Former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu may likely join the All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the governorship seat of the Enugu State in 2023.
The twist, SaharaReporters gathered, comes after discussions between Ekweremadu and Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and the National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
They were said to have held a meeting in Abuja on the terms of the agreement before he would join the ruling party.
The closed-door meeting lasted three hours at the party’s secretariat in Abuja.
Sources close to the party secretariat disclosed to SaharaReporters that Ekweremadu requested the governorship ticket of the APC in Enugu State but he was told that the party had already concluded its governorship primaries during which Chief Uche Nnaji emerged as the candidate of the party.
A source said, “The leadership of the party told Ekweremadu to join the party first with his supporters and other positions could be worked out for them.”
“Although Uzodinma disclosed after the marathon meeting ended that he came to see his ‘friend’ for a tete-a-tete, many however believed the meeting was to probably make a case for Ekweremadu who had already been edged out of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) political equation in Enugu state.”
Ekweremadu, who had been in the governorship race of Enugu State under PDP, suddenly announced his withdrawal 24 hours before the primary election, citing irregularities in the April 30 delegates election of the party.
To worsen his case, an Abuja Federal High Court had dismissed suits filed by Ekweremadu’s followers seeking the notification of the delegates’ congress.
The move by the senator to join APC comes hours after Enugu State Chairman of the APC, Ugochukwu Agballah, rejected pleas by Ekweremadu to be given the governorship ticket of the party.
Agballah had described the lawmaker’s demand as “repugnant” and antithetical to the Electoral Act.
The APC chairman further warned that the party would not give Ekweremadu the governorship ticket because the ticket was already won by Nnaji.
Sources within the state chapter of the party disclosed that the state chairman, Agballah and the National Vice Chairman, South East, Dr. Arodiogbu had before the party primaries met Senator Ekweremadu, asking him to join the APC because according to them, it was clear that the PDP would not give him its governorship ticket.
“They told him to join APC early enough so that he could participate in the party’s primaries, but that it would be late if he joins after the primaries and when the party must have elected a candidate,” another source told SaharaReporters.
Ekweremadu was reported to have told them that he would remain in PDP to see the end of the battle therein.
SaharaReporters learnt that key APC members in the state are of the opinion that his bid for the governorship ticket of the party came a little too late.
Members of the party are upbeat about the APC governorship candidate, Nnaji, seeing him as more of a technocrat than a politician.
Some people see him as a politician who prefers to work behind the scene.
In 1999, he won the senatorial seat for Enugu East under his former party, the Alliance for Democracy (AD), but stepped down for the former Anambra State Governor, Chief Jim Nwobodo.
This tends to portray in some circles as a man not desperate for power.