Former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, was on Sunday, whisked away in Ulunya, Ovoko, Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State, when some suspected thugs invaded a football pitch where he kicked-off a match.
It was reported that some thugs who were not comfortable that a football tournament was sponsored by Ike Oha Foundation, owned by Ekweremadu, pulled down the goal posts and allegedly chased the lawmaker and his entourage out of the match venue.
Some youths who spoke to Vanguard on the incident on the condition of anonymity alleged that the thugs were hired by the member representing Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Federal Constituency in the House of the Representatives, Pat. Asadu.
The youths further alleged that they had approached Asadu to sponsor the tournament but he declined, forcing them to seek for Ekweremadu’s financial assistance.
However, when contacted, Asadu denied any involvement in the incident.
He said: ”At my level, there is hardly anything that would happen in Ovoko and the people won’t call my name. I didn’t know that Ekweremadu was coming to my country home. I only read that on social media. How he came and where he went are his personal businesses which he has a right to embark on.
“Anyone alleging that I hired some boys who pulled down the goal posts where he was to kick-off the football match should provide evidence linking me to the incident.
“What I noticed was that there was a football tournament which the vigilante group said they should not play because they noticed the politics and the misgivings involved.
“For the 24 years that the tournament held, this is the first time that the football association is inviting someone from Aninri or Orba or any community outside Ovoko to sponsor it. Therefore, some people were not comfortable with the arrangement and they went to court to obtain an order to stop it.”
When contacted, Ekweremadu thanked the youths for not giving in to violence. He said he would not be distracted in his mission of bringing good governance to the people of the state.
He further pledged to execute some development projects in Enugu North Senatorial District, adding that he would equally continue to support Ovoko Football Association in order to discover talented footballers from the community.