EKWEREMADU AT 55: A STATESMAN IN POLITICS

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“A politician thinks of the next election, a statesman, of the next generation.”

– James Freeman Clark

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who turned 55 on 12th May, is a statesman per excellence, a quiet achiever, and a core intellectual in politics. If politics is for politicians, then statesmen and intellectuals will always feel like fish out of water. But Ekweremadu bestrides the two seemingly contrasting worlds pretty well and has continued to make his inputs and outputs so sublime in Nigeria and beyond.

While Ekweremadu’s infrastructural transformation, charity outreach, and empowerment exploits deserve celebration, his main contributions should be in deepening the nation’s democracy through lawmaking, especially in the areas of constitutional amendment and electoral reforms. He believes in good laws and rule of law as the real foundation for any constitutional democracy.

The real problem is that the 1999 Constitution is far more unitary than federal. That is what is making its amendment to provide enough bases for federalism to thrive in Nigeria a matter of urgent national importance. The process of amending the constitution in Nigeria is tedious and rigid, being a written constitution.

It is in the light of this that three successful amendments achieved by the National Assembly under his leadership of Committee on Constitution Amendment should be prized. When one considers the fact that all attempts by the national assembly to amend the constitution before 2007 failed, succeeding a record three times is no mean feat.Though, constitutional amendment is not a one man’s affair, leadership is what matters the most in such legislative business. Ekweremadu provided the transformational servant leadership needed for the exercises to succeed.

It is sad that what could have been the 4th Alteration in 2015 was torpedoed by the presidency’s indiscretion as former President Goodluck Jonathan was allegedly misguided to withdraw assent, which he had reportedly given even before losing the election. The good thing, though, is that those who masterminded that sabotage are all biting their fingers today because they put their selfish interests ahead of national intrest; and they are paying for it.

But, statesmen and great leaders like Ekweremadu are merchants of hope and workable ideas for greater good. As genuine men working for the future of their country, they do not only understand the past but they are also fully in touch with the dynamics that forge the present. They also foresee the future. Their fundamental preoccupation is the welfare of the state and the welfare of the current and future generations. That is why Ekweremadu, though a leading opposition figure, has been more preoccupied with bipartisanship in the National Assembly under the Senator Bukola Saraki Senate Presidency so that good governance may result.

 

On the other hand, ordinary politicians are preoccupied with self and the worries about the next election.

That is why in his “Republic”, Plato argues that the ideal state is best ruled by intellectuals who can combine comprehensive theoretical knowledge with the practical capacity for applying it to concrete problems. Although some other thinkers prefer to distrust the value of intellectuals in politics, Ekweremadu has proved their assumptions wrong. He has shown that although all good politicians need not be statesman, they should live like statesmen. He has shown what meaningful and crucial impact a statesman can make, particularly in today’s rapidly degenerate and cynical Nigerian society.

 

As one can easily see through him, statesmen are those who have diverse wisdom and passion for country; those who apply their intellect and forward-looking visions for the purpose of awakening and building a good society. They help to divert the masses from what is unwise and wrong and steer them toward what the righteous and the good.

 

There are key factors in nurturing statesmen and they are knowledge, ability and willingness to awaken society and lastly, eagerness to stand with country when it matters the most; and doing so for a noble cause or purpose. The lack of the last two of these elements is inconsistent with the definition of a statesman and a patriot.

Ekweremadu has shown that he finds a great deal of truth in Einstein’s words: “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing”.

Generally too, Ekweremadu is aware that, like everyone else, he has his own limitations and therefore ever willing to remain open-minded. That is why the Distinguished Senator is not only always amenable to debates, but also constantly searching for knowledge in broadening his horizon. He knows that lawmaking requires well-reasoned deliberations for the laws to stand the test of time and serve the intended purpose.

 

He holds a PhD in Law in addition to his leadership certificates from Harvard University and Oxford University. An unrepentant proponent of true federalism and restructuring, it is not surprising that his doctoral thesis was on Fiscal Federalism. He has delivered over 50 public lectures/papers both locally and internationally on the themes of democracy, good governance, regional integration, security, economy, security, etc.

 

Ekweremadu remains deep, ponderous, and focused in his approach to politics. He is more than a consummate lawmaker who studied law, taught law, and now making law for over a decade. Ekweremadu is the archetype of the change agents Nigeria really needed in the face of prevalent unjust and aberrant political behaviours in our polity.

 

Like Karl Marx said, the philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point is to change it.

 

Little wonder Nigerians of all works of life, political, ethnic, and religious backgrounds have continued to pour encomiums on the Igbo son and nationalist on his 55th birthday as an exemplary patriot, politician, and statesman who has made his political participation so sublime and left large footprints on the sands of time.

An unrepentant proponent of true federalism and restructuring, it is not surprising that his doctoral thesis was on Fiscal Federalism. He has delivered over 50 public lectures/papers both locally and internationally on the themes of democracy, good governance, regional integration, security, economy, security, etc.

Ekweremadu remains deep, ponderous, and focused in his approach to politics. He is more than a consummate lawmaker who studied law, taught law, and now making law for over a decade. Ekweremadu is the archetype of the change agents Nigeria really needed in the face of prevalent unjust and aberrant political behaviours in our polity.

 

Like Karl Marx said, the philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point is to change it.

 

Little wonder Nigerians of all works of life, political, ethnic, and religious backgrounds have continued to pour encomiums on the Igbo son and nationalist on his 55th birthday as an exemplary patriot, politician, and statesman who has made his political participation so sublime and left large footprints on the sands of time.

 
Law Mefor
Forensic/Social Psychologist; lawmefor@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Ekweremadu remains deep, ponderous, and focused in his approach to politics. He is more than a consummate lawmaker who studied law, taught law, and now making law for over a decade.Ekweremadu remains deep, ponderous, and focused in his approach to politics. He is more than a consummate lawmaker who studied law, taught law, and now making law for over a decade.

 

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