Former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, is bringing his experience to bear as a ranking fourth term Senator in the Ninth National Assembly, Deji Elumoye reports
That former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has gathered a lot of parliamentary experience at the local and international level is not in doubt. He still holds the record as Nigeria’s longest serving presiding officer and one of the longest serving lawmakers, as he clocks 20 years in the Senate by 2023. The Ninth Senate may be Ekweremadu’s last outing as a federal lawmaker having already told his constituents during his 57th birthday in May 2019 to start shopping for his replacement come 2023 as he was no longer interested in returning to the Red Chamber.
Besides his steering the efforts that led to the breaking of the jinx of the constitution amendment in 2010 and recording a plethora of other amendments since then, Ekweremadu has served as both first Deputy Speaker and Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament. The international community appointed him into the International Parliament for Tolerance and Peace as Nigeria’s representative. He is also a member of the International Parliamentary Congress and the Climate Parliament.
Ekweremadu lost his re-election bid as Senate number two man during the inauguration of the 9th Senate on 11th June 2019. Those versed in the politics that midwifed the current Senate revealed that although the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senators-elect had planned to support Senator Francis Alimikhena (APC, Edo), Ekweremadu’s candidacy became an imperative in the early hours of that fateful day when Alimikhena succumbed to party pressure and pulled out at the last hour to allow for Senator Ovie Omo-Agege’s emergence.
Ekweremadu had alluded to this fact while fielding questions from Senate correspondents after the contest. He said: “We believe that there must be a referendum looking at what happened (on 18th April 2018) when I was presiding when the Senate was invaded. I also wanted a situation where Nigerians, especially through their representatives, will be able to present a referendum in respect of what transpired and then be able to either endorse or condemn it. That was all and I and my many of colleagues have made the point”.