By Nasir Ayitogo
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has boasted that he could remain in the senate for the rest of his life if he so wishes.
Mr Ekweremadu said he is always in touch with his constituents, and could easily win elections.
He said this on Thursday at Sheraton Hotel at a public dialogue organised by the #NotTooYoungToRun movement, a youth group that successfully lobbied for the passage of a new law that reduced the age of qualification for political office across the country.
The event, themed: “Youth Candidacy and the Future of Nigeria Beyond 2019”, is a series of political engagement aimed at broadening the political participation of young Nigerians ahead of the elections next February.
The Senate President Bukola Saraki also declared his presidential ambition at the same event.
“I’m in total touch with my people and that is why if I want to remain in senate forever, I will,” Mr Ekweremadu told young aspirants on the platform of PDP.
He charged the aspirants to always reach out to their immediate constituencies, adding that it is the only way to remain relevant in politics.
“PDP is not a home for urban politicians, for young people,” he said. “If you want to participate in politics, you have to pay your dues and the best place to pay your dues is your local community. That is where we all started from.
“Don’t think you will go to the House of Reps or House of Assembly by running around Wadada Plaza, it’s not going to work.”
Mr. Ekweremadu has been Nigeria’s deputy Senate president for over a decade. He has faced multiple allegations of sharp practices in recent years, including claims that he forged Senate standing rules which led to the controversial election of principal officers in June 2015.
He has also been accused of owning multiple properties abroad, some allegedly purchased using shell firms and political associates fronting for him.
Mr Ekweremadu has denied all allegations of corruption, alleging political persecution and daring anyone with evidence of sharp practices against him to come forward.