The All Progressives Congress (APC), Enugu State chapter, has sworn to stop a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator from becoming Deputy Senate President again. An opposition PDP Senator, Ike Ekweremadu, representing Enugu West senatorial district for his fourth consecutive term, currently occupies the position of Deputy Senate President.
But Dr. Ben Nwoye, the Enugu State Chairman of the APC, declared on Wednesday that no PDP senator would become Deputy Senate President again.
Nwoye made the declaration at a press conference to announce his decision to seek re-election with all the members of his executive during the Enugu State congress on Saturday. The party chairman said he decided to contest for the second time to ensure that Enugu State APC elects political office holders in 2019 and that no PDP senator becomes Deputy Senate President again.
Nwoye recalled that under his leadership, for the first time in 2015, an opposition party was allowed to campaign at Michael Okpara Square in Enugu and he organised progressives from the 260 wards in the state to receive President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said before then, they used to say that opposition did not exist in Enugu, but Enugu State APC was able to prove that there were people who needed to be somewhere other than PDP.
“Unfortunately, results were written in 2015 in Enugu State and they allocated 14,000 votes to Buhari. We started discussing with the people who were bigwigs of PDP to come over to APC.
“Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu, a former national secretary of defunct SDP, a former PDP bigwig, came over to APC. We went to his home at Akpugoeze, Oji River LGA, to receive him. We saw the likes of Jim Nwobodo, a former Governor of old Anambra State and former Senate President, Ken Nnamani join APC.
“We put together a force to receive into APC, Eugene Odo, a two-time Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly. We received immediate past Governor, Sullivan Chime, and many of his commissioners with the former PDP women leader into APC,” Nwoye said.
He equally noted that it was under his leadership that business mogul, Emperor Baywood Ibe, defected from PDP to APC. Nwoye said today, Emperor Ibe and Ken Nnamani are members of the National Convention planning committee.
He equally recalled that when Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofrey Onyeama was appointed to represent Enugu State in the Federal Executive Council (FEC), he mobilised the entire Enugu State APC to support his appointment. Nwoye said he went on grassroots membership drive in Enugu State and today, APC has over 295,000 registered members in the state.
He said Enugu State chapter of APC was the first to endorse President Muhammadu Buhari for a second tenure so that Ndigbo would get the presidency in 2019.
He said under his leadership, for the first time, an opposition party presented candidates for councillorship position in the 260 wards across the state as well as the 17 local government chairmanship seats.
Nwoye used the opportunity to disown Deacon Okey Ogbodo and Steve Oruruo, whom he said had been parading themselves as APC chairmanship candidates, saying they were not registered members of the party.
Also at the press conference were the chairmen of the 17 local government chapters of Enugu State APC, who endorsed Nwoye and his entire executive for re-election.