Distinguish Senator Ike Ekweremadu is a political gladiator who understands the internal dynamics of national politics. He has demonstrated strong political will, unflinching determination, undying resilience and unsurmountable audacity ever since the mantle of national leadership was clinched by the ruling All Progressive Congress in 2015.
One unique characteristic of the former National Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is that he is a silent political mobilizer with an intimidating followership and an organized structure that transcends his senatorial zone.
Enugu politics is so unique for its conventional means of rotating power among the three Senatorial Zones that make up the State. It’s undoubtedly the stronghold of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) owing to the unquenchable dominance of the party since the inception of the Fourth Republic. Infact, it is a common understanding that any candidate that succeeds in clinching the party’s ticket in the primary election is already cruising to victory. This an age-long practice which has disorganized the camps of the opposition parties and made them appear powerless.
Enugu political landscape has been thrown into quagmire ever since distinguished Senator Ekweremadu declared his intentions to join the gubernatorial race.
Notable stakeholders, as well as, political elders have challenged the senator’s gubernatorial decision, adding that the rotation principle (zoning) is sacrosanct and cannot be tampered with. They argued that it’s the turn of Enugu East to produce the next governor; a position which Ekweremadu debunked as untrue, stating there was never a zonal arrangement in Enugu politics.
However, Senator Ekweremadu has maintained that it’s his inalienable democratic right to contest as it is, indeed, that of any other Nigerian. Here, we shall look at just two factors that may increase Ekweremadu’s chances of clinching his party’s gubernatorial ticket, as well as cruising to victory in the gubernatorial election come 2023.
It’s a truism that Nigerian politics is unique in the sense that one quality electorates consider before making their political choices is political experience, irrespective of other personal achievements of the aspirant.
If experience should be considered a critical factor in the 2023 gubernatorial election in Enugu State, then Ekweremadu has better chances than any other candidate, considering his wealth of political knowledge, as well as, his intimidating political profile.
The one-time National Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, started humbly as a local government chairman under the platform of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in 1997 and won the best Council Chairman of the year. With the emergence of the Fourth Republic in 1999, he joined the Enugu State Government and was appointed Chief of Staff in 2001, later he became Secretary to the Government of Enugu State. Ekweremadu’s political history recorded a huge acceleration when he was elected into the Senate by the people of Enugu West Senatorial Zone in 2003.
Ekweremadu has been a critical figure in the Nigerian Senate having chaired different standing and ad-hoc committees of the house. The height of his political ascendancy was in 2007 when he became the Deputy Senate President, a position which he held till 2019. So judging by experience, he has a better understanding of the job.
• Grassroots Mobilization
He is a grass-roots politician, well-vexed in the art of statecraft. As a politician that started from the cradle, he is a master in the art of organizing people at the most local level to take political action. His face-to-face approach is a strategy that has always paid off.
Ekweremadu is one of the Enugu political movers that advocates for a cause and protests a policy. His grassroots effort in mobilizing people to turn out and vote, explains why he has been in the Nigerian Senate for nineteen years and still counting.
The former Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament has more of the backing of the people, rather than party bigwigs.
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