…To sign PFA bill into law today
By Francis Igata
ENUGU—With barely six days to the end of his administration, Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State may have perfected plans to foist his preferred candidates as principal officers of Enugu State House of Assembly for the incoming administration of the governor-elect, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
A dependable source, who confided in Vanguard, said the plans were hatched at a meeting presided over by Governor Chime at Government House, Enugu, last night, with 16 re-elected candidates of the 24-member House.
But Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Chukwudi Achife, in a swift reaction, said he was not aware of any meeting between the governor and the House members-elect.
However, sources said the governor pencilled down Edward Ubosi, representing Enugu-East Constituency as speaker; Donatus Uzogbodo, Oji-River constituency, deputy speaker and Chinedu Nwamba, Nsukka constituency and also the factional speaker as would-be Leader of the House.
The House split into two factions, following the impeachment notice which the speaker, Eugene Odo, and 14 others ordered the clerk to serve on Chime over alleged financial misconduct.
Eight members of the House had disagreed with Odo’s faction, prompting a purported suspension of Odo and the election of Chinedu Nwamba as new speaker.
However, it was said that the desperation to foist principal officers on the incoming administration may have infuriated the governor-elect,Ugwuanyi, who had lost sleep over the stand-off between Chime and the House.
The governor-elect had convened a meeting of the 24-member House in his residence where it was agreed that both camps should maintain the statusquo for two weeks to enable him proffer a lasting solution to the crisis.
But the pact did not last up to 24 hours as the chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, Ikeje Asogwa, hurriedly organised a meeting where he presented Nwamba as new speaker, a move that angered speaker Odo’s faction.
The source further disclosed that Chime’s bid to instal principal officers of the House infuriated Ugwuanyi, who was said to have wondered why an out-going governor would be interested in who led the House when he was out of office.
Indications also emerged that Chime may sign the the Contributory Pensions Scheme, CPS, Bill into law today.
Enugu State has not been part of the CPS in the past eight years of administration of Chime, just as the state refused to implement the N18,000 new minimum wage salary scale for workers.
This has made it impossible for Pension Funds Administrators, PFAs, to manage issues relating to workers’ pensions in the state.