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The Advocate Newspaper is print media located at 30 Edinburgh Road Ogui New Layout, Enugu.

Transcript of Chime, Ekweremadu rift deepens

  • N150Vol. 1 No. 38, May 2014

    Enugu Deputy Gov, Onyebuchi joins 2015

    Senatorial raceNnamani, Nnaji, Nwobodo also eyeing Enugu

    East senatorial seat

    eputy Governor of Enugu State,

    Chief Sunday Onyebuchi has

    joined the race for the 2015 Enugu DEast Senatorial zone on the platform of the

    Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

    By Ted Peters

    Continues on page 2

    Chime, Ekweremadu rift deepens

    Oduma community defies Enugu Govt, honours DSP, Minister, 2 others

    Ekweremadu was not honoured by any monarch Enugu Govt

    The Advocate was reliably informed by a

    top member of the ruling party in the state

    that Onyebuchi has already informed the

    leadership of the party that he would contest

    the senatorial seat, adding that the party

    stakeholders were aware of his ambition,

    though he is yet to make it public.

    The deputy governor, according to the

    t was another power game in Enugu State

    on Saturday, April 19, 2014 when the

    p e o p l e o f e i g h t a u t o n o m o u s Icommunities of Oduma Kingdom in Aninri

    local government area of the state rolled out

    their drums to honour their beloved son in

    whom they are well pleased, the Deputy

    Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

    The communities had arranged a civic

    reception and conferment of chieftaincy title

    on Ekweremadu in appreciation of the

    senator's role in facilitating the construction

    of the N12 billion Nenwe-Oduma-Uburu

    roads which was flagged by the Federal

    Government in November 2012. Work on

    the project has progressed steadily and the

    people of community, who are usually cut off

    from Enugu during the rainy season owing to

    the deplorable condition of the road, now

    heave a sigh of relief.

    But while the communities were planning to

    celebrate their illustrious son, Governor

    Sullivan Chime and his aides went to the

    drawing board of political manipulations.

    Sensing that the beneficiary (DSP) might

    earn some political advantages from the

    densely populated farming communities,

    which is close to his own community, Mpu,

    Continues on page 2

    By Ted Peters

    & Rex Arum

    Pag e 2

    L-R: Wife of the Deputy President of the Senate, Lady Nwanneka Ekweremadu; DSP, Chief Ike Ekweremadu;

    Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma; and Chairman Senate Committee on

    Communications, Senator Gil Nnaji acknowledge greetings from crowd at the reception and conferment of

    chieftaincy title on the DSP by Oduma Community, last weekend.


    Page 12

    Page 3

  • 2THE

    ADVOCATEMay 2014

    Chime, Ekweremadu rift deepens

    Chime who is working hard to

    take over from Ekweremadu as the

    senator for Enugu West senatorial

    zone upon completion of his

    second term as governor in 2015,

    moved quickly to stop the

    conferment of the chieftaincy title.

    The government immediately set

    out to halt the event by issuing an

    order suspending the conferment

    of chieftaincy titles by traditional

    rulers in the state with effect from

    April 7, 2014. The government's

    directive contained in a letter

    dated April 7, 2014 with reference

    number MCM/CM/98/T/203 and

    addressed to all recognised

    traditional rulers in the state was

    signed by Ibe Nnamani on behalf

    of the Commissioner, Ministry of

    Chieftaincy Matters, Pastor

    Emeka Abugu. The letter

    specifically said that the order

    would elapse on December 31,

    this year.

    The letter reads: I am directed to

    inform you that Enugu State

    Government has suspended the

    conferment of Chieftaincy titles

    on individuals with effect from

    Monday, 7th April 2014

    and ends 31st December

    2014 by Traditional rulers

    or group of Traditional

    rulers in Enugu State.

    If there is however any

    reason for which any

    Traditional ruler will

    confer any title on anybody,

    a written permission should

    be obtained from the Hon.

    C o m m i s s i o n e r f o r

    Chieftaincy Matters.

    Please ensure str ict

    adherence to this directive

    as appropriate sanctions, in

    line with traditional rulers

    law will be meted on

    defaulters. Please accept

    the assurance of our warm

    and best regards.

