Map of Ebonyi State

By OBINNA EZUGWU

Youth groups in Ebonyi South Senatorial district under the auspices of Ebonyi South Youth Congress (ESYC), have kicked against suggestions in some quarters that the state governorship seat has been zoned to the Abakaliki bloc, comprising of Ebonyi North and Ebonyi Central Senatorial Zones.

The group which took the position in a communique signed by its president, Uka Ibom Anya and issued after its emergency meeting held in Abakaliki, Monday, addressed particularly, a statement attributed to the Caretaker Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Elder Fred Udogu, where he was quoted to have stated that the party has zoned the governorship seat to Abakaliki bloc.

The ESYC argued that there is no longer anything called Abakaliki bloc or Afikpo bloc, as according to it, the state is now divided into three senatorial districts.

It accused those promoting the idea of Abakaliki bloc of plotting to instigate divisions in the state.

The communique said, “That the attention of Ebonyi South Youth Congress has been drawn to the interview granted to some journalists on 23rd September, 2021 in Abakaliki by the Caretaker Chairman of the PDP, Elder Fred Udogu, where he was quoted to have stated that the PDP has zoned the 2023 Governorship seat to Abakaliki bloc, made up of Ebonyi North and Ebonyi Central Senatorial Zones.

“Since we read the news report in the newspapers, we went on to make enquires as to the authenticity of the report. Our finding is that no such decision was taken at any meeting or organ of the party. Maybe, the Caretaker Chairman was merely expressing his personal opinion on the matter and not necessarily the official position of the party.

“We, the members of the Youth Congress reiterate our position that it will be wrong for the PDP to zone the Governorship position to two zones in the state, namely, the Ebonyi North and Ebonyi Central Senatorial zones without considering the fate of Ebonyi South Senatorial district. There is nothing like Abakaliki Block or Afikpo Bloc.

“The two blocs existed momentarily after Ebonyi state was created in 1996. On the creation of Ebonyi state, Abakaliki block had six LGAs while Afikpo block had four LGAs. Shortly afterwards, three new LGAs, namely Ebonyi, Ezza North and Ivo were created and the state was split into three Senatorial Zones. Anybody talking of two blocks of Abakaliki and Afikpo now is introducing sectionalism into the state.”

The youth group emphasized that since 1996, the politics of the state has been based on Zoning in the three Senatorial districts.

It therefore, urged leaders of the state and Ebonyi people in general “to be vigilant at all times and not to allow agents of confusion to destroy the state by resorting to archaic zoning formulae.

“It is our view that the Governorship slot should be thrown open to the three Senatorial districts or we go back to Ebonyi North where the zoning started in 1999.

“The PDP in Ebonyi state should adopt all measures that would bring all parts of the state together, to ensure unity, justice and equity in the state.”