Enugu in 2015: Splashes that changed the political tide

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2 015 in Enugu State could best be described as one,where men of goodwill converged for the enthronement of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who political pundits allude to as, the most popular politician judging from the blistering campaign mounted by all shades of organsiations,groups and individuals in the days leading to the general elections.
Jan-april(campiagns/the lion takes over lion building)
Governor Ugwuanyi’s emergence as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP,which was a product of his overwhelming acceptance among power brokers from Enugu-North senatorial district where the party zoned its ticket to,triggered an unprecedented campaign in the build- up to the general election held April 11,2015.

Although some who sought the party’s ticket with Ugwuanyi quickly ran to the courts to seek judicial therapy to snatch the ticket,the political firmament in the state brimmed with tension in days leading to the general elections.
The electorate who were endeared to Ugwuanyi winced at every adjourned date while the litigation lasted. At last,none of the ill-conceived legal fireworks barred Ugwuanyi from contesting the election which he won landslide to assume office at the Lion Building(Enugu seat of power),as governor of Enugu State,on May 29,2015
Saturday Vanguard checks revealed that the governor weathered the storm devoid of any hair off his skin following his resounding repository of experience garnered during numerous battles at various political front-lines.
May(enugu house’s bid to impeach chime)
The Enugu State House of Assembly had at the twilight of its tenure last May,initiated moves to impeach ex-governor Sullivan Chime over alleged misappropriation of the 2012 supplementary budget and gross official misconduct. Although the impeachment was dead on arrival because the move was coming barely two weeks to end of the administration,Chime flew a kite, purporting to have, with the aid of the factionalized members of the House, impeached Eugene Odoh,as Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly.
The faction loyal to Chime trumped up Hon. Chinedu Nwamba, representing Nsukka-East constituency as the new speaker. However,Saturday Vanguard’s checks at the Enugu House of Assembly gallery where pictures of past Speakers of the House hung,showed that Nwamba’s picture is conspicuously missing,an indication that he was merely a wiling tool in the transient political warfare that haemorrhaged the state. While the stand-off between Odo and Chime lasted,Nwamba had all the paraphernalia of a speaker at his disposal.
May 29(first female dep gov emerges)
Widow to late Chief Malachy Ezeilo,Cecilia emerged the first female deputy governor in the annals of Enugu State. Her emergence since the creation of the state in 1991, repositioned women for enviable positions in governance. Saturday Vanguard investigations revealed that women in Enugu State have picked up the gauntlet to compete favorably with their male folk in all areas of human endeavors as a result of the renewed impetus emanating from her position as deputy governor.
June(fiery lawyer drags ex-gov chime to efcc)
Enugu-Based Lawyer and former National Auditor,PDP,Ray Nnaji’s petition to the Economic Financial Crime Commission,EFCC,alleging widespread misappropriation of public funds,alteration of the 2012 supplementary budget, parcellation of land at the abandoned Enugu International Conference Centre,ICC,to friends and cronies,gross official misconduct among others elicited jubilation among the people with a hope that the judiciary will tighten the noose on Chime for the peoples patrimony to be returned.
The matter comes up January 16,2016
June(ekweremadu emerges deputy senate president)
Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s retention of his seat as the Deputy Senate President of the 8th Senate having served in the same capacity in the 7th senate,defied all known political permutations in an All Progressives Congress,APC,controlled senate.
Ekweremadu’s retention of the seat sent hilarious waves down the spins of most Enugu people. Saturday Vanguard’s investigation showed that his election opened the political space for politicians in Enugu State who could have encumbered the state government for the usual peaks and perquisites to ventilate their scheming prowess in the senate corridors especially now state governments are gnashing their teeth over the meager resources from the Federal Government.
November(ex-gov chimaroke loses senate bid)
Former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani of the Peoples Democratic Change,PDC, loss at the Appeal Court which validated the victory of Gil Nnaji of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, for Enugu-East senatorial district sent shocking chills down the spines of most political observers and supporters. A deafening silence enveloped the Coal City State as Justice A.H. Yahaya led other three justices in a unanimous judgment to set aside the verdict of the lower court.
