By Petrus Obi
Chairman of Enugu All Progressive Congress, APC, Dr Ben Nwoye has urged former Enugu commissioner Barr. Ray Nnaji to leave former governor Sullivan Chime alone and accord him more respect.
In an exclusive chat with Everyday News, Nnaji fired the first salvo when he said that the former governor cannot win the Enugu West Senate seat in 2023.
Speaking against the backdrop is clear without Senator Ike Ekweremadu contesting, Barr Nnaji accused the former governor of lacking the political muscle and structure to even win a House of Assembly election.
Reacting to the interview Dr. Nwoye who attended the Bayelsa APC campaign flag off said he ordinarily wouldn’t have joined issues, “but I think it’s becoming incessant and unbearable. Let me remind Ray Nnaji that Sullivan Chime has a very high level of pedigree.
“He was a number one lawyer in Enugu state for seven and half years, these are his credentials. And those years he served with dignity. He was also the governor of our great state for eight years and those eight years were the greatest years of Enugu state in recent history.
“In those years Governor Sullivan Chime involved himself in massive urban and rural renewal; he empowered people. In those eight years, he brought dignity to governance. He empowered people in all the 260 wards in Enugu state. It was the first time in the history of the state that dignity was brought to ward councillors by providing them with transportation with which they do their job. It was also during that period that dignity was brought to the traditional institution by providing vehicles for them.
“He built roads and he built bridges. Sullivan Chime has always and will continue to be celebrated by Enugu people. In those eight years he introduced happy moments for Enugu people through the Street Roadblocks, and many more.
“After seven and a half years of being Attorney General and Commission for Justice, eight years as governor, he decided to retire. Barr Ray Nnaji owes him a little bit more respect than what was attributed to him.
“Barr Ray Nnaji, a brother and a colleague, is not an Agbaja or a Greater Awgu man, as an Nkanu man he should worry himself with who will be Senator from Nkanu extraction and not who will become the senator of the people of the West. And pinning people together is not the best way to seek popularity.
“I see nothing or heard nothing whereby Barr. Ugo Agballa has something against Sullivan Chime. I think it was a cheap shot designed to attract unnecessary attention to himself. But I am begging him to give Sullivan a break. Because Sullivan is a statesman and his name is already written in gold in the annals of the history of Enugu politics.
“If Sullivan decides to vie for any position such as Senate in 2023 it will be up to him and the people of Enugu West, Ray Nnaji will not be amongst them. To ascribe to himself knowledge of all Enugu politics and to say that a man who ruled Enugu state for eight years and saw to it that some other people went to Senate, House of Reps and Assembly does not have a political structure is to say the least an uninformed opinion.
“Sullivan Chime voluntarily took time off and is enjoying his peaceful retirement in Enugu state. He is popular; wherever he goes he receives respect from people. So it’s best Barr Ray Nnaji leaves His Excellency Sullivan Chime alone.
“Ray is not a member of APC. He has a history; he makes statements and attracts attention, and he enjoys it. I will not pick issues with him. He is a member of the PDP, what value that Sullivan adds to the APC is for APC to decide and we know that he adds great value.
“But to suggest that Sullivan Chime does not have a political structure, I pick a fight. Sullivan Chime is a statesman and I am pleading that Ray should leave him alone. There are many other areas of getting cheap attention, but I think we owe it to the state, not even to Sullivan, to allow this man to be. He is a statesman in his own right and I am sure Ray Nnaji would agree with me on that.
“And on no account would Ray ever, unless he relocates himself to Greater Awgu or to Udi/Ezzeagu and register there, he has no vote and no voice. So to sit in his enclave and throw stone is just to stir controversy and I want to plead with him to leave Sullivan alone and face his own travels.
By Petrus Obi