Six years after he dumped the former ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, former Enugu State governor, has returned to the platform on which he governed the state for two terms.
Already his return is causing ripples within the party as it is being speculated that he would grab the party’s Enugu East senatorial ticket for 2019 election following alleged understanding between him and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Part of the agreement with Ugwuanyi, which took PDP members by surprise, was also to single-handedly pick who would become the chairmanship candidate for Nkanu West Local Government Area.
Nnamani, who represented the Senatorial district between 2007 and 2011, abandoned PDP in 2011 to form the People for Democratic Change (PDC) following a disagreement with then Governor Sullivan Chime, his anointed successor.
His return to the PDP came on the heels of Chime’s defection from PDP to the current ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Nnamani, it would be recalled, used his PDC platform for his senatorial bids in 2011 and 2015, but lost on both occasions to PDP’s Gilbert Nnaji.
Independent reliably gathered on Monday that Nnamani’s return to PDP was quiet and discreetly handled, even as he had reportedly registered with his ward in Ojiagu Agbani, Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Uwa Nnamoko, PDP chairman in Ojiagu ward confirmed to Independent in a telephone interview that indeed Nnamani had registered with the party “a few months ago.”
He said: “Your information is correct. Nnamani has returned to PDP. He has officially registered with us, we are happy he is back.”
Nnamani’s return to PDP had rested speculations that he would team up with the APC for shelter from further investigation and harassment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which had been probing alleged financial misdeeds of his administration.
At a point, it was reported that he entered into a plea bargain with the EFCC, but this could not be ascertained by press time.
Governor Ugwuanyi, the incumbent Enugu State governor, last week, celebrated Nnamani when he visited Agbani, the headquarters of Nkanu West LGA to launch his state’s Traders Empowerment Programme.
At that event, Ugwuanyi publicly declared that the people of the area should be grateful that they have an illustrious son like Nnamani.
Meanwhile, Nnamani’s return to PDP has started causing rumpus in the party in Enugu East senatorial zone, following rumours that Ugwuanyi had conceded the ticket for the 2019 elections to him as well as the prerogative to produce the chairmanship candidate for Nkanu West LGA.
Our sources said Nnamani hoodwinked Ugwuanyi into making the concessions to him on the grounds that he made the incumbent governor politically by giving him opportunity to go to the House of Representatives in 2003 from where he became governor.
Efforts by Independent to speak with Nnamani could not yield fruit by press time, even as Ugwuanyi’s media aides could also not be reached for comments as at the time of filing in this report.
Also, Ray Nnaji, a former National Auditor of PDP and former Commissioner under Nnamani, confirmed Independent report.
Nnaji, who spoke with our correspondent in a telephone interview, said, “It is obvious that Nnamani returned to PDP because of his love for Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Aka Gburugburu).”
“I am aware that Nnamani returned silently to PDP. It is obvious he did so because of his love for Gburugburu”, Nnaji said.