The Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has called on Nigerian Youths not to heed to the statements made by some elders that tomorrow belongs to them adding that it is today that belongs to the youths.
Ekweremadu who celebrated his birthday on Saturday in Enugu, said that he started occupying leadership positions as a young boy.
He further declared that his people will return him to the Senate if he wishes to re-contest the position.
Tracing his life story after 59 years Ekweremadu recalled that his first political experience came when he was 10 years old.
“I became the chairman of my age grade and this spanned a period of 30 years. I later became the president of my town union at 30. At 35, I became a Local Government Chairman. At 37, I was Chief of Staff. At 39, I became Secretary to the State Government and at 41, I was already in the Senate.
“So, I have good news for you: if I could do it, you too can do it. That is the essence of this story. If anybody tells you, young men and women out there, that tomorrow belongs to you, don’t listen to him. It is today that belongs to you.”
He said he has been propelled all these years by his absolute trust in God.
“I have always believed that power comes from God and with him, there is nothing you cannot achieve. So, no matter what they tell you, it is only God that can determine your fate. He has the final say.
“But there must be principles that come with it. One is a sense of justice and equity. When I was the Local Government Chairman, I made sure that whatever we did encompassed the various communities under my watch. When I finished my tenure, I was adjudged the best local government chairman in Enugu State.
“When I got into the Senate, I would not be just the Senator for Aninri people where I come from. I would rather be the Senator for Udi, Ezeagu, Oji River, Awgu and Aninri. I have made sure that if there are electricity or water projects, they have to go round.
“When I became the Deputy President of the Senate in 2007, one of the first major road projects we attracted was the Oji River-Awgu road.
The second was the Awgu-Ndeaboh-Mpu-Okpanku-Akaeze road. One day, I came back home and saw right in my village, the contractor had put asphalt on the road in front of my house. I called the Minister of Works and complained that the contractor had left the stretch from Awgu-Ndeaboh and started in front of my house. I said I don’t behave that way and that they must remove that asphalt. I insisted and they removed the asphalt, left the road as bad as it was and went and started where they should start.
“At the time I got into the Senate, there was no electricity in any part of Aninri whatsoever. So, when the government decided to put electricity in my place, there was also the same temptation to take the light from New Haven, Enugu, straight to my village. I told them that I was not interested; that I had to ensure that all the communities on the way to my village had light before it got to me.
“We wanted to do youth centre and we made sure that there is one in each Local Government. When we distribute human resources development, scholarship, every local government gets equal number. Aninri doesn’t get one extra.
“Now, the lesson here is that when you are fair to people, they also respond in the same manner. Because I have been fair to all the local governments that make up my senatorial district, the people of Enugu west have graciously returned me to the senate for four consecutive times and if I want to go again, I am sure they will return me again.
To mark his birthday Ekweremadu visited the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State; Mother of Perpetual Help Old People’s Home, Enugu; Holy Child Motherless Babies Home, Enugu, and the National Orthopaedic Hospital Enugu to spend time with the patients and inmates.