By Christopher Isiguzo and Gideon Arinze in Enugu
Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has said he will retire from the upper legislative chamber in 2023.
The lawmaker stated that he will no longer seek for re-election to the Red Chambers in 2023.
Ekweremadu who is representing Enugu West in the National Assembly, announced this yesterday in Enugu during his 57th birthday celebration.
The senator who is completing his fourth tenure in the National Assembly was re-elected for a fifth term during the just concluded general election.
The lawmaker said it was time to quit the legislature, adding that his remaining time in the National Assembly would afford him time to complete ongoing projects in his constituency.
He said that a new breed politician with shared visions would take over from him at the expiration of the fifth term.
Ekweremadu said that his 16 years’ sojourn in the National Assembly had been immensely beneficial to his constituents as it had been a harvest of projects.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his support through the various projects being executed in his constituency.
Ekweremadu who traced his political evolution from his time as president general of his town union, said that his political career had not always been smooth.
He said that his life had been a product of divine grace, having passed through political persecution and vicissitude of life.
“I have been through the valleys of the shadow of death. I have been scorched and bruised for my political beliefs and determination to defend the principles of democracy and uphold justice for every segment of this nation,” he said.
“We are assembled here today to mark the awesomeness of God in my life and to thank you all for standing by me over yet another year of trauma in my politics, including the attempt on my life and lives of my family members, the assault on my liberty, and all the evil designs of the evil people in our society against my person and politics.
“Therefore, as I thank you for these 16 memorable and splendid years as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; as I thank my distinguished colleagues for honouring me as the deputy president of the Senate for three consecutive times; as we recall the accomplishments of the projects of my representation in the last 16 years; as I acknowledge your kindness in keeping me in the Senate for these 16 years; and as I prepare to further represent you by your mandate for the next four years, let me seek your understanding and indulgence to now announce that this will be my last term as your senator,” he said.
“I will work with other patriotic Nigerians within and outside the National Assembly and across party, ethnic, and religious lines to address issues of disunity, insecurity, and poverty currently threatening our nation. I believe that together we can pioneer a new order characterised by peace, justice, unity, prosperity, egalitarianism, and boundless opportunities for all,” he added.
Ekweremadu said that he may have offended some people in the course of his political career, adding that such people should forgive him.
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion and Anglican Bishop of Enugu, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, described the lawmaker as a perfect gentleman.
Chukwuma said that Ekweremadu had provided leadership at all levels of his political life.
The occasion also marked the 25th wedding anniversary of the lawmaker with his wife, Mrs. Nwanneka Ekweremadu.