Thousands of protesters yesterday stormed the Enugu Government House to protest the purported impeachment plan against Gov. Sullivan Chime.
The protesters, drawn from the 17 Local government areas of the state, carried placards with inscriptions: ‘Sullivan is fair to every member of the House’, ‘Let peace reign in Enugu State’, ‘Sullivan is a good governor’, ‘We are solidly behind the new speaker, Chinedu Nwamba’.
The Coordinating Chairman of PDP at the local governments, Mr Albert Eze, while speaking at the rally said the party condemned the impeachment plan against the governor by a faction of the state House of Assembly.
According to him, the PDP in the state will resist any attempt to foment trouble in the area.
“We are here with all the Local government executives of the PDP in the state to express our dismay over the crisis at the house of assembly.
“We have come to show our solidarity with the Enugu State Government under the leadership of Governor Chime. We have come to support the man that God gave us.
“We have come to associate ourselves with the peace that has reigned in Enugu State since eight years. We are sinking and floating with you; nothing will take our minds away from the governor,” he said.
In her remarks, the PDP Woman Leader, Mrs Oby Nwofor, appealed to the state government and the legislators to embrace dialogue in the interest of peace in the state.
“The women of Enugu State are solidly behind the governor. We will continue to work with him,” she said.
The PDP Youth Leader in the state, Dr Christian Iyiani, said that youths in the state would condemn and fight against any group that would want to cause confusion in the area.
Reacting to the development, Gov. Chime, represented by his Deputy, Rev Ralph Nwoye, said he would continue to maintain peace in the state.
“Enugu people have spoken. Enugu is a family and we have remained in peace, understanding and tolerance.
“Whoever is not happy should go and resolve the issue with the party. Prayer shall continue to be our key to putting our enemies to shame.
“The state government and the PDP are in support of the newly-elected speaker. Whoever wants to bring us down, we know that God will give us victory,” Chime said.
He appealed to citizens of the state to pray for successful hand over to the incoming administration.
The protesters also moved to the state House of Assembly but it was locked with heavy presence of the police.
Meanwhile, Governor Chime of Enugu has described the threat of impeachment against him by the state assembly as futile.
Reacting to the threats while briefing journalists in Enugu, Chime said the assembly had not followed constitutional procedures.
The governor said that the constitution required two-thirds of the members to do so but that they did not meet the number.
According to him, the state had 24 members in the assembly and only 14 members, including the speaker, met to commence the impeachment proceedings.
He said the speaker should get at least 16 members of the house to investigate the allegations against him.
“As I am talking to you now, nobody has served me with any notice of any impeachment,” he said. On allegations of financial misconduct, Chime said that since assumption of office in 2007, the accounts of the government had been audited and published annually till 2014.
The governor said that the audited accounts and budgets were given to the assembly and interested members of the public.
He said that the allegation of forgery of 2012 supplementary budget was a rude shock as he only reallocated funds through virement.
Chime explained that the assembly authorised the government to obtain the loan of N11 billion in November 2014 through its resolution which was communicated to him.