Enugu gov, Sullivan Chime withdraws from senatorial race


Strong indications emerged on Friday that Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime, has dropped his bid to go to the Senate in 2015.

Chime, who is serving out his second term had been locked in a bitter contest with Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, over the seat of the Enugu West Senatorial Zone.

The governor had already been screened for the Peoples Democratic Party senatorial election primaries by the party’s screening committee.

However, barely 24-hours to the primaries, reports emerged that Chime would no longer be participating in the election, the development that was on Friday confirmed by his Chief Press Secretary, Chukwudi Achife.

Chime’s decision to pull out of the race, our correspondent gathered, followed a peaceful agreement between and Ekweremadu.

Sources in the Enugu State PDP told our correspondent that, in line with the said agreement, the governor will produce most of the party’s key candidates, including the flag bearer in the governorship election.

It was learnt that the peace deal became imperative after an acrimonious battle for the control of the PDP in Enugu State, between Chime and Ekweremadu, threatened to undermine the party’s fortunes ahead of the 2015 elections.

The battle came to a head after the former Enugu State PDP chairman, Vita Abba, resigned unexpectedly.

The party’s State Executive Committee, which is loyal to Chime, immediately appointed Ifeanyi Asogwa as chairman to replace Abba, but the deputy chairman, Elder David Aja, who is a staunch Ekweremadu loyalist, protested, arguing that he should be the chairman.

Ekweremadu appeared to have handed over control of the party after the PDP National Working Committee endorsed Aja as acting chairman, giving him the powers to conduct the ward and national congresses in the state.

Although the SEC, which is loyal to Chime, insisted that the congresses did not hold, Aja, backed by Ekweremadu, forwarded names of delegates elected from the exercise to the PDP national leadership.

Following the development, both camps went to court to advance their positions, with an Abuja Federal High Court upholding the ward congresses, even as a related suit is pending before an Enugu High Court.

Before the current peace agreement came into effect, there were fears that the PDP might not be able to present candidates in 2015 as a result of the protracted legal dispute.

The chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Enugu State, Dr. Ben Nwoye, had at a news conference declared that the PDP would not be able to present candidates in the state.

However, the absence of major protests after the state house of assembly primaries is an indication that peace has returned to the Enugu State PDP.

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