Saturday, August 6, 2011
Ume-Ezeoke dies, finally
Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke
After the 1983 elections, the NPN, with a stronger stand in the National Assembly did not need an alliance to rule. Benjamin Chaha of the NPN from Benue State was the Speaker in the later part of 1983 when the military struck.
Those were the days when zoning, in the obstructive manner it is being practised, had no place. Profundity attended decisions.
Ume-Ezeoke was from Anambra State like the Vice President Dr. Alexander Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme. From Cross River State came President of the Senate Dr. Joseph Wayas. The National Assembly worked in more harmony with membership from the four political parties.
Politics of compromise was part of Ume-Ezeoke and this haunted him in later life. His massive disagreement with General Muhammadu Buhari, whose running mate he was in the 2007 presidential election marked the closing chapters of his politics.
Their electoral dispute was still in government when Ume-Ezeoke, who was the ANPP chairman, at the time, announced his withdrawal from the case and the party’s decision to join President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s government of national unity.
“As a former Head of State, I give him his respect, but I dare say that he had no electoral worth in ANPP. He is the only one who has left. I am still here. I was his vice-presidential candidate and all those who nominated him and worked for his candidature are still in the party. All the ANPP top notchers are still in the party. We are not missing him at all,” said Ume-Ezeoke, who later defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“We went into the Government of National Unity for the safety and security of this country and we are happy we took that decision and today we have peace in the land and everybody can move around unmolested. Look at what happened in countries like Kenya and Zimbabwe. They eventually came to a round table and opted for GNU after so many people had been killed through the same mass action that we rejected.” His critics say he was self-serving.
His son, Chineme Ume-Ezeoke, who was appointed Yar’Adua’s special assistant on Civil Society Relations in 2008, in a statement, said his father died at the Fortis Super Specialty Hospital in New Delhi, India. He would have been 76 on September 8. Ume-Ezeoke will be remembered as one man who extolled politics of compromise and was never ashamed in his drive for converts.
Posted by Nigeria News at 7:31 AM