2011: GANG-UP AGAINST CHIME THICKENS
There are strong indications that Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State might lose control of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) structure in the state as a coalition of aggrieved members from the ruling party continue plots to wrest power from him and stop his second term ambition.
The coalition which met in Nsukka last weekend behind closed doors agreed to sustain the current wave of opposition and ensure that the governor loses the party structure ahead of the next general election.
The contention of the coalition is that stringers and those who joined the party in 2007 have taken over the party in the state sidelining founding members and other major stakeholders.
Sunday Sun gathered that many are aggrieved that the governor has made the party a one-man show and a family affair by literally relocating the state secretariat of the party to his family house.
An impeccable source who attended the Nsukka meeting said that the fear of the coalition is that if the party goes into the election with the minority being controlled by the governor, the party will lose woefully arguing that anything done by the present executive of the party including selecting delegates for primaries will be illegal.
He said the coalition is desperate for the dissolution of the executive and the setting up of a caretaker committee until after the elections adding that unless that is done, there will be no level playing field for members of the party wondering why, ' the governor has granted automatic ticket to the incumbents.'
Sunday Sun gathered that one of the strategies that the group has adopted is to encourage aspirants to go to Abuja and pick nomination forms with the belief that before the party primaries, the leadership will dissolve the executive.
The group is also questioning the transparency of the government in the conduct of the affairs of the state especially as it concerns the over 2000 vehicles it purchased and challenging the government to tell the people the actual cost spent of the rehabilitation of Township roads in the metropolis.
The position of the coalition appears to be further boosted by what is believed to be apparent lack of enthusiasm of the governor towards the candidacy of President Goodluck Jonathan. According to the source, it is believed that whereas the coalition is strongly with Jonathan who they say is the best candidate for the Igbos, 'It is no secret that the governor is a more acolyte of former President Yar'Adua and was one of those who nearly played Nigeria into serious constitutional crisis by their insistence that Yar'Adua must continue in office at all costs'.
The source added, 'He summoned South East Governors to issue a statement in the midst of the crisis when they stated that the country did not need an acting president and that Yar'Adua could govern from his sick bed or any part of the world'. Chime's perceived apathy to issues concerning Ohanaeze and Igbo interest in general is also being used as a tool by the coalition thus creating the impression that if the PDP goes into the election in the present mood, the party will stand no chance at all.