Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Enugu State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) wednesday boasted that it has capable aspirants that would defeat the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, in his bid to return to the Senate for the fifth term.
The party also dismissed as cheap blackmail the statement credited to Ekweremadu to the effect that he gave APC N5million during its membership registration in 2014.
Chairman of the party in Enugu State, Dr. Ben Nwoye, who addressed journalists at the APC secretariat in the state, challenged the senator to name the person he gave the money.
Nwoye said the party at the moment has three credible aspirants that are jostling for the party’s ticket to contest for Ekweremadu’s Enugu West senatorial seat.
According to him, “Today, we have Mr. P.C Eze, Chief Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagu, which are all formidable forces prepared to take over from him. Any of these persons is more than capable to win him whenever the votes are cast in 2019.”
Nwoye said the party received “with total dismay, the report that Ekweremadu gave N5million to facilitate APC membership registration. That is the biggest political blackmail of the century.”
“I was elected chairman of APC in April 2014; I have never as a chairman met with Ekweremadu one on one other than meeting him in public place, in church, where we exchange pleasantries, and by 2014, Ekweremadu was and is still a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) so one wonders why a member of the PDP will be funding registration of members in APC.
“The report attributed to him indicated that he was doing so to help foster democracy; the unfortunate thing is that he never made mention of who he gave the money or where the money exchanged hands; instead, he refers to a minister, who at that time, was a senator,
Dr. Chris Ngige. As a democrat and a patriotic citizen, we respect the deputy Senate president, he is a statesman, and he knows that his comments will be taken seriously and those comments, if made, are capable of destroying the democracy we all worked for.”
He added: “Assuming, but without admitting that Ekweremadu somehow, somewhere, funded the registration of members of the opposition party in 2014, it is awkward that he helped the APC to defeat his own party; but our record shows that it is a blackmail, it is falsehood that is geared towards causing disharmony and to undermine our great party by suggesting that our party had no money to conduct its own registration.”