Senator Ike Ekweremadu – Vows to make Enugu better, best
Former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, says the notion of the existence of a zoning formula for elective political offices in Enugu state is false, adding that the electorate should support candidates who have capacity to provide good governance.
This is just as he announced his intention to contest the 2023 governorship election in the state on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Senator Ekweremadu who represents Enugu West Senatorial District in the Upper Legislative Chamber of the National Assembly disclosed these on Friday during an enlarged media consultation in Enugu, the state capital.
He spoke against the backdrop of the deafening demand by the people of Enugu East Senatorial Zone, that the successor to the current governor of the state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, should come from the zone.
Summit News recalls that in 1999, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, from Enugu East Senatorial Zone was elected governor of the state on PDP’s banner.
He was succeeded in 2007 by Barrister Sullivan Chime (PDP), who hails from Enugu West Senatorial Zone. Governor Ugwuanyi, who is also a product of PDP, is from Enugu North Senatorial Zone.
There is a groundswell of opinion by stakeholders in Enugu East Senatorial Zone that the area should once again produce the next governor of the state in 2023 since the rotation concept has gone the full circle.
But Senator Ekweremadu who hails from Enugu West Senatorial District, insists that the idea of an agreed zoning formula is speculative, vowing to contest the next governorship election in the state.
He said: “First, I was the campaign manager of Chimaroke Nnamani, before he became governor in 1999. … And he wasn’t aware, and I wasn’t aware too that he ever met and discussed with any human being that made him (Chimaroke) governor on the basis of any zoning arrangement… No discussion took place anywhere.
“Then eight years down the line, Sullivan came, and Sullivan is still alive, and he knows that he was not a product of any zoning arrangement. He has said that himself.
“Chimaroke consulted widely and one day he called us and said he was going to present Sullivan Chime as governorship candidate, and that was how Chime became the governor.
“So, eight years down the line, when the two senatorial zones had produced a governor each, … at that time there was heightened request for Adada state, and those of us who were interested in fairness and equity were minded to insist that the next governor should come from Enugu North.
“There was no discussion on zoning.
“Let it be said that Enugu state is based on four cultural zones. We have the Nsukka people; we have the Nkanu people, we have the Udi people, and we have the Awgu people.
“Am sure, if there was any discussion on zoning, that would have been factored in these four cultural zones. But there was none.
“Am sure that you know the cultural zone that has not produced a governor. But that’s not the matter for today….
“I challenge anybody who says there is zoning to tell me when it was discussed, in whose house, and who-and- who were there.
“Some people have accused me of being a product of zoning, but I was never a product of zoning both in the senate and the state. If there was zoning, I won’t be in the senate for five terms.
“Am saying that nobody every sat down in Enugu state to talk about zoning…”
Senator Ekweremadu whose addressed was titled “Pathway to new Enugu state,” promised that if elected governor in 2023, his administration would build at least two industries in each of the 17 local government areas of the state in four years.
On road infrastructure, the former deputy president of the senate, also promised that his administration would build super highways from Enugu city to Ebonyi, Abia, Benue, Anambra borders, and a ring road to connect all local government areas in the state.
According to Senator Ekweremadu, if voted into office, his administration would build special cities in the state including sports, auto, ICT, film/media, agriculture (one in each senatorial zone), health and knowledge cities.
Furthermore, the one-time chairman, Aninri Local Government Area, promised that his administration would embark on urban renewal, and housing programme, consolidation of public primary and secondary schools.
He also promised that the Institute of Management & Technology (IMT) Enugu, would be converted to a degree awarding institution.
Senator Ekweremadu further promised that his administration would provide digital security network to secure the lives and property of residents of the state.