    This, however, did not go

    down well with the people

    of Oduma community who

    insisted that the reception

    must hold as scheduled

    more so when they claimed

    to have earlier sought and

    obtained the approval of

    the Commissioner for the event.

    Tension heightened in the state on

    account of the confusion created

    by the letter as observers of

    political developments in the state

    described the government's action

    as autocratic and impunity.

    Though the letter was sent to all

    traditional rulers in the state, many

    believed that it was targeted at the

    celebration and honour planned

    for Ekweremadu and three others.

    A member of the organising

    committee, Chief Johnson Orji

    had said in the midst of the

    controversy that the community

    would go ahead with its plan to

    honour the selected personalities,

    whom he said had long been

    notified and have mobilized their

    friends and well-wishers for the

    ceremony. The government

    viewed this as an attempt by the

    community to test its will and

    went ahead to direct the state

    police command to ensure that

    there was no gathering anywhere

    at Oduma on April 19. As learnt,

    the government had planned to

    dethrone any traditional ruler

    found at the event but unknown to

    the government the eight

    monarchs had decided to stay

    away but members of their cabinet

    (cabinet chiefs) were fully present

    at the ceremony which was well

    attended by thousands of people

    from Oduma communities and

    well-wishers from within and

    outside the state.

    Apart from Ekweremadu, who

    was conferred with the traditional

    title of Dike Eji Eje Mba 1 of

    Oduma (a worthy ambassador)

    others honoured at the at the

    occasion included the member

    representing Udi Ezeagu federal

    constituency and Chairman House

    Committee on Works, Hon

    Ogbuef i Ozomgbachi , the

    Minister of Works, Arch Mike

    Onolememen and the group

    Managing Director of SETRACO

    Nigeria Limited, Engr. Fayez


    The senator representing Enugu

    North and Chairman Senate

    Committee on Works, Senator

    Ayogu Eze, who was among those

    selected for the honour, was

    conspicuously absent. A member

    of the organizing committee said

    Eze's decision to stay away

    without notice might not be

    u n c o n n e c t e d w i t h h i s

    gubernatorial ambition as he

    would not want to be seen as

    disobeying the governor, who has

    zoned the governorship slot to his

    senatorial zone.

    The people of the community

    including Prof Richard Uwakwe,

    who served as chairman of the

    occasion, the National President

    Oduma Unity Forum, Chief

    Ezekiel Chukwu and Mrs. Felicia

    Aka, a woman leader; who spoke

    on behalf of the community at the

    e v e n t , d e s c r i b e d S e n a t o r

    Ekweremadu as a liberator of the

    people sent by God.

    Speaking at the occasion, Senator

    Ekweremadu expressed gratitude

    to God for making the event

    possible despite efforts made by

    some people to frustrate it from

    taking place. While announcing a

    donation of N6.3 million for the

    completion of St. Anthony's

    Catholic Parish Oduma, venue of

    the event, Ekweremadu said he

    would continue to collaborate

    with other representatives of

    Enugu state at the National

    Assembly, inc lud ing Hon

    Ozomgbachi to attract dividends

    of democracy to the people.

    I have not come to receive a

    chieftaincy title, no; I have come

    to celebrate with the people of

    Oduma because God has

    eventually heard their cries. You

    see this road? This Egyptian you

    are seeing today, you'll see them

    no more; your problem is over. By

    this time next year, there will be

    asphalt on the whole length and

    breadth of Oduma, he said.

    The chairman of the occasion,

    Prof. Uwakwe said the people of

    Oduma were limited by human

    language in expression of their

    gratitude to Senator Ekweremadu

    for attracting the road project

    currently being handled by

    SETRACO Nig Ltd, through the

    source who pleaded anonymity,

    has also embarked on wide

    consultations with leaders of the

    party within and outside the six

    local government areas that make

    up the Enugu East Senatorial

    zone including Enugu North,

    Enugu South, Enugu East,

    Nkanu Nkanu East, Nkanu West

    and Isi-Uzo .I can tell you

    authoritatively that the Deputy

    Governor, Sunday Onyebuchi, is

    in the race for Enugu East

    senatorial seat and he is very

    serious with his ambition. He is

    working underground and

    c o n s u l t i n g w i t h p a r t y