Abimbola Akosile and Anayo Okolie
Barring any last minute changes, former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, may formally join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) this August, THISDAY has reliably gathered.
Senator Nnamani resigned his membership of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in February 2016, citing impunity and corruption of the party’s values.
In a widely published letter to the party’s leadership titled “PDP, the Burden and My Conscience”, Nnamani said he was quitting politics in the interim as “I do not believe I should continue to be a member of the PDP as it is defined today; I do not also believe that the PDP as it is managed today will provide an opportunity for me to continue to play the politics of principles and values which I set for myself as a young man”.
However, his resignation drew a backlash of public criticism among Nigerians and party faithful who saw it as a ploy to join the APC rather than stay to help rebuild the party that helped him become the Number Three man in the country.
A political analyst, Engr. Chidiebere Nwobodo, said whereas the likes of Nnamani’s resignation was welcome since “they cannot even win councillorship election in their wards, their false claims and holier-than-thou attitude annoy”.
He had wondered if Nnamani would “have quit if the PDP had retained power at the centre”.
“Ken’s resignation is another case of opportunism. He actually dumped his original party – the All Peoples Party (APP) – after the party lost the Enugu governorship, National Assembly and presidential elections in 1998. He was APP’s senatorial candidate. But, rather than stand with the party in the time of need and help rebuild it into a strong opposition voice, he left for where the pasture was greener (PDP) to become Senator in 2003 (when President Buhari vied for President)”.
He also faulted Nnamani’s claim that he would no longer be able to play politics of principles in the PDP, noting that the former Senate President was part and parcel of what went wrong with the PDP.
“He (Nnamani) came hard on anyone who cautioned Chime against arrogating to himself the power over life and death. He even told the National Assembly Members to forget any 2015 ambition because Emperor Chime had so decreed or they would be committing political suicide.”
“In the days of Chicken Impeachment, national headquarters of the PDP directed Chime to stop the embarrassment, but the likes of Nnamani goaded him on the path of error, gross indiscipline, and disrespect for party authority.
“Working hand-in-hand with a seemingly compromised judiciary, they used a kangaroo panel, locked out the media, turned truth upside down, convicted, and impeached an innocent man, Sunday Onyebuchi. Onyebuchi once passed out before the panel, but no pity. Ken Nnamani, the father of integrity and politics of principle celebrated the embarrassing impeachment. In his words, he said Onyebuchi ‘had the opportunity of resigning, but he brought on himself. He was being unreasonably stubborn. It is a lesson on stubbornness.”
Meanwhile, Nnamani’s planned formal entrance into the Enugu APC is already brewing crisis as the party leadership and stakeholders are reportedly torn between him and his kinsman and former Governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo.
While State party Chairman, Ben Nwoye, the South East Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon Hyacinth Ngwu and the party’s governorship candidate in the 2015 general elections, Chief Okey Ezea, are said to be for Senator Nwobodo, Chief Nwoga and the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria, VON, Chief Osita Okechukwu among others are said to have queued behind the former Senate President.