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I Stand With Ike Ekweremadu — Olisa Metuh

Flashback January, 2016: Arrested, arraigned and facing the most vicious media trial in hi story, attendant with draconian bail conditions and with many running under cover, the then deputy Senate President rose in his full paraphernalia and came to Federal High Court to stand as my personal surety for my bail.

Many were shocked about the daring move by the Senator, who as the DSP was the sixth highest ranking leader in Nigeria, and it was incomprehensible that he would stand surety to a man being pursued vigorously by the government. For him, I guess, it was a testament to his commitment to friendship and secondly, it was an issue he had a bit of knowledge about.

Exactly a year before the arrest, the DSP and Osita Chidoka(coincidentally another Surety) were disturbed about allegations over a reported N400m given to me by President Jonathan. A very high ranking aide of President Jonathan from the North(fuelled by peer envy) had unleashed a rumour that I took N400m from the President and bolted. I took time to explain to both of them on how the money was for a National assignment and I showed the details of all the expenditure complete with receipts(my Dad taught me well). I showed them how major aides of President Jonathan handled various aspects of the assignment and mentioned Anenih, Okupe, Douglas, and Prof Galadinci as those that handled and supervised some aspects of that assignment. I, on my part, supervised the consultant, Badejo and a few others. My friends were pleasanty surprised and fully satisfied with my detailing.

A few days later my pastor, Apostle Israel Abam, confronted me with same allegations and I now had to report the matter to Chief Annenih on the damage being done to my name. It was then that I discovered that I had become a victim of a more sinister play by some presidential aides who felt I needed to be subservient, subordinated and controlled by them. We had a big battle in December 2014 when I refused to author a release I knew was a complete negation of the ideals and values of the pdp and indeed injurious to the image and fortunes of our party with Muslims and Northerners. Sadly and regrettably this was stretched to the attempt to blackmail and distance some of us in NWC from the 2015 campaign.

In any case the events of 2015 are matters for another day and time, but for now, this piece is on Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

I have no regrets for standing with a man I have known for 40years as a kind, amiable and humble fellow. A man committed to family, friendship and the people. Ike is a detailed mind, a good soul and has never sought to hurt or take advantage of others.

Men like Senator Ike Ekweremadu have remained faithful to childhood friends, village age-grade mates, old classmates, political and social acquaintances. He is so reachable and has a listening ear. Ike is a friend’s friend and a brother’s brother.

Ike Ekweremadu is my friend and I am proud to stand with him through thick and thin. Ike has shown mercy to others and may the good Lord show him mercy. May God show him and his lovely wife mercy over judgement, in Jesus name.

May we also remember the children, especially Sonia, in our prayers today.

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