The lingering feud between Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State and the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, over the Enugu West senatorial seat took a new dimension weekend as a group loyal to the later demanded the resignation of the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Chief Vita Abba.
The group, Enugu West Peoples Forum (EWPF) said the resignation of Abba, a known loyalist of the governor became necessary in order to rescue the party from gradual decent into political garrison where members are harassed and prevented from free expression.
In a reaction, however, the party chairman dismissed the call for his resignation as not only baseless and laughable, but an attempt â€œto ridicule him before the right thinking members of the public by a group whose sole intention is to cause disaffection among party members in the state.â€
But the group asked the chairman to quit his office in order to pursue his speculated gubernatorial ambition, noting that anything short of that could culminate in mass defection from the party to the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC).
The group also expressed dismay over what it described as an attempt â€œto compel and railroad various government functionaries and party executives into hasty endorsement of Chime and his preferred candidates for elective positions in the forthcoming 2015 general elections.
At a news conference yesterday, the chairman of the group, Hon Paul Anikwe said Enugu State was gradually descending into a â€œpolitical garrisonâ€, with stringent measures allegedly applied to muffle voices of the populations and terribly abridge their constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and association.
Anikwe said: â€œWe warn that these undemocratic and uncivilized actions and utterances are capable of causing serious disaffection, mass defection, disunity, instability, and uncontrollable dissension thereby undermining the cohesiveness and success of the Enugu PDP in the forthcoming general elections. PDP thrives on democratic ethos and to steamroll into endorsements is nothing short of dictatorship.
â€œWe call on Abba to resign his position to pursue his gubernatorial ambition, which is the driving force behind his undemocratic and nefarious actions. He should no longer be allowed to lord his personal interest over the overall interest and fortunes of the party,â€ he said.