By Charles Onyekwere
There are strong i n d i c a t i o n s that a high level discussion has reached advanced stage for a former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, to join the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This follows his inability to actualize his 2023 gubernatorial ambition on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State. Ekweremadu and Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, on Monday, met with the National Chairman of the APC Senator Abdullahi Adamu in a closed-door- meeting in Abuja. The closed-door meeting lasted three hours at the party’s secretariat.
Sources close to the party secretariat disclosed that although Ekweremadu requested for the governorship ticket of the party in Enugu State, but he was told that the party had already concluded it’s guber primaries where Chief Uche Nnaji, Nwakaibie, emerged candidate of the party.
The Trumpet gathered that the party told the former deputy senate president to join the party first with his supporters and other positions could be worked for him. Although Uzodinma disclosed after the marathon meeting ended that he came to see his ‘friend’ for a tete-a-tete.
Many believed the meeting was to probably make a case for Ekweremadu who has already been edged out of the Peoples Democratic Political (PDP) political equation in Enugu State.
The embattled ex-Deputy Senate President was reported to have told the leadership of APC that he would consult and revert back. E k w e r e m a d u , who had been in the governorship race of Enugu State under PDP, suddenly announced his withdrawal, 24 hours before the gubernatorial primaries, citing irregularities in the April 30 delegates election of the party.
To make the matter worse, an Abuja Federal High Court had dismissed suits filed by Ekweremadu’s acolytes seeking the nullification of the delegates congress.
The move by the senator to join APC was coming hours after Enugu State Chairman of the APC, Ugochukwu Agballah, rejected pleas by Ekweremadu to pick the governorship ticket of the party. Agballah had described the lawmaker’s demand as “repugnant” and antithetical to the Electoral Act.
The APC chairman further warned that the party would not give Ekweremadu the governorship ticket because the ticket was already won by Chief Nnaji, a political grandmaster who had made many governors across Nigeria.
Sources within the state chapter of the party disclosed that the state chairman, Agballah and the national Vice Chairman, South East, Dr. Ijeomah Arodiogbu, had before the party primaries met Senator Ekweremadu to join the APC because according to them it was clear PDP would not give him the guber ticket.
They therefore told him to join APC early enough so that he could participate in the party’s primaries, but that it would be late if he joins after the primaries and when the party must have elected a candidate.
Ekweremadu was reported to have told them that he would remain in PDP to see the end of the battle therein. APC members therefore believe that his bid for the guber ticket of the party is a little too late. Members of the party are upbeat about the APC flag bearer, Nnaji, as they said he is not a strange bed-fellow with politics. They said he has been a political grandmaster who had preferred to work behind the scene.