Former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, says at no time did he attack the former governor of Anambra State and presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, asking the public to discountenance such reports as the work of mischief-makers, who deliberately twisted his innocuous statement out of context.
Ekweremadu said he had no reason whatsoever to attack Obi’s ambition, noting that they enjoyed a good relationship as brothers and friends, who were both entitled to the political opinions and pursuits.
He was reacting to a news story, in which he said that Ndigbo “would never vote for Peter Obi”, describing it as political mischief.
Speaking in a statement signed by his media aide, Uche Anichukeu, the former Deputy President of the Senate said: “My attention has been drawn to the work of mischief-makers, who claimed that I attacked my friend and brother, Mr Peter Obi, over his presidential ambition. This is far from the truth, as there was no reason to do so in the first place. We are both adults and entitled to our respective political pursuits and inclinations.
“I have also read a statement by one Ugwuoke Ibem Ugwuoke, gloating over the unfortunate attack on my person when I spent several days in Germany a few years ago at my personal cost to meet with several foreign investors for the betterment of Igboland at the invitation of Ndigbo in Germany and with the full knowledge of several Igbo Governors and leaders.
“I have also read his wild insinuations and misrepresentations of my person over my political dispositions when in actual sense I have stuck out my neck in defence of Igbo interest on a good number of occasions.
“Where was he when in 2007 I led South-East Senators to negotiate the release of the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike from detention?
“Where was he when I took the necessary steps, including galvanising the South-East Senate Caucus and notable Ndigbo to see to the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu?
“Where was he was when I was the only Igbo man to do an open and well-publicised letter, “Rising Tension in the South East: Re: Appeal to Call Off Operation Egwu Eke”, dated 14th September 2017, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to end the Python Dance after my quiet interventions failed?
“Where was he when I galvanised the South-East Caucus of the National Assembly yet again towards finding a political solution to the current incarceration of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and also led some Igbo leaders, including former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador Okey Emuchay; and Co-Chair, Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, to meet with him in the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS) in January 2022?
“I urge Ndigbo and Nigerians to be very discerning and reticent in political seasons like this when many are out to do mischief and make political capital out of every situation at all cost”.
Ekweremadu, however, said he was happy that most Ndigbo and leaders appreciate his quiet efforts, adding that he would never be discouraged by the ingratitude and mischief of a few.