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2023: Ebonyi Stakeholders Harp On Sustaining Zoning

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Stakeholders in Ebonyi have called for the sustenance of zoning arrangement in the distribution of key elective offices in the state for the 2023 general elections .
The stakeholders who spoke toThe Tide source yesterday in Abakaliki in separate interviews, described zoning formula adopted by the state as ‘strategic and perfect’ for advancement of democracy.
According to them, the initiative has reduced acrimony, tension and bitter political struggle for succession.
They noted that sustaining the existing arrangement in 2023 and beyond would further cement the peace, unity and enhance existing bond among the different communities and cultures in the state.
One time Commissioner for Information and State Orientation in Ebonyi,  Chief Abia Onyike, said that zoning should be sustained and declared his total support for the arrangement.
He said that zoning had created equal political opportunity and sense of belonging to everyone in the state irrespective of the political or cultural affiliation.
He faulted insinuations from some quarters that zoning arrangement had led to the emergence of incompetent and never-do-well leaders, saying that every zone in the state was well endowed with leaders that could steer the ship of the state.
“I completely support the zoning system adopted in the state’s `charter of equity’ because the arrangement reduces political acrimony, political tension and bitter struggle for power succession.
“It is not true that zoning breeds incompetent leaders rather what hinders visionary leaders from vying for political position is fund and selection method in most political parties.
“In Ebonyi, zoning started from the Ebonyi North senatorial district and moved to the Ebonyi Central senatorial district before berthing at the Ebonyi South senatorial zone.
“Some pundits are advocating that since the three zones have had their shots at the governorship, that it can either begin from the Ebonyi Central district in 2023 or return to Ebonyi North where it started,” Onyike said.
He warned that any attempt to disrupt the existing zoning arrangement would not be to the best interest of the state and its people.
Onyike urged political, religious and traditional leaders to work for the sustenance of zoning principle in Ebonyi .
Similarly, former Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport, Dr Paul Okorie, called for sustaining zoning formula, adding that the system had brought orderliness in power succession in the state.
He also faulted the claim by some people that zoning did not allow for emergence of credible and qualitative leadership, stressing that every zone in the state was richly endowed with men of stature and integrity to lead the state.
“There is no zone in the state that you go and you don’t get capable and competent persons to govern the state, be it in Ebonyi North, Ebonyi Central or Ebonyi South; there is no place you don’t have competent people.
“I am completely in favour of zoning because it has reduced rancour and acrimony in power succession.
“Ebonyi North zone started in 1999 and quietly it was handed over to Ebonyi Central in 2007 and Ebonyi South took over in 2015.

“Naturally and logically, power should move back to the North Zone for another cycle and this is for the interest of the state,” Okorie said.

Okorie, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and also one time Commissioner for Environment noted that one of the beauties of zoning is that it deepens unity and eliminate political marginalisation.

“I believe that power should go to the North where it started and rotate in that order, anybody who is from another zone coming out to contest in 2023 for governorship can only come to do exercise,” he added.

Mr James Aleke, a lawyer urged leaders of the state not to tamper with the existing zoning principle to ensure political stability, equity and justice.

“Power naturally should move back to Ebonyi North in line with the zoning order and any attempt to distort the arrangement will truncate the unity of the state,” Aleke said .

He, however, appealed to Izzi speaking people of Ebonyi to unite and put away their political differences in order to take power in 2023.

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SDP Wants Death Penalty For Election Riggers

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The Social Democratic Party, SDP, has advocated for death penalty against election riggers ahead of 2023 general elections.
This was as the party kicked against zoning of the Delta State Governorship ticket to the Central Senatorial District, saying in a state like Delta with its political maturity and as home to eggheads, competence must trump zoning.
Chairman of the party in the state, Amb. Oke Idawene, who is also the Chairman, Forum of SDP State Chairmen, stated this in an interview with The Tide source.
He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for its decision to deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, in the September 11 state Assembly bye-election in Isoko South 1, Delta state, saying the technology helped to reduce incidents of multiple voting.
Idawene said the device was able to guarantee the credibility of voters’ accreditation by preventing incidents of multiple voting or the use of stolen Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, to vote while the use of the incident form was eliminated.
On rigging, he said the problem is not with INEC but other stakeholders.
He said: “The problem we have right now is not INEC. It is the people. Somebody tried to snatch a ballot box in Isoko South and he was gunned down. I don’t like bloodshed, but that is the way to go. Ahead of 2023, the punishment for such electoral malfeasance should be death by hanging. Anybody rigging elections is an enemy of the people and must be so treated.
“With the BVAS, the votes were not adulterated. There was no rigging in that election. For the first time in Nigeria, I went for an election where until the morning of the elections, the collation officers were not known and the voting pattern was clear. “To this end, I think we should give INEC all the support for electronic voting, electronic collation and transmission of results. It is only then we can get genuine leadership and see Nigeria tilting towards progressive tendencies. I want to call on the National Assembly to support this BVAS and other technologies used by INEC.”

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Nwanosike Signs Four By-Laws

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The Executive Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Hon. Samuel Nwanosike has signed four bills into by-laws.
While signing the bills at the Ikwerre Council Chamber, Isiokpo, which were passed by members of the Ikwerre Legislative Assembly, Nwanosike described them as very significant to Ikwerre people.
According to him, “Just hundred days in office plus, we are here today signing into law four bylaws. It is a feat that is worth commending”.
“I want to thank the leadership of the 9th Assembly to continue flying the flag of legislative activities in Ikwerre Local Government. 
“So, I want to assure them that the executive arm will continue to collaborate with them to make sure activities of government at the third tier level is done to provide dividends of democracy for the people of Ikwerre Local Government.
The Ikwerre chairman stated that the defaulters of the by-laws would be punished accordingly. 
“As a government we will do everything within our power to make that the laws are properly executed”, he added.
He commended members of the Legislative Assembly for doing their best to serve the people of the Ikwerre LGA.
In his speech, the Leader of the lkwerre Legislative Assembly, Hon. Nwobuisi Chikwe-Tasie, said that the by-laws would be monitored and defaulters made to face the law.
The bills signed into by-laws were the Internal Control and Regulation of Sanitation Activities in Ikwerre Local Government Area as well as the Recovery of Possession and Protection of Premises and Other Matters Connected Therewith in Ikwerre Local Government Area.
Others were the Regulation and Control of Sawing of Premature Trees for Timber in Ikwerre Local Government Area and the Regulation and Control Operation of Motorcycles/Tricycles in Ikwerre Local Government Area.

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Author Urges Political Leaders To Empower Youths

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A  budding author, Iyke Ekwueme Amirize, has identified youth empowerment as the key to transform society.
Mr. Amirize in a chat with The Tide shortly after the launch of his book,” Political Milestones in Rivers State” recently, said youths should also be schooled in leadership.
According to him, when youths are fully empowered, it creates equity and peace, as those who are not positively engaged are liable to be used in carrying out violent acts.
On the tutelage of young people in leadership, the author submitted that exemplary life is very important as young people copy what they see around them.
Commenting on the book, Amirize said the publication seeks to mirror the development of Rivers State since its creation in 1967.
“ The book is all about the milestones in the state. It covers the traditional, educational and judiciary and legislature, including the electoral processes”, he stated.
He said that Rivers State was working towards massive infrastructure development, but had not gotten to a full developed state.
He urged government to give attention to security of lives and property, as a way of spreading the dividends of democracy, adding that “the youths also need scholarships and employments”.

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