Against the backdrop of instantiated insinuations and reports making the rounds in the political space and in the social media that there is no love lost between former Deputy President of the Senate, Prof Ike Ekweremadu who currently represents Enugu West senatorial zone, and his political associate, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the duo met Tuesday throwing pundits into confusion.Ekweremadu is projected to be scheming to succeed Ugwuanyi come 2023 and his constituents are backing that bid even as he is yet to make a definitive statement on his alleged ambition but insists innocuously that his political direction and ambition rested in God’s hands. This has nevertheless charged up the political scene pitting one camp against the other in the PDP chapter in the state.
Ostensibly to douse the heated environment, overtures are being made to survive the peace in the dominantly PDP heartland.
Not unconnected with this trend is the recent one by leaders of Enugu West Senatorial District of Enugu State, led by the former Deputy President of the Senate and the Senator representing the zone in the National Assembly, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on Tuesday, pledged their absolute commitment towards the sustenance of the existing peace and good governance entrenched in the state by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
The leaders who made the pledge when they paid a special visit to Gov. Ugwuanyi at the Government House, Enugu, to wish him a Happy New Year, reassured the governor of the support and solidarity of the people of Enugu West Senatorial District.
Speaking on behalf of the zone, Senator Ekweremadu told Gov. Ugwuanyi, whom he described as “a symbol of peace” that the people of Enugu West Senatorial District will continue to stand by him to ensure that he actualizes all his lofty visions for the state.
The former Deputy Senate President commended the governor for his administrative ingenuity as well as the professionalism he displayed in effectively leading Enugu State out of all the challenges that confronted Nigeria in 2020, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and #EndSARS protest which culminated in the nation’s second recession in five years, to remain one of the most peaceful, safest and progressive states in the country.
Senator Ekweremadu frowned at the handiwork of political jobbers, who he said attempted to plant discord in the state, and went further to reassure Gov. Ugwuanyi that the people of Enugu West Senatorial District were committed to his administration’s peace and good governance initiatives in Enugu State.
The lawmaker therefore applauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for the long-held relationship that has been existing between him and leaders of Enugu West Senatorial District, saying: “Our prayers and support will continue to go to you because what we want in Enugu State is peace; because when there is peace, there is progress and you are a symbol of peace”.
Speaking further Senator Ekweremadu said: “Your Excellency, we are here to pay our respect to you and say Happy New Year. It is instructive that we must be here this time of the year to join you in thanking God because last year was quite challenging.
“We hand this pandemic called COVID-19. It is very important that we will be here to thank you for how you managed the situation effectively in Enugu State. You provided Medicare and ensured that there was minimal damage in Enugu State. So we will be failing in our duties if we don’t acknowledge that, because the story would have been different if not for your interventions in the health sectors of Enugu State at that very critical moment.
“Last year was also challenging in the social sector, where we had the EndSARS protest. It almost brought Nigeria to a halt, but you managed it carefully and professionally and there were minimal damage in Enugu State. We want to thank you for that too.
“Your Excellency, there were economic hardship arising from those two phenomena (COVID-19 pandemic and #EndSARS protest); most states including federal agencies could not pay salaries, but you paid all the salaries in Enugu State up to December last year.
“So we have reasons to be here this time to come and congratulate you for that management of men and resources.
“Our dear brother, we were not unmindful of the fact that the devil was also at work. We believe that there were also political jobbers who had wanted to plant discord in the state. But again you professionally and skillfully managed it and Enugu State has remained peaceful. We want to thank you so much for this.
“Your Excellency, we want to use this opportunity again to reassure you of the support and solidarity of the people of Enugu West Senatorial District. When you are in government, even in your home, in your organizations, there are bound to be trying periods.
“So we are not unmindful of the fact that trials may come but the assurance of the people of Enugu West is that if any trail comes, and we pray it will not come, that we will stand by you. And if everybody runs away and there are only one or two persons remaining, those ones must be from Enugu West Senatorial District. By the grace of God, nothing will go wrong in this state in Jesus Name. Amen”.
Throwing their weights behind Senator Ekweremadu, the Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and member representing Awgu/Aninri/ Orji River Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Toby Okechukwu and his Udi/Ezeagu counterpart, Rt. Hon. Dennis Amadi, told Gov. Ugwuanyi that they were impressed with the existing peace and good governance in Enugu State, reassuring the governor of the collective resolve of the people of Enugu West to sustain and promote the enduring peace and progress in the state.
Dignitaries at the event include the Deputy Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uche Ugwu and other members of House from the zone, the PDP National Youth Leader, Rt. Hon. Sunday Udeh-Okoye, Senator Hyde Onuaguluchi, State Secretary, PDP, Cletus C. Akalusi, PDP Zonal Chairman (Enugu West), Ozo Okey Ozoani, Hon. Garry Eneh, Council Chairmen, Traditional Rulers, among others.