Telephone calls made by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus, and the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, to the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, were said to have pacified Ekweremadu and made him drop his alleged threat to leave the party, according to Punch.
Ekweremadu is believed to be angry that he was not picked for the position of the running mate to Atiku in next year’s election.
As the highest political office holder in the party from the South-East where the position was zoned to Ekweremadu was believed to have positioned himself for the slot.
He was also said to have been sidelined in the decision-making that led to the picking of a former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, as Atiku’s running mate.
Ekweremadu was believed to have wondered what would be his position in both the party and the government if Atiku wins the presidency.
A member of the National Working Committee of the party, who spoke on condition of anonymity with our correspondent, said Ekweremadu’s fear was justified.
He said, “It is clear to us that the South-East will not produce the DSP in Atiku’s government. It will not also have any special role to play in the party as well. So, what will become of Ekweremadu? Will he return to the Senate as an ordinary member?”
However, when the threat to leave the party became rife, both Secondus and Atiku were said to have made telephone calls to Ekweremadu to assure him of the party’s respect for him.
Ekweremadu is presently out of Nigeria.
“I can tell you that both Secondus and Atiku had called Ekweremadu. They had asked him not to be worried and that the party had tremendous respect for him,” the source added.
I remain a member of the PDP, says Ekweremadu
Meanwhile, Ekweremadu has debunked reports that he was headed to the ruling All Progressives Congress, noting that he remained a member of the PDP.
In a statement on his Facebook page, @iamekweremadu, on Wednesday, the senator said, “I am presently out of the country on a prescheduled engagement.
“In the past 24 hours, I have been inundated with calls from friends and political associates seeking clarification on the rumours of my departure from the PDP, which has dominated the media.
“Let it be known that my path in politics is in the hands of the Almighty God, who has indeed been very faithful and gracious to me. I’m very grateful to God for this.
“My vision in politics is a system that works for everybody, a social and political environment where everybody, every section, and every tribe not only counts but is also seen to count. As leaders, we must be mindful of this, for any system built on anything less will not endure.
“I am grateful to you – members of my family, my friends, political associates, and admirers across Nigeria and beyond – for your uncommon concern. I am indeed humbled by your kind words of solidarity and support.
“Please, rest assured that I am still in the PDP.”