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Friday, June 14, 2024

Obi’s absence in Ekwunife’s Igboukwu, and its political implications – By Greg Ikwuka



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uche ekwunife
uche ekwunife


Uche Ekwunife is not a darling to many people in Anambra State, particularly the voting public. But one uniqueness in the race for the Anambra Government House, now at the finishing bend is what her ‘failed’ bid to be elected governor of the state on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) stands for. Ekwunife was at some point, the only female aspirant in the race across party line.

That was long before one Mrs Ngozi Ulasi appeared on the scene and later disappeared as easily as she came having sold her soul to one Godwin Ezeemo, with an ambition to have his name on the Anambra State ballot paper.

Hence, Ekwunife regained her ‘first and only’ until she was cut down in a pitiable and skewed primary election with autocratic credentials stage-,managed by her party, APGA to throw up a certain Willie Obiano,business partner to Gov Peter Obi .

Uche Ekwunife had openly complained as reported that for the purpose of the primaries, she did not see the list of the delegates she was to campaign to. A while before that she was involved in a  vehicle accident .She survived, got her self treated and returned t the race just when speculation where beginning to gain ground that she had demobilized for Prof Chuwkuma Soludo. Both candidatures dimmed in quick succession.

umeh and peter

Yet the climax was yet on the way for the Member representing Anaocha- Njikoka-Dunikofia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives (HOR). Her mother gave up the ghost mid-stream. Of course everyone born will die, but for a woman trying to re-focus in the race, it must have been some very big distraction. Combined with the other two events above which took  back to back. it was as if there was a heavenly conspiracy of sorts.

This weekend she and her maiden family members friends and associates combined forces to laying her mother to rest, but the chief associate the highest political office holder in her one-state party Gov. Peter Gregory Onwubuasi Obi, with all the notice given on the event chose to be in far away Israel, not as a pilgrim, not as an official, but as an advance party to President Goodluck Jonathan.

One could see Obi and his Abia State Counterpart, Gov Theodore Orji smiling gleefully while welcoming the president ahead of whom the duo arrived to Israel. Elsewhere the Speaker of the federal House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal led a powerful delegation all the way from Abuja. Political associates swarmed the historic Igbo town of Igboukwu to keep Mrs Ekwunife company in the peak of her grief, but the de facto Chief mourner on the political side was missing in action.

Obi was more interested in meeting with Jonathan to assure him of the latter’s support to APGA, an invitation to anti-party activities. An did he get the assurance? Your guess is as good as mine, but that is not the focus of this piece. APGA calims to be an Igbo party, but would b=never rise to the things that make Ndigbo think.

Apart from being a leader, if not the leader of APGA, Obi hails from the same local government area as Uche Ekwunife on the latter’s husband side. She is married to and live in Nri, Anaocha Local Government Area (LGA),a shout away from Obi’s Agulu.

While yet pretending to be a candidate of the PPA in the  2010 Governorship elections,Ekwunife was instrumental to the eventual emergence of Obi for a second term in office by whatever crude and illegal arrangement. Se has taken enough risk and invested enough on the human angle to be considered for an honour at the time it matter dost, but that is only for those who genuinely place unity above all, for what it is worth. It is not essentially for Peter Obi.

To understand it well, one only needs to ask a hypothetical question: ‘Suppose Ekwunife had managed in spite of all the manipulations from Obi’s people to emerge as candidate APGA at the expense of Mr Willie Obiano in the first place, would she get the backing and funding that Obiano currently gets? Will she have a commissioner appointed to man her campaign with or without government funds?

My honest answer would be No! Obi may well pretend to lay claim to the proficiency of a platform, but in reality he is ruled by individualistic pursuits. Obi can claim to want to favour Anambra North Zone of the State to produce the next governor, but in the end, what he is interested in is his personal friend, business partner and the one on whom when has enough dossier to control his action, in order to keep his (Obi’s) back fully watched. Obi can lay claim to the perforated argument of APGA being an Igbo party, but it would only be an Igbo party because he is using the platform today.

That platform does not react to Igbo issues. It does not care about Apo Six, the Igbo victims of a cold-blooded murder in Abuja many years ago whose murder case is facing high-powered cover-iup while bi is romancing with h perpetrators and the chief offender is walking free on thee streets. Such became the situation until another incident tagged Apo Nine took place.

As a party APGA does not use its platform to any Igbo issue the party does not have a clear position on migrant population. The party does not have any clear stand against Boko Haraam insurgence and victimisation. The party has not impressed the public about what it is doing to equalize the number of states. The party is friendly only with those who sabotage the politics that would see Ndigbo rise from subjugation. The party is not rules by clear ideology and certainly does is not even properly emplaced to benefit from the institutional legacy of Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, haven fallen in the hands of those who cannot make the extent of sacrifice that gave Ojukwu his reputation, nor see half as far.

Such is the situation as Obi known to attend baby-naming ceremonies of this ethos connected to him politically chose this weekend to remind all that he is not seeking to lead a united PAGA. I do not blame him. There is a lot at stake for him personally in the governorship race in Anambra State, yet even though he is connected to Ekwunife by primordial ties, he now sees Ekwunife as the lady who along with a few others insisted that APGA should not imprison itself through zoning. Well her arm was arm-twisted even by another brother Umeh who committed pen topaper in business terms with Obi for one to handpick a candidate and another to look away and in fact, step away from the primaries, and later choose the deputy governor.

But even as the candidature of this unholy agreement is now faltering under the heavy weight of to big controversies, double registration in the voters list and the pecuniary contract that seeks to sell Anambra State  to the new godfathers, some mentioned, and other benign. Both hold the potential to dim the continued existence of the candidature of Willie Obiano.

Both ,as a corollary hold the potential to throw back Uche Ekwunife as runner up back into the governorship race and both therefore hold the potential of returning Peter Obi back to the starting bock n issues he though-rightly or wrongly- that he has papered over. This is the sore point in the current cold shoulder to Ekwunife from Obi.

That sore point is not mute, because the lady in the federal house has made it clear to Obi that double registration on the part of Obiano cannot be covered up and that she is stepping in as the candidate of APGA. Whether  Obi chooses to be the humane leader that identifies with his lieutenants in the time of grief or chose to chase the president in foreign soil on the bill of Anambra State to secure his co-operation  to cover up double registration and ‘assistance to deliver’ Obi’s godson is a matter for political expediency.

But either way, Obi has walked into a political trap that will require some payment-not necessarily money- to extricate. Can he pay and walk out, or is the die cast for the next round of intra-divisive politics in APGA driven by Obiano’s legal and moral inadequacies and the desire by one section of the party to replace him before he and Obi, inflict them with permanent and irreparable political damage. Place Ekwunife and Obi on the opposite sides of this divide.

I commiserate with Mrs Uche Ekwunife on the demise of her mother.





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