* Group Accuses Pat Asadu, Others Of Playing Dirty Politics To Smear Ekweremadu’s Weighty Name…
A former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, was chased away from a soccer game in Ulunya community, Ovoko, Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State by suspected thugs who stormed the pitch shortly after he performed the customary kicked-off ceremony for the football match.
The New Diplomat’s checks reveal that political thugs who are unhappy with the former Deputy Senate President’s decision to sponsor a soccer tournament stormed the venue of the venue of the game, chased away Ekweremadu, threatened his his entourage, pulled down the goal posts, and drove away participants from the event.
The New Diplomat’s investigations show that the action is premised on 2023 political permutations in Enugu state over jostling for various political positions and political spheres of influence in Enugu state, especially in the Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South axis of the state.
Another sources revealed that the incident also has to do with who should run for the Senate seat currently being occupied by Ekweremadu as well as the governorship seat of Enugu state in 2023, respectively. This jostle has escalated various political dynamics in the area, said an insider.
The New Diplomat’s checks further indicate that there is an intense battle for political control of the area between political actors loyal to Ekweremadu and those loyal to a House of Representatives member, Hon Pat Asadu who represents Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Federal Constituency at the Federal House of Representatives.
One account alleged that the political thugs who carried out the action are those loyal to Hon Asadu, thereby linking his name with the political intrigues at play.
Some youths from Ovoko claim that they originally approached Asadu to sponsor the soccer match but he was not forthcoming, a move which compelled them to request Ekweremadu’s sponsorship.
But in a swift reaction, Asadu denied any link with the youths who carried out the action against Ekweremadu, alleging that his name is just being dragged into the matter because of his political weight in the area.
He said: ” At my level, there is hardly anything that would happen in Ovoko and the people won’t call my name. I didn’t know that Ekweremadu was coming to my country home. I only read that on social media. How he came and where he went are his personal businesses which he has a right to embark on.
“Anyone alleging that I hired some boys who pulled down the goal posts where he was to kick-off the football match should provide evidence linking me to the incident.”
He added: “What I noticed was that there was a football tournament which the vigilante group said they should not play because they noticed the politics and the misgivings involved.
“For the 24 years that the tournament held, this is the first time that the football association is inviting someone from Aninri or Orba or any community outside Ovoko to sponsor it. Therefore, some people were not comfortable with the arrangement and they went to court to obtain an order to stop it.”
On his part, the former deputy Senate President expressed appreciation to the youths for their peaceful conduct, saying he would not be discouraged by the dishonorable action of a few disgruntled elements in supporting noble initiatives in the State.
Ekweremadu promised to continue to support Ovoko Football Association as an avenue for discovering soccer talents in the area.
Ekweremadu further pledged to undertake additional massive development projects that would continue to positively transform his Senatorial zone in particular and Enugu state in general.
Meanwhile, some youths in the area blamed the misconduct of the youths on political actors loyal to a House of Representatives member, Hon Pat Asadu who represents Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Federal Constituency at the Federal House of Representatives.
They accused Hon Asadu of encouraging and mobilizing the unruly youths against the former deputy Senate President.
One of the youths alleged: ” It is big shame that some one in the House of Representatives could come so low as to encourage thugs against a big political figure like Ekweremadu.”