By Johnpaul Anih, 14-1-2020
The former National Auditor of the PDP who also served as one time Commissioner for Sports in Enugu State, Raymond Nnaji was the lone voice from the Ebeano group that caused Governor Sullivan Chime sleepless nights as he implemented his plans to annihilate the Ebeano group that brought him to power.
In this exclusive, Barr. Nnaji x-rays the political scheming in the state ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The truth is that the only person that has a solid structure in Enugu sate is Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani. I don’t know how he did it but the structure is still intact. All the major players in Enugu politics today are from Ebeano, including Sullivan Chime who tried to destroy it for his own selfish interest.
I was shouting but people didn’t listen to me; now he has reconciled with Chimaroke; what’s the import of that action? Because he has realized that he derailed a long time and now decided to retrace his steps after he had committed so many blunders that would have eclipsed that structure that lifted him. Because some of us held on strong and refused that the fire must not go out.
The recent re union of the Ebeano family at the Enugu Government House is very significant and would go a long way in determining what happens in 2023. Anybody who goes contrary to the decisions of Ebeano will have himself to blame because the plane will leave him.
I don’t think the reconciliation is part of scheming for political relevance; I think he just wanted to rest his conscience which may have been pricking him for so long. Even if he wants a political position, it will take some time. We have to watch him and know the genuineness of the reconciliation and weigh it against the first opportunity given to him and how he used it. We have seen that opportunity and how well he handled it. So, we are not going to chase him away but we need to find out if he is genuine. He has to wait for us to assess him and know whether to avail him another opportunity because the opportunity he had, we know how he used it. He is very unfortunate that people who knew how he used that power are still around and still members of Ebeano. Personally, if there are people who will say let bygone be bygone, I won’t be part of that.
Because if he had succeeded in killing some of us whom he declared wanted, I don’t think he will be having the opportunity of reconciliation. There are people who felt the pain that needs to be taken care of…I am not speaking for Ebeano but I know that my personal opinion will not be taken for granted having been a serious victim when he had the opportunity.
Q: The recent get together of Ebeano was it really for fear of Ekweremadu and his perceived 2023 guber ambition?
We know him very well; he doesn’t need to talk before we can read his body language. I have known him too well. We were all colleagues; when he was chairman of Aninri LGA, I was Chairman of Nkanu West. So, when Ike Ekweremadu moves without even talking I will tell you what he has in mind; what he is up to. Because he is one of the most dangerous politicians we have in this area. And even if he is fighting you, you won’t even know. We know him too well and he doesn’t need to talk before we know he is interested.
Why did he start fighting Chimaroke Nnamani: don’t you know that he fought him? He fought him seriously, yet he was the greatest beneficiary of the Chimaroke administration. Chimaroke sponsored him for Senate President twice. Chimaroke had problems with Senator Ken Nnamani because of his support for Ekweremadu.
So, Chimaroke did so much for Ekweremadu but unfortunately Ekweremadu has not forgiven him for choosing Sullivan Chime over him, as governor. He believed he was closer to the former governor than Sullivan and ought to have been the one to be picked. That was Chimaroke’s offence forgetting that he made him Chief of Staff, made him SSG, made him senator, and made him Deputy Senate President.
Even when Chimaroke won the senatorial election on the platform of PDC he and Sullivan rigged him out to make way for Gil Nnaji before this one that Ugwuanyi assisted.
So, it’s better for him to queue up into the Ebeano system so that he can be part of the people that will decide who should go from Enugu East not even whether there is zoning; we have passed that stage.
He has been there since 1999, nobody is bearing any grudges for that…
Q: But he has also done well as a senator…
Ray: I don’t know…He is not from my constituency. But I must have to give it to him; in Aninri he did very well for them. But Aninri is an infinitesimal part of Enugu state. You can’t feel because you are a godfather in Aninri you can be a godfather in the entire Enugu, it’s not possible.
Q: But he is a godfather in Enugu politics.
Ray: He is not. How is he a godfather in Enugu state?
Q: I don’t agree with you sir…if not for the return of Chimaroke…
Ray: (Cuts in) I was waiting. We were waiting for the right time to dislodge him.
Q: Do you have an idea of possible candidates to succeed Ugwuanyi in 2023?
I don’t know who will be governor in 2023 but I know those that will not be governor. I am not God but I know Ike Ekweremadu will not succeed Ugwuanyi. Basically, because the position is not zoned to the West. So anybody from there has a great disadvantage because we have maintained a rotational structure and it is for the good of the minority and for peace and political harmony.”