The Everlasting Senatorship of Ike Ekweremadu
By Obinna Akukwe
Ike Ekweremadu has been the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate since 2007. He joined the Nigerian Senate since 2003 under the Governorship era of Chimaroke Nnamani.
Ekweremadu is the Senator representing Enugu West Senatorial Zone which consists of five major blocks namely Awgu-Aninri, Ezeagu, Udi and Oji River. He is one of the product of the disintegrated ‘Ebeano’ political dynasty powered by Chimaroke Nnamani.
After four years as Senator, political fortune smiled at Ekweremadu and he became the Deputy President of the Senate.
I believe that probably this man could have been the senate president in 2011 after the then ruling PDP gave President Jonathan the highest number of votes in the South East and people clamored, including my humble self, that Jonathan replaces David Mark with Ekweremadu as Senate President as compensation for the South East for huge number of electoral votes.
I led a group of activists on protest mission to some of Jonathan’s close ally, threatening fire and brimstone if Ekweremadu was not made Senate President, ostensibly, to defend Igbo partisan balance, not minding the political beneficiary.,
At the end, Jonathan played a fast one on all of us and ceded the post of Secretary to the Government of the Federation to the South East, which, Senator Anyim A Pius Anyim became the beneficiary.
Jonathan then told our courier that the post of SGF was as influential as Senate President, especially if the occupant has enough sense to use the office.
He also posited that he has an alliance with David Mark for a return as Senate President. Therefore, I could say that Ekweremadu nearly became the President of the Nigerian Senate in 2003.
This man also nearly became the Governor of Enugu State in 2015, but for Ex-Governor Sullivan Chime who never wanted an Ekweremadu as successor .
The same Senator almost got his senate seat wrenched from under his nose by Sullivan Chime who was bent on replacing him as the Senator representing Enugu West.
The saving grace was the PDP Elders who told Sullivan that he cannot produce his successor and also replace Ekweremadu in the Senate, rather, he should choose one of the two options.
The same was told both to Governors Suswam and Uduaghan in Benue and Delta States respectively.
While Uduaghan toed the same line with Sullivan and produced successors , Suswam dared the elders and lost out on the two options.
Therefore, Ekweremadu could be likened to a cat with nine lives, always a step ahead of opposition, but whether this cat will survive the events of the next few months , only divinity can tell.
He also dealt with Sullivan Chime by strangulating him out of the PDP and emasculating the apparatus of governance from the current Governor Ugwuanyi and replacing the Ebeano structures with the Ikeoha structure.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu has been fabled to have done a lot of constituency projects especially on areas of road networks in his Awgu-Aninri block of the Senatorial zone.
He also purchased many tricycles which he gave to many youth in his constituency as dividends of democracy.
Some of my colleagues in the clergy who participated in the distribution of the empowerment gifts to the youth informed me of the events.
However, those in the Oji River, Udi and Ezeagu blocks of the constituency claimed that the road networks and empowerment were limited to Awgu and Aninri axis only.
Ike Ekweremadu was still the Deputy Senate President when former President Jonathan gave the Igbos a 419 Niger Bridge.
The details of it were contained in a write-up I penned in 2014 titled “Fraudulent Construction of 2nd Niger Bridge, another 419 on the Igbo Nation”.
I alerted the Igbo nation ahead of the election that the much politicized 2nd Niger Bridge was a big fraud, with pittance budgetary provisions, meant to enslave the Igbo nation through an equally fraudulent Public Private Partnership.
Ike Ekweremadu was also the Deputy Senate President when the same Jonathan gave Ndigbo another fraudulent International Airport.
I explained it in details in the piece “Fraudulent Construction of Enugu International Airport Scam, another 419 on the Igbo Nation”.
Therein I explained that while N6 billion naira was budgeted to upgrade Enugu Airport to International Standard, N12 billion was given to renovate aspects of Aminu Kano Airport.
I also explained that while FG spent N132 billion on 11 airports in Nigeria, only N6 billion out of the N132 billion was spent in Enugu, therefore calling it international was a political deceit.
To date most international carriers from Europe, America and Asia have shunned the that Enugu Airport, describing both the runway and navigational equipment as substandard.
Ethiopian Airline has become the saving grace of the airport fraud.
The sorry states of Enugu-Onitsha Expressway and Enugu Port Harcourt Expressway experienced its worst condition during the last days of Jonathan regime and the ex-president told an Anglican Bishop based in Enugu that it was the political leaders from the South East that embezzled the money meant for the repairs of these roads.
Was Senator Ekweremadu among those leaders who shared the money for these roads?
What is the quality of representation he gives Ndigbo at center where national cake is being shared?
How solidly has he represented Ndigbo at the center?
A strong opposition has arisen again to challenge Ekweremadu for the position of Senator in the person of Rev Oscar Egwuonwu.
Rev Egwuonwu hails from Udi block of the zone. A onetime Chairman of Udi Local Government Area, Egwuonwu is the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Ugwuanyi on Conflict Resolution.
Oscar Egwuonwu has also contested for the governorship of the state in 2007 under the Democratic People’s Party, DPP, led by then Governor Bafarawa of Sokoto State.
Political juggernauts in the state have vowed to give Rev Oscar Egwuonwu all support to chase Ike Ekweremadu out of the Senate.
Already they have prevented Governor Ugwuanyi from giving a blanket support to Ekweremadu, insisting that the primaries must be free and fair or else they will indulge in anti-party activities to the detriment of the party.
The political heavyweights have been asked by Senator Ekweremadu to prevail on Egwuonwu to soft pedal on the issue and allow him go for the fifth term as spring board to negotiate for Vice Presidency, but those juggernauts have said that Ekweremadu’s senator-ship must not be an everlasting one.
It promises to be a do or die affair in the primaries and beyond because the groups have vowed that Senator Ekweremadu’s everlasting Senator-ship of Enugu West Senatorial Zone must come to an end .
Ekweremadu sure has battles within and outside the party to fight in the coming months and if Oscar Egwuonwu and their supporters continues their awareness streaks, Ekweremadu’s everlasting senator-ship may come to an abrupt end,
Will ‘Ikeoha’ survive this one?
Written by Obinna Akukwe firstname.lastname@example.org, @ObinnaAkukwe; facebook.com/obinnaakukwe