By: Eneh Victor Chigozie
In 2015, after PDP was roundly defeated by APC at the poll, the party leaders came together and constituted a committee to look into what went wrong that led to the defeat and make recommendations on how the party can return to power in 2019.
The Post- Election Review Committee was chaired by Senator Ike Ekweremadu who was the then Deputy Senate President and highest elected PDP public officer in 2015.
The committee in their report said the Presidency should be zoned to the North as it would also assuage any ill-feelings over any perceived breach of the party’s zoning principle.
The committee chaired by Senator Ike Ekweremadu was specific on zoning. It recommended that “zoning principle, which has been the strength of the party, should be strictly adhered to as a matter of urgency at all levels.”
It is very unfortunate that Senator Ike Ekweremadu who chaired the PDP Post Election Review committee in 2015 and recommended that zoning should be strictly adhered to as a matter of urgency at all levels – from national to states including LGAs and wards turned around because of his selfish ambition to champion anti zoning agenda in Enugu state.
This has exposed Ekweremadu as one of the politicians who believe in the politics of ‘it must be me.’ In 2015, Ekweremadu controversially emerged the Deputy Senate President. He immediately began to nurse the ambition of becoming the Vice President in 2019. He worked his way into heading the PDP Post Election Review committee and zoned the 2019 party’s presidential ticket to the north.
He positioned himself to emerge the Vice Presidential candidate and when the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar ignored him and nominated Mr Peter Obi from Anambra state, Ike Ekweremadu rejected the nomination. He quickly mobilised other leaders to reject the choice of Obi.
He made it look like it was Ndigbo that rejected Obi but Atiku Abubakar stood his ground and asked the party to submit Obi’s name and particulars to INEC.
That was how Ekweremadu lost out. He quickly announced that he would not seek re-election for Senate in 2023. But began a behind the scene move to scuttle zoning in Enugu state.
The same Ike who recommended zoning at all levels of the party is here arguing that zoning is unconstitutional and that at no point did ndi Enugu agree on zoning. He did not remember that the recommendation he authored in the PDP Post Election Review committee where the party was advised to implement zoning at all levels equally apply to Enugu state.
The report went ahead to state that the zoning principle, has been the strength of the PDP. Truly, the zoning understanding in Enugu state among the 3 senatorial zones has been the strength of political peace in the state.
In 1999, ndi Enugu East Senatorial (Nkanu) zone produced Dr Chimaroke Nnamani. In 2007, Enugu west senatorial district produced Barr Sullivan Chime. In 2015, Enugu north senatorial (Nsukka) zone produced Rt Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
In 2023, it will return to Nkanu zone. Nkanu zone comprises of Nkanu, Isi-Uzo and part of Ngwo.
Ike Ekweremadu should respect his own recommendation and support zoning in Enugu state.