By Ikenna Nwandu
IN discussing the legacy of Mr. Ike Ekweremadu, deputy president of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we must put a stone on our hearts and judge him for his work. If we do this, truth will leap at us. In his life, in the values that he represents and stands for,the way he has conducted himself as the 5th highest public Citizen while being subjected to the greatest scrutiny, has shown that power can go hand in hand with integrity, modesty and politeness.
What I have seen in the past couple of years is a man who has stood upright in an unprecedented storm of furious resistance and intimidation. Much of it is driven by an unwillingness in certain quarters to accept the legitimacy of the deputy senate president from an opposition party.
We have seen in Senator Ekweremadu someone who has fought for what he believes is right,who has constantly advocated for a more inclusive governance irrespective of tribal inclination. Someone who has spoken intelligently and deeply on matters of security, youth empowerment and on the true meaning of what it takes to be a patriotic Nigerian. The manner in which he has comported himself even with the sudden change from power to opposition is the ideal in contemporary society.
Senator Ekweremadu is a dogged fighter who has shown that the word, success, is a continuous adventure that needs extra measure of commitment and a high sense of responsibility targeted at making life more meaningful for his people.
Since assumption of public office, events have unveiled his dogged approach to managing political crises, even those which emanated from frivolous accusations and smear campaigns from political opponents. Yet, Senator Ekweremadu has triumphed successfully without the use of uncouth words popularly associated with our politicians. He is distinguished in many respects, very accessible, friendly, accommodating and humble.The manner in which he has taken it upon himself to ensure that many youths (not just from his constituency but all over the nation) are empowered through job creation, scholarships and business grants, is a true mark of his sterling leadership style.
From the chairman of his community age grade at the tender age of 10, and later, his outstanding performance as the president of his community’s town union, enabled him to win an election as the pioneer chairman of his local government. His continuous hard work saw him appointed as the chief of staff to the Enugu State Governor; shortly after, he was promoted to the office of the Secretary to the State Government until he was elected as senator in 2003, then becoming the deputy senate president from 2007 till date.
Time has shown that whatever is hidden in the dark shall come to light andSenator Ekweremadu’s continuous growth even in the most uncommon circumstances, has shown how he is a man ordained by God and his people. I would like to use this opportunity to wish Senator Ekweremadu a happy birthday and also say thank you for being a true visionary which has yielded great results for the benefit of others.