The Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP BoT, has condemned the ongoing trial of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, over alleged forgery of Senate Rules as a frame-up, saying it was a deliberate plot to tarnish his person.
Speaking yesterday when the BoT paid a solidarity visit to the PDP Senate Caucus at the National Assembly Complex, leader of the delegation and Chairman of the PDP BoT, Senator Walid Jibril, noted that as fathers and conscience of the party, the BOT could not sit and watch the framing-up of the Deputy President of the Senate on trumped-up charges of forgery, apparently for political reasons.
Ekweremadu, speaking on the occasion, said that a number of senators belonging to the All Progressives Congress, APC were making enquiries towards joining the PDP on account of what he claimed as the reign of tyranny in the ruling party.
Also yesterday, Ekweremadu affirmed that the current structure of the country’s federalism, which he chose to describe as feeding bottle federalism, was the cause of the country’s “economic quandary.”
He spoke at the 2nd Annual Conference of the Young Parliamentarians Forum, which had its theme as “Political /Economic Inclusion & Participation of Young People in Nigeria” organised at the National Assembly, Abuja.
Senator Jibril, the chairman of the PDP BoT speaking during the courtesy call on Ekweremadu, said: “We are here to show solidarity and recognise the leadership of Senator Ekweremadu, especially when we hear stories of what is happening to him.
We are here to give our total support to him over the recent framing of him in an alleged forgery case, because we cannot, as fathers and conscience of the party, sit down and just watch.”
“Senator Ekweremadu is a man of integrity with a high record of performance. We want to advise strongly that nobody should try to tarnish his personality and we are strongly calling for fair hearing and justice in the attempt to rope-in Senator Ekweremadu for political reasons.
“He was elected Deputy President of Senate by 48 PDP senators with the support of APC Senators, which is a good ingredient of our democracy. No attempt should be made to rope him in. He should be left alone to continue the good service to the country,”.
On his part, another ranking member of the BoT and former President of the Senate, Adolphus Wabara, noted that the era of executive interference in legislative business, was over given the spirit of support among Senators.
He said unlike before, the other 14 South East Senators were not interested in the seat of the Deputy President of Senate, but were rather behind Ekweremadu, just as the overwhelming number of Senators were solidly behind Saraki and Ekweremadu leadership, adding that the unity of purpose was one big lesson the executive should learn.
“I speak as a victim of executive interference in the legislature. During our own time, there was not the kind of unity being exhibited by the Senators today.
I want to commend and salute you all for that. The last time the two Presiding Officers went to court, as I watched on television, I was moved to tears. The court was on vacation, and no one had the courtesy of informing them before hand.
“The time they would have used to attend to the nation’s task, was wasted, going to court. It is high time the executive realizes that the era of executive interference was over,” Wabara, added.
Responding, Senator Ekweremadu expressed gratitude to the BoT members for its show of solidarity and support, which he said showed that it was not only the conscience of the PDP, but also of the country as well.
He said: “Today, I believe and I am speaking the minds of my colleagues, that so many members of the National Assembly from the other parties are prepared to return to the PDP because they have seen that they made a mistake in the last election by voting APC and they are also seeing that PDP remains the biggest, greatest and the most focused party in Nigeria.”