• They’re being unnecessary jittery, Ekweremadu’s aide says
By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Despite the increasing calls on the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, to decamp to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in order to retain his position in the Senate, the APC in Enugu State yesterday expressed its opposition to such idea, asking the lawmaker to remain in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The party’s Publicity Secretary in the state, Mrs. Kate Offor, told journalists that the deputy Senate president should not bother coming over to their party, instead, should first clear the mess in the PDP.
Offor was reacting to a statement credited to the PDP that Ekweremadu will not defect to APC.
However, when contacted, the Special Assistant to the deputy Senate president on Constituency Matters, Chukwunonye Okereke, said the matter was not worth a reaction, noting that the APC leadership in the state was being unnecessarily jittery paranoia.
In one of the sittings of the Senate last week, an APC Senator from Zamfara State, Kabiru Marafa, called on Ekweremadu to defect from PDP to APC, relying on Section 68 (g) of the constitution, if he wants to retain his seat as the deputy Senate president.
Marafa’s call came on the heels of the removal of Senator Ali Ndume as Senate Leader and his replacement with Senator Ahmed Lawan. Both Ndume and Lawan are APC members.
Earlier, spokesman of PDP, Dayo Adeyeye, described the call by Marafa as unconstitutional and undemocratic.
He added that the section of the constitution-68 (g)-which the Zamfara Senator quoted to back his advice was untrue.
But, reacting, Offor made it clear that Enugu APC does not want Ekweremadu in its fold. “Whatever is the position of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we want him to remain in PDP.
“We wish to make it very clear that Ekweremadu is an unwanted guest in Enugu State APC. Let him stay and salvage the inferno festering in the PDP. We don’t want one party state. Most importantly, we don’t want him to infest and transfer confusion into APC, his trademark in the PDP from the time of Governor Chimaroke Nnamani in 1999 till date.
“The truth is that Ekweremadu contributed in no small measure to the mess PDP found itself today, via unbridled impunity and unconscionable anti-internal democracy antics. We are witnesses of how his Machiavellian tactics eclipsed democratic aspirations and infringed on the growth of democracy in Nigeria.
“For instance, as former Chief of Staff and later Secretary to State Government, his fingers, he cannot exonerate himself from the lapses of that government which brought it to disrepute.
“Indeed Ekweremadu set the high jump, Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, is facing in court today, all in a bid to feather his own political nest during the 2015 primary elections. He did same to ex-governor Sullivan Chime who spent four years in court.”
Offor further stated that “when APC eventually took over power from PDP in the 2015 general elections, Ekweremadu showed his selfish fangs by polluting the victory of the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki. Whereas other PDP senators supported Saraki without drawing blood, his vaunting ambition of retaining the position of Deputy Senate President made him to poison the chalice.
“The Senate is yet to recover from the confusion caused by Ekweremadu, even as we speak. He has used every opportunity to pretend to be a democrat and denigrate President Muhammadu Buhari; a president who has started to revamp dilapidated South-east roads which Ekweremadu and his largest party in Africa abandoned. We say capital no!”