Former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has announced his plan to run for the 2023 Enugu governorship election.
He made the announcement, Friday, at a press conference in Enugu.
Mr Ekweremadu, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), represents Enugu-West District in the Senate.
Elected in 2003, he has spent more than 19 years in the Senate.
Mr Ekweremadu said the position of the governor would provide him with the platform to serve the people of the state, assuring that he would “utilise all the experience, friendship, partnership and global contact acquired over the years to transform Enugu State into a model state” if elected.
“You want to know whether I will run for governor? The answer is yes, I’m running for Governor,” he said.
His declaration has ended months of speculations regarding his interest in the governorship race.
The senator vowed to “restore the faith of the masses on governance” through delivering on his campaign promises. He said his administration would fight corruption and enthrone justice and equity for the people of the state.
“It is now time to focus on Enugu State and Enugu people,” he said.
He promised to solve the perennial water scarcity in Enugu within six months, if elected.
He further said he would set up an independent outfit to address the insecurity in the state.
‘Not aware of any zoning arrangement’
Senator Ekweremadu said he was not aware of any agreement on zoning in Enugu State governorship.
He said he would not have been in the Senate for five terms if there had been a zoning arrangement in the state.
“I challenge any person who said there was zoning (arrangement) to tell us the actual point, in whose house and who and who were there (when the agreement was reached),” he said.
Mr Ekweremadu described zoning as a “political treachery”.
“I have always believed that while we are balancing equity and justice, we must also ensure that there is sufficient content and capacity,” the senator said.
There has been controversy over zoning of the governorship of Enugu State. Although several politicians in the state have thrown their weight behind the said zoning arrangement, it has received knocks from some quarters.
The three districts in the state – Enugu East, Enugu West and Enugu North – held separate mega rallies in 2021 where they endorsed the zoning arrangement in the state.
The districts separately agreed it would be the turn of Enugu-East District to produce the next governor in 2023.
The state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who attended the rallies, is said to favour the zoning arrangement.
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