By Teddy Nwanunobi
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — Former governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime, may have drawn the battle line for an open war against the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, for the sole ticket of the Enugu West Senatorial seat the National Assembly ahead of the 2019 general elections, as he has formerly dumped the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Chime, who was alleged to have joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said that his decision to quit the PDP was because the Party was “no longer in existence in the true sense of it’’.
Chime, who dropped the hint in Enugu with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday, however, said that he was yet to join another political party, contrary to speculations that he had defected to the APC.
He said that he was still making consultations to determine the political party to join, pointing out that his decision to dump PDP had nothing to do with his corruption case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“The PDP, we used to be members of, is dead. The Party I joined in 1999, and had the opportunity of leading in the (Enugu) State for eight years, is no longer in existence.
“We have two groups claiming to be in charge of the Party as chairman. These two, none of them can actually lay claim to the chairmanship of the Party,” was quoted as saying.
Chime’s move is seen to be a preparatory ground for an imminent political war between him and the Ekweremadu.
Chime (left), Ekweremadu (right), set for battle in 2019 elections
Both politicians had, before the 2015 general elections, engaged in one of the heaviest political battles in Enugu State, as Chime planned to unseat Ekweremadu in the Senate.
But the ex-governor later withdrew, as Ekweremadu gained the upper hand.
However, latest developments indicate that the former governor has not given up to pick the sole ticket of the Enugu West Senatorial seat.
Spokesman of the APC in the South-East, Hyacinth Ngwu, in his Facebook page, on Thursday, gave an indication of Chime’s next political movement.
“Breaking News: Today, His Excellency, Barr. Sullivan Iheanacho Chime, immediate past governor of Enugu State, joins APC,” Ngwu wrote on his timeline.
His post, however, did not go down well with some Nigerians, who felt Chime’s move was to evade prosecution by the EFCC over his alleged involvement in the 2015 election money that was shared by a former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison Madueke.
But Ngwu swiftly fired back at Chime’s critics with another post.
”I wonder how some of the opposite politicians talk. If their member is questioned by EFCC or ICPC or invited by the Police, they will shout to the heavens, ‘victimisation, oppression of political opponents’.
“But when the same person defects to (APC), a better party with vision for Nigeria, they roar that the same defected to avoid interrogation by EFCC, ICPC or the Police. Haba, which way my people?” he queried.