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The 2023 political realignment in Enugu State may have begun, as former governor of the state, Chimaroke Nnamani, yesterday, led members of his Ebeano political dynasty to confer leadership of the structure on Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
In an event that brought together serving and former members of the National Assembly, State House of Assembly, former ministers, party leaders and others produced by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state since 1999, the group, which pledged to support Ugwuanyi, urged him to declare the zone that should produce his successor in line with ongoing rotational arrangement in the state.
Nnamani had told the governor amid a jubilant crowd that it was his ‘right’ to produce his successor as done by the governors that served before him, stressing that “whomever you choose will become the next governor.”
Nnamani said: “I was governor from 1999 to 2007. When it was time to hand over, I named the zone that will produce my successor and from that zone named my successor in Sullivan Chime, who of course, is a member of Ebeano political family. After eight years that Chime served, he also named his successor to come from Enugu north. That was in 2015 and that is why we have the present governor, who is the leader of the Ebeano as governor. So, after eight years, it is within your right to name the zone that will succeed you. Whether it is Udi, Nsukka or Enugu East and whoever you name will become the governor.”
Ebeano (where we are) political dynasty, political pressure group founded by Nnamani, had produced governor of the state since 1999. About 95 per cent of other elective officials so far in the state came from the political family.
Nnamani stated that Ebeano political family was interested in entrenching democracy for the betterment of the people, stressing that since inception, it had continued to protect and speak for the downtrodden.
“It is equality of leverages to balance interests. It has no major or minor stakeholders but equal stakeholders. You can become whatever public office can offer in this democracy. But you must continue to demonstrate loyalty and support and that is why, where ever the governor says we should go, we go. In 2023, there is no vacancy but where ever our leader who is the governor says is vacant, it is vacant,” he said.
Describing Ugwuanyi as his ‘boss and leader’, Nnamani stated that he was a man of “mission, great humility, political savvy and panache” and charged members to remain loyal to the governor who had assumed leadership of the structure.
Recalling how Ugwuanyi brought him back to political limelight from ‘retirement’, Nnamani said he would always remain grateful for the rear privilege, even as he urged the governor to continue to provide good governance.
Governor Ugwuanyi had described the visit of the group as ‘a great reunion’, stressing that it afforded him opportunity to see several political friends he had not seen in awhile.
Going memory lane, Ugwuanyi recalled how Nnamani brought him to political limelight that made it possible for him to serve at the House of Representative for 12 years.
Attributing his successes so far as governor to “grace of God”, he stated that he would not take the support and call of the group for granted and poured encomia on Nnamani and other leaders that have sustained the group.
Also speaking, Speaker of Enugu House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi, said that it was the turn of Enugu East Senatorial zone to produce governor in 2023 and urged the governor to maintain the rotational arrangement.