17 November 2012, Sweetcrude, Enugu – Former Minister of Aviation, Fidelia Njeze, is virtually back to reckoning, in terms of ministerial appointment, as her name is presently reported to be on top of the list of nominees submitted by Governor Chime, to Mr President,for the replacement of Prof. Bartholomew Nnaji.
Nnaji had vacated the office recently, following what was reported as conflict of interest, and in line with tradition, Enugu state is expected to find a replacement for the slot.
Other names in the list include: Professor Chineu Nebo, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Vitalis Abba, current chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in the State,and Pro Chancellor, Fed. University of Technology, Owerri.
There are indications that the three nominees are the major contenders, while others who also made the list are : Dr Mrs Sally Adukwu-Bolujoko, President, Nigerian Institute of Management and Dr Emeka Ujam,the current Commissiöer for lands, Enugu state. These names undergoing security checks.
However, political watchers from the state and beyond, are not not happy over the continued delay in the appointment of Nnaji’s replacment, as a result of schemings for who gets the plum job.
Another school of thought is also reported to be wondering why the governor has always been bent on filling almost all high profile appointments with nominees from his hometown of Udi. Both Njeze and Nebo are from the same town with the governor.
It is only Abba, who hails from a different geopolitical zone in the state. Some concerned citizens are particularly questioning the rationale in appointing one person minister several times, in a state where manpower is not lacking. “I think Chime is setting a bad political precedence in the state.
“Though, he is my man, I do not like the idea of restricting major appointments to people of his local government area. I am even more irked by this recycling of Njeze, if what you said is true, as if the state is lacking the right calibre of persons to be minister,” a PDP stalwart from the state who pleaded anonymity, said.
Mrs. Njeze, 48, was appointed Nigerian minister of Aviation in April 2010, when Acting President Goodluck Jonathan announced his new cabinet. Before that, she had been Minister of State for Agriculture and Water Resources and later Defence, in the cabinet of late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Presently, she is a serving Ambassador to Switzerland. Prof. Nebo, on the other hand, is the current Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Oyele-Ekiti.
He was Vice Chancellor of UNN from June 2004 to June 2009, where he was credited with good performance. Abba is also Pro-Chancellor of Federal Universityof Technology, Owerri.
Sources disclose that the governor had strongly recommended Njeze for the post and that the other two names were just there in case of the very unlikely event that she is not cleared by security, or the Senate.
However, it has also been gathered that President Goodluck Jonathan is seriously
considering Archictect Ferdinand Agu, former Director-General of NMA and currently Special Adviser to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, as the replacement.