Shocks, surprises in Senate as Ngige, Adeyemi, others lose seats
• Mark, Ekweremadu, Akume return
EXPRESSIONS of shock, surprises pervaded the Senate yesterday as election results so far declared by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) indicated the failure of some prominent Senators to get re-elected. Among those who failed to get re-election in the just held senatorial elections include Dr. Chris Ngige, (Anambra Central) who lost to Uche Ekwunife; Senator Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West) who lost to Dino Melaye and Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi of Ekiti North.
However, President of the Senate, David Mark and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu emerged victorious in the elections. Mark who is returning to the Senate for the fifth time scored 99,538 votes to defeat his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Daniel Onje, who scored a total vote of 50,115. In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Ekweremadu, Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been declared the winner of the Enugu West Senatorial seat, having polled 120,075 out of the 123,286 valid votes cast in the Saturday, March 28 senatorial election.
The result, which was announced at Awgu Collation Centre by INEC returning Officer, Professor Fab Onah, showed that 10 candidates contested the election with Ekweremadu’s closest rival, Mrs. Luisa Achieze of APC, who scored 2,314 votes. “By the powers conferred on me, I declare that Senator Ike Ekweremadu of the PDP, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected,” Onah had announced.
In his acceptance speech, Senator Ekweremadu, who said his election was a renewal of a political covenant with his people, expressed appreciation to the electorate of Enugu West, the PDP family, clergies, traditional institutions and his members of staff for standing by him when the going was tough. He added: “About six months ago, it was rather difficult for many people to believe that we would get to this point but eventually, we are here today. It is another evidence that there is God in heaven and I give Him all the glory.
“My commitment to Enugu people and Enugu West in particular has been renewed today. For me, I have the responsibility to serve them much better. I am conscious of the fact that my primary responsibility as a parliamentarian is to make laws and to oversight the executive. Also, I am committed to seeing to it that my people are well catered for by providing infrastructure and attracting projects generally to Enugu State and Enugu West in particular. I am committed to empowering the people to ensure they earn a living,” Ekweremadu stated.
He however, stressed that unity of the people, irrespective of political leanings and disagreements was imperative for accelerated development, assuring that his representation would accommodate everyone. “As for all those who were not particularly in support of my re-election before now, I bear no grudges. I would like to say that we are indeed one people and we are going to march together to the promised land; let everybody come and let us work together in the interest of our people”, he said. Senator Ekweremadu also commended the people of Enugu West for their orderly conduct during the March 28 election, observing that Enugu West “appears to be the most peaceful place all through this period, as we had no problem whatsoever”.
He congratulated the Member representing Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency, Honourable Toby Okechukwu who was re-elected and Honourable Dennis Amadi who was declared winner of Udi and Ezeagu Federal Constituency seat, assuring that they would work together to continue the era of quality representation.