The youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has warned against the removal of Senator Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President.
Ekweremadu is currently standing trial alongside Senate President Bukola Saraki and two others on allegations of forgery of the Senate rules book.
The youths gave the warning less than 24 hours after Ekweremadu told members of Enugu State Economic Advisory Committee, who paid him a solidarity visit at his residence in Enugu yesterday, that the only offence he committed that warranted his being charged for alleged forgery was his emergence as deputy Senate president against the wishes of the “powers that be”.
The youths, who spoke under the aegis of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, said any attempt to remove Ekweremadu will fail as Nigerians are comfortable with the current leadership of the senate.
In a statement signed and issued by the co-coordinator Abuja and Liaison Officer, Northern Region, Obasi Ogbonnaya, the Ohanaeze Youth pointed out that the South East, where Ekweremadu hails from, is also comfortable with his achievements in the Senate.
“His Constituency in Enugu East Senatorial zone and the entire South East are feeling his impact”, the youths said.
The statement continued: “We have gotten information that some hatchet persons from the South East APC have been busy lobbying the Senate membership and the Presidency to lend their support to the devilish plan to threaten the office of the Senate President. We warn such people to desist from such ill-fated moves as it is bound to fail”.
It further said the fact that there is now an All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator from Imo State, does not mean that such persons will begin to try what it said was the “impossible” as the South East and Nigerians in general, will resist any move to change the current leadership of the Senate.
The APC candidate, Ben Uwajumogu, was declared winner of the July 28 Imo North senatorial district re-run election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, leading to a statement by the state governor and Chairman of APC Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha, that Ekweremadu’s seat was under threat.
Following the victory of the APC in the 2015 general elections, the South East was favoured to produce the Senate President but following the defeat of all the party’s candidates in the senatorial elections conducted in the region, the position was zoned to the North.
However, a deft political calculation by Mr. Saraki, who secured the support of some senators from his party and the minority Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, paved the way for Ekweremadu, who was elected on the latter’s platform, to emerge deputy Senate president to the chagrin of the APC, which has not forgiven him or the Senate president.
Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu, by virtue of his position, is the highest ranking PDP member and politician from the South East in the present political dispensation but that is also under threat by the forgery charges against him, Saraki and two others.
Not oblivious of the forces gathering against Mr. Ekweremadu, the Ohanaeze youths expressed confidence in the “cerebral and patriotic minds” in the Senate, who they said will not lend themselves to any plan to change their leadership.
They, however, warned “busy body persons of South East extraction, who may lend themselves to be used for any such unpatriotic move to prepare to face the wrath of Ndigbo and Nigerians. Such persons will be declared persona non grata in Igbo land”.