Ekwunife, who won the senatorial seat in the March 28, 2015 National Assembly election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party( PDP), by defeating Victor Umeh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance ( APGA) and Chris Ngige of the All Progressives Congress ( APC), has since been under pressure to renounce the mandate for Ngige, for the purposes of a South Easterner clinching the position of Senate President in the coming 8th Senate.
Fielding questions from journalists yesterday in Abuja at the just ended 4- day induction course held for federal lawmakers elect, for the 8th National Assembly, Ekwunife confirmed the pressures but categorically said that she would never succumb to that .
She said: “Yes, there has been immense pressure from various quarters in the Anambra central senatorial zone and by extension, Anambra State, on me to renounce the popular mandate given to me by the people of the senatorial district for somebody ( Ngige) I defeated flatly for reasons of power sharing they are not even sure of.
“Even if they are sure of whatever position they want the person they are pressurising me to step down for, I will never take that from them because the mandate as far as I am concerned is far, far bigger than being sacrificed on the altar of power sharing.”
Pressures mounted on Ekwunife in this regard, arose out of the political reality that non of the 15 senators elected from the South East for the coming 8th Senate, is a member of the APC, the party whose senators-elect, are expected to form the leadership of the Senate , having won 60 out of the available 109 seats .
The calculations of those who mounted pressures on Ekwunife to renounce her mandate for Ngige were premised on Ngige being an APC senator already and with ranking status he would have attained in the senate if allowed to return, would have been in the best position to clinch the position of Senate President, being from the zone the position was originally zoned to by the party before the general election, the outcome of which produced no single senator from the area on the platform of APC.
It would be recalled that even the South South Geo- political zone where the party would have considered for the position after the South East, the only senator elect on the platform of APC from the zone is a first timer, a development that is making the party to be looking at the directions if North Central or North East Geo- political zones since North West and South West Geo- political zones already have the President elect and Vice President elect respectively.