The tension in Ebonyi state politics is far from subsiding as fresh dramas kept unfolding following the situation surrounding the impeached speaker of the stae House of Assembly, Hon. Chukwuma Nwanzunku.
As the court decides to reinstate the speaker, some facts have emerged that the moves has an undertone and plots to unseat Elechi. At the sitting of the court, the presiding judge, Justice Anselem Nwigwe, held that the impeachment of Nwanzunku was irregurlar and would not stand.
The whole process which has been causing the rifts is this:Nwazunku was impeached by a splinter group of the assembly last month, paving the way for the deputy speaker, Hon. Blaise Oji to be declared speaker.
Since then, the assembly has not returned to normal business.
But at the judgment yesterday on the disputed impeachment, the court held that the move was flawed and inconsistent and could not stand.
It was the above decision that returned Nwanzunku which has since then fuel the political tension in the state.
Before the ruling, news has it that crowd made up of loyaql supporters of governor Elechi, had gathered at the court premises to protest against the sitting in what they had envisaged w2as like or is going to be an endorsement of a plot to return Nwanzunku and pave the way for the assembly to impeach Elechi.
Their fears tend to have some backup as policemen and other armed security men forcibly dispersed them, which nearly turned into crisis if not that they decided to retreat. ” Tension mounts in Ebonyi over hidden plot to remove Elechi, so this should not be taken as a surprise because we know why the situation is like this in the state” A man who refused to give his name told the journalist.
One of the protesters who gave his name as Ignatus Onele, told journalists that the situation would have degenerated into crisis until they decided to beat a retreat.
He noted that they are against the court decision because they foresee a situation where the governor would be impeached by few legislators loyal to the opposition group and Nwazunku who had already picked the People Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives ticket for next year’s election becomes the acting governor after the deputy governor would have resigned.
“We seriously suspect that they want the former speaker to return and start moves to impeach the governor. We are aware of plots to remove Elechi after which the deputy, Chief Dave Umahi would resign and pave the way for Nwazunku to be acting governor. The whole move is to make sure that Elechi does not remain in office while the elections of next year are on.
“Their argument is that he being there would be an advantage to the Labour Party, which his supporters in the same party have metamorphorsed into. So with Elechi out of the way and Nwazunku as acting governor, the PDP bloc would have a better pedestal to prosecute the elections next year to their advantage.
“We still express genuine fears because though they don’t have the number to handle that, but we have not forgotten what has been on in Ekiti, where seven members overwhelmed about 19 others, impeached the speaker, and today is the accepted majority. We shout loud now because if they make moves to impeach Elechi, that will backfire.”
Meanwhile, the Labour Party made up mainly of persons believed to be Elechi’s supporters who decamped this week from the PDP, also held their party primaries to elect candidates for the elections.
An industrialist and businessman, Edward Nkwegu, emerged as the governorship candidate of the party.
Elechi, however did not attend as he had already declared he won’t leave the PDP for any other party.
From the turn of events, the next few days are likely to define the political configuration of Ebonyi state in the emerging dispensation.