Enugu 2023: Ekweremadu Floors 21 Others In Guber Opinion Poll

Ekweremadu
Sen. Ike Ekweremadu

Former Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, has topped an opinion poll conducted for the Enugu State 2023 governorship race.

Conducted by Afri Forecast, the opinion poll which recorded 17,616 participants, has Ekweremadu polling 25.25% votes to beat 21 other potential candidates.

Afri Forecast, a political risks analytics firm with insights in the geopolitics of Africa, had asked voters “Who amongst the following do you want to be the next Governor of Enugu State come 2023?”

The firm said the exercise, which commenced on February 7, 2022, ended at 6 pm on Friday, February 12, 2022, involved telephone interviews and an online poll.

Coming closest to Ekweremadu among the potential candidates were Chinyeaka Oha, a retired federal Permanent Secretary from Nkanu West LGA in Enugu East senatorial zone, who polled 17.63% of the votes to place second, and Peter Mbah, a lawyer and businessman from Nkanu East also in Enugu East Senatorial Zone secured 9.98% of the votes to place third.

A former member of the House of Representatives and current Commissioner for Environment in Enugu State, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, who hails from Isi-Uzo LGA in Enugu East senatorial zone polled 9.62% of the votes to place fourth.

A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Offor Chukwuegbo, from Enugu South LGA still in Enugu East zone, came fifth with 8.57 per cent of the votes, whereas businessman, Everest Nnaji, who hails from Nkanu East in Enugu East zone, came sixth with 7.88% of the votes.

Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly and an indigene of Enugu East LGA, Hon. Edward Ubosi polled 2.9% to take seventh place.

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Afri Forecast noted that of the 17,616 online voters, a total of 729 participants dropped comments on why they voted the way they did.

The report said: “Of the 729 comments, 301 comments are credited to the voters who voted for Senator Ekeweremadu, 131 dropped comments on why they voted for Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa, 61 on why they voted Mr. Peter Mba, while 43 were for Hon. Offor Chukwuegbo. The rest of the candidates did not have any comments traceable to their names as the remaining 193 comments did not make attributions to who their preferred candidates are.

“59 per cent of comments attributable to Ekweremadu’s supporters were to the effect that rotation/zoning should be confined to the scrapyard of history, the rotation having gone round the three Senatorial Zones.
“Similarly, even though rotation or zoning was not mentioned by another 38 per cent that commented, they are of the view that merit should be elevated before any other primordial considerations.

“They maintained that Senator Ekweremadu possessed the credentials and capacity required to pilot the affairs of the state and that, to them, should be paramount.

“One commenter, who goes by the name Emeka Nnamani wrote thus: ‘Prof. Charles Soludo having emerged in Anambra, it is time for Enugu and Abia to elect Senator Ike Ekweremadu and Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe in Enugu and Abia respectively’.

“The remaining 3 per cent who dropped comments on behalf of Ekweremadu hinged their argument on the need to give Greater Awgu, a sizeable cultural zone in Enugu, a sense of belonging by allowing them produce the next governor in line with the dictates of equity, inclusiveness and justice”.

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However, 94 per cent of commenters in support of Ohaa, Mba, and Chukwuegbo hinged their support on the need to maintain a zoning arrangement they claimed had been in place in the state since 1999.

“According to them, Ekweremadu’s emergence as governor would disrupt the arrangement they claimed was in place, hence the need for him to be stopped.
“They claimed that it is the turn of Nkanu cultural zone to produce the next governor of the state” Afri Forecast reported.

The remaining six per cent commenters in support of the trio predicated them on the need to allow the current governor to produce his successor, a practice they claimed had been the norm in the state since 1999.

“The commenters were separately confident their candidates would be the anointed ones when the time comes”.

Going further, the report stated that “Senator Ike Ekweremadu is a candidate to beat in the forthcoming 2023 election in Enugu and has wider acceptability in the Enugu West and North senatorial zones, and most of his supporters predicate their support for him on the basis of capacity and track record of performance; Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa has a formidable support base in Enugu East senatorial zone, especially in Nkanu, as most of the interviewees on phone rooted for him; Senator Ike Ekweremadu has a statewide appeal as he convincingly won both online poll and the telephone interviews in two senatorial zones, while doing commendably well in Enugu East senatorial zone, the district laying claims to the next governorship in the State”.

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Meanwhile, the poll, according to Afri Forecast also made several interesting revelations.
“The revelation, through our telephone interviews, that only 51 of the 137 young adult females had their Permanent Voter Card, PVCs, representing a paltry 37 per cent, is not healthy for the state.

“This readily suggests that young adults in Enugu aged between 18 and 40 pay scant regard to the issues of governance, politics and activities leading to the selection or election of who leads them.

“Also, the majority of the voters from the Nkanu cultural zone, who agitate for power shift to the zone under the banner of Enugu East Senatorial District, do so not necessarily in the interest of the entire senatorial zone, but in the primordial interest of Nkanu people”.

Afriforecast said the opinion poll on Enugu is part of an ongoing nationwide surgery ahead of the 2023 elections.

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vantage News Nigeria or any employee thereof.

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