The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Eugene Odoh has been threatened with an impeachment if he persists in his quest to run against Gove Sullivan Chime’s anointed candidate, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
The threat came as the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday dismissed as “blatantly false, mischievous and calculated attempt to deceive the public” with media reports claiming that the party was in disarray over the emergence of Ugwuanyi as its consensus candidate for the 2015 gubernatorial elections in the state.
The speaker surprised all party leaders and those privy to his ambition when he showed up at last saturday’s caucus where the issue of Ugwuanyi’s endorsement was tabled.
Information gathered by THISDAY reveals that the speaker may have decided to thread carefully after he discovered that the leader of the assembly, who coordinated the impeachment of the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi, was busy collecting signatures to effect his removal as speaker should he continue to oppose the governor’s anointed candidate.
Sullivan is said to be unimpressed with the decision of the speaker to run contrary to his wishes of having Ugwuanyi installed as his successor. Initially, Mr speaker had support from some members of the House but after it dawned on them that the battle against the Governor was not one they could win, they left the speaker to his battle.
One of those initial supporters said “These properties are the hedge I have against uncertainties in the future. If everything fails I will sell them to make a living. But if they are revoked I will be finished,” one of them said.
However, the state PDP described as false the impression being created that some notable leaders of the party including Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Senators Jim Nwobodo, Ken Nnamani, Fidelis Okoro and Chief Dubem Onyia boycotted the party caucus meeting, explaining that they had all sought permission to be excused from the meeting due to pressing official and personal engagements, but pledged to abide by the decisions reached there.
The party, in a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary, Dr Okey Eze, also offered more insight into the circumstances that produced Ugwuanyi as the party’s consensus candidate.
Eze, who described the process that led to Ugwuanyi’s emergence as “an epitome of democracy”, said the reports were the handiwork of mischief-makers who were determined to undermine the integrity of the party for selfish reasons.