Ediba/Anong is first and foremost a deliberate attempt to enshrine equity, Justice and fairplay in the politics of Abi.

2. An Ediba/Anong Chairman will be a uniting force to enshrine and restore peace and tranquility  in the LGA with particular reference to the Bahumono nation which houses most of the pockets of communal crisis littered across the LGA. 

3. Ediba/Anong council ward is will commenced the sharing quotient of the political blocks

Finally, I pray our leaders look critically into the aforementioned and lets do the needful so that posterity will smile on us and our children.

Concerned leaders of Abi Local Government

Video of the Thank you breakfast held in honor of Dr. Davies Etta by Egbezum community of Ebom village of Abi Local Government Area