Udi/Ezeagu Group: Why We Removed Dennis Amadi As Patron


JOHN-FRANCIS NWAROH

The crisis in the Udi/Ezeagu Progressive Alliance (UEPA) came to a head last Sunday with the removal of Hon. Dennis Amadi, the member representing Udi/Ezeagu constituency in the House of Representatives, as the group’s patron.

The group which was formed as a support group within the Peoples Democracy Party, played a key role in Amadi’s 2019 campaign for reelection into the lower chamber of the federal legislature.

The Director-General of the group, Ozo Onyebuchi Ani told People&Politics Tuesday that “members have observed with dismay Amadi’s attitude in recent times towards the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who is the leader of the PDP in the state and we can no longer condone it.”

Apart from allegedly sponsoring the crisis in UEPA, the former patron was also alleged to be creating disaffection within the PDP family in Udi and Ezeagu Local Government Areas.

Gov. Ugwuanyi and Ozo Onyebuchi Ani at one of the group’s events

Amadi who is a close ally of Senator Ike Ekweremadu has put enormous pressure on the group to align with the governorship ambition of the former Deputy Senate President. The group not only resisted this pressure, it also refused to condemn the zoning arrangement being promoted by mainstream leaders of the PDP in the state for the 2023 governorship contest.

At the group’s Emergency General Meeting called last Sunday at the Citadel Hotel, 9th Mile Enugu, the group resolved to move together as one body under the leadership of Ozo Onyebuchi Ani. But they were emphatic that the Rep member has become a hindrance to its objectives as a group and would have to be removed.

A motion moved to remove Hon. Amadi was unanimously carried.

The group also resolved not to deviate from its support for Governor Ugwuanyi and the mainstream leadership of the PDP in the state.

Ani said that last Sunday’s meeting was attended by 13 of the 16 national executives as well as 34 of the 40 Ward Coordinators in Udi and Ezeagu Local Government Areas.

The soured relationship between Amadi and the group dates back to the group’s courtesy visit to the Government House Enugu, last year where they were warmly received by Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

Though he was invited to lead the group on the visit, he turned down the invitation on flimsy excuse. “He was not too happy that we made that visit and since then, his attitude changed towards us, not minding that we played a key role in his reelection campaign in 2019”, Ozo Onyebuchi Ani said.

The recent formation of Oganiru movement which is co-sponsored by Rep Amadi is another point of disagreement. Ani said though a majority of UEPA members have nothing against Oganiru, they frown at the Rep member’s attempt to turn UEPA into an arm of Oganiru.

“Our objectives are not the same as those of Oganiru and we cannot take any political position contrary to that of Governor Ugwuanyi” he said.

A faction of the organisation had met a week earlier to issue Ani a 7-day ultimatum to render accounts of the group’s expenses. Signatories to their statement include the two Assistant DGs, Engr. Chibuzo Agbachi (Udi), Hon. Amaechi Ebuo (Ezeagu) and the Administrative Secretary, Hon. Chimezie Ashuke. Others include the National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Raphael Chima and Ex officio member, Hon. Tony Nzekwe.

The Deputy DG, Engr. Chidiebere Ugwuonye, who was initially listed as a signatory to the document has since distanced himself from the decision to sanction the Director-General.

Ani dismissed the allegations as a mere smokescreen because “accountability has never been an issue in the group”, adding that it was a design by Hon. Amadi to destabilize the group for his selfish political end.

The group which is planning to hold the second phase of its empowerment programme on Sunday 27th February 2023, says it will not be distracted from its key objectives.


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