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Governor Chime, Ekweremdu Battle For The Soul Of Enugu West Senatorial District

Written by Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

 News Analysis

As the 2015 general polls gathers momentum in Nigeria, the political gladiators and actors have already started mapping out strategies and plans on how to overrun their opponents, or any perceived rival ahead of the elections.

For a typical African politician, especially those of Nigerian extraction, such strategies, could be adopted in an orthodox, unorthodox, civilised or uncivilized ways, provided he uses it to achieve what he wants at the corridors of power, even if it requires taking human life.

Virtually every Nigerian politician irrespective of party affiliation believes strongly in the political school of thought that says “there is no permanent friend or permanent enemy in the game of politics” rather, what is paramount to them is personal interest and their relevance in the political environment.

Desperate to realise such personal interest, most Nigerian politicians are ever ready to doing any unholy thing, even if it amounts to sacrificing their biological mother, father, or children, provided their ambition will be fulfilled in the end.

There is no gain saying the fact that the desperation blood flowing in the political veins of most Nigerian politician, including those of the coal city state of Enugu, has done serious harm to the nation,s polity at all levels.

The do or die style of politics, or sit tight syndrome among Nigeria politician will continue, until political public offices are made less attractive may be via a legislation.

Due to the present lucrative nature of most Nigeria’s public offices, especially the presidency, governorship, and legislature, most incumbent holders of such positions in the country would prefer to die, rather than relinquish the office, even when they have overstayed their welcome, or it has become obvious that same people who gave them the initial mandate no longer need their services.

Over the years, the act of sit-tight syndrome, which is fast becoming a norm among Nigerian selfish politicians, had led to chaos and political crisis in many quarters.

In Enugu state, which pride itself as the “Coal city state”, the story is the same, if not even worst because of the fact that the major industry in the area is politics.

For instance, except only by divine intervention, Enugu west senatorial district may likely be bloody or witness serious political war between the current Deputy senate president DSP, chief Ike Ekweremadu and the state Governor, Barrister Sullivan Iheanacho Chime, over who represents the zone in the upper chamber of the nation’s National Assembly NASS in the next political dispensation.

Both Ekweremadu and Chime, know what is at stake, and understand the intrigues in the political game of Enugu state, especially as first class graduates of the immediate past governor of the area, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani’s political dynasty, fondly called ” Ebeano” meaning, where to belong politically.

Ekweremadu, a lawyer turned politician and the incumbent speaker of the ECOWAS parliament, has been occupying the Enugu west senatorial position since May, 2003. And from his present body language he is seriously plotting to return back to the NASS in 2015.

The DSP’s dream of going back to the senate for the 5th consecutive times in 2015, has pitched him against many political stakeholders and actors in his zone, including governor Chime, as the people of the district have vowed to resist such move by the lawmaker.

As a politician, who wants to remain relevant in the corridors of power, Ekweremadu, on his own, has also threatened to crush any body that wants to constitute a cog in the wheel of progress of his 5th term senatorial ambition.

Already, tongues have started wagging in various parts of Enugu west zone, comprising five local governments, namely, Awgu, Aninri, Oji River, Ezeagu, and Governor Chime,s Udi council area, on the proposed Ekweremadu’s 5th term agenda.

Many political watchers and analysts in Enugu west and beyond, believes that it is absolutely wrong for the Deputy senate president to start nursing a 5th term ambition to the senate, saying other citizens of the area should be given the chance to also serve, as the position is not the birthright of the DSP.

Majority of the people of the district, are also of the opinion that since the DSP, has amassed so much wealth courtesy of the NASS, he should quit the stage in 2015 for another qualified fellow, who will continue from where he stopped,” after all, he did not inherit the Enugu west senatorial seat at the National Assembly”, an aggrieved indigene of one of the council area in the district who do not want his name in print stated.

Perhaps, it is against the backdrop of matching Ekweremadu money for money, that several groups, under different auspices as well as stakeholders, from the zone, have been urging governor Chime, to indicate interest for the position ahead of 2015.

For the stakeholders, as a sitting governor, and a politician who understands the political terrain very well, Chime, has the capacity and all it takes to slug it out with Ekweremadu, whom many believe may be the richest man in Enugu state as at today.

Though, governor Chime, has not made his intention public, but his body language also suggests that he is highly interested in moving to the NASS at the end of his eight years sojourn to the Enugu Lion building (government house), come May 29th, 2015.

However, many political watchers in the state, including this writer, believes that the Chime’s senatorial ambition rumour is real, because the latter has not come out openly to distance himself from any of his colourful campaign posters that have continued to surface and flood strategic places across the state.

As an executive sitting governor, there is no doubt that Chime is in- charge of the structure of the ruling peoples Democratic party PDP in the state, which will supervise the issuance of tickets and flags to candidates for the election.

But as a smart politician, and master political strategist, Ekweremadu, should not be undermined by Chime, and the leadership of the PDP in the state, as he has the capacity to deliver himself and his candidates even in an unpopular obscure political party, should the peoples Democratic party denies him ticket for the race.

Suffice it to also say that going by his wealth of experience in the game of politics, financial muscle, influence in Abuja, and existing cordial relationship with the presidency, one would say without fear of contradiction that Chime, may find in the DSP a very hard nut to crack when the die is cast.

As the two political giants continue to fine-tune their strategies on who controls the soul of Enugu west senatorial district come 2015, only time will tell who among them will occupy the Enugu seat at the hallow red chamber of the National Assembly in the next political dispensation.



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