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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Enugu PDP Crisis:  The People’s Advice To Gov. Chime – By Ejenogwu Igwebike



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Enugu State has been in the news not for positive infrastructural developments rather for political intrigues and machinations of unimaginable proportion.  The gladiators have dug in, prepared and ready for political fireworks commencing on November 29th, 2014 – the first day of PDP primary for state house of assembly.


The courts at state and federal levels are littered with lawsuits from frivolous to sheer abuse of the court process.  One of the many judges assigned the case in the tussle for PDP chairmanship has thrown in the towel and bailed out of the case because of threats to his life.


The President Dr. Jonathan has intervened to no avail.  The truce supposedly brokered at Aso Rock fell apart as soon as the gladiators returned to Enugu.  The elders of Enugu State PDP are loud in silence as many wonder about the next move. The question on most lips of Enugu people is how to get this thing resolved.  How will political fight end?  Will it turn to physical violence? Who and what are going to breath air of resolution to Enugu state PDP?


Before you solve any problem be it political or otherwise, it is important to attempt to understand the problem.  It is good to trace back to its genesis.  You apply critical analysis to breakdown the problem into solvable components before crafting out alternative paths to solutions.


Political development in Nigeria has been stuck in the Tammany Hall- cum Chicago Machine-type imposition mentality where political bosses dole out political offices as patronage and candidates are imposed on the people.  Majority of the current political office holders are product of the same political machine of Ebeano family.  They were all imposed on the people of Enugu State.


Perhaps, you are not far off if you pin the genesis of the current crisis on the same ghost of political culture of imposition and dictatorial tendencies of some in the political class.  Gov. Chime, a product of former governor and the King maker of Ebeano, decided in his political wisdom and pronouncements without regard to constitutional provisions decreed that all elected members of the National Assembly who have served two terms are due for retirement.


In a twisting reversal the Governor also prescribed that the senator representing Enugu East who is at his first term would be equally retired because the people of Nkanu never reelected a senator as they have pact with destiny for their senators to serve single term.


The same old Ebeano style imposition is at the root of the current crisis.  Apart from the major pronouncement of the governor, there are other major political missteps, which culminated to the precarious position Enugu PDP under Gov. Chime found itself.  Part of it is self-inflicted political wound, which have united oppositions and enemies resulting in the humbling outcome of the November 1st, 2014 congress.

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The reasons for the numerous political missteps are important in the search for solution to the quagmire.  Moreover, most organizations saddled with management of professionals requires a point person who sees to the smoothing running of thing and ensure that the Big Masquerade is dancing in tandem with the music at all times.


This position of chief of staff is the most important appointive position in any major organization.  In United States the chief of staff to the President as described in Wikipedia is the one who provides a buffer between a chief executive and the executive’s direct-reporting team.


The chief of staff generally works behind the scenes to solve problems, mediate disputes, and deal with issues before they are brought to the Chief Executive. Often Chiefs of Staff act as a confidante and advisor to the Chief Executive, acting as a sounding board for ideas.


The chief of staff typically oversees the actions of the White House staff, manages the president’s schedule, and decides who is allowed to meet with the president. Because of these duties, the Chief of Staff has at various times been labeled “The Gatekeeper” (Wikipedia, 2014)


As stated above are what competent chief of staff is expected to do for the principal in ideal situation.  However in the case of Gov. Chime, there are obvious dereliction of duty in that there are many blatant mistakes which a capable chief staff who knows her opinion would have contained.


Without getting into the personal life of a man however, it is a known that your personal dealings shape your public swagger. The chief of staff failed in her counsel to her principal in this critical area creating a monster in one of the most performing governors of out time.


The crisis of chicken impeachment falls squarely into the advisory role of chief of staff and the litany of political advisers and assistants. The lack of political experience, foresight and sagacity as evident in the brutal persecution of the deputy governor by the governor at the watch of chief of staff and the rest of the appointees dilutes the acclaimed successes they might have achieved. It did not just harm Gov. Chime’s outlook, it rendered his political strategy ineffective as he spoils to topple more experienced National Assembly members.


Having discussed the genesis and causes of the political problem of Enugu State PDP we set out to provide some solutions and where best to get solutions to political problem but the streets of Enugu.  This is because the people on the street listening and watching as the political gladiators duck it out are better positioned to point you in the direction of resolution.

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From an elaborate street joint at Ogui New Layout comes one of the interesting suggestions to quell the political impasse.  The young man claimed to be a political operative way back to the Ebeano time.  His suggestion is that Gov. Chime should quit elective contest and return to his seat as the leader of Enugu State PDP.  He added that his involvement has diminished his status and exposes his political inexperience as product of the Ebeano imposition the same Ebeano he has declared dead.  He sounded a tad disappointed in the most performing governor Enugu State who could be that governor that allowed the people to elect their leaders.


Cruising down to Otigba junction provides another strange advice to both Gov. Chime and DSP Ekweremadu.  This young man was very passionate as he spoke about the two PDP leaders of Enugu State.  He laid the blame of the problems of people surrounding the two leaders.  He said that there were no issues between the two that it was the people around the peddling gossip that got them into this political mess.


This young man described as an Nkanu-Ebuka man saved his harshest criticism for the former chief of staff.  His recommendation is that since Gov. Chime loves Enugu so much he should throw his hat to the contest of Enugu East senatorial zone and allow DSP Ekweremadu to continue his excellent service to Enugu West.


At a more somber gathering in New Haven the political topic took angry tone as many are lamenting about the missed opportunities by the political class.  They vented on how tough things have become and some are even calling for the military to return.  They blamed the governors who increasingly became dictatorial and anti-democratic.


All in all, it was genuine opinion gathering from the field as the people are busy waiting in apprehension hoping things would not get out of hand and result in violence.  This writer implores Gov. Chime to take the leadership role and get the political under control.  The breakdown of violence as a result of his political missteps and miscalculation will go a long way to tarnish his legacy and cripple his political career, credibility and reputation as one who presided the bloodletting of Enugu State youth.  The bucks stops at the leader’s desk and Gov. Chime is the leader of Enugu State PDP and should arrest the slippery slope into anarchy.


Ejenogwu Igwebike is a very concerned Onye-Enugu and writes from Enugu.

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