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Ekweremadu to dump PDP?

By Ismail Omipidan on

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•Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu
•Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu

Slowly, but steadily, a major crisis appears to be brewing in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of next year’s presidential election.

The party still appears divided over the choice of its running mate.

According to Saturday Sun, the cause of the anger and division has nothing to do with the competence of the eventual candidate for the position, former Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi. But sources say it has everything to do with the manner he emerged.

The man at the centre of the fresh crisis, which insiders say was capable of eroding all the gains the party may have recorded so far in its march towards 2019 is the deputy president of the senate, Ike Ekweremadu.

Saturday Sun gathered that long before former vice president and PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, returned to the party, himself and Ekweremadu had been meeting over 2019.

It was the leaks from one of such meetings that made some of the party leaders at the time to allege that Ekweremadu was scheming to hand over the party to Atiku. But that at every of such meetings, even when Atiku was said to have out rightly offered the deputy senate president the vice presidency slot, Ekweremadu would always insist that he was more interested in what the South-East stand to gain as a bloc from his presidency.

Saturday Sun  reports that it was such talks that culminated in the entire South-East giving bloc votes to Atiku, at the just concluded PDP presidential primary, a development that did go down well with some party leaders in the South-south.

“It was a collective decision we took to back Atiku for a number of reasons. One, we had wanted to meet with the South-south to take a common position on that. But one leader in particular treated us as if we didn’t matter. So, when Ekweremadu called us, we met and weighed the options before us based on the offers made by each of the aspirants.

“Now, after the primary, we expected Atiku to come back to us, so we can tidy up the details of our understanding, and move on from there. But that did not happen. The next thing we heard was that announcement of a running mate without recourse to us. Nobody is against Peter Obi’s choice, not even Ekweremadu, who has been asking us to take it easy. But that is not how to go about it, unless Atiku thinks himself and Obi can go it alone in the South-East,” one of the party leaders said.

How Ekweremadu was used and dumped

Insisting that the deputy president of the senate was not fairly treated, one of the party leaders from the South-East further said “No, look at the way they treated Ekweremadu. When all of them left, Ekweremadu remained to fight for the survival of this party. How many of them would have resisted the temptation not to defect in the face of the intimidation, harassment, prosecution and persecution meted out on him? As a person, he had nothing to lose if he had defected then. In fact, he had everything to gain. He probably would have been the senate president because he was offered the slot.

When contacted, Ekweremadu’s spokesman, Mr. Uche Anichukwu pleaded not to be dragged into the matter. He was however quick to add: “I think the South-East leaders have vented their feelings and there is no ill will towards the person of Peter Obi. The deputy president of the senate is more concerned about the collective interest of the South-East going forward.

•Excerpted from Saturday Sun report 

 

Source News Express

Posted 20/10/2018 1:10:33 PM

 

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