Former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Thursday, formally withdrew his governorship bid in Enugu State.
He stated this in a statement entitled ‘time to unite’. He said his turnaround was informed by the security situation of the region and his desire not to endanger anybody’s life.
The statement reads in part, “In the last two years, we set out to run for the governorship of Enugu State. Our mission was to change the narrative in the governance of our state.
“Our hope was that this would lead to a total recalibration of governance in Nigeria with Enugu State as a starting point.”
He said his desire to provide a pragmatic government in the state informed the formation of Oganiru Ndi Enugu, as well as his blueprint entitled “My Agenda for Enugu State: A Pathway to a New Enugu State”.
According to him, “We were prepared to deliver good governance that would see to the prompt payment of salaries and retirement benefits to our senior citizens. We pledged to build not just roads, but also super highways that would connect our borders with other states and a ring road that would connect our local government areas.
“We were set to deliver water and electricity to our cities and communities as well as impeccable environmental cleanliness.
“We said that we would change the face of tourism with annual festival that would attract the world as well as institutions and facilities that would host conferences and events.
“We promised new Special Cities that would deliver modern agriculture, healthcare, entertainment, ICT, automobile, and sports.
“We were determined to provide jobs to our people to keep them from the temptation to commit crimes and enhance their wellbeing as well as secure their future.”
Ekweremadu regretted that his efforts were tarnished by those who did not mean well for the state.
According to him, “Unfortunately, as we were doing these, some of our compatriots were busy conspiring and planting landmines to frustrate our rescue and transformation mission. We have witnessed betrayals and high level of ingratitude on this journey.
“We have fought a good fight to redefine governance in our dear state. It is time to review this journey and take a well-considered decision for the unity of our state.”
While urging his faithful to remain calm, he called on them to unite in making Enugu State great.
He said, “I respectfully express my deep gratitude to our formidable campaign team, the Ikeoha Campaign Organisation; our diehard supporters; those who have encouraged us financially and logistically; our security team; the youth of Enugu State.
“As long as I live, I promise to stand by you collectively and individually in appreciation. I am pained by the experience of our people, who were injured in the series of senseless attacks on our disciples in the course of this journey as well as many being persecuted, some of whom are still facing sham trials and some in detention for offences they did not commit.
“After considering the current security situation in the South-East…After considering that the things that hold us together as Ndi Enugu will ultimately outlive the treacheries of the moment..
“After receiving assurances from the gubernatorial candidate of our party, Barr Peter Mba, that he would integrate our “Pathway to a New Enugu State” in his programme and his assurances of the participation of everybody in his campaign team and government,
“I, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, hereby formally withdraw from the 2023 gubernatorial contest in Enugu State. I congratulate Barr Peter Mba and wish him success.”