The people of Ovoko Community, in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State have come hard on a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Patrick Asadu over the rumoured attack on former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu in the area.
There were reports, (not by DAILY POST) that Ekweremadu was chased away during the kick-off of the finals of a football tournament in the community.
Asadu, who is representing Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South in the Green Chamber, is from Ovoko Community.
In a press statement made available to DAILY POST, the community, under the aegis of Ovoko Football Association, knocked the Reps member for allegedly sending thugs to disrupt their event.
They, however, said there was no iota of truth in the claims that Ekweremadu was chased away during the tournament.
In the statement signed by Nnaemeka Onaragu, Chairman, OFA and Onyebuchi Ugwu, the Public Relations Officer, they said they were disappointed in Asadu over the alleged role he played in the entire saga.
The statement read: “The Executive Committee and entire members of Ovoko Football Association (OFA) express displeasure over the attempts to politicise the 2020 edition of the Ovoko Annual Football League.
“We are also surprised at the sponsored fake news that former Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, was chased or whisked away from the grand finale of the 2020 edition of Ovoko football competition.
“The report was mischievous, unfounded, and sponsored by enemies of progress, who tried to scuttle the event and initio, but without success. The Senator performed the official kick-off amid fanfare before proceeding to the venue of reception where our people turned out en masse, both young and old, to honour and appreciate him.
“Peddlers of the fake news are yet to provide any pictorial or video evidence to support their falsehood and we are disappointed.
“Meanwhile, we are dismayed by the weighty allegation by the member representing Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Federal Constituency, Hon. Pat Asadu, that OFA politicised the 2020 edition of the tournament by seeking and accepting sponsorship from Chief Ekweremadu, and by also inviting him to kick-off the grand finale.
“We are equally disappointed at Asadu’s allegation that we organised the grand finale despite a court injunction restraining us from doing so.
“There is no truth to these. The fact remains that we first approached Hon. Asadu to sponsor the front of the jersey for N500,000, but he bluntly refused, insisting that we had gotten enough money. We, therefore, reached out to Chief Celestine Okanya, who paid for it, but preferred that the name of his friend, Chief Ekweremadu, be written at the front of the jersey because he planned to invite him as the Chief Guest if honour to kick-off of the grand finale.
“Likewise, former Chairman of Igbo-Eze South LGA, Hon. Festus Ozioko, sponsored the back of the jersey, but preferred the Governor’s name to be written on it instead.
“So, where is the politics in having the name of a well-known sports enthusiast and promoter on our jersey as preferred by the sponsor, Chief Okanya, when he (Asadu) was the first to be offered the opportunity, but turned it down? As a matter of fact, Asadu is still owing us the sum of N200,000 he pledged when we conferred an award on him about six years ago.”
They maintained that there was no court order “directed at OFA to stop the tournament. We are a law-abiding organisation. But assuming, without conceding, that there was such order, why not charge us with contempt of court rather than send thugs to dismantle our goalposts? Why resort to thuggery and intimidation of the community in a failed bid to stop our event?
“We thank the youth and people of Ovoko for standing their ground and Rev. Fr. Felix Ugwuozor for his presence and morale support.
“But we appreciate His Excellency, Chief Ike Ekweremadu more for coming to Ovoko to successfully perform the official kick-off ceremony of the final grand finale.
“We are profoundly grateful to him for spending quality time with Ovoko people, for undertaking to replace the goalposts removed by paid miscreants and equally do water projects in our community.
“We remain grateful to him for his love for our youths and community and look forward to future partnership with him. We are solidly for the development of Ovoko, whether it is facilitated from Ovoko, Aninri or wherever. We cannot be intimidated.”
Meanwhile, every effort made by DAILY POST to obtain a reaction from Asadu failed as he did not respond to a text message sent to his mobile number as of the time of filing this report. He equally did not pick calls put across to him.
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