Sullivan Chime’s Pointing Fingers to the East Narrated [Full Story]
APC, PDP, others should pick their governorship candidates from Nkanu East Says Sullivan Chime.
The immediate past governor of Enugu State, Barr Sullivan Chime has called on the political parties willing to sponsor governorship candidates in the 2023 election in Enugu State to consider ceding their governorship candidacies to Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu East Senatorial District of Enugu State.
The former governor who made the call in Enugu when the Nkanu East Consultative Leaders’ Forum, NECLF, called on him to solicit his support in their bid to have the political parties cede their governorship tickets to Nkanu East LGA, said the actual rotation of the governorship seat in the state started in 2015.
Narrating the incidents which informed the decision, Barr Chime observed that it was when he was campaigning for a second term in office as governor of Enugu State that the late Igwe Charles Abangwu of Enugu North Senatorial District (Nsukka), who after pledging the support of Nsukka cultural/senatorial zone for his re-election in 2011, requested of him that since Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani from Enugu East zone, and himself of Enugu West Senatorial zone had taken their shots at the governorship seat, it would be appropriate and equitable for him (then Governor Chime) to support an Enugu North zone (Nsukka) man after his tenure.
“When we were campaigning for our second tenure in 2011, Chief (Charles) Abangwu was still there, and he was like the father figure for the whole Nsukka.
“When we went for campaign in Nsukka, he assembled all the traditional rulers and others, and while addressing the people, he told us that due to the impressive job my government had done, they were all supporting me for a second term, and that they had asked their sons that anyone contesting against me was on his own.
“But he came up with one request. He said I could see that Enugu East (zone) had led the state, and I was from Enugu West (zone), and that at the end of my tenure, I should support Enugu North to produce a governor that would succeed me. So I came back as governor.
“In 2013 while at a town hall meeting in Enugu, a question was posed to me by a journalist which was: as your tenure was drawing to a close, where (which zone) would your successor come from? Without hesitation, I told him Enugu North (zone).
“So it was only reasonable that I insisted that Nsukka Senatorial zone would produce a governor after me with the hope that after them, the cycle would continue to Enugu East Senatorial zone and from there to the (Enugu) West so we could minimize the tensions associated with such politicking.
Former Governor Chime who told his guests that he was disposed to lending his support for Nkanu East to produce a governor for the state in 2023, advised them that if they insisted on zoning, they should present credible persons who would render service to Enugu State.
He noted that within the present Enugu East Senatorial zone, Enugu South, Enugu North and Nkanu West LGAs have produced past governors in the persons of Senator Jim Nwobodo, Chief C. C. Onoh and Senator Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani respectively, while Nkanu East, Enugu East and Isiuzo LGAs were yet to produce any governor. “So you should work it out among the three of you”, he said, adding that although zoning had its challenges, if he was to further advice, he would opt for Nkanu East LGA among the 3 in the zone that are yet to produce a governor.
He explained further: “If this is why you people have come, then you do not need to ‘preach to the choir.
“We did it in 2015. We started early so every other zone steered clear. It wasn’t only for PDP, all major political parties fielded candidates from Enugu North zone.
“Although there was no written agreement, but everyone saw reason with what was done and and followed through; therefore there’s no basis for any stories this time around.
“Anyone who is arguing that rotation has gone round and that it should start from anywhere…, that is a lame argument that doesn’t make sense.
“Anyone who is against zoning, does not understand what is zoning.
“I do not know who your contestants are but it would be good if you come together and project someone that is not controversial, someone that you can sell easily to other people without much stories because only Nkanu East people cannot produce a governor for Enugu State. You need the support of the entire state.
“I advise you again that if you have general understanding, then you present a strong candidate from Nkanu East in APC, and another strong candidate from Nkanu East in PDP, then you know that you have done the greater work. It will be to repeat what happened in 2015 and we shall have relative peace.”
Earlier while making their presentation, the leader of the forum, Prof Bart Nnaji said they were on consultation with the former governor to solicit his support in their quest for the governorship seat of Enugu State in 2023.
Prof Nnaji who praised Chime for the construction Nike-Ugwogo-Opi Nsukka, Ozalla-Udi-Nachi roads among other numerous projects by his administration, stated that Nkanu East was the least developed among the LGAs in Enugu East Senatorial District.
He noted that Nkanu East was seeking the support of other leaders and stakeholders in the state for an opportunity for them to produce a governor, saying this would enhance the equitable distribution of amenities and development projects in the state.