State governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress have resolved to do all within their powers to ensure that Senator Ike Ekweremadu is removed as the Deputy President of the Senate, The PUNCH has learnt.
Punch correspondent learnt that this was the fallout of the two-hour meeting the governors had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.
The Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum and Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, had initially told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that the governors had decided to intervene in the crisis in the National Assembly, without giving details of their intervention.
But a source at the meeting told one of our correspondents that the consensus at the meeting was that it was an aberration for Ekweremadu, who is a Senator from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, to continue in office as Deputy President of the Senate.
The source stated,
“The governors sympathised with the President (Buhari) for working with a National Assembly that is largely seen as unfriendly.Okorocha had, on Monday, said Ekweremadu should get ready to vacate his seat as the Deputy Senate President.
“Particularly, they observed that in the absence of the President of the Senate, the next person is his deputy. They therefore agreed that it was an anomalous situation for a PDP person to continue as the Deputy President of the Senate.
“They sought and got the President’s permission to intervene in the matter in their own way.
“They argued that the truth of the matter is that rarely is there any Senator that emerged without the backing of their governors, hence the governors have some levels of influence on the federal lawmakers.”
Okorocha had added that a candidate of the APC, Benjamin Uwajumogu, who contested in the last Saturday’s rerun senatorial election in Imo State, would displace Ekweremadu as soon as he joined the Senate.
The governor had said, “The position of Senator Ike Ekweremadu as the Deputy Senate President is at the moment under heavy threat because in no distant time, the APC senator-in-waiting from Imo State, Benjamin Uwajumogu, will take over the seat on the grounds that it is an aberration that a PDP senator from the South-East is deputy to an APC Senate President because, before now, APC could not produce a Senator from the South-East zone.”