Uduaghan, Chime drop senatorial ambition

Emmanuel Uduaghan is the governor of Delta state

The governors of Delta and Enugu States, Emmanuel Uduaghan and Sullivan Chime respectively, have dropped their ambitions to retire next year to the Senate.

Both had planned to contest the senatorial elections to represent Delta South and Enugu West Senatorial Districts respectively on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Mr. Uduaghan is reportedly dropping his senatorial ambition for peace to reign in the state and to enable him assist President Goodluck Jonathan in his re-election bid.

The governor, who assumed office in May 2007, will round off his second term in May 2015.

Mr. Uduaghan had a few months ago announced his plan to contest the senatorial election to replace his senator, James Manager, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta.

The Delta South Senatorial District comprises of three ethnic groups, namely the Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko.

The governor had claimed that based on the understanding in the district, it was the turn of his Itsekiri ethnic nationality to produce the next senator.

In the current dispensation, which began in 1999, the Isoko, through Stella Omu represented the district between 1999 and 2003 while Mr. Manager, an Ijaw, succeeded her in 2003 and has been there till date.

Senators Francis Okpozo, an Isoko and Franklin Atake, an Itsekiri had at different times in the past represented the district.

However, no sooner had Mr. Uduaghan announced his plan to run than fierce protest against him began.

Mr. Manager insisted he would return to the upper house.

Reports say the governor agreed to drop his ambition at a meeting with Mr. Jonathan and the National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Mu’azu and Mr. Manager.

The incumbent senator allegedly claimed that he could not contest the governorship seat in Delta State because the zoning arrangement does not favour him.

In Enugu State, Mr. Chime withdrew from the race, according to a statement on Friday by his media aide, Chukwudi Achife.

With the development, the coast appears clear for the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who currently represents the Enugu West Senatorial District, to return to the upper legislative chamber.

Messrs. Chime and Ekweremadu had been locked a fierce political battle traced to the ambition of the governor to move to the Senate after his tenure expires in May next year.

Mr. Ekweremadu was first elected to the Senate in 2003.

The governor, it was learnt, was compensated with the privilege of nominating candidates for other key political positions, including the PDP governorship flag bearer.

Mr. Chime’s media aide confirmed that an agreement was reached by the PDP hierarchy, which gave him the privilege.

The governor had rejected the recent congress in the state, which favoured deputy senate president.

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