Exodus of Senators looms in APC: Ekweremadu

Posted by News Express | 20 July 2016 | 3,868 times

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Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday disclosed that many aggrieved senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political parties were making frantic efforts to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Ekweremadu’s revelation came as PDP Board of Trustee (BoT) paid a solidarity visit to the party’s members in the National Assembly, following his legal travails on alleged forgery case.

Speaking while hosting the PDP BoT, Ekweremadu said the senators, most of who are from the ruling APC, were making arrangements to join the PDP, because they have realised they made mistake, adding that there is no party that not only has the interest of Nigerians but also believes in the rule of law like the PDP.

He said: “Today, I believe and I am speaking the minds of my colleagues, that so many members of the National Assembly from the other parties are prepared to return to the PDP, because they have seen that they made a mistake in the last election by voting APC and they are also seeing that PDP remains the biggest, greatest and the most focused party in Nigeria.”

He noted that the return of the country to his party would start with the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo State, adding that the Senate is going on recess tomorrow and all PDP members have decided that the period would be spent mobilising people of Edo.

“The signs are quite clear and our people there are doing extremely well, the signs are obvious that we are going to win the election. So, all of us need to show commitment so that we will be able to get back Edo State and also retain Ondo State, whose election is in the pipeline, before the end of the year,” he said

The PDP BoT has equally condemned the ongoing trial of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, over alleged forgery of Senate Rules, saying it was a deliberate plot to tarnish the personality and Office of the Deputy President of the Senate.

Chairman of the PDP BoT, Senator Walid Jibril, noted that as fathers and conscience of the party, the BOT could not sit and watch the framing-up of the Deputy President of the Senate on trumped-up charge of forgery, apparently for political reasons.

He further said that, while not trying to preempt the outcome of the case already before the court, the party said it would gladden its heart to see that fairness and justice were applied in the matter, declaring that any attempt to remove the Deputy President of the Senate, would not augur well for the nation’s democracy, since Senator Ekweremadu was elected to the position by the support of PDP and APC Senators.

The BoT Chairman added: “We are here to show solidarity and recognise the leadership of Senator Ekweremadu, especially when we hear stories of what is happening to him. We are here to give our total support to him over the recent framing of him in an alleged forgery case, because we cannot, as fathers and conscience of the party, sit down and just watch.

“Senator Ekweremadu is a man of integrity with a high record of performance. We want to advise strongly that nobody should try to tarnish his personality and we are strongly calling for fair hearing and justice.

“He was elected Deputy President of Senate by 48 PDP senators with the support of APC Senators, which is a good ingredient of our democracy. No attempt should be made to rope him in. He should be left alone to continue the good service to the country,” he said.

On his part, another ranking member of the BoT and former President of the Senate, Adolphus Wabara, noted that the era of executive interference in legislative business was over, given the spirit of support among Senators.

He said unlike before, the other 14 Southeast Senators were not interested in the seat of the Deputy President of Senate, but were rather behind Ekweremadu, just as the overwhelming number of Senators were solidly behind Saraki and Ekweremadu leadership, adding that the unity of purpose was one big lesson the executive should learn.

“I speak as a victim of executive interference in the legislature. During our own time, there was not the kind of unity being exhibited by the Senators today. I want to commend and salute you all for that. The last time the two Presiding Officers went to court, as I watched on television, I was moved to tears. The court was on vacation, and no one had the courtesy of informing them before hand.

“The time they would have used to attend to the nation’s task was wasted, going to court. It is high time the executive realises that the era of executive interference was over,” Wabara added.

•Text courtesy of The Guardian. Photo shows Senator Ekweremadu.

Source: News Express

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