Akin Akande, Abuja
A pressure group under the aegis of Enugu State Roots Initiative (ESRI), has commended the Governor of Enugu, Sullivan Chime over his pronouncement that it is the turn of the Enugu North Senatorial zone to produce the next governor of the state.
The group also commended the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, over a report that he has shelved his alleged gubernatorial ambition and had declared that he was no longer interested in the race.
ESRI, in a statement issued at the weekend, by its Chairman, Barrister Joni Icheka, its Secretary, Chief Uche Nwegbo and Treasurer, Barrister Emma Nwodo, applauded Chime for making the pronouncement at a Town Hall meeting held at the Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu on May 29, 2013.
Chime was said to have stated at the event of a claimed “understanding reached by the state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when he was nominated as the party’s flag bearer in 2007,” that his successor should come from Enugu North, stressing that he remains committed to fulfilling the letters of the said understanding.
The group said it was “compelled to commend him (Chime) for this forthright and honest statement which portrayed him once again, as a man of honour and integrity.”
“For the avoidance of doubts, the governor stated that there was an understanding among the Enugu state PDP stakeholders and chieftains that his successor in office should come from Enugu North senatorial zone, since both Enugu East and Enugu West senatorial zones have produced Governors in the state, the East senatorial zone having produced the former Governor who served out two terms of eight years, while the West senatorial zone produced the incumbent governor who is still in office.” It said.
The group said that by the governor’s statements, it joined governor to urge politicians in the state to toe the path of honour and support only governorship aspirants from Enugu North senatorial zone in order to have a seamless party primary.
“His Excellency has by this statement deflated unnecessary tension and acrimony which would have bugged the Enugu State Polity and by implication, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, if any political permutations to the contrary is allowed.”
ESRI called on all the politicians and interest groups in Enugu State to take a cue from Governor Chime by not engaging in any activity that could bring back tension and uncertainty which have been pushed to the back burner since His Excellency assumed office in 2007.
It also commends the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu for the clarifications he made distancing himself from his posters being circulated in Enugu State suggesting that he is interested in the governorship race.
“The respected Deputy Senate President explained that he would be happy to see the next Governor of Enugu State produced from the Enugu North Senatorial Zone,” the group said.