There’s Discomfort In Ugwuanyi’s Attachment To Chime – Nnaji | Independent Newspapers Limited
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There’s Discomfort In Ugwuanyi’s Attachment To Chime – Nnaji

Posted: Jun 23, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)
Barrister Ray Nnaji, an Enugu based private attorney is a former National Auditor of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Commissioner for Youths and Sports in Enugu State. In this interview with EMMANUEL NZOMIWU, he speaks on the cozy relationship between incumbent governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and his predecessor, Sullivan Chime, and other related issues in the State. Excerpts…
You have been a staunch member of PDP in Enugu State since 1999. Before now, governors were seen as leaders of the party in the State, but lately, we have seen incumbent governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, consistently saying that in and out of office, his predecessor, Sullivan Chime remains the leader in Enugu. How do you interpret this statement?
It depends on what he means for one to be his leader, but I must have to tell you if it is what we meant by leader – leader of the party precisely, leader of government – he is supposed not to be seeing another person as leader in as much as the person has actually left office. He can address him and respect him as a statesman, but not calling him a leader. Is he leader of who? If he is the leader of the governor, what should the governor be? You know, I read when governor Ugwuanyi was saying that he is not ready to fight anybody. Who actually wants him to fight anybody? Some of these comments are not worth it. When I read in the papers that he is not ready to fight his predecessor, he is not ready to fight any former governor, what does that portend? Are you trying to say that you were voted in to come and fight? That is not the position or the background. Even Sullivan did not have the intention to fight Chimaroke. But circumstances made him to start fighting, from the look of things. And so, as a result of that, you find out that for the man to say that he is not ready to fight anybody, and now saying, “his leader, his leader”, he is bring the office of the governor down to the mud. It is not him, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Gburugburu, that has the toga of that leader, which has the toga of the governor, but that office should be respected. He should know what that office portends. He is the father of everybody now by virtue of that position. And nobody is saying and nobody is expecting him to start fighting Sullivan. Like I earlier said in my previous comments, whatever that is good in Sullivan’s government, emulate them. Do them. Do them even better. But nobody is saying that Sullivan is hundred percent good. There are areas where he has faults. So many areas and as a result of that when they are saying continuity, continuity, do you now continue with those bad areas. Are you now saying there was no bad area?
Who are you talking about?
The former governor, and that was one of the reasons why he wanted to destroy Spring of Life Schools to enable him have an expansion. You know the Hotel has almost the same boundary with Spring of Life School, but because Golden Royal has no Parking Space, he wanted to extend the place. This is one of the things Gburugburu has to emulate or continue. Look at what he did to International Conference Centre (ICC), where he should have continued from where his predecessor stopped. Do you know the irony of it? If he had finished it and commissioned it, nobody would even have remembered Chimaroke. The name that would be there is Sullivan Chime, the person who commissioned it. And nobody would have said, this is the man that started it. What they will be saying is that this is the one built by Sullivan because he commissioned it. But the man allowed that place to dilapidate. The whole money spent in that place now turned into a waste. What he decided to do was to allocate the lands, adjoining lands, to that particular place. Look at the House of Assembly, the Shopping Mall there. What are we talking about? The man just looted the State, virtually, towards the time he was leaving the office. And these are the continuity Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Gburugburu, believed in. Honestly, I am not saying he should fight him. But he has actually made us to believe that from the look of things, he is not capable of governing the State.
What makes you to think so?
If he still believes that by now as an adult, as somebody who has served three times in the National Assembly, he cannot be an independent person of his own – He still believes that Sullivan is his leader to the point that he determines some of the decisions he is taking now, even some of the appointments he is making. That is not how things should be done. And that is not what some of us who have been in government expect from him. I had the opportunity of speaking with him after I had made some comments with regards to some of the things he is doing now, especially when he used his whole one week taking some people to the former governor’s House in Udi on ‘thank you’ visit. I had the opportunity of speaking with him on phone. I told him that shouldn’t be. He equally said he is not ready to fight anybody. I told him: ‘Nobody is telling you to fight anybody but take off. You have not taken off. For one week, it was thanksgiving, thanksgiving.’ Information has it equally that the China trip they went was solidified by these business moguls that are looting the state, so that certain discussions will be made with respect to the interest of the new governor concerning the projects executed by the former governor. Let me be frank with you, if Ugwuanyi is not careful, he will enter into a fight he will not finish quickly.
With who, Sir?
I don’t know from where it is going to come from but I know that a lot of people are not happy with him. And that is the beginning of the problem. Once you just enter, people are supposed to be happy with you before you start having problems, because obviously there will be problems. If you feel you can’t have any problem, you are making a very big mistake. When it is going to come is what you cannot tell, but you shouldn’t allow it to come early because once it starts early, you will be destabilized or disorganized and Sullivan cannot come and help you. He cannot, because he has limitation of what he can do as an outsider. I know now the EFCC is having serious searchlight on him. I am even surprised that they have not even called me, the way they have called me for that of Ifeoma Nwobodo. I have been invited by EFCC to come and have interview with them but I had to shift the date for one or two reasons because these are the people that looted the state.
Assuming Ugwuanyi continues this way of allowing the former governor to continue to lead him, where do you think it will take the state?
You know, it is too early for me to determine where it is going to end, but like I earlier said, it might give room to a lot of agitation that may come too early. I have not been a governor but I know that I have served as a local government chairman and at that level, I know how executive power functions and I know how things can happen. A lot of people are expecting a lot of things from him. And government is almost getting to three weeks. Before you know it, he (Ugwuanyi) would be hitting a hundred days in office and he has nothing tangibly to place hand on as something he has done, only to be massaging his past leader. Even if you are sleeping with him in the same bed, it does not change minimally any issue. It doesn’t change anything. What I am trying to say in effect is that it is very unfortunate, what we seeing.