As the battle for the leadership of Anambra State (the leading State in the South Eastern Nigeria and arguably the Hub of the wheel of the Igbo Nation) rages, it is no secret that a major issue in this battle is Equity. Many aspirants from the Central and Northern Senatorial Zones of the State were either encouraged to withdraw or disqualified based on the call for Equity among the three Senatorial Zones of the State.
The call for equity follows an unwritten yet widely accepted agreement that each Senatorial Zone of the State would take turn in providing the Governor of this all important state for Eight years in a rotational arrangement beginning from the Central, to the North and presently the Southern Senatorial Zone. This call has aided the Anambra South Senatorial Zone to produce the candidates for almost all the Political Parties in the coming Election slated for the 6th of November 2021.
As Ndi Anambra prepare to go to the Polls, it is however important to note that equity must be allowed to prevail in the truest of all the senses.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Equity is “the situation in which everyone is treated fairly and equally”. This is the situation where all are given equal rights and privileges in a Society or Nation.
According to Kate Bird, “The idea of equity comes from theories of distributive justice or ‘social justice'”.
Kate went further to explain in her work ‘Building a fair future: why equity matters’, that the call for Equity looks at “what things people get, and why they get them. It suggests that people share a common human dignity, and as such should be treated as equals, with equal concern and respect.” To Kate Bird Equity matters a lot in building the future of a people fairly and justly because citizens can through the distribution of Equity and fairness “hold the state responsible for ensuring that all citizens are treated as equals and for influencing how things are distributed”.
Another writer Rosha Sheng opined that Equity and Equality are two different issues and should not be used interchangeably. To Sheng, “‘Equity’ and ‘equality’ have long been used interchangeably, but the terms are often confused with each other. While the focus of equality is framed with sameness being the end goal, equity may be defined as a state in which all people, regardless of their socioeconomic, racial, or ethnic grouping, have fair and just access to the resources and opportunities necessary to thrive.”
From Sheng’s argument, Equity goes beyond seeing everyone as equal to ensuring that everyone has equal opportunities in a State or Society.
The question now is “As Anambra draws close to the Ballots, can it be said that Equity has thrived?”
The obvious answer to that is NO. it is no because Equity goes beyond making space and chance for a Senatorial Zone to produce the next Governor to the point of allowing people from other Church Denominations other than the Roman Catholic Church to produce the next Governor of Anambra State.
At this point it will be important to give a history of the Governors who have ruled the present Anambra State since its creation in 1991 Denominational wise. It is as follows:
1. Chief Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife- Pentecostal (2 January 1992 – 17 November 1993).
2. Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju- Pentecostal (29 May 1999- 29 May 2003).
3. Dr. Chris Ngige- Roman Catholic (29 May 2003- 17 March 2006).
4. Mr. Peter Obi- Roman Catholic (17 March 2006- 17 March 2014).
5. Chief Willie Obiano- Roman Catholic (17 March 2014 to end in 2022).
From the above history it is visible that the
a. Pentecostals have ruled Anambra State for five years and 10 months.
b. Roman Catholics have ruled for 19years in a stretch.
Is it therefore not right and just to call for equity as we go for the next Election? Should the Roman Catholic Church in all fairness be allowed to produce the next Governor?
Where is the place for the equitable distribution of power if the Roman Catholic Church is allowed to produce the next Governor of Anambra State?
Where comes the Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, members of the OAC and other Religious divides in the fair Governance of the State?
Ndị Igbo siri na Ewelu, welu kwa na ebute nsogbu. Eme kwa nwata ka emelu ibe-ya, obi g’adi ya nma.
True Equity favours not just the Anambra South Senatorial Zone but members of other Church/Religious Denominations and that we all must ensure to happen.
Posterity will not judge us well if we continue to play a one sided Equity game. Equity must be absolute, total and complete if it must be called Equity.
Ndị Anambra, let us allow TRUE EQUITY PREVAIL.
Dan Okonkwo a Political Commentator writes from Onitsha.
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