Enugu Guber: PDP Chieftains Defect To Labour Party

Following the outstanding performance of Labour Party in Enugu in the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections, some bigwigs in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have abandoned their party.

They are moving to the Labour Party (LP) in droves along their supporters.

“They are even seeking to contest the forthcoming Enugu East senatorial election next Saturday on the LP platform”, according to Professor Paul Nnamchi of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, who is also a visiting scholar and researcher at the Enugu State University of Technology, ESUT.

The Enugu East senatorial election is holding on Saturday because of the assassination of the LP candidate, Oyibo Chukwu, a former Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, chairman in the state, on February 22 at Awkunanaw in Enugu South Local Government Area on his way to Enugu city from his Amurri hometown in Nkanu West LGA.

READ MORE: Labour Party Dumps Candidate, Endorses Makinde

Among the erstwhile PDP running for the LP senatorial nomination are Dr Chinyeaka Ohaa, a retired federal civil servant, and Emmanuel Uchenna Ogbodo, a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to outgoing Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who lost his senatorial bid during the last National Assembly election to Okey Ezea of Labour Party by a wide margin of 104,492 to 46,948 votes.

A third aspirant, Captain Evarest Nnaji, an aviation professional, is reported to have developed cold feet as a result of the Supreme Court judgement against him on February 22 in the suit he brought against Chijioke Edoga’s nomination as LP gubernatorial candidate in the state.

“The Labour Party is now not just a party but a movement,” declared LP state chairman, Casimir Agbo, to party supporters in Enugu after the party won the presidential and National Assemly votes overwhelmingly.

However, there are fears in some quarters that some of the new LP members from PDP “may be seeking to reap where they did not sow”, as Professor Nnamchi, who was elected into the House of Representatives on the LP platform on February 22, told journalists.

“I have yet to see any evidence that Mr Ogbodo has resigned from the PDP or from office as Governor Ugwuanyi’s aide,” he said.

Chijioke Ogbodo, a former Radio Nigeria broadcaster and now a communication consultant in Enugu, has said “I know that Dr Ohaa is a strong PDP member, and not a Labour Party member.”

According to the famous broadcaster, “ is that both Dr Ohaa and Mr Ogbodo did not see eye to eye politically with Chief Oyibo Chukwu up to the point he was mowed down by political opponents, yet they want to benefit from his tragic end.

“Their ambitions raise grave ethical and political concerns. None of these ambitious persons has either condemned the assassination or consoled the Chukwu family,” he said.

Professor Silk Ugwu-Ogbu, Dean of the Postgraduate School of the Pan-Atlantic University in Lagos who once ran for Enugu East senatorial election, is of the opinion that the LP ticket for the zone should be given to any of the three brothers of the late Chief Chukwu who he describes as highly accomplished.

He named them as Professor Arthur Chukwu who is the head of the Department of Professional Ethics and Skills of the Nigerian Law School, Yola Campus in Adamawa State; Chief Lucky Chukwu, a lawyer, too, and former Commissioner for Science and Technology in Enugu State; as well as Sir Kevin Chukwu, a member of the Knights of St John International, lawyer and miner with business interests in Enugu and Ebonyi states who is highly respected for his humility, integrity and devotion to the public good