By Amah Baldwin
Frontline politician in Enugu state and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Gbazueagu Nweke Gbazueagu has recounted how his disposition advanced the fortunes of a good number of politicians who worked with him during previous political dispensations.
Gbazueagu listed some of the top politicians who according to him, “passed through my political vehicle” to become what they are in politics today.
Addressing a huge crowd of political enthusiasts during the inauguration of “The Crusaders,” a socio-political and economic pressure group in the 81 wards of Enugu West Senatorial Zone, with the chief objective of re-awakening the political consciousness of the grassroots particularly in the Enugu West Senatorial District and Enugu State generally, founder of the group, Gbazueagu said although he helped such politicians to climb to the peak of their political career, not even one of them has added any material value to his life till date.
Gbazueagu, a former governorship candidate in the old Enugu state, on the plank of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), held the gathering spell-bound when he said: “There is a current serving Senator called Senator Chuka Utazi from Uzo-Uwani. In 1991 when I was running for the governor of the old Enugu State and Anambra combined, Chuka Utazi was a young graduate and I didn’t know him from Adam but I had a coordinator in Uzo-Uwani. That coordinator had a candidate for House of Assembly. And I gave them money to make sure that the coordinator won in Uzo-Uwani.
“Chuka Utazi as a young graduate with no job, went through the primary in that election and won. Then my people then wanted to deny him victory. Chuka Utazi came to the state secretariat and fell in my presence the day we were finalizing the names. He said, sir, I won this election. I said young man who are you? He said I am from Uzo-Uwani. I said get up. I called the man in charge and said do you know this young man? He said yes. I said this young man will not leave Uzo-Uwani and come here to fall down in my presence if he didn’t win election. I called the secretary of the party and said put his name; he became a candidate; he won election and became deputy speaker in 1991. Today by the grace of God, he is a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Gbazueagu, fondly called GNG also said: “Another person is the current Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. He is my very younger brother. He started his politics from my house. When Aninri was created as a Local Government Area, Professor Ukpabi who is now a traditional ruler came to my house at Nza Street and wanted me to give them nomination to my brother and friend (the coordinator in the local government). Prof. Ukpabi came and said sir, he wants this young man to be chairman of the council and because I respect Ukpabi so much, I denied ticket to the man I had all authority to give ticket and made him (Ekweremadu) the first local government chairman of Aninri Local Government. In that election, he did not put in his kobo to become council chairman. I put in my money and I fought in that election and he won. By the grace of God, I am happy to announce that he has become the longest serving deputy president of Senate Nigeria has ever produced, and I’m glad about that.”
The politician further told the gathering, “The next person is Senator Ken Nnamani. Senator Ken Nnamani joined us in politics as a business man. The problem with me is that if I give you my word, you can go and sleep; even if it requires sacrificing my own personal interest, and vision and others. But if I tell you look I’m going to do this for you, you can be sure I will do it, come rain, come sun.
GNG, now in APC may likely slug it out with the incumbent Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who has indicated interest to return to the Senate for record 5th time.