Senator Ike Ekweremadu: Eyes on governorship ticket in Enugu State?
On Thursday, July 15, 2021, during its plenary session, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, passed the Electoral Amendment Bill, but jettisoned the most critical aspect of that bill that would have revolutionised our electoral system in line with best practices all over the world. That is the ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF ELECTION RESULTS.
The beauty of democracy is the electoral system. Once the system is jaundiced to the extent that the results released after the voting by the umpire does not reflect the actual voting, then, we one cannot say in all honesty and sincerity that we are practising the democracy of government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
In all elections I monitored, I had observed that we do not have much problem with voting apart from occasional delays in the arrival of election materials; we do not have major problems in the counting of the votes at the polling stations in the presence of voters, again apart from isolated incidents of violence and disruption of counting of the votes by political thugs. Adequate security can take care of these interference.
But where we have major problem that always changed the trajectory of the election and upturned the will of the electorates is the collation and transmission of the election results.
Therefore, with the e-transmission of the election results directly from polling stations to collation centres, these anomalies would be checkmated to an acceptable standard so that the results will reflect the actual voting and the wishes of the electorates; not that it will completely eliminate electoral fraud in our political space.
So on that fateful day, 15th July, 2021, at the Senate plenary, when voting commenced for the approval or rejection of the e-transmission of the election results, when the chips were down, when it mattered most, two Senators from Enugu state, Senator Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, a former Governor of Enugu state, and Senator Prof Ike Ekwerenmadu, immediate past deputy president of the senate, were conveniently absent from the plenary.
It would have been more honourable and dignifying for them to show the world that they have balls between their legs by voting against the e-transmission of the results at the plenary, than by absconding in ignominy, which was a cowardly way of voting NO to e-transmission.
Otherwise, one would have admired their courage and guts if they had stood up and voted No, even though it will not be in tandem with the wishes and aspirations of their people.
But nevertheless, to have abstained from voting in such a crucial national issue amount to a serious dereliction of duty, an embarrassment and betrayal of the sacred trust and mandate given to them by the people of Enugu East and West Senatorial Districts of Enugu state.
Of course, the feelings of the people were never factored into equation to abscond and abstain to from voting. What can the people do?
They are poor, gullible and docile. What really matter to these two distinguished Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in balancing the equation was inordinate ambition and self- preservation? – The EFCC Sword of Damocles, Vice Presidential ticket, Governorship ticket, Ministerial Slot and other political considerations.
What made the matter more painful and pathetic for one is that the Senators represent my two constituencies: Enugu East Senatorial District, where I have resided for over forty years, and casted my votes in elections since the advent of the present democratic dispensation in 1999.
And Enugu West Senatorial District where my ancestral home is situated, and where the remains of my mortal body would be interred when the curtain of the last act of the last scene of my existential drama in this our puppet theatre would be finally drawn.
When little children does something wrong, they do so harmlessly and therefore due allowance is usually made because they often times confuse fantasy with reality; but when adults who know better distort the truth whether deliberately or through negligence and gross irresponsibility, far reaching damage can result.
If it were to be in another clime, of course a sane clime, many people would be calling for their resignation, or the process of their recall initiated immediately.
The autopsy performed by Uche Anichukwu, on the desertion of his principal from the plenary that day was unfortunate. One sees it as an exercise in self adulation and personal aggrandizement.
He just told us how a man whose house was on fire was busy chasing rats. Well, every man has a right to utter what he thinks is truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down.
That epistle chronicling litanies of achievements of his boss was unnecessary. Sorry I have made a mistake it won’t happen again is what we expected to hear from our servant we sent on an errand, but failed to deliver. But you know they are now our lord and master. What an irony.
For me, what transpired with regards to the E-TRANSMISSION of election results was the position of the presidency and APC. You can imagine Senator Kabiru Gaya, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC which recommended the transmission of the election results electronically, voted against it at the plenary.
EMILE ZOLA once said that if you shut up truth and bury it, under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through, it will blow everything in its way.
Finally, before I call it a night, let me use this opportunity to hail Senator Chukwuka Utazi, the only Senator from Enugu state who answered the clarion call when it matters. You were bold to be counted among the progressive elements in the Red Chamber.
Good luck to you.
Cally Ebue, wrote on behalf of the silent majority of the people of Enugu East and West Senatorial Districts