- Ekweremadu: Governor is on a wild goose chase
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja and Amby Uneze in Owerri
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has said the position of Senator Ike Ekweremadu as the Deputy Senate president is at the moment under heavy threat because in no distant time, the All Progressives Congress (APC) senator in the waiting from Imo State, Benjamine Uwajumogu, would take over the seat on grounds that it is an aberration that a PDP senator from the South-east is deputy to an APC senate president.
Okorocha attributed Ekweremadu’s position to the fact that before now, the APC could not produce a senator from the South-east zone.
Speaking during what he called a victory party for members and leaders of the APC, in the state over the outcome of the Saturday, July 23, 2016 re-run election for Okigwe zone senatorial seat and the two state constituencies of Oru-East and Owerri West, he stated that at Ekweremadu had known that such development was not only feasible but inevitable.
He alleged that Ekweremadu fully funded the candidate of the PDP in the re-run senatorial poll in Okigwe zone and also re-located to the state three days before the election date.
According to the governor, the victory of the APC in the re-run poll for Okigwe senatorial zone is a victory for the whole of South-east APC in particular and the people of the geo-political zone in general.
He boasted to let all the National Assembly members from the state on the platform of PDP be re-called to come and face proper election “because none of them won election but they used their federal might and the security agencies to write results for themselves in the 2015 election”
Already the INEC had declared the rerun Election in Okigwe senatorial zone and the two state House of Assembly seats for Isiala Mbano and Oru East as inconclusive due to cancelation of some results.
Meanwhile the PDP and her candidate, Chief Athan Achonu had rejected the inconclusiveness and urged INEC to declare the candidate as winner because the party pulled the highest legitimate votes in the rerun election.
However, Ekweremadu criticised Okorocha for alleging that he relocated to the state during the re-run election with the intention to influence its outcome in favour of the PDP.
Ekweremadu in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Uche Anichukwu, said he would have “allowed the governor to continue to wallow in his delusions and wild claims, but, considering the fact that this is the second consecutive statement by the governor in one week wherein he attempted to impugn the integrity and democratic credentials of the Office and person of the Deputy President of the Senate, we are being compelled to set the record straight.”
He added: “The Senate Deputy President visited Imo State for the last time in 2015. It is also instructive that the governor’s claim comes on the heels of another statement by some APC elements in Ezeagu Local Government Area on Sunday where they whined bitterly over the huge solidarity shown by the good people, stakeholders, and traditional rulers of Enugu State to Senator Ekweremadu during his annual Ikeoha Scholarship and Bursary Awards/Adult Literacy Day at the council headquarters on the same Saturday, June 23, 2016.
“For the same party to also claim that the same Ekweremadu who was empowering his people at Ezeagu in a well reported event on the same Saturday was also in in Imo State at the same time to influence election is just another showcase of the buffet of lies, deceit, and confusion that has become the order of the day in the ruling party”.
He advised Okorocha and other APC leaders in the South-east zone to “preoccupy themselves with ending the invasions and killings by purported herdsmen, gross marginalisation of Ndigbo in the distribution of opportunities and the blessings of democracy as well as the worrisome trend of inconclusive elections.”
The statement added that Okorocha’s remark in his allegation showed his poor understanding of the workings of the legislature, noting that Ekweremadu was not perturbed in any way by the wishful prospects of an APC senator of South-east extraction.
“The Senate has a ranking rule, and if Okorocha was not able to secure a principal office, even Deputy Majority Whip for the two House of Representatives members from Imo State, it is left to imagination how he would be able to appoint a Deputy President for the Senate. He is on a wild goose chase,” he insisted.