Former deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu has said his surprising decision to re-contest the seat was not to win or lose but to make a public statement and exonerate himself from the national shame which the election of Ovie Omo-Agege exemplifies.
Ekweremadu, a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP-Enugu West), contested and lost the election to Omo-Agege (APC– Delta Central). He polled 37 votes to Omo-Agege’s 68 votes. But in very unglamorous terms, ornamented with harmful grandiloquence, Ekwere as he is fondly called took strong exception at the fact that a man like Omo-Agege was elevated to the distinguished position of deputy president of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We need to exonerate ourselves,” Ekwere told journalists after losing the elections on Tuesday. “It was not a contest to win or lose; I wanted to make a statement. It is embarrassing for the Senate to have elected a deputy Senate president (Ovie Omo-Agege) who led thugs to steal the mace in the Senate.”
It should be recalled that Omo-Agege led thugs to invade the Senate chamber in April 2018 and forcefully remove the mace. A National Assembly joint ad hoc committee in July 2018 recommended the suspension of Omo-Agege for 180 legislative days over the theft of the Senate mace. The committee also recommended that Omo-Agege be prosecuted for treasonable felony, assault on National Assembly members of staff, conspiracy to steal and eventual theft of the Senate Mace.
“Early this morning, we were not minded to run for any office, we thought that our friends in the APC will put forward a consensus candidate that we can all be proud of, but they instead endorsed the same person who defiled the hallowed chambers as deputy president of the Senate.”
Ekweremadu said he decided to contest a few hours to the election because he “wanted a situation where we could present a referendum in respect of what transpired, so that the Senators could each take a stand. I believed there must be a referendum,” Ekweremadu said.
“Look at what happened on a day I was presiding and the chambers was invaded,” Ekweremadu said. “It is embarrassing that someone who led that operation will take a bow and is endorsed and we all walk home like it doesn’t matter? This is a stain on the institution of the Senate.”
Ekweremadu was nominated by Chukwuka Utazi, (PDP-Enugu North and seconded by Rose Oko, (PDP Cross River North). Ahmed Baba Kaita, (APC-Katsina North) nominated Omo-Agege, seconded by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi seconded the motion.