.Warns against muzzling opposition
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu has warned the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against muzzling the opposition. According to Ekweremadu in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, if Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former President Goodluck Jonathan were repressive, APC would not have emerged in 2015.
Speaking when the people of Enugu West came to his residence on Sunday to present him with the PDP nomination form, which they purchased for him, he said he has accepted to run for the Enugu West Senatorial District in the 2019 general elections, insisting that he must return to the Senate in 2019 to continue with his quality representation.
Ekweremadu said multi-party and opposition remained the beauty of democracy, recalling how he supported the APC with the sum of N5 million at its formative stage in 2014 to help expand the political space. “The beauty of democracy is the enlargement of the political space in which everybody is free to participate, bring and exchange ideas, and disagree in order to agree. But we are not seeing that today.
“I will tell you something that is going to shock you. In 2014 when APC started, they wanted to register members in Enugu State. Senator Chris Ngige called me and said they were having problem registering members in Enugu State, and asked if I could help them. I was the Deputy President of the Senate in the PDP, but I gave them N5 million. Ngige is still my witness.
“During that 2015 election, one lady came to me and said she wanted to run against me on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and she needed my support. I said okay, I will start by paying for your nomination form because I believe every party must be given a chance. She lost the election, but I later helped to secure a political position for her.
“Just yesterday, I also got a call from a man who introduced himself as an engineer from Achi, but lives in Jigawa. He later came with his family to tell me that he wanted to run for the Senate in Enugu West. I congratulated him and offered to help purchase his nomination form. But he told me he had already bought his form. He was surprised when I offered to buy form for him. As far as I am concerned, all power belongs to God.
“We should not try to reduce the political space. We must allow people to participate. You can disagree with people, but you must not try to harass them with security agencies and the rest. That is bringing us a lot of embarrassment in the international community” , Ekweremadu stated.
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