The battle for the #chairmanship of Enugu #State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (#PDP) is already hotting up and throwing up interesting permutations, even though the outgoing executive committee is yet to be formally dissolved.
The composition of the state exco was effectively unbalanced by the sudden resignation of erstwhile chairman, Vita Abba, whose exit a few weeks to the general election created substantial chaos among the rank and file in the now famous supremacy battle for the soul of the party between out-going governor, Sullivan Chime and Deputy Senate #President Ike Ekweremadu.
Even though the governor prevailed in the contest to choose Abbah’s successor which ensued, in the person of #Ikeji Asogwa, from the same Nsukka zone, the emergence of #Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu), as governor-elect, has created a new expediency to reshuffle the Party’s State Executive Committee.
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Under PDP’s zoning arrangement which has particularly flourished under Chime’s administration, Nsukka zone which now has the governorship, must necessarily give up the headship of the party, and in this regard, the #Enugu East Senatorial zone is the favoured block to produce a substantive state chairman of the party.
And within Enugu East Zone, informal consultations are in top gear, involving a plethora of interested person weighing up their chances of making the big leap to the peak of the state party hierarchy.
And without a shred of doubt, the major stakeholder in the zone is former Senate President, #Chief Ken Nnamani, to whom most of the interested persons have been reportedly ingratiating themselves in recent times, one way or the other.
It would appear whoever gets Chief Nnamani’s support would almost certainly sail through but his major challenge would be to back a candidate that has no political baggage, and one with a stature ripe for the big occasion.
Unconfirmed source claim Chief Nnamani is giving preliminary consideration to a former aide whose main pedigree, apart from being a lawyer.
Nnamani’s kinsman, Deacon Okey Ogbodo, is the zone’s obvious choice. Ogbodo was variously Commissioner for Land, Urban Development and Finance in Chimaroke’s administration and is reputed to be an effective grassroot politician.
Former banker and administrator, Ogbodo’s other strong points, apart from his nobility and political sagacity, includes wide acceptability to people of other zones, who would ultimately have a say on who becomes the next party chairman in the State.
Only a credible candidate from the area can survive an election in the event that a consensus candidate failed to emerge at the end of ongoing consultations. Ogbodo and Ugwuanyi were classmates at St. Theresa’s College Nsukka back in the 80’s.
The camp of the governor-elect maintain that they would not allow imposition for unpopular candidate who would not add value in the impending dispensation.
Promoters of the candidacy of Ogbodo believe that they could never be better placed to clinch the position than under Gburugburu.
Ugwuanyi on his part, will naturally appreciate someone with substantial electoral value especially now the opposition party in the state, #APC, would operate with added impetus from the centre.
A source close to Ugwuanyi, when questioned on likely official direction of sympathy said “any good person will be good enough, but trusted long-standing allies and associates would definitely be preferred.”
Others touted as aspirants include immediate past secretary of the party in the state, Dons Udeh. Udeh is from Ozalla but like Eneh, both come from Nkanu West Council area. Current Secretary, Steve Oruruo, comes from Akpugo, also in Nkanu West Council area. Former national auditor of the party, Ray Nnaji, also comes from Akpugo.
Another old “Gburugburu” acquaintance who is reportedly interested in becoming the next party chairman, is former House of Representatives member, Anayo Ede.
People from the Enugu South Area are vehement in their assertion that the council area naturally deserves the #chairmanship slot.
In addition to the afore-mentioned, former Acting National Secretary, Rex Onyeabor, and immediate past Deputy financial secretary, Osita Ogene, have all taken the chances of the Nkanu-West/Nkanu East, and Isi-uzo Council areas, leaving the Enugu South, populated mainly by the people ofAwkuanawextraction, “empty-handed,” they claim.
Analysts posit that only a realistic political office of substance would appease the people of Enugu South, like the State Chairmanship of the PDP and their unanimous candidate appears to be Deacon Ogbodo.
“The position of speaker of the State House of Assembly could have been a realistic target, but two newly elected members from the council area are freshmen, and no freshman becomes speaker where there are ranking members in a legislature”, one observer noted.
Kinsmen of Senator Nnamani are urging him to look inwards in the exercise of his privileged discretion to choose a home-bred candidate, to strengthen his own stake in the leadership of the community.
If competence and acceptability are considered in the choice of the next PDP chairmanship candidate of Enugu South origin, stakeholders won’t even look far; what they need do is, pick wisely.
Opinions expressed above are solely those of the writer
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