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ENUGU 2023 GUBER: WHY WON’T EKWEREMADU COMPLAIN

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By Chimdi Maduka

Hmmm I was surprised reading a news story where Awgu LGA Chairman, Hon. Okwudili Pedro was asking why is it that Senator Ike Ekweremadu is the only governorship aspirant complaining and at the same time crying over the just concluded transparent and smooth PDP three-man delegate Congress in Enugu State.

My feeling emanated from the fact that everyone in Enugu including Awgu LGA Chairman, political observers and PDP faithful should have known why Ekweremadu is the only aspirant complaining.

It is just like asking why is that Ekweremadu is the only major political from Enugu West Senatorial zone that bought PDP governorship form against the conventional rotation of governorship seat in the state that favours Enugu East Senatorial zone in 2023. So why won’t Ekweremadu cry when he has been stripped naked politically, even more than the physical beating he received in Germany years ago.

Ekweremadu complains because he lacks political sagacity to understand the arithmetic of politics. If not, why should he embark on a political voyage he knew will be dead on arrival. Is he a political neophyte or a desperado?

Ekweremadu is complaining because the PDP moving train in Enugu has left him and his retinue of brainwashed social media bandits behind, even before the primary election.

Without mincing words or being pretentious, the Enugu PDP members including Ekweremadu’s one time loyalists have through their choice of delegates during the party’s Congress shown Ekweremadu where they stand as loyal party members.

So it is not surprising that Ekweremadu is complaining. He complains because he does not know what to tell his featherweight followers and social media marionets that are already calling him Incoming, His Excellency and other borrowed names.

Ekweremadu is complaining, because he failed to understand that there is a clear difference between PDP of today and that of 2015. Ekweremadu complains because the slogan Ike Is Coming has suddenly turned to Ike Is Going Home even before the governorship primary in the state. Ike is now the Biblical Aaron. Why won’t Ekweremadu complain when all his machinations to discredit the outcome of the transparent delegate Congress in the state have failed him?

Ekweremadu is complaining, because he underrated Governor Ugwuanyi’s capacity and the unalloyed support and tremendous goodwill he is enjoying as the leader of the PDP in the state and Southeast region at his own peril.

Ekweremadu is complaining, because he is the architect of his problem. So, weep not for Ekweremadu because he is a little bird that overfeed himself and decided to engage his god in a wrestling bout. Why pitying him?

Why won’t Ekweremadu cry or complain when he has even been rejected, mocked and abandoned by his own people, the delegates from his Enugu West Senatorial zone, who were in Government House recently to pledge loyalty to Governor Ugwuanyi ahead of the 2023 party primaries.

The statutory and ad hoc delegates from Enugu West Senatorial District, who rose with one voice, assured Governor Ugwuanyi that they are solidly behind him, and will vote according to his direction in the selection of PDP candidates for the 2023 general elections in the state.

The delegates, who gave the assurance when they paid a solidarity visit to Gov. Ugwuanyi at the Government House, Enugu recently, applauded the governor for entrenching peace and good governance in Enugu State.

They also commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for the peaceful conduct of the ward congress of the PDP across the 260 electoral wards of Enugu State, on April 30, 2022, stressing that the outcome of the exercise was an eloquent testimony that the governor is “a leader of peace”.

The delegates from the five local government areas of Enugu West Senatorial District comprising Aninri, Awgu, Ezeagu, Oji River and Udi, told the governor that they have never taken, and will not take, his peaceful disposition and uncommon leadership qualities for granted.

They expressed delight that Enugu State is a reference point for peace in Nigeria, pointing out the cherished feat was made possible because of the governor’s commitment to peace, security and wellbeing of residents of the state.

Speaking on behalf of the delegates, the Chairman of Ezeagu LGA and State Deputy Chairman, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Hon. Chukwudi Ozoeluba, said: “We assure you (Ugwuanyi) that we the delegates are for you and wherever you say we should go, we will go with you. Other decisions you will take, we will stand with you. In any condition we are with you”.

Flanked by the other four council chairmen from Enugu West Senatorial District, Hon. Ozoeluba added: “We equally to thank you for the peace you have given Enugu State. We have never seen a peaceful three-man delegate election in Enugu State like this one of April 30, 2022.

“This shows that you are a father and a leader of peace. And that peace you have given Enugu State has made our state one of the best states in Nigeria. Thank you for making it possible”.

In his remarks, the pioneer State Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Charles Egumgbe, also described Gov. Ugwuanyi as “a man of peace and tranquility”, deserving of the unalloyed support and solidarity of the people of Enugu West Senatorial District and beyond, as the Governor of Enugu State and leader of the PDP in the state.

