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Friday, 3 November 2017

Anambra Politicians Storm Hospital for Sick Ekwueme

Anambra Politicians Storm Hospital for Sick Ekwueme

Alex Ekweme

Top politicians in Anambra, South-eastern part of Nigeria have besieged the hospital where a former Vice President, Alex Ekweme is currently recuperating.

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Hundreds of Anambra State politicians have besieged the Memfys Hospital for Neurosurgery in Enugu State, with the hope to pay homage to Dr. Alex Ekwueme ahead of the November 18 governorship election in Anambra.

Ekwueme has been at the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital since last week Saturday, after he collapsed at his Enugu home and immediately lapsed into a coma.

The PUNCH learnt on Thursday that the politicians visited in groups, between evening and night hours, and were mostly supporters of the two most popular candidates in the forthcoming election – Mr. Willie Obiano and Mr. Oseloka Obaze.

While Obiano is the incumbent Anambra State governor and the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in the election, Obaze is the immediate past Secretary to the State Government and the Peoples Democratic Party standard bearer.

“Although supporters of these two candidates were not allowed to see Ekwueme because he is still in a coma and has shown no sign of improvement, their discussion centred on getting his blessings for the election,” a non-medical member of staff at the Memfys Hospital told our correspondent.

She said, “Supporters of Obiano talked about what they must do to have Ekwueme re-endorse their candidate before the election, so that victory will be certain.

“From their tone and discussion, they were not happy that Peter Obi (a former Anambra State governor) convinced Ekwueme into endorsing Obaze after he (Ekwueme) had initially endorsed Obiano. They hated Obi the more for even going ahead to present Ekwueme’s daughter (Chidi Onyemelukwe) as running mate to Obaze, just to spite Obiano.

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“They feared that Obi could use Ekwueme’s health to whip up sympathy votes for the PDP’s and Obaze, just as allegedly he did with the late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu in the run up to his 2010 re-election bid.”

The source added, “For Obaze’s supporters, and from what I observed, it was simply loyalty. Their loyalty obviously smacks from the fact that Ekwueme’s daughter is the running mate to Obaze.

“More so, they kept on praying that the man should not die now, as his being alive is a full guarantee that Obaze/Onyemelukwe would win the election.”

A correspondent contacted Obi, but he declined comments as he was in a meeting. His media aide, Mr. Val Obienyem, said, “Oga would have loved to speak with you but he is in a very important meeting right now.”

The former APGA national chairman, Victor Umeh, who is resident in Enugu and the chief campaigner for Obiano, could not be reached for reactions.

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