According to a statement released on Sunday by the Media Desk of the Office of the Governor of Enugu State, it was “Jubilation in Nsukka as Utazi declines Senatorial ambition in support of Governor Ugwuanyi’s bid”.

According to the statement, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, while addressing Enugu North delegates in the forthcoming Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary elections as well as party stakeholders, predicated his decision not to purchase PDP’s expression of interest and nomination forms on the need to “pave way for the smooth and peaceful emergence of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in the 10th National Assembly”.

Needless to dissipate space and time over whether the people were truly jubilating as claimed or being coaxed or whether Utazi had simply served out his two terms like his predecessors in line with the existing rotation/zoning arrangement in the zone, the statement achieved too things: One, it put paid to the pretences over whether or not Ugwuanyi will run for the Senate and it unraveled the duplicity in the entire governorship zoning campaign in Enugu State.

It is common knowledge that the Enugu North senatorial seat rotates among the three Federal Constituencies that make up the district, namely, Nsukka/Igboeze South, Igboeze North/Udenu, and Igbo-Etiti/Uzo Uwani. Nsukka/Igbo Eze South Federal Constituency took the first slot through the late Senator Fidelis Okoro from 1999 to 2007. Senator Ayogu Eze took the turn of Igboeze North/Udenu from 2007 to 2015. Senator Chuka Utazi took the turn of Igbo-Etiti/Uzo-Uwani from 2015 and will conclude in 2023. Consequently, the senatorial seat has fully rotated.

It is no longer a secret that Ugwuanyi favours Enugu East district to produce his successor. Ugwuanyi’s supporters and zoning choir insist that Enugu’s Governorship seat, having gone round, should restart from Enugu East where it began in 1999. Ironically, for the Enugu North senatorial seat, they conversely argue that since it has gone round the three Federal Constituencies, it could actually start from anywhere.

Unfortunately, this attempt to truncate the existing zoning arrangement in Enugu North creating bad blood and crisis, and outright brawls because Hon. Pat Asadu, a fourth term ranking Member of the House of Representatives and one of the hitherto formidable hopefuls to succeed Senator Utazi to that senatorial seat in 2023, has picked PDP forms to return to House of Representatives for a fifth term allegedly based on a deal struck with the Ugwuanyi so the Governor could enjoy a smooth sail to the Senate at the expense of Igboeze South LGA, whose turn it is to produce the next senator.

Also, having done four straight terms in the House, equity demands that Asadu, who hails from Igboeze South, yields the seat to Nsukka LGA with which Igboeze South shares the Federal Constituency. Every Dick and Harry knows that this decision to trade off the senatorial seat that should go to Igboeze South’s and continue to occupy the Nsukka/Igboeze South Federal Constituency that should rightly be occupied by Nsukka LGA in 2023 is at the heart of the crisis currently rocking that Federal Constituency and the larger Enugu North zone.

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