From Paul Ibe, Enugu
The ongoing cold war between Enugu state Governor, Sullivan Chime, and the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, over who represents Enugu West senatorial district has continued to go from bad to worse.
The situation did not just turn sore, a once beautiful relationship between the gladiators, but has reduced the PDP in Enugu State into shreds of personal and myopic interests.
Some former aides to governor Chime, who were dropped during a cabinet shake-up, probably due to perceived misconduct while in office, have all found shelter under the fast growing Ekweremadu’s political empire. For many political watchers and analysts in the state, such alignment and re-alignment amongst politicians is no news, because what matters most to the gladiators or players is personal interest.
Beyond picking up the PDP ticket for the Enugu West senatorial seat, control of the soul of the party in the state is generating so much tension. The way and manner the governor single handedly selected Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, a member of the House of Representatives, to be the governorship consensus candidate is causing some rift.
The exit of Vitalis Abba from the Chairmanship of the party in the state is heating up the polity to the extent that there are two PDP factions in the state.
Vice Chairman David Aja was denied the opportunity of stepping into the Chairmanship position because he is considered a close ally of the Deputy President of the Senate. The governor who feared that the chairmanship of Elder Aja will cripple his political future, brought in a loyalist of his, Ikeji Asogwa as the acting Chairman of the party.
The development however, sparked- off serious protest by the Vice Chairman, Elder Aja and other members of the party who saw that as an abuse of due process and an extreme demonstration of the governor’s inclination to impunity. Gov. Chime’s camp remained adamant despite the directive by the national secretariat of the party that Elder Aja, should take over to enable the state midwife the appointment of a substantive chairman within two weeks.
Since then, the contending chairmen had held strongly to tiny bits of the party, issuing directives and counter directives at will.
Some of the incumbent National Assembly members from the state that have moved from the Chime’s camp to identify with the Ekweremadu’s include, Senators Ayogu Eze and Gilbert Nnaji. They also include Dr. Patrick Asadu, Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, Offo Chukwuegbo, amongst others.
To them, the governor became a common enemy the moment he declared that no lawmaker will be allowed to return to the National Assembly for a third term. They argue that Gov. Chime cannot unilaterally decide what happens in the state chapter of the people particularly as concerns representation of the people.
Now, Gov. Chime and Senator Ekweremadu is tied in a game of “who blinks first.” While the governor is relying on his perceived performance across the state and his control of most of the local government areas, Senator Ekweremadu is emboldened by the cordial relationship he enjoys with the National Executive of PDP.
Only time as they say, will tell on which side the pendulum of power tussle will swing.