Theft, Forgery And Diversion Of Imo APC Ward And LGA Congress Sensitive Materials: How Their Cookies Crumble – By Onwuasoanya FCC Jones
Before Friday 11th of May, 2018, there was nobody among the men and few women in Imo APC and their associates from the PDP who ganged under a very leaky umbrella, that would have believed that the fraud and outright criminality that characterized the botched ward congress of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in Imo State would not be upheld. These men, very powerful in their own rights, also had more powerful men from outside Imo State and even from outside the Southeast who like them, are keen on dismantling, or at least, reducing Governor Rochas Okorocha’s massive and people oriented, political structure. The group which has been christened by majority of Imolites as; “The Allied Forces of Darkness”, had always known that Governor Okorocha’s biggest political strength lies in the people, hence, they devised other strategies to ensure that they completely cut the people off from participating in the process of choosing their leaders, first, at the political party level.
These men appreciate the fact that the first step towards winning power in a democracy is by taking control of the most viable political Party platforms. Just like in the United States of America, Nigeria has two political Parties that are most viable and through which anyone who sincerely wish to take power has to go through. These Parties are the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In Imo State, Governor Okorocha has made the All Progressives Congress, the most popular and most acceptable political Party in the entire State and even to some extent, in the entire Southeast that most politicians now believe that getting the structure of the APC is as good as winning the general elections. These politicians, all of whom, stood against Governor Okorocha when he took the decision to align with other progressives to set up the APC, have now come together to take over the APC, either for the sole purpose of winning political power or to destroy the Party in the State and the Southeast.
The ward congress of the Party which was supposed to hold on Saturday 5th of May, 2018, became the first launch pad for their odious plans against the people of Imo State. A number of them who have hardly visited their different communities before that date were aware of the shellacking they or any candidate they supported for any of the ward executive positions were set to receive should they have go to the field to slug it out. They forgot, unfortunately, that the major idea of democracy is to get people involved in leadership, decision making and program implementation. The ward congress is the most effective way of ensuring that everyone who has the membership card of the APC is involved in piloting the Party to wherever they want it to be, and also to ensure that the right people are placed in positions to create or recreate the Party’s manifesto in such a way that it will accommodate the interest of the ordinary people.
As a people averse to democratic ethos they mobilized huge sums of money from among themselves, not for any other reason, but to buy off the Party’s structure with the full cooperation of their accomplices in Abuja. Information from usually reliable sources reveal that governorship aspirants within this group were allegedly asked to pay a sum not less than 20,000,000 Naira, while senatorial aspirants among them were to pay 10,000,000 Naira, while those interested in vying for the House of Representatives seat were to pay the sum of 5,000,000 Naira. The money according to a text message said to have been sent to members of the group by Barrister Emma Nwosu on behalf of Chief Uzoma Obiyor, was to be paid into a Zenith Bank Account with the following details: Account Name: Double Edge Surveillance Systems Ltd. Account Number: 1013890453. This money which came to hundreds of millions of Naira was allegedly channeled into gratifying members of the Party’s National Working Committee (NWC), members of the congress committee detailed to Imo State, security agents and the media to ensure that they abet their antidemocratic and felonious plans against the people of Imo State.
Their plan was simple yet very intricate. They were to share the result sheets for the ward congress among themselves and according to how much money and how connected each of them is to the clique. They did not have the slightest plan of reaching out to the people to conduct anything that looked like a congress. Some of them however got people who are not registered members of the APC together and took a video recording of them, to present a false evidence that there was a congress. The plan was to ensure that result sheets for the congress never got to Imo State. They had already concluded arrangements with some of their boys to fill up the result sheets with the names of their supporters and even with non-existent names.
In consort with some national officers of the Party, these people made sure that the congress committee members detailed to Imo State were suddenly swapped with those deployed to Anambra State without the knowledge of the Governor of the State, who apart from being the Chief Security Officer of the State is also the leader of the Party in the State. The governor had no complaints about this sudden and curious swap of these committee members but was only interested in ensuring that only the right things were done. Most government appointees and big players in the Rescue Mission political family were already in their different villages awaiting the arrival of Party officials and materials for the conduct of the ward congress, but their wait turned out futile. Alas! The officials from Abuja came, but the result sheets with which the outcome of the congress they came to conduct would be entered, were nowhere to be found. In case you are one of those who feel that there is too much ado about the disappearance of these result sheets, let me break it down for you. The result sheet is like the report card that your child comes back from school with or the certificate you are given after you had concluded a training program. No matter how well you perform in that training or no matter how brilliant your child is in school, without a result certifying this performance your child has not gone to school. So, without a result sheet, signed by relevant authorities including officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), it cannot be said that there was actually a congress anywhere.
These men were so confident of their plans that they boasted to anyone who cared to listen that it was impossible for them not to succeed at their games. One of them even reportedly boasted that should the ward congress of the Party be cancelled for any reason, he would quit playing politics. Their accomplices in this crime against the people of Imo State also acted their own parts in the script perfectly. Some elements in the media colluded effectively with these enemies of the State to ensure that the correct information never got out to the people. They allegedly set up a situation room, where every piece of news was sieved, twisted and re-edited to pass only information that helped their plan. One of the cases that exposed some media practitioners as heavily compromised is the video recording where the State Chairman of the Party, the national organizing secretary of the Party, the commissioner of police, a member of the congress committee and the governor of Imo State addressed the press clearly stating that the result sheets were missing and that the congress could not hold. While, most of the television stations refused to air the video, few others who did, took pains to edit out areas in the video that confirmed that sensitive materials for the congress were missing and that the ward congress was cancelled. But for the social media and smart phones, there would have been no other evidence anywhere else that these men made such statement, as it emerged that the same men who told the world that there was no congress turned around to declare that there was not just a congress, but a very successful and peaceful congress.
