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Still On Enugu Deputy Governor Impeachment Saga

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Recent media reports quoted the Enugu Rescue Group, as describing the ongoing impeachment saga as “messy, ridiculous, and a festival of shame and raw power”. What an apt way to capture another messy dent on the nation’s democracy. It is probably second only to the November 2, 2006 impeachment of former Governor Peter Obi in an Asaba hotel.

Anybody who has read the frivolous charges against the Deputy Governor, Sunday Onyebuchi, and his reply would easily deduce that the members of the Enugu State House of Assembly and the emperor governor are just like the Roman Plebeians in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”. Although the captured Cinna is Cinna the Poet, not Cinna the Conspirator, they nevertheless lynched him for what they termed “his bad verses”.

The impeachment scenario is like the story of the lion, whom hell-bent on having an innocent lamb for lunch, accused him of messing up the stream he was drinking from. Not even the plea by the hapless lamb that he was the one downstream, while the lion was drinking upstream could pacify the bloodthirsty beast. The Enugu shame reminds us that an evil deity that bays for human blood will never be pacified with a bull’s blood or fresh palm oil. Chime obviously subscribes to the Athenians assertion to the Melos that “the strong do as they can and the weak suffer what they must.”

No one is therefore surprised that the Enugu House of Assembly directed the State Chief Judge to set up an Investigative Panel to push out Onyebuchi. It doesn’t matter that Governor Chime did not come to equity with clean hands (since the deputy made it clear in his reply that the governor owns a larger poultry within the same Government House). Media reports also show that Chime owns both piggery and cattle ranch there. It doesn’t matter that the poultry farms (both the governor’s and the deputy’s) were constructed by the Michael Okpara’s Administration when it was building the expansive Government House. It doesn’t matter that all previous deputy governors had operated the poultry and that Onyebuchi has operated it since 2007/2008. It doesn’t matter that the poultry had since been shut down and the 3,000 birds carted away at the behest of the governor since January this year. It doesn’t even matter that Onyebuchi provided video evidence, in addition to media reports showing that he attended the said event.

It does not bother them that Nigerians know that the whole chicken impeachment boils down to Sunday Onyebuchi’s interest in the Enugu East Senatorial seat, which Chime reserved for his Chief of Staff, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo. Chime wants to force his sister (Ifeoma is from Udi, but married to Enugu East) down the throat of Nkanu people, and then snatch the Enugu West seat from Senator Ike Ekweremadu so that both of them can end up in the Senate. While Nkanu people have no problem with their wife representing them, they are peeved by the brutishness she and Chime are going about it.

Rumours are also rife in Enugu political circles that the governor is embarking on another protracted medical trip and is hell-bent on installing another Deputy he could trust to ensure himself and his cohorts get the PDP tickets, which might have been concluded before his return.

However, I do not think that Sunday Onyebuchi is the real loser. Impeached or not, he has never been a deputy governor in the real sense of it since 2007. A quite and humble man to a fault, systematically impoverished and politically castrated by Chime and his Chief of Staff, he doesn’t even qualify for a “spare tyre” as deputies are known in local parlance. Spare tyres are usually accommodated in the boot or elsewhere in the vehicle, but Sunday Onyebuchi has never been part of the vehicle called Chime administration.

From his reply to the State Assembly, not only does the governor fail to hand over to him whenever he (Chime) is away, including his four-month medical trip, junior appointees of the emperor governor commandeer him about at their pleasure. When, as in the case of the South East Governors’ meeting he failed to take orders from “Madam at the Top”, it became a “gross misconduct”.

Sunday Onyebuchi did not also hide his powerlessness during the carting away of his livelihood in January at the behest of “Madam at the Top”. He told reporters: “As I am talking to you, the whereabouts of the over 3,000 birds confiscated from the poultry farm is not known to me. I am presenting the matter to God because the person behind it is so powerful that my challenging her will be like using a vehicle to collide with a moving train. It is unfortunate that the person who is behind this answers a deaconess in a church I have respect for. So, let God be the judge and guide me on how to absorb the shock and humiliation because I believe it is intended to humiliate me.”

Onyebuchi’s reply further shows that he has been operating from his private residence since 2012 without any allowance in lieu. He was asked to move out of the deputy governor’s Lodge for renovation works, but only for the work to be suspended ever since. While the emperor Governor’s Lodge was completed almost immediately, Onyebuchi lodge lies fallow, dirty, and weedy.
So, what does he really have to lose? Is it power or influence that was never there? Economic empowerment? Respect that he was never accorded or what?

Indeed, the real loser the governor, who has by this additional act of impunity leaves no one in doubt that he is the real troublemaker in the state. With two consecutively estranged wives, the quarrel with his godfather (Chimaroke Nnamani), quarrel with Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, political feud with the Deputy Senate President who played a major role in securing him a second term ticket of the PDP, reckless sack of traditional rulers for as much as greeting his perceived political opponents, etc., people are wont to say “What manner of man is this?”

Then come the Enugu State House of Assembly. The perpetually docile and rubberstamp Assembly, which passed its first private member bill since 1999 just last June has further demonstrated its emptiness by the ongoing lousiness.

What of the Sen. Ken Nnamanis of this world who claim they are paragons of democracy? Numerous media reports on the Enugu stakeholders meeting quoted him as insisting that the governor should resign or be impeached since the governor could not work with him anymore. Interestingly, the same person, in 2005 had berated the House of Reps for threatening to impeach former President Olusegun Obasanjo for unilaterally altering/doctoring the 2005 Appropriation Act. He said then: “The word impeachment is a very serious one. It’s like saying that somebody is going to die, death sentence. I don’t think people should use the word impeachment randomly because it’s the final alternative. I don’t think we have got to that stage yet.” See Vanguard, May 25, 2005.

The question is, between a president who singlehandedly altered an appropriation law and a deputy governor who reared chicken or allegedly failed to represent his “boss”, who actually committed an impeachable offence?
Edeh writes from Enugu

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     Sullivan Chime     Enugu Rescue Group     Governor Peter Obi     Sunday Onyebuchi     Julius Caesar     Senator Ike Ekweremadu     Michael Okpara     Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo