Ebonyi Guber Race: Ex-Minister Shares Experience, Faults Zoning As Criteria.

By Oswald Agwu

An Ebonyi elder statesman and Labour Party chieftain, Engr. Fidelis Nwankwo has faulted the zonning arrangement as the criteria for choosing a Governor for the State

Nwankwo, Nigeria's former Minister of State for Health spoke to Journalists Thursday in his residence in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital

He bared his mind shortly after meeting with his party supporters over developments in his gubernatorial race.

Nwankwo had contested the People's Democratic party gubernatorial primaries and lost before joining the Labour party where he was widely circulated as the Party's governorship candidate. That was following the Court's recent nullification of the candidacy of Edward Nkwagu.

Nwankwo, having eventually lost the ticket confirmed that Labour Party as at date has no governorship candidate in Ebonyi State, and urged his party supporters to vote all Labour Party House of Assembly candidates in the March 18 polls.

He however, asked them to vote for any governorship Candidate of their choice, according to their consciences.

Though commended the All Progressives Congress for zonning the governorship slot to Ebonyi North senatorial district, Nwankwo insisted that competence rather than zonning should serve as the criterion.

He observed that the Charter of Equity often alluded to in political considerations in the State was a mere convention instituted from the inception of the State with no enforceable legal documentation.

Nwankwo explained:"Basically, let me put this on record: I was contesting under PDP, not principally because I'm from Ebonyi North or because of zonning.

"Zonning is necessary but not sufficient condition for contesting elections.

"I'll rather be known to be contesting because I have the competence, education, character, integrity and experience to govern.

I would rather parade that than undue emphasis on the zone I come from."

The Ex-Minister recalled his experiences as a governorship aspirant in the PDP, and blamed the Party's leadership for the intrigues and irrationalities resulting in the legal tussle that left the party with a "court governorship candidate" in the State.

He further maintained that his last experience with Labour Party as a governorship aspirant was a different ball game, based on the fact that it was already at that point, a closed party affair, where only the party leadership in the State determined what sailed.

He added: "Party supremacy sometimes degenerates to party tyranny, and there is not more you can do about it.

"But all said and done, I have no regrets for the paths I have taken.

"So, we learn lessons from what we do and fail and what we do and succeed."

Recall that Fidelis Nwankwo was the Director General of Governor Umahi's campaign platform, the Divine Mandate who was revered by the Governor.

Nwankwo however, refused to defect to the APC with Umahi, chosing to remain in the PDP where he contested the Party's primary elections, but was schemed out.