Enugu 2023: Ekweremadu Swimming Against The Tides

Former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Lawrence Ekweremadu parades a very rich and intimidating credentials amongst his contemporaries. A good parliamentarian who was also Speaker of ECOWAS parliament. Besides, he holds a Doctorate degree; PhD in Law. Only recently, the university of Abuja made him a professor of Law.

He has the enviable record of the longest serving Deputy President of the Senate; Eight years under Senator David Mark and four turbulent years under Senator Bukola Saraki. He has been in the Senate since 2003 . By the end of the current Senate , Ekweremadu would have been in the Senate for a period of 20 uninterrupted years . .

He is a beneficiary of Former Enugu state Governor Senator Chimaroke Nnamani’s Ebeano political family . It is on record that Senator Nnamani first appointed him his Chief of Staff in 1999, later Secretary to the state government (SSG) before he catapulted him to the upper legislative chamber in 2003. Senator Nnamani also sponsored him to be President of the Senate in 2005 but for a twist of events.

On his return to the Senate in 2019, Ekweremadu wanted to maneuver like a maverick . Unable to read the political barometer, he plunged in to contest for the office of Deputy President of the Senate under a hostile All Progressive Congress (APC ) controlled administration and the result was obvious. He was defeated and flattened by that Ben Johnson mace bearer .

Recall Ekweremadu’s alleged opposition to the emergence of Mr. Peter Obi as running mate to Atiku Abubakar in 2019 presidential race . In fairness to him , he was then the highest political office holder from the South East Zone . At least he should have been consulted before the choice of Peter Obi. He was believed not to have been consulted .
As the campaign for the 2023 elections gathers momentum , Ekweremadu is believed to have thrown his hat into the ring to contest for the office of the governor of Enugu state. In Enugu and some other states, zoning of key political offices especially the governorship is sacrosanct at least since 1999. Ekweremadu is from Enugu West Senatorial Zone and he is aware that the stakeholders in Enugu politics have unanimously agreed to Zone the plum position to Enugu East where it began in 1999.

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Former Governor of old Anambra state, Chief Jim Nwobodo, third republic governor and former National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, former Governors Senator Chimaroke Nnamani and his successor Sullivan Chime and former President of the Senate , Chief Ken Nnamani have all lined up behind the incumbent governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to say emphatically and unambiguously that the next governor of Enugu state should come from Enugu East Senatorial Zone.
Chimaroke Nnamani ((Enugu East) 1999 to 2007, Sullivan Chime (Enugu West) from 2007 to 2015 and the incumbent governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi from 2015 to 2023. The political leaders even across party lines resolved that the governorship position moves to Enugu East where it started in 1999.
For them adherence to rotation or zoning of key political offices in the state has ensured peace and political harmony at least since 1999 .This , Governor Ugwuanyi vowed to sustain and will bequeath to his successor.
But Ekweremadu is insisting that there is no zoning arrangement in Enugu state to wit; he must go forth because the clamour for zoning in Enugu is only an elite conspiracy.
Ekweremadu is a good politician who has mastered the game and knows how to hit target but his current political ambition to thwart the existing arrangement in Enugu politically may be an uphill task and a costly venture. He has succeeded in the past but this one may be a bitter pill .

Ekweremadu was the other day speaking about gratitude and the consequences of ungratefulness . Some say , Ekweremadu was being hypocritical and asked; how did Ekweremadu show gratitude to Chimaroke Nnamani; the man who gave him the political ladder and the building blocks. Did he and others like Sullivan Chime, Frank Nwaeke not abandon their benefactor when he needed them the most .
For the avoidance of doubt, Ekweremadu’s ambition was to be chairman of Aninri local government council in 1999. He lost the election to then All peoples Party ( APP). Chimaroke Nnamani called him and appointed him his Chief of staff, he later made him Secretary to the state government (SSG) and by 2003 , Nnamani sent Ekweremadu to the Senate.
Yes, Ekweremadu has grown . He is no longer a beginner, but can he boldly confront the political leaders in Enugu state. Can he swim against the tides.
He is believed to be lobbying political heavy weights in Abuja to help him secure the PDP ticket but what will he tell the people of Enugu state.
Ekweremadu may have more new clothes than his elders today but he cannot claim to have more rags than them. It will be a wise decision for Ekweremadu to retrace his step and reunite with Ebeano political family. It will be a fatal fall for a man to forget how and when he climbed . In African cultures, character counts .

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Stanley Bob Anosike wrote from Emene , Enugu.

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