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His Excellency, Sullivan Chime, immediate past Governor of Enugu State on Tuesday attacked Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, describing him as ‘shameless’.
Chime was reacting to a statement by Senator Ekweremadu that during the immediate past administration, Aninri where the Deputy Senate President hails from, had no permanent secretary and Commissioner in the State Executive Council (SEC).
The former Governor, who would be joining the All Progressives Congress (APC) this weekend, said he used the word ‘shameless’ because somebody of Ekweremadu’s status, being a former Chief of Staff to the Governor and Secretary to State Government (SSG), ought to have verified his facts, rather than dish out lies against him.
Addressing a press conference at his Enugu home, the first since he left office on May 29, 2015, Chime said since he announced his exit from the broken down vehicle of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he had been branded a failure because some people think he left PDP to go to Senate and their best option was to bring him down.
“Nobody says anything nice about how we governed the state. On one occasion in Aninri, at a reception organised for David Ajah, Deputy Senate President shamelessly accused me of having abandoned Aninri. He said I didn’t appoint Permanent Secretary from Aninri and you people published without verifying it.
“I used shamelessly because somebody of that status, a former Chief of Staff to the Governor, a former Secretary to State Government, should have cross checked his facts and not to dish out lies. Not minding that Aninri was the smallest local government with just 10 wards, I had a policy of making sure everybody was represented in line with the Federal Character enshrined in our constitution.
“We appointed Wilson Njoku as Permanent Secretary Due Process in 2008. We appointed Emmanuel Ndubuisi as Permanent Secretary in 2013, he was still serving when I left. We appointed Benson Njoku as Auditor General.
“I assured every local government had a commissioner. There was no time we lacked an Aninri person in the State Executive Council. In my first tenure, Okezie Nwanjoku was the first person I appointed as Commissioner for Youth and Sports. At the beginning of my second tenure, I appointed David Ajah, the person in whose house Ekweremadu told lies against me as Commissioner for Water Resources. He did not do well and we removed him and replaced him with Professor Okolo, also from Aninri. There was no time Aninri person was lacking in my executive.
“Aninri person was Chairman of ENSUBEB. Because I left politics, people think that they can make it with running me down. He has no business telling lies against me. If he has nothing against me, he should just shut up. They have been sponsoring meetings against me. If you want to assess somebody, go there before and after.
“The other time, they talked about my Umeneke people saying I did nothing. Umuneke is made up of eight communities, not one did not benefit. Some never saw tarred road. But I failed because somebody gave them money. You cannot call a governor failure. The person that can call a Governor failure is a former Governor. I am happy with myself, the way I am being assessed by my people, not the ones paid.
“I have never attended functions without people thanking me, not specific individuals, people who will see you as a failure because you did not give them money. Street hawkers are happy with me. People send text messages to me. People who call me failure because I didn’t give them money are failures themselves” Chime said.
The former Governor noted that a lot has been said about him between the time that he left office, and now, especially negative reports in the media, mostly sponsored.
Chime said he decided to stay away from politics but things that happened in their once upon a time great party-PDP- forced him out of retirement.
“Not too long ago, I announced my resignation from PDP. I left the party. In actual fact, the party left me, in the sense that the party I was introduced to in 1999 no longer exists. That party has been run down. The party abandoned our constitution, our rules that guided us. It came to where it is today, dead! And it is no longer functioning.
“We have two factions led by two people, each laying claim to the leadership so wrongly. One led by Modu Sheriff. He never stood any election. He was appointed to serve out the tenure of that executive. Bamangar Tukur was elected as Chairman and when he was removed from office, Adamu Muazu was appointed to serve out his tenure. Muazu was removed from office after the 2015 election and Sheriff was appointed to serve out his tenure. The tenure of that executive had since elapsed. He is still claiming to be chairman. On the other hand, Markafi is claiming to be the chairman of caretaker committee, a non existing body unknown to PDP constitution” he said.
Chime said the Board of Trustees (BOT) of PDP is moribund likewise the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the National Working Committee (NWC), adding that PDP has been murdered.
He said the founding members of PDP were either no longer in the party or retired from politics, adding that people are disembarking from PDP and looking for vehicles to take them where they are going.
He stated further: “I completed my tenure in 2015. I have people who want to be shown the way. I have to show them the way. I completed eight years. I had privilege of handing over to my successor. I was there. I handed over. At the end, the people of Enugu came to my private residence to pay homage, to say thank you. The Governor, my successor came in all occasions. They were coming to say all I did and thank me the way I governed them. Of all the prayers, one stuck in my mind. They prayed for my successor to continue the way I did.
“You are here because one of you called me and said, ‘there are rumours that you are joining APC’. I said it is not a rumour. I have made consultations. I have met with all APC ward and LG chairmen, the entire executives and national leadership and they have assured me that I have a place I can come in. you cannot come in and one day, they say they don’t want you. I am excited joining APC. They are excited having me.
“That is the only viable party that can take you to your destination. We pray what happened to PDP doesn’t happen to APC. We are happy to identify with that party. On the 6th, I will formally be registered as a member of that party.
“Anybody who is still in PDP is still wasting his time. If you know the number of meetings they have called to stop me from joining another party, you will be shocked. I am entitled to belong to any party. I would have owed PDP apology but there is no PDP to apologise to because PDP is dead. May be, INEC is taking time. This is time for INEC to deregister PDP, a party that no longer plays to the rules. If INEC deregisters PDP, they can go to court. PDP is dead. The umbrella has been lost” Chime said.
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