- Deputy Senate Presidency: I didn’t contest to win – Ekweremadu Thomas Imonikhe
Senator Ali Ndume representing Borno South Senatorial district, who contested the office of the 9th Senate President without success, has appealed to his party, All Progressives Congress (APC) not to see his decision to contest for the Senate Presidency against the Party’s choice and eventual winner, Senator Ahmed Lawan, as an act of rebellion.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the election that produced Senator Ahmed Lawan as President of the Senate, Ndume congratulated Lawan and promised to work with him in the interest of the country.
He described Lawan as a well-experienced lawmaker who was four years ahead of him, adding that he happily contested the election which he believes was in tandem with democracy.
Ndume was optimistic that his party, the APC would not see his action as a rebellion, but in deepening democracy.
He added that what he did made the election of the President of the Senate credible, adding, “Ahmed Lawan is my brother who is well experienced having been here four years ahead of me. I will give him all the necessary supports. I insisted on contesting against him in order to deepen democracy.
“I hope the party would agree with me that what I did was in the interest of democracy and I do know that power belongs to God. It’s God’s will that my colleague becomes the President. I will do all I can with others for him to succeed because his success is our success.”
Meanwhile, the decision to contest for Deputy Senate President was in protest of the 2018 invasion of the Senate, Enugu West Senator, Ike Ekweremadu, has said.
Mr Ekweremadu said it is ’embarrassing’ for the Senate to have as it’s Deputy Senate President a lawmaker who led thugs to the chamber.
This, he said, informed his decision to contest for the position.
Mr Ekweremadu polled just 37 votes losing to Mr Omo-Agege who had 68.
Mr Omo-Agege allegedly led thugs to invade the senate chamber in April, last year, and forcefully remove the mace.
Speaking to journalists after his loss on Tuesday, Mr Ekweremadu said his failure to clinch the deputy senate president position again does not matter.
“I believe there must be a referendum,” he said.
“Look at what happened on a day I was presiding and chambers invaded. 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. I wanted a situation where we could present a referendum in respect of what transpired.”
Mr Ekweremadu said he did not contest to win. He said the decision was only taken a few hours to the election.
“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. We need to exonerate ourselves. It was not a contest to win or lose, I wanted to make a statement.”
Mr Ekweremadu was first elected Senator in 2003 and has since continued to win re-election.
In 2007, he emerged the Deputy Senate President, a position he held till a few days ago.
However, congratulating Lawan and Ovie Omo-Agege, Ekweremadu appreciated his colleagues, constituents and Nigerians for their support, noting that he had made his point.
Ekweremadu, who took to his social media handles after the inauguration of the Ninth Senate, said: “I congratulate the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan and my successor as Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege on their elections.
“I especially appreciate my colleagues, who supported me as I vied for the office again to preserve the hallowedness and honour of the Senate and uphold equity as a priceless ingredient for building a Nigeria of our dreams.
“I have made my point and my colleagues have made their choice. It is now for us all to join hands across all divides to work for the success of the Ninth Senate and National Assembly as well as the peace and prosperity of our nation.
“I am deeply indebted in gratitude to the good people of Enugu West and well-meaning Nigerians, whose support and prayers have seen me this far. They can rest assured that I will continue to give them quality representation.”