Five-time Senator,thee-time Deputy President of Nigerian Senate as well as former Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Prof Ike Ekweremadu has declared the intention to run for the governorship seat of the state come 2023.
Ekweremadu who represents Enugu West in the Senate comes from Aninri LGA of the Greater Awgu block of the state which is the only one of the four subethnic groups that are yet to produce an elected governor of the state.
Disclosing his reason and passion for wanting to contest for the seat after attaining exalted heights nationally and internationally, Ekweremadu stated that, “Enugu State gave me huge opportunities to serve as pioneer Council Chairman of Aninri Local Government Area, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Secretary to the State Government,five-term senator, three-term Deputy President of the Senate, Deputy Speaker and Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament. I have served on a number of important committees and in several global positions.”
Continuing, he added that, “In the course of this journey, I have met world leaders, business leaders, and made friends in both private and public sectors of the national and global economies. I have had the opportunity to understand how states and nations are transformed. A good example is a city like Dubai, the UAE, which was a desert, but has now become the world’s most digitalized city and a global investment hub. I have an insight into the economic transformation taking place in Rwanda,” he said reassuringly.
Pledging to deliver good governance bedrock on the restoration of faith in government through delivering on his manifesto and promises; transformation of the civil service, judiciary and parliament, making them technology-driven; improvement of welfare, efficiency and respectability of the public service; duel corruption, improve and enhance revenue generation and use, and run an all-inclusive government that sees all as equals.
Ekweremadu unveiled his 8-point work plan under the following broad themes”Water, Road Development, Education, Youth and Women Empowerment, Security, Health Sector Reforms, Opportunities provision,Employment and Economy, Energy Sufficiency; and Housing and Urban Renewals.
Recalling his efforts and antecedents as a senator in the light of the exploits and limitations recorded, Ekweremadu averred that “As a senator, I worked hard to put forward necessary bills and motions on constitutional amendments, security, education, economy, health and electoral reform, that have impacted and are still impacting positively on the wellbeing of our people. I have initiated life-changing projects in our communities, beyond my constituency, in the very important areas of water, road, educational infrastructure, health, power, and many more.
“I always wish I could do more. I have the will, but the means are limited, I am limited to what I could mobilize as a legislator in developmental projects and programmes. At this point, therefore, I believe it is time to focus on Enugu State and Enugu people without whom I would not be who and what I am today. The governorship of Enugu State will offer me a good platform to serve our dear state more and better,” he declared amid thunderous cheers.
The former Deputy Senate President and PDP chieftain, Chief Ike Ekweremadu has named Hon Ogboo Asogwa, a former state lawmaker, as his campaign Coordinator for the 2023 guber race in Enugu.
Ekweremadu dropped today the hint during a media consultation with the media in Enugu even he contended that the event is not a declaration per se but a continuation of his consultations.
This puts paid to speculations over his governorship ambition, a situation that has stirred controversy in the Enugu polity as a result of the zoning system.
Speaking to the media in the meeting held at the Best Western Hotel, Ekweremadu promised to provide good governance to the Enugu people, if elected Governor.
He promised to respect the autonomy of the local Government and never to touch its funds, and to reconstruct all roads leading to the state.
On the contentious issue of zoning that has dominated political discourse in the state as 2023 draws closer, the Aninri LGA- born Senator representing Enugu West Senatorial Zone, while fielding a reporter’s question reminded his audience that Enugu state is composed of four sub-ethnic groups which are coterminous with old administrative divisions of Agbaja(Udi), Awgu, Nkanu(Enugu), and Nsukka and posited that zoning existed only in the minds of persons out to make capital of the situation.
Ekeremadu told journalists at a media consultation with journalists in Enugu, that he has never been part of zoning because he doesn’t intend to be a zonal governor.
According to him, there’s no zoning discussion in the state because Chimaroke Nnamani isn’t a product of zoning pointing out that “I was the campaign director during his election and at no point did we discuss zoning. Sullivan Chime wasn’t a product of zoning.
“During the emergence of the incumbent governor, there was no discussion of zoning, it was based on equity and justice for Nsukka to produce the Governor.”
Continuing, the 3-term deputy president of the Senate said it’s “political treachery” when politicians talk about zoning because they’re simply projecting their personal interest.
He noted that Enugu East Senatorial zone has produced three governors, whereas Enugu North senatorial zone had produced two governors while Enugu West Senatorial zone produced only one governor in the person of Barr Sullivan Chime, from the Agbaja (Udi) bloc of Enugu West, leaving the Awgu(Greater Awgu) area in the cold.
Meanwhile, the Awgu bloc has the three LGAs of Awgu, Aninri and Oji River as against Agbaja’s UDI and Ezeagu LGAs.
While presenting his manifesto titled, “Pathway for A New Enugu State.”
Senator Ekweremadu opined that it is important for those vying political offices to present their agenda for the people.
Ekweremadu used the medium to hint at some of his performances as Senator Representing Enugu West senatorial zone.
Ekweremadu noted that beyond Enugu West Senatorial zone he was able to attract developmental projects across all parts of Enugu state such as the attraction of roads construction and other projects at Nome, Ehaamufu and many others as well as construction in Ette, Obino, Iheaka and Ovoko.