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu had canceled the March 28,2015 national assembly election that produced Nnaji and ordered a fresh election over alleged wide spread irregularities. But Nnaji appealed the Tribunal judgment and had his victory validated.
DECEMBER – Chicken Impeachment
An Enugu State High Court presided over by Justice R. O. Odugu,nullified the purported impeachment of the former Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi and ordered the restoration of all his rights and benefits from the time of his removal up to the period his tenure elapsed. The court quashed what was popularly dubbed, “Enugu Chicken Impeachment” that generated public outrage last year.
Onyebuchi was impeached on August 26, last year by the immediate past State House of Assembly following the recommendation of the seven-man impeachment panel set up by the state Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Umezulike, which investigated allegations of gross misconduct leveled against him by then Governor Sullivan Chime.
His impeachment from office led to the appointment of Mr. Ifeanyi Nwoye, who served as deputy governor from August last year to May 29, this year. The former Deputy Governor had approached the court to challenge his impeachment from office based on allegation of gross misconduct, urging the court to restore him to office as well as order payment of his benefit if the matter was not concluded before the end of his tenure in office.
Justice Odugu therefore declared the state assembly violated their constitutional duties by embarking on the removal or impeachment of the deputy governor when there was no basis for it, saying the purported nomination of Rev. Nwoye to replace Onyebuchi was illegal and unconstitutional. Setting aside the notice of impeachment and nomination of Nwoye, Justice Odugu ordered the reinstatement to office of the Sunday Onyebuchi from 27th August, 2014 to May 28, 2015.
December (ugwuanyi presents n85.1b budget prpoposal)
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State presented a budget proposal of N85.1 billion for the 2016 fiscal year before the Enugu State House of Assembly with a vow to tackle unemployment through aggressive investment in the Agricultural sector.
Tagged,”Budget of Stability and Consolidation” Ugwuanyi had while presenting the budget, elucidated the achievements of his administration in the past six months in the area of roads reconstruction to include;Construction of Abakpa-Nike Road and Nike Lake Road in Enugu East Local Government Area, Dualisation of Opi – Nsukka Road in Nsukka Local Government Area,
Ø Construction of Amankwo – Amaeke – Amah Brewery Junction By-Pass Road in Udi Local Government Area,Construction of 9th Mile By-Pass Road,Construction of OhomOrba Junction – ImilikeAni – EzimoUnu – EzimoAgu – ImilikeAgu – Ogbodu Aba – ObolloEtiti – Amalla – ObolloAfor Road (Udenu Ring Road) in Udenu Local government Area,
Construction of Enugu Road (Nsukka) Junction – Umuezeobi – Nru Junction – University Gate in Nsukka Local government Area,Construction of Post Office Roundabout – Odenigbo Roundabout – Ogurugu Road – Ikenga Hotels Junction in Nsukka Local government area,Construction of Obechara Road Junction – Umuakashi – Mechanic Village – Ikenga Hotels Junction Road in Nsukka Local Government Area,assuring that government has recommitted to employment generation, enhanced social services and good governance, rural development and indeed, security and justice as evidenced in the 2016 budget.
Hear the amiable Governor,”the main thrust of the 2016 budget is in line with my pledge in my inaugural speech on 29th May this year where I recommitted myself to employment generation, enhanced social services and good governance, rural development and indeed, security and justice.
“We will deploy government services to create fair and equal opportunity for every willing citizen to make a living and create wealth, educate our children, and enjoy life in a peaceful and secure environment. We will drive with full force, the investment promotion, agricultural sector renewal, provision of critical infrastructure, human capital development and skill acquisition.”
December(payment of dec salaries before xmas)
A leading socio-political pressure group,Anyi Ejebe Nsukka Campaign Volunteers,AENV,eulogized Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State over the payment of December salaries to workers in the state before Christmas, not minding the harsh economic fortunes in the country occasioned by Crude Oil glut in the global market.

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