Vested interests, Ugwuanyi’s dilemma

By Editor on 06/06/2015

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There are strong signals that Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is currently in a fix due to the extraneous forces that are interplaying within and beyond the corridors of power in the Coal City state.

The governor, learnt, may have become a victim of the political manoeuvres that saw him emerging as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and eventual ascendency to the number one job in the state.

This has to do with all the forces and interests which provided the planks with which the platform for his climbing the ladder of the governorship was erected and the need for him to satisfy each of them.

Apparently with the benefit of hindsight in which the need for his predecessors to assume independence soon after gaining power by kicking down the ladder and the crises such a disposition had caused, Ugwuanyi’s intention to satisfy the various interests is said to have constituted a big albatross for him and his government.

Each interest is said to have come with a basket of demands that must be filled now the kill has been made, insiders say.

The governor’s difficulty in selecting the demands to meet and where his loyalty should tilt, since his desire to satisfy all the interests is the reason no single appointment has been made in the state about a whole week after his inauguration, even when his contemporaries have hit the ground running.

Ugwuanyi, who was sworn into office on May 29 to succeed Sullivan Chime, who completed his eight years tenure in office on that day, was said to have cut some underground deals with each interest in his bid to capture power.
even Residents are worried that a week Even without the House of Assembly in place, appointments such as Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff, Chief Press Secretary, Protocol Officers as well as security are yet to be made.
Already, tongues have started wagging, as some residents see this as a sign of weakness and things to com.

Many are particularly worried that rather than settle down and face the business of governance, the former House of Representatives member for Udenu/Igboeze North constituency, has been embarking on one “Thank You Visit“ too to his predecessor and political godfather, Sullivan Chime.
Ugwuanyi after inauguration on Friday went to the Holy Ghost Catholic Cathedral Church, Ogui, for thanksgiving service on Saturday. On Sunday, he was received by his people of Enugu north senatorial zone.
On Monday, he joined other stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to Port Harcourt, Rivers State for the retreat of the elected and returning senators of the party.
On Tuesday, he resumed at the office and embarked on inspection tour of some places including Abakpa, Parklane Hospital, Main market Road, as well as the Nike Grammar School.
At the last count, the governor had visited Chime on not less than four occasions with various socio-political blocs.

Ugwuanyi learnt that apart from Chime, the likes of Chime’s powerful ex-Chief of Staff, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo have since handed him a list of appointees to be included in the government.

While the demand of Chime, whose list is reportedly made up of his former officials and aides is obvious, Nwobodo is said to be coming from the angle of providing the support of the Enugu East bloc, for which she now wants to fill all the nominees as allegedly agreed.
Yet, former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Chairman of the party, Vita Abba, former National Chairman of the PDP, Okwesilieze Nwodo have also reportedly brought their own lists.
Insiders told that part of the intrigues the governor would have to deal with is the pressure to drop Chime’s list in place of Ekweremadu, said to have played a greater role than the governor. The argument, it was gathered, is that since Ekweremadu would not be returning to his former position at the Senate he needed to reduce the burden of his large staff, which the governor is now expected to bear by appointing them to positions.
Abba’s demand is for leading other Enugu North contenders to step down for the governor during the primaries, after the slot was zoned to the area.
Sources said that these considerations are seriously weighing on the governor, adding that he would not want to make any pronouncement that might offend any of the interests.
“He is seriously in dilemma and will not want to offend any of those he considered to have stood for him when the tide was high. He is looking for a middle course that can make them understand his
situation,” the source said.
But while the waiting game continues, Ugwuanyi has resorted to using Chime’s personal aides including the Chief of Staff, Victor Atuonwu, Chief Security Officer, Fidelis Ogarebe and others to run his government.
Many stalwarts now hang around the Government House and Ugwuanyi’s residence apparently in a bid to attract his attention.
PDP chairman in the state, Ikeje Asogwa, the gubernatorial campaign coordinator of the PDP in the state, COC Egumgbe now literarily sleep and wakes up with Ugwuanyi.
“They flock around him as if they have nothing doing. They should realise that the election is over.
It is also sad that the governor doesn’t want to assume his independence. Nobody is saying he should not respect Chime, but he must know that his era is gone and he is now the governor. He has continued to preach seamless continuity and consolidation and describing Chime as his leader both in and out of office; that is a bad way to start as governor. Let him remove himself from Chime’s shell and work for the people and development of Enugu state,” another source advised.
It could be recalled that Chime had a week before the exit of his government summoned some returning and newly elected House of Assembly members, where he allegedly appointed principal officers of the Assembly.





Posted on June, 6 2015

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