I did not contest to win – Ekweremadu

Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP-Enugu), on Tuesday, June 11, disclosed the real reason he contested for the deputy Senate president’s seat during the inauguration of the 9th Senate in Abuja.

Ekweremadu, who represents Enugu West Senatorial District, made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen shortly after the election at the National Assembly complex. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ekweremadu, who is the immediate past deputy Senate president, and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege vied for the position.

While Ekweremadu scored 37 votes out of the 105 votes, Omo-Agege polled 68 votes to emerge the new deputy Senate president.

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He said he decided to contest in protest against the nomination of Omo-Agege for the position of the number-two man of the 9th Senate. ”I believe that there must be a referendum looking at what happened when I was presiding when the Senate was invaded.

”It would have been very embarrassing that somebody who led that operation would just be asked to take a bow and would be endorsed and we all walkover as if it doesn’t matter.

”So I wanted a situation where Nigerians, especially through their representatives, will be able to present a referendum in respect of what transpired and then be able to either endorse or condemn it,” he said.

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On when he took the decision, he said: ”Only this morning because actually we weren’t minded to run for any office but we thought that our friends in APC will be able to come up with another candidate.”

On how he felt with the outcome of the election, he said: ”I think that God has just given me that opportunity to have a rest. “For over 20 years I have been very busy with politics, with leadership, with governance.

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So I think this is an opportunity for me to have a rest and reflect on so many other things.” The lawmaker said he hoped that the present Senate would ”be able to wake up to the current challenges of insecurity, unemployment and issue of disunity, among others, which are staring the nation in the face.”

“I think these are issues we have to work with the executive closely to address outside the party lines,” he said. He said without tackling some of these fundamental issues, the country would not make any progress.

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