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Group To Gov. Chime: Senate Not Your Retirement Benefit

…Faults Hon. Igwesi’s Support For The Governor’s senatorial ambition

A group under the aegis of Enugu West People’s Forum EWPF, on Monday faulted the suggestion made by a one time member of the Federal House of House Representatives, Hon. USA Igwesi, that incumbent Governor Sullivan Chime should be compensated with the Enugu West Senatorial seat at the end of his eight years tenure in office come 2015.

Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime

Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime

The group in a statement issued by its Director of Media and Publicity, Ugulu O. Ugulu, made available to newsmen in Enugu, was reacting to an interview granted to a national daily today Monday by Igwesi, calling on the people to support the Chime’s senatorial aspiration.

However, the group, in the statement, declared that while it had no problem with deserving former governors going to the Senate through free and fair democratic contest, it is opposed to seeing legislative seats as a compensation or retirement benefit for ex- governors.

According to the body, such is tantamount to assassination attempt on the nation’s democracy.

It said that Hon. USA Igwesi, did not speak as a former legislators when he claimed that Governor Sullivan Chime would outperform the incumbent Senator and the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu if compensated for with the senatorial position.

The group also wondered why a former Member of both the Enugu State House of Assembly and National Assembly feigned ignorance of the global parliamentary tradition called ranking rule, where experienced lawmakers take preeminence  over newcomers.

“In Nigeria for instance, Section 3(2) of the Senate Standing Rule clearly states that the ‘nomination of senators to serve as presiding officers and appointments of principal officers and other officers of the senate or on any parliamentary delegations shall be in accordance with the ranking of senators.

The statement reads in parts: “It further states that ‘In determining ranking, the following order shall apply: (i) senators returning based on number of times re-elected (ii) senators who had been members of the House of Representatives (iii) senators who have been members of a State House of Assembly or any other Legislative House (iv) Senators elected as senators for the first time.’

“Therefore, it beats our imagination how it is in the best interest of the people of Enugu West, the South East, and Nigeria in general to replace a legislative wiz kid, the driver of the first amendment to the 1999 constitution, Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, and indeed an egalitarian lawmaker who has no rival in constituency representation and attraction of democracy dividends with someone else who would waste four years learning the fundamentals of parliamentary practice and waiting for his turn.”

Describing Igwesi, as a “disloyal party man in desperate search of visibility, attention, and job.”

The group further emphasised that “the real motives behind Hon. Igwesi unguarded utterances and meddlesomeness in Enugu West politics was laid bay when he claimed that members of the PDP are wicked people because for all the things I have done for the party, I have not been given an appointment.”

The EWPF therefore, advised the former lawmaker to “face his Enugu East Senatorial District and devise other ways of currying favours and appointment from Governor Sullivan Chime rather than interloping in the politics and choice of the Senator for the Enugu West District come 2015 since the people of the District are more than capable to do that”.

It equally challenged Igwesi’s claim that former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani denied him re-election into the House of Representatives in 2007 and instigated a murder case against him instead.

“On the contrary, Igwesi should face his murder case in the court of law and also be grateful to Chimaroke Nnamani for rehabilitating him after serial failures to win elective positions under various political platforms, by imposing him on his people first as a State Assembly Member and later as a Member of the House of Representatives.”

The statement declared that while Hon. Igwesi’s four years in the State Assembly was devoted to trouble making, his four years in the House of Representatives was a waste of mandate, as he had nothing to show for it, hence he never deserved re-election.

The group also accused Hon. USA Igwesii of being directly responsible for most of the controversies and confrontations between the Nnamani administration and various persons and political interests through his rumour mill, gossips, propaganda and political clairvoyance built on lies, deception, greed, and self-preservation.

The group, also vowed to resist all forms of electoral manipulation in the next general election in the state

African Examiner reports that Governor Chime, and senator Ekweremadu, are major contenders for the Enugu west senatorial seat, currently being occupied by he (Ekweremadu) who is serving his 4th term in the upper chamber of the nation’s National Assembly.


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