From Chuks Collins, Awka
“Of all the primary elections organized by political parties in the past one week in Anambra state, that of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for Anambra South Senatorial zone held at the Ekwulobia township stadium was the most keenly contested.
“More so it threw up a few interesting and funny issues both within and outside the party…,” this was how a journalist who monitored the party’s primary election summarized it.
And thinking that the transparently organized contest which all the aspirants sat side by side one another and monitoring it live, while intermittently throwing a glance sideways at others, observers, party faithful/supporters, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, security agents, and the print/broadcast/social media has gone down the record books as the freest and most keenly contested, until now.
The election, because of some logistical delays stretched into the night, but all these participating political heavyweights patiently waited. Yes, they waited because they know that this primary election was the key determining point in their 2019 senatorial aspiration.
The screened and cleared aspirants included H/E Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu, Dr Okey Chidolue, Dr Anslem Enyimba, and Chief Ikenna Mbazulike-Amechi.
One by one, the delegates trickled-in as they were called, council after council. They were also dutifully handed the ballot papers and had to cast their ballot as they entered the arena, in the full view of the aspirants.
When the results were collated and announced, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu (Ikukuoma) topped the pack with 211 popular votes, followed by Ambassador Ojukwu’s 177votes. Dr Enyimba and Mbazulike-Amechi scored only 2 votes each, while Dr Chidolue garnered just one vote-which apparently must have been the one cast by himself.
These aspirants, like good sportsmen instantly shared warm handshake with Ukachukwu, the popular choice. Mbazulike-Amechi and Chidolue led in this display of open comradeship as they had embraced Ukachukwu very warmly in the full view of all.
Why not, as reports indicated that media reports, security agencies, INEC and party officials from the headquarters who monitored the primary adjudged as inviolable.
Chidolue reportedly followed up this with a telephone message to him and had to personally lead a delegation to Ukachukwu’s Orsumenyi countryhome to commend him, saying ‘a better man won’
It was therefore shocking to hear of the Abuja High court verdict which was said to have been initiated by the same Chidolue. That he had tried to cast aspersions on the same primary election he sat through to the end to witness fully and had commended the winner.
It’s however not in the corridor of anyone to question his right of litigation or disagreement as its his inalienable right as a human being to approach the court at any moment in life for any issue he was not clear or satisfied with.
But must this be made to throw mud on the face of justice and fair play? Of all that participated in the primary election, Ambassador(Iyom) Ojukwu came closest to the winner. She raised other issues, which did not question the validity of the contest. Thank God the immediate past National Secretary of the party, and the incumbent governorship flagbearer in Zamfara state, Alh Sanni Shinkafi has publicly acknowledged that her grouse had been resolved.
So where is this Chidolue issue emanating from? Despite not being a very popular face or name in the politics of the state, many politicians have started casting unfriendly aspersions at his direction. Some had also asked what manner of judgement was that. More like a motion without movement type. Whose interest is he serving? Why do he suddenly want to destroy the cohesion of the party in the zone?
What purpose has the so-called judgement served him, for his friends outside APGA or the ardent APGA followers who are bent on rallying round Ukachukwu to give the zone a worthwhile representation come next senate session. Is he truly a patriot. Could anyone who intends to throw spanner in the works of his family be considered a true family member? Or, has the senatorial zone enjoyed bumper representation in the last eight years? What does he really want to achieve?
Without sounding immodest, as a man who appears to of a wavering mind, could he be acting extraneously or is he acting out a script by forces within and outside of the party who are threatened by Ukachukwu’s enormous political goodwill Ukachukwu?
Who is this Chidolue representing, himself or the people? Is this a mere bruised ego trip, or one angling for any sort of settlement or cheap recognition?
For going beyond Anambra for the suit, sends a signal whether it’s part of forum shopping, especially when the court verdict suggested it acted outside the ambit of the aim of the litigant. The presiding Judge, Hon Justice Valentine Ashi left no one in doubt when he amazingly refused to compel INEC to recognize the plaintiff or to order for a fresh primary election in the senatorial zone.
It was like a yeoman’s job -Anambra South senatorial zone must be destroyed; APGA’s Ukachukwu’s political tornado must be stopped!
From investigation, no one so far, other than the sponsors were humoured by the judgement, with APGA’s Director of Publicity, Ifeanacho Oguejiofor speaking on behalf of the party urged party faithful to remain resolute and strong as the matter was not over yet. “It is imperative that the FCT Court did not declare the plaintiff Dr. Okey Chidolue as the winner of the Anambra South Senatorial District primary election of APGA. Rather, and in a most bizarre manner, the Court after nullifying the primary election directed parties to go to INEC and sort themselves out”, he added.
Ukachukwu, a diligent evangelist and businessman built his natural, global and political goodwill over the ages and Nigerians know it. We have no doubt that any effort by the rabble rousers to stall his march towards using the platform of the senate to give abundant life, more houses, healthcare, employment, poverty alleviation, scholarships, good roads, electricity and water to the citizens would fell flat before a superior court of records.
The world is keenly watching to see how the Court of Appeal would handle this bizarre judgement which many believed was positioned to play a spoiler’s game, and nothing more.