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EKWEREMADU: Between Fatherhood and Ambition, By Sunkanmi Vaughan

July 7, 2022

Ekweremadu was all over the place so much that it appeared like he did not follow through on the health and lifestyle choices of his children.

I recall having this conversation with my wife during the week when the case of Sen. Ike Ekweremadu came up and I was completely in an incandescent shock that this man actually has a sick daughter yet has been all over the place attending political meetings for his political ambition instead of taking time out from the highly demanding world of politics to sort out his daughter's pressing health needs.

He was all over the place during the PDP primaries, he lost the PDP gubernatorial primaries for Enugu state then started planning to decamp to APGA, then APC , reportedly taken to APC national Chairman by HE Uzodinma, Imo state Governor, when APC stalwarts in Enugu APC, led by their state APC Chairman, Chief Ugochukwu Agballah, outrightly rejected him. 


He eventually lost and , unlike previous election cycles, Senator Ekweremadu is not returning to the Nigerian Senate.He lost on all the political fronts.

Sen. Ike Ekweremadu was all over the place so much that it appeared like he did not follow through on the health and lifestyle choices of his children.

He did not follow through on what I believe is more important than his political ambition; the life of his daughter and a family at the low ebb of the apprehension of losing a child to kidney failure.

Ike Ekeremadu was so consumed by his political ambition that he had no time and seriousness to do due diligence and background check on the character they got him as a donor for his daughter , I doubt if with his PhD, he even had the time to follow through and read up to ask the right questions from the professionals, understand the risks and benefits of why it could be better for one member of his family of six to donate to the daughter instead of a stranger and seek help to find out if there are some of the tests which can be done on the stranger here in Nigeria before bundling a total stranger overseas. 

He was so consumed by politics that when the 22-year old donor went rogue and was allegedly scheming behind him to deny his age and report Ike and family to UK police, it probably escaped his detection and intervention soon enough so he can be the first to report to UK police and then return the donor to Nigeria for him to immediately restart the process of getting alternative donor(s) for his ailing daughter whose life was more important to him.

He forgot that he was first a father and husband before becoming a Senator,Deputy Senate President and SSG. 
He forgot that he will finish as a father and husband.

I compared Senator Ekweremadu to Joe Biden and I believe that he could have followed the Biden example. Then in 2015 , US Vice President Biden had a dying son and had the opportunity to contest in his party's primaries to emerge against Trump for the US Presidency but Biden stepped down from that race in order to support his dying son.

At a point, Biden was to sell his family house before Barack Obama intervened and offered to pay for the treatment. Biden's boy made his Dad promise him that no matter what happens, Biden must not give up his life long ambition to be US President, Biden's boy, Beau Biden later died. Biden grieved without the guilt of abandoning his son for his political ambition.

 In 2021, years after his son had passed on , Biden contested and won. There are many Nigerian politicians (and professionals) who will do like Biden but not like Ike.   

Family is so important that we even need the approval of a sick dying one before we place anything above their life

That is the lesson Ike missed and was almost about to lose from both ends as his wife who takes care of the daughter remains in prison until August 4 .   

Last two Sundays ago was Father's Day , I really truly hope that fathers used that day to reflect and understand the real responsibility of fatherhood. It is the hardest job for a man but it gives the greatest reward if you do your best at it.

As a father , I have realized that it is not possible to outsource that role of a father and not pay heavy fines.  

May God heal that Ike Ekweremadu's daughter and may God help the Ike Ekweremadu family in this their difficult time. I know it is a difficult place for them. 
May God help all fathers to realise that "your child is your responsibility". 

That you pay all the bills and have a devoted and responsible wife/mother of your child won't still make up for your negligence. 

Your child is your responsibility and not even your ambition can replace what you will miss if you neglect your role in the life of your child. 

This a lesson to all fathers: Do not behave like Senator Ike Ekweremadu who was literally chasing rats around the house when his house was on fire.

May God help us all to succeed and may our children not develop kidney failure. May our labour of love and sacrifice be rewarded in our life time and when we are long gone, Amen.

Sunkanmi Vaughan is a Lagos-based Pharmacist and Author.