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TENSION IN CHIME'S CONSTITUENCY OVER REPS SEAT

By NBF News

There is political apprehension in Udi Council Area of Enugu State, the homestead of Governor Sullivan Chime, over the question of rotation of the House of Representatives seat for Udi/Ezeagu federal constituency between the people of the two areas that make up the constituency.

A regime of anger is also believed to be growing among political stakeholders in Chime's Udi Council area divided for political convenience, into Udi North and South, over alleged political alienation of the leaders by the governor.

At stake at the moment is the issue of who will represent the federal constituency in the House of Representatives come 2011, an issue that has now charged up the political atmosphere of the area.

Among those eyeing the Reps position is Dr. Festus Uzor, current state Commissioner for Education in the state and who hails from Ezeagu, the incumbent representative, Ozomgbachi; Mr. Chinedu Ani, a political scientist said to be in communications related business and Barrister Max. Nduka Ozoaka, whose posters dot strategic places in Enugu metropolis.

Whereas angry politicians from Chime's Udi area are insisting that it is their turn this time around since the incumbent House of Representatives member for the constituency, Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, is currently serving his second term, some elements in Ezeagu and even in Udi appear to have become compromised and still want it retained in the incumbent's area.

What is believed to be causing more anger and apprehension among concerned politicians in Udi who want the rotational arrangement maintained is the perception that there are few politicians from Udi South area where Chime comes from who the governor listens to for political advice on the matter but the clique also appears compromised and are said to be telling the governor that 'retaining it in Ezeagu is the best option since Chime is still the governor.'

Yet, the Ezeagu general Assembly, the umbrella socio-cultural organization of the Ezeagu people had met and taken a resolution, specifying that it is now the turn of Udi people to go to the National Assembly in the spirit of the rotational arrangement between the two areas. They had declared that Ezeagu people won't contest the seat in 2011 to pave the way for Udi.

Tension following this state of affair grew more intense recently during a meeting of Udi stakeholders held in Chime's family compound in Udi Town at his instance though the governor did not attend.

One of those who attended the meeting told our reporter that 'when we were invited for the crucial meeting, we were happy that the opportunity had come for this matter to be resolved so that Udi will easily take its turn to go to the National Assembly after eight years.

'But what we saw that day at the meeting chaired by Chief Charles Egungbe is that those people, those few persons close to the governor, those people he listens to, did not want inputs from the greater number of stakeholders.

'Imagine that that kind of important stakeholders' meeting was held and there was no communiqué to show the resolutions reached and as I talk to you right now, the governor does not know the real situation on ground because he listens to those leaders he would always see,' said a source at the meeting.

Another source of tension in Udi is the feeling of impending marginalization by the people of Udi North section who had been nursing the hope that it would be their turn to produce the next House of Representatives member as it rotates back to Udi.

This is said to be because, before Ozomgbachi from Ezeagu axis took his turn which is still running, the man who had been in the National Assembly was Mr. Gary Eneh from Udi South.

Hence, the Udi North political leaders met a few days ago to analyze the emerging scenario. Another politician who was present at the meeting also told our reporter that 'It was anger, lamentation that I saw pervading the meeting.

'The people are angry, especially for the fact that the governor does not give them access to him so that he can hear exactly the unpatriotic actions being taken by those few persons on whom he relies to give him feed back on what happens in Udi, especially this case of who goes to Abuja come 2011,' said the politician who volunteered information on condition of anonymity.