Saturday 30 June 2018


Professor Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy President of the Senate
Erstwhile Deputy President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief OAU Onyema, in this interview, speaks on why he wants to dislodge the Deputy Senate President, Professor Ike Ekweremadu. According to the Akpaagu Ikenga, it will take only imbeciles to support the senator’s fifth term ambition. Sit back and enjoy it.

You want to represent Enugu West Senatorial in the National Assembly, why do you want to unseat the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu?
Let me correct an impression, I have not come to unseat anybody. Reason being that the seat, which I want to occupy ordinarily, would be vacant by June 8, 2019. According to the rules of the National Assembly, considering the time the House was constituted, the eve of that day, it is assumed that you will park out. If the person is re-elected, based on the person’s electable capacity, the person will occupy it; if I’m elected I will occupy it. So, I don’t see it to be that I want to unseat anybody.

How long have you haboured this aspiration?
Basically, one will tend to tell you that the aspiration is not an issue of today. So rather, the question should have even come the other way round, why have I not gone to the Senate all this while? I mean, I contested the primaries in 2011 with the deputy senate president, we contested the primaries, we paid our nomination fees and we were doing our things and it was going the way it was going until the then governor changed the equation the way he wants at Awgu Local Government were we were doing the primary election. So it is an aspiration, it’s not wanting to unseat anybody.

Why exactly do you want to go to the Senate?
One of the reasons why we want to go to the senate, we have seen a lot of lacuna, a lot of unaddressed issues; we feel that from the reports I’m getting from my consultations, because, I’m so to say, on consultation; the person that is presently occupying the seat has tried tremendously, he has given what he has, he has been there for 16 years, the constituency has patronised him for 16 years and everyone of us knows that there is a peak in everything after which you start declining.

We are saying that for all that he did while there, we saw some latent and obvious areas that are circumvented. It could be intentional or unintentional and it is those unaddressed areas, unaddressed achievements, achievements which he ought to do which he did not do, areas in the constituency which he ought to touch which he did not touch, maybe he forgot; it is those areas, those untapped areas, those areas of liberation and developments within the constituency that he failed to address, that is why we are going to the Senate.

But many people believe that it would be difficult to defeat Ekweremadu given his experience and closeness to governor even as he recently said that if he decides to go back, his people will re-elect him…
That is myopic thinking and the thought of people, who are not themselves. He has given you his view that if he wants to go back, his people will re-elect him and I have given you my view that as I’m aspiring and my people will elect me. Is there any mix up there? It’s not an over statement on his part, but we know that he is my oga and remains my oga. I served under him, I had a lot to do with him, so close more than many people would believe.

But, what I’m saying is that he has done well and he is from another local government and I’m from another local government. We’re all in the same senatorial zone, but my people have never been to the Senate since Independence. Awgu has been, Oji has been, Ezeagu has been, Aninri has been and has held it for four tenures and they are saying that Udi should be given an opportunity to be there to address some issues he has failed to address or will he tell me that he has addressed 100 percent issues he ought to? He won’t say that because nobody is perfect.

How wide have you consulted before taking this decision?
Have you thrown away the consultation I did in 2011? Don’t you know that its compromise that made us to allow him to return in 2015? Did I run for Senate in 2015? We have had serious and extensive consultation. In fact, if I tell you the type of support, the type of people that want me to come and represent Enugu West, you will not believe it. And I’m telling you that any son of Enugu West that is a politician, especially from Udi Local Government, who does not support the agenda of having a new senator for Enugu West is an imbecile.

You know why I put it so; the society is a dynamic one, and we are saying that positions are tenured and we have been so magnanimous to assist Senator Ekweremadu to occupy it for 16 years. I will only make my effort, it is left for my people, if they want me to be, I will be. But, if they don’t want me to be, I won’t be. However, it is only imbeciles that will want someone to be for 20 years, while others have not been for one year. It is imbecility and I don’t have any regrets using that word.

If you come one-on-one with Deputy Senate President, what will you tell him on this issue?
I will beg him to be reasonable. I will tell him: ‘Sir, be reasonable. We have patronized you, we have given you opportunity to work, register your name in the book of records, drop your footprint on the sands of time and someone else will do same. If somebody did not give you such opportunity, you will not have it. Another person’s foot will print on the sands of time; another person’s name will enter the record. But if you want to remain in perpetuity, so be it, but time will tell the story.’ A wise man resigns when the ovation is loudest. I’m one of his fans, and he is my oga, if I were him, I will not run again.

Will you also tell him to support your ambition?
Yes, of course and there are multiple reasons why Ekweremadu will support me. I have supported him, I have worked under him, I have wished him well. When people were against him, we were few that wished him well and worked for him. I wanted him to be governor and he ought to be governor instead of Sullivan Chime, but when Chime got it, he said he has gotten it. I worked with the same Chime and he knew it. And not only that, I have suffered persecution because of him. He has suffered for me too. He wanted me to go to the House of Representatives but it did not work.

When Sullivan became governor and I started working with him, it created a little gap between us, but it did not affect our relationship. I ran for Senate in 2011 because my chance for the House of Representatives was truncated and I saw an opportunity and I cashed on it. When I did not get it, I did not kill anybody, but now my people said they will not support any other person that is not from Udi and I’m telling you that if the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) fields anybody that is not from Udi, we will have problem. Let us tell ourselves the truth that the person will have problem, and who wants to have problem?

If I have the opportunity I will tell the governor and I will even tell the Deputy Senate President that we cannot allow greed to bring cataclysm in our midst. I know I’m not the best person from Udi, but so far so good I’m the person from Udi that has contested for Senate election. This is the second time now and I have the majority support. I am telling you and I am making it emphatic that if PDP fields any senatorial candidate that is not from Udi this time around, it will create big problem for us because 90 percent of the people are disenchanted.

They might not say it because not everybody can feed himself and anybody who cannot feed himself cannot say the truth. They will just be murmuring behind, but they will betray you at the end. All these things you see about people gathering and saying we are endorsing is pretense. All of us want Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to be returned unopposed, but for the Senate, Udi wants the seat at all cost, whether I am the one or any other person, I don’t know. Only God knows, but I know that if any other person that is not from Udi is presented for the Senate, PDP will lose.

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