FREEPRESS – Former deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu has said his decision to re-contest the seat was not to win or lose but to make a statement.
“We need to exonerate ourselves,” Ekwere told journalists on Tuesday. “It was not a contest to win or lose, I wanted to make a statement.”
Ekweremadu, a member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who represents Enugu West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, said 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.
The former deputy Senate president contested and lost the election to Omo-Agege(APC – Delta State Central).
Ekweremadu polled 37 votes to Omo-Agege’s 68 votes.
“I believe there must be a referendum,” Ekweremadu said.
Omo-Agege allegedly 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 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.
“Look at what happened on a day I was presiding and chambers 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.”
Ekweremadu said decided to contest a few hours to the election and “wanted a situation where we could present a referendum in respect of what transpired.”
“Early this morning, we were not minded to run for any office, we thought that our friends in APC in consensus candidate that we can all be proud of, we don’t want a situation where we will say what happened here and you came and endorsed same person Deputy President of the Senate.”
Ekweremadu was nominated by Chukwuka Utazi, a member of the People’s Democratic Party, representing Enugu North federal constituency.
Rose Oko, a senator representing Cross River North seconds the motion.
Ahmed Baba Kaita, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), representing Katsina North also nominated Senator Ovie Omo-Agege representing Delta Central constituency for Deputy Senate President. Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi seconded the motion.
Ekweremadu was first elected Senator in 2003. He was first elected deputy Senate president in 2007 and re-elected twice till the 8th Bukola Saraki led National Assembly.