According to him, “The issue of leadership is not changeable and PDP has established that precedence as a party. I commend you (Ugwuanyi) for the peaceful ward congress of our great party last weekend. It was tranquil in my ward and I know it was tranquil everywhere.

 “We are a family and we have a leader in the person of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. As a political party, let us continue to follow our leader, he is leading us alright”.

Now that Ekweremadu has been rejected politically by his own people of Enugu West Senatorial zone ahead of the primaries, will Ekweremadu still go ahead to contest the governorship primary? Common sense, though not common demands that it is time for Ekweremadu to seek for atonement having failed and lied against the Enugu founding fathers, PDP leaders and members in the state on rotation of governorship seat, just because of his selfish and inordinate ambition.

Ekweremadu can now see that monkey is smart is because trees near each other. Now that monkey has found himself in the desert, is he not helpless?

It is obvious that whatever is happening to Ekweremadu politically ahead of 2023 general elections was brought unto him by himself. He has nobody to blame for his political woes except himself and his band of social media noisemakers and bootlickers, who saw a window of opportunity to get their own share of the people’s collective patrimony Ekweremadu has cornered for almost two decades. 

Ekweremadu will soon move from being a political complaint to a political weeping child and retired politician. It is just a matter of time. Ekweremadu would have saved himself all these stress and humiliations if he listened to the voice of reason and had toed the path of honour.

As it is now, it is late for Ekweremadu to redeem and rescue himself politically. He has been decimated and humiliated already. He is on the verge of going into political hibernation and possibly extinction if he is not careful.

Maduka, a lawyer writes from Mgbowo, Awgu LGA, Enugu State

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[BREAKING] ENUGU 2023: EKWEREMADU’S CAMP LOSES IN COURT

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu in a pensive mood

The last hope for Ekweremadu’s camp to usurp the outcome of last Ad-Hoc election to elect the 3-man delegates in Enugu has hit the rock as an Abuja Federal High Court has dismissed their applications.


Loyalists of Ike Ekweremadu, the former Deputy Senate President had approached the court to nullify the process leading to the election of the delegates.

However, a source at the court where the judgement is been delivered at the time of this report told WORDS AND SHOTS that the matter has gone against the plaintiffs

 The details of the judgment coming shortly.

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2023 PRESIDENCY: APC TO SCREEN, PRUNE NUMBER OF ASPIRANTS

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APC

• Fayemi: Only five aspirants are serious • Nwajiuba backs party on controversial letter of withdrawal • Ohanaeze Ndigbo upbeat about Igbo producing next president

Barring last minute changes, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will today screen its presidential aspirants for the 2023 general elections after earlier postponements.

This was announced, yesterday, by the National Organising Secretary of the party, Suleiman Argungu, in Abuja. He said the party will screen 28 presidential aspirants, though 25 submitted the nomination forms, today and tomorrow at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja, four days to its convention where the party’s flag bearer would emerge.

Earlier on Sunday, the party had postponed the exercise for the second time after it failed to hold last weekend. But no reason was given for the change in plan. The party had previously fixed May 14 and 15 for the screening but it postponed the exercise and gave a new date of May 23 after aspirants for Senatorial and House of Representatives seats were screened.

Key aspirants that have submitted their forms include Vice President Yemi Osibanjo; APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu; ex-Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; former Minister of Niger Delta Development, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

Others are: Cross River State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade; his Ebonyi State counterpart, Dave Umahi; Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; ex-Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani; Senator Ajayi Borofice and Pastor Tunde Bakare.

Similarly, Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello; his Jigawa State counterpart, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar; ex-Zamfara State governor, Sen. Ahmed Yerima; former Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu; former Imo State governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha; former Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole are also not left out.

As at 6:30p.m. yesterday, members of the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee (NWC) were still locked in a closed-door meeting in an apparent bid to ensure a smooth conduct of the exercise.

A source, who confided in The Guardian, hinted that members of the NWC already conferred with the powers of the National Executive Committee (NEC), explored the possibility of screening out some aspirants even before the start of the exercise.

“Be sure that we are not going to have more than 15 aspirants that would be screened. Some of them would be disqualified based on the timing they turned in their resignation letters to President Muhammadu Buhari,” the source noted.

Another source within the Presidency confided in The Guardian that geopolitical zones of the party had been asked to meet and work towards consensus in a bid to reduce the number of aspirants to the barest minimum.

“It is not a question of indecision; a lot of considerations are being taken into the choice of date, as well as the shape of the screening. A number of criteria have already been worked out. Security of the country is at stake. Of course, you cannot rule out the issue of corruption and other baggage.

“The screening would be carried out in such a manner that those that would be disqualified would have no cause to complain. I won’t tell you the crucial criteria that would lead to the disqualification, but some of those aspirants would be disqualified unless they voluntarily withdraw from the race,” he stated.

