Exactly one week after Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi was impeached as the Deputy Governor of Enugu State by the state House of Assembly, a new one has been sworn in.
The new Deputy Governor, Rev. Raphael Ifeanyichukwu Nwoye, took his oath of office which was administered by the state Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Umezirike, at exactly 4.08p.m. yesterday.
The event, which took place at the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House, attracted top government functionaries in the state as well as traditional rulers from Nkanu East Local Government Area.
Nwoye was cleared last Thursday by the assembly.
Speaking at the brief ceremony, Governor Sullivan Chime congratulated his new deputy and said with his advent, the machinery of government would continue to run smoothly.
The governor said: “Drawing the analogy of a broken down vehicle, we have just replaced a bad spark plug, the vehicle is repaired and journey will be smooth again.”
He said the new deputy governor was not new to him as both had served as Ccommissioners in the previous administration, adding that he was sure that Nwoye would bring his experience and background “not just as a Minister of God but as a fine gentleman,” to bear in the discharge of his duties.
On the circumstances that brought about the advent of his new deputy, Chime said: “What has happened, has happened and I believe it happened in the best interest of the state and not only government.”
He enjoined the deputy governor to serve with due diligence and cooperation with the government as well as the ruling party in the state People Democratic Party PDP.
In his response, the new deputy governor expressed gratitude to God and to Chime for the opportunity to serve in his new capacity.
He lauded the vision and good works of the governor and pledged his unalloyed support and commitment to ensure that Enugu people continued to enjoy the benefits of good governance being delivered by the Chime’s administration.
The new deputy governor was serving as the Bishop in charge of the Ugwuaji Awkunanaw, Enugu District of the Christ Ascension Church.
His father, Professor O.N Godwin, is the founder and head of the church.
Nwoye had earlier served in government as Commissioner for Environment and later, Caretaker Chairman of Nkanu East Local Council under Chime’s predecessor, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani.
He hails from the same community- Isiogbo Nara, Nkanu East Local Government Area, as his predecessor, Onyebuchi Nwoye is also the President General of the Isiogbo Nara town union.
Meanwhile, Onyebuchi has been redeployed into the state civil service as a Deputy Director on grade level 15.
The redeployment which came a week after he was removed from office for gross misconduct, takes immediate effect.
A statement from the Commissioner for Information, Chuks Ugwoke, noted that Onyebuchi’s redeployment was sequel to an earlier directive from the state government that all those who were initially appointed Permanent Secretaries without first reaching grade level 15 be reverted.
“Note that he was appointed a permanent secretary in 2006 but all permanent secretaries appointed who had not reached Level 15 prior to their appointments were reverted to their former positions by this government. That affected him. That’s why he’s been redeployed,” the statement noted.
Onyebuchi could not be reached for his reacting on the latest development as his phone was switched off.