By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—AHEAD of 2019 presidential and general elections, the All Progressives Congress, APC, is in search of very strong and high-profiled personalities in the opposition political party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to join its folds with the aim at ensuring that it wins in the six geo- political zones of the country.
The latest of such personalities being sought after by the APC is the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, PDP, Enugu West, who has been in the Senate since May 2003.
APC is wooing him to dump his party, the PDP, with the assurance that he would be given the presidential ticket for 2023 when the position would then be zoned to the South East at the expiration of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari who is re-contesting in 2019.
According to the APC, with Ekweremadu in APC and becoming the presidential candidate in 2023 from the South East, there would then be the much desired stability in the country.
Speaking yesterday at plenary while eulogizing the Deputy Senate President at 56, Senate Majority leader, Ahmad Lawan, APC, Yobe North who described Ekweremadu as an asset in Nigeria at large and the South East in particular, however pleaded with him to see through the misty, woolly environment and take what he termed, the right decision, adding that he must not stay to rust and waste away in the PDP.
Senator Lawan who noted that he was speaking on behalf of others said, “On behalf of myself, even though without consulting our colleagues here, I am sure all the senators here are with me on this, we pray for many more terms and returns of this day and of course, I will use this opportunity to urge Senator Ike Ekweremadu to see through the mist; this woolly environment and take the right decision.
“You are an asset; don’t stay and rust away or waste away. I am inviting you to consider joining the numerous leaders and elders of the south east who understood that Nigeria needs the commitment of people like you.
“Nigeria needs the unity of everybody to make it better for the masses of this country; Nigeria needs stability and I want to say clearly that you are going to fit in perfectly well. 2023 is here (for you) for the taking.”
Earlier, while congratulating the Deputy Senate President, Ekweremadu who marked his 56the birthday last Saturday, Lawan said, “I congratulate the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu,my neighbour and my boss on his 56th birthday. I want to say that this is a congratulation to commitment, dedication and devotion. Mr. President, our brother here, as far as I can remember, is the longest serving presiding officer in the National Assembly.
“Senator Ike Ekweremadu has been a very loyal and committed deputy president of the senate. First to the Senate President then, Senator David Mark, he excelled in filling the gaps. Whenever there was need for him to come in and preside, all of us in the sixth and seventh senate and in fact, in this current senate, we had to look for our helmets because definitely, skills and speed will come into play.
“We members of the National Assembly, the parliamentarians are the ones to make the parliament or the legislature worthy of its name and be respected. We can do that through committing ourselves to our work and we have a very good example in the deputy president of the senate who has done that for so many years.”