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CHUKWUMERIJE, ONYECHERE QUIT PPA

By NBF News

Senator Uche Chukwumerije representing Abia North Senatorial District yesterday in Abuja announced the withdrawal of his membership from the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA). The National Publicity Secretary of the PPA, Ben Onyechere also announced his resignation in a letter sent to the National Chairman, Mr. Larry Esin.

This was even as the national headquarters of the party expressed disappointment at the action of Senator Chukwumerije. Mr. Esin, told Daily Sun in an interview that the party had succeeded in sending a strong message that it had reinforced discipline within the party, stressing that he had no regret whatsoever over the letter he wrote to Governor Theodore Orji, Senator Chukwumerije and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Orji Kalu bordering on matters that affect the people of Abia State.

Esin further said contrary to the allegation by Senator Chukwumerije to the effect that he was dictated to by the chairman of Board of Trustees to issue him with a query, he did not issue any query but wrote the affected elected officers and the BoT chairman the same letter of invitation as a party, urging them to clear some grey areas.

According to Mr. Esin; 'When the chairman of our Board of Trustees got his own letter, he was initially annoyed over it and called me to withdraw it and I said that I would rather resign than to withdraw the letters and he later accepted and appeared before the National Working Committee of the party.

'Senator Chukwumerije did the same and I don't know why he is complaining now. Chukwumerije that we know is not a democrat. He believes only in his own point of view and does not believe in what is called superior argument.

The party cannot continue to have people that think they are too big to be talked to or bigger than the party.'

The PPA national chairman further said if he had wanted, he could have kept quiet over happenings in Abia State and only go to the governor every month to get patronage but he chose to respond to the cries of the people who were suffering from non-payment of salaries, decayed infrastructure and serious security crisis that was getting out of hand.

The PPA national chairman further said it was appalling for the same people, who benefitted from the struggle embarked upon by the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the party to continue to make unfounded allegations of interference in the affairs of the party and the government of Abia State, adding that those allegations were put before Dr. Kalu who urged anyone with proof of his interference in the government of Governor Orji to come out and prove such.

'As a party, Dr. Orji Kalu does not interfere in our activities. He challenged the Abia governor to come out and tell the world if he (Dr. Kalu) had interest in any of the companies doing business with the state government and yet no one had said anything towards that except unfounded rumours.'

However, Senator Chukwumerije who is the only Senator on the platform of the PPA attributed his decision to quit the party to the recent travails that led to his being issued a query by the party's national leadership.

Senator Chukwumerije explained that the detonator to his resignation from the PPA was the 'proconsular issue of a query' and the reading of riot act to Abia State governor, which, he noted, was purportedly by PPA's national chairman.

He noted that the choice of medium used and the query issued him was in itself a most eloquent comment on the quality of democratic spirit and level of interaction in a body that prides itself as a political party. According to Senator Chukwumerije; 'It must be an interesting subject of study to students of Nigeria's political parties that the long smouldering tension in the gilded cage described as PPA has escalated to the point of explosion.'

He further described the query by the national chairman of PPA as a perfect case of teleguide, adding that the decoy of including two others, the chairman of Board of Trustees of the party and himself, in the firing range of the volley of queries was to give an impression of even handed approach to party problems, saying, however, that the thin disguise was unhelpful.

The Abia State senator also noted that the query (to him) was, orchestrated by some unnamed owners of the PPA, who are re-positioning the party for the forthcoming elections, adding that the query was the first step calculated, to apportion blame and nail him for the real and imagined failures of PPA Abia State Government.

Senator Chukwumerije, who said he was leaving the PPA out of disillusionment, explained that his next political move would be subjected to the views of his constituents.