It would be recalled that in the build up to the APC national convention that produced Senator Adamu, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Public Affairs, Femi Adesina, disclosed that Buhari would not support any aspirant tainted with corruption.

In an interview with The Guardian, the Deputy Majority Leader, Prof. Ajayi Borofice, remarked that he is for consensus, noting that although many persons afforded the N100 million cost of nomination forms, the choice of Nigeria’s next president is beyond money and moneybags.

While ruling out a possible implosion after the presidential primary, the three-term Senator noted that since the party was able to hold a rancour-free national convention, the primary will also come and go since only one person is expected to emerge.

FAYEMI, yesterday, said there are more pretenders in the race for the APC presidential ticket than contenders. He said out of the 23 persons currently in the race, only about five of them are serious in the quest to clinch the ticket of the ruling party. He did not, however, name the five aspirants.

Fayemi said this while soliciting the support of delegates from Niger State during a visit to the state. In a statement by spokesperson of the Fayemi Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Ige, the Ekiti governor said the level of seriousness is determined by the ability of the aspirants to move across the country.

“This is a season of visits and states keep receiving us. The list of presidential aspirants says there are 23 but only five of us are going around the country. With this, you can separate the pretenders from the contenders,” he said.

Some of the aspirants who have visited states include Tinubu, Osinbajo, Amaechi, Lawan and Fayemi. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva and President of the Africa Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, have opted out of the race.

FORMER Minister of State for Education, Nwajiuba, yesterday, said he supports the decision by the party to attach the controversial letter of withdrawal to the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms sold to aspirants.

The withdrawal letter addressed to the National Chairman of the party, Adamu, must be signed before a Commissioner of Oath/Public Notary before submission.

Nwajiuba, in an interactive session with reporters in Abuja, enjoined delegates at the national convention of the party to set aside pecuniary interest and elect a flag bearer with the wherewithal to address the multifaceted challenges besetting the country.

Nwajiuba said the letter would come in handy if the party decides to adopt a consensus arrangement to select the flag bearer. He promised to accede to the party’s demand for a consensus arrangement if the need arises.

According to him: “It’s not possible to win an election without the consent of everybody. So why would you be saying I can only win if I am the most powerful. You can only win by consensus arrangement. So, whatever consensus my party agrees to, I will agree. If they choose me, it’s good for them and for Nigeria. If they don’t choose me, whoever they choose is what they plan to offer Nigerians and we will stand by the party.”

MEANWHILE, despite hurdles that have been placed in their quest for presidency come 2023, especially by the ‘open contest’ declared by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has insisted that Ndigbo would not lose out of the contest.

The Guardian gathered yesterday that the Ohanaeze leadership had since May 7, embarked on countrywide consultations with different ethnic groups on the need to support Igbo presidential aspiration.

Speaking yesterday on their visits, spokesman of the organisation, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, said the delegation held “fruitful discussions”, adding that there is no doubt that Nigerians have fully bought into the demand by the Southeast and would do the needful at the appropriate time.

Ogbonnia restated that Ohanaeze Ndigbo was not worried about ongoing scheming in the two leading political parties, stressing that “we have enough competent Igbo politicians in them to match whoever that may come up.”

THE GUARDIAN

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BANKY W WINS PDP HOUSE OF REPS TICKET IN LAGOS

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Mr Olubankole Wellington aka Banky W

A Nigerian celebrity, Mr Olubankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, was declared the winner of the PDP primary for the Eti-Osa constituency House of Representatives ticket in the 2023 general election.

Banky W had a landslide victory, polling 28 out of 31 votes cast by delegates at the primary.

He contested against a legal practitioner, Mr Sam Aiboni, who polled three votes.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the delegates consisted of 31 ad hoc members of the PDP and one national delegate.

The Returning Officer, Mr Ayodele Kazeem, who declared the results, described the process as peaceful and transparent.

Banky W told NAN that the election was a free and fair one, he stated that he had won the election by the grace of God and the will of the people.

He expressed gratitude to the party for the opportunity to represent it and said that he was very thankful to the people as well.

“I am overwhelmed by the support of my constituency, the people, the ward chairmen, the leaders and the chieftains of the party.

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“I feel the support even from the grassroots, honestly, I can’t be happier than I am now,” he said.

Banky added that he had a message, a vision and a mandate to do things better in the constituency and that he would achieve them through transparency, accountability and service.

“The real work begins now, the primaries are just the start and thankfully, we have the grace of God with us; we move,” he added.

NAN reports that if Rep. Babajide Obanikoro, son of former minister of state for defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro picks the APC return ticket in its upcoming primaries, he will be slugging it out with Banky W for the seat. (NAN)

PUNCH

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