The fast one played by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in foisting the party’s choices on the leadership of the National Assembly against the desire of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC has pulled the opposition party into reckoning.
The return of Senator Ike Ekweremadu as the Deputy President of the Senate for a third straight term is unprecedented. Not only has he become the first presiding officer in the National Assembly to get three straight terms, he has also become the first presiding officer from a minority party to preside over a chamber dominated by another party.
His election in the leadership contest on June 9 not only stirred emotion among his people in the Enugu West Senatorial District, but across the Coal City State. It was a development that also sent jubilation across the PDP family in the country.
The development was enough to for the people of Enugu to roll out their drums in celebration of their famous son when he returned home last weekend. The people of Aninri and Awgu Local Government Areas of Enugu State, were particularly in the lead as they led the troop of well-wishers to welcome their own at the Akanu-Ibiam International Airport, Enugu that day.
Colourfully dressed in different cultural dance costumes, the people sang and danced joyfully, under the scourging sun as they waited for their illustrious son to touch down that day.
When he finally arrived at about 1.50 pm robed in white native dress with a red traditional cap, Ekweremadu came down the plane with his wife, Nwanneka in tow.
A visibly elated Ekweremadu told journalists the story of his re-emergence.
“We have no regrets, Igbos have no regret for the way they voted; if they have the opportunity tomorrow they will do it again. We are convinced we voted rightly, and because we believe we are part and parcel of this country, we believe what we got is within our right. So we expect that APC should be able to accommodate the people of South South as they form their government, because don’t forget that Buhari got about 15 million votes, we have more than 150 million Nigerians, so he is not the president of 15 million people, the rest of the people must be accommodated.
“In fact, that was why when we saw that it appeared that South East and South South were being marginalised in the scheme of things, we decided to take a shot so that our people will be part and parcel of government so that every part of Nigeria will have a sense of belonging.
“I’m very delighted to be among my people that have come to receive me after I was honoured by the entire senators of the Federal Republic Nigeria. I’m honoured by the people of Nigeria and my people the great Igbo people were also honoured by the people of Nigeria, PDP was also honoured by the people of Nigeria.
“So I’m here coming home to my root, and I’m happy that they are here to receive me.
“We have finished with politics, now is time for governance. We should put politics behind and move on. This country is bigger than any political party, so let’s work together as a people to ensure that we deliver dividends of democracy to the people of Nigeria,” he said.
Continuing at his residence, Ekweremadu who is also the Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament thanked God who made it possible for his re-election adding that he has no apology to anybody over his victory.
He went on: “we have no apology to anybody because we had to do something to keep our party afloat after the loss we suffered at the just concluded general election.
“History beckoned on us to ensure the inclusiveness of the Igbo man in the ship of state. We reached out to our brothers from other parts of the country and negotiated wisely which brought PDP back as principal officers of National Assembly.
“The re-election has given the Igbo man a sense of belonging. All the PDP governors, National Working Committee, NWC, members of our party stood behind us to forge a common front.
“Former President Goodluck Jonathan called from Los Angeles, United State of America, USA, to lend his support. We will remain focused and I assure the people of the constituency that all ongoing projects we initiated will be completed.
“Also, the road projects in Southeast will be completed. We are in good hands with Senator Bukola Saraki as Senate President. We are prepared to help the administration of President Buhari to tackle corruption, unemployment, power outage, among others.
“The battle for 2019 has started because we have re-enacted ourselves and we are involved,” Ekweremadu said.