WHO ARE THOSE INVOLVED?
While we always see certain faces on television, in newspapers and on social media platforms, most of those people were simply pawns been used without their knowledge to derail democracy in the State. The main players hardly showed face nor granted interviews to the media. TOE Ekechi is the voice of the gang, while Chief Ifeanyi Ararume is their face, maybe, because of his long-held credential as a master of electoral wonders. The Deputy Governor of Imo State is just in the team for sympathy sake, while Sir Jude Ejiogu is just there to make up the numbers.
In all this, the man who seems to have got the biggest bag of tricks, with which he did not just attempt to dribble the people of Imo State and the Rescue Mission political family, but also seemed to have even dribbled his own men in the game is Senator Hope Uzodimma, a serving Senator of the Federal Republic and someone whose only claim to being a member of the APC is the television and newspaper reports where we saw him having a handshake with the national chairman of the Party, John Odigie Oyegun. Reports suggest that the Imo West Senator managed to get a major bulk of the result sheets, thereby displacing other members of the group.
The first action of the Imo State governor and Ugwumba Uche Nwosu that burst their bubble is the movement by the governor to confirm the availability of the result sheets before the congress committee members could move to start conducting the congress. Had the governor not insisted on confirming the availability of these sensitive materials, these committee members who had clearly been compromised would have likely relaxed in their hotel room, written a report of a successful, peaceful and credible congress and ran back to Abuja to submit the reports and the result sheets.
The insistence by the governor that the result sheets must be confirmed to have been available and correctly distributed to the wards where they were supposed to be used was a masterstroke that seriously deflated their evil plans against the State and its people. Getting them to admit before a camera that these materials were missing as at few minutes past six PM was another grand move that saved Imo people, especially members of the APC in the State from been kidnapped by this gang of impostors.
Desperate to have their way, these people arranged a press conference the very next day been Sunday to say that there was a ward congress. Most ridiculous among others who spoke of there been a congress is the State Party Chairman, Chief Hilary Ekeh, who in less than 24 hours said two contradicting things about the same issue, even though he was not the right person at that point to confirm if there was a congress or not. At this point, the chairman of the congress committee was already at large. If truly there was a congress, as these men claimed, the right person to say that would have been the chairman of the congress committee together with members of his committee and the right place for such a statement to be made is the State Secretariat of the Party and in the presence of Party members, with result sheets of the congress either displayed by the congress committee chairman or shown to be available. These men gathered in a hotel somewhere outside Owerri metropolis to make the ludicrous statement that there was a ward congress even while it had been established that the result sheets for the conduct of the congress were missing.
It is instructive to note that more than one week after the botched ward congress of the Party in Imo State, the chairman of the congress committee and members of his committee are yet to address the press, even with controversies surrounding that botched exercise in Imo State. In other States across the Federation, where there was a semblance of a ward congress, it is the congress committee chairman for the States that come out to announce the outcome of the exercise. The State chairman of the Party is supposed to be in his ward to participate in the exercise, and in the present case where the Imo State Chairman of the Party is said to be interested in retaining his position, he does not have any reason to be part of the process, as that would amount to been a judge in his own case.
Hilary Ekeh is quite hilarious and he knows it. Apart from speaking from both sides of his mouth on the same issue and within less down 24hours lapse, Hilary Ekeh has also shown through his recent actions and utterances that he does not understand what his roles as a Party chairman are supposed to be. In league with Chief Clement Anozie, who is known for destroying political parties rather than building them, Hilary Ekeh has become the worst embarrassment to anything democratic and political party administration. Ekeh’s actions justify the belief among some schools of thought that certain people are not meant for the top, but are better suited for smaller roles. He has proven that he is a man meant to be led rather than the man leading others. In the past one week or so, Ekeh has only said those things and taken those actions that were sanctioned by his new found political bedmates, rather than what he thinks is right for the Party’s success and the peace of the State.
Another magic of the century that was conjured by this gang of impostors is the resurrection from ‘death’ of a certain Engineer Nwabueze Oguchienti who says he is the State Publicity Secretary of the APC in Imo State, but has acted more as a junior spokesperson of this gang of impostors. Some of us just started hearing the name, Oguchienti last week. Before now many people had enquired to know who the Publicity Secretary of the APC is, without getting any answer.
Certainly a well funded and very wickedly planned coup was designed by the enemies of the people of Imo State parading themselves under different tags, but through the combined prayers of the people of Imo State and the concerted planning and contacts of the true members of the APC in Imo State, led by Governor Rochas Okorocha, this coup has been fully defeated and the forces of darkness sent scampering for a hiding place.
I am very certain that the APC in Imo State has been rescued from the attempted kidnap of this allied forces of darkness and the next battle is at the 2019 polls, where we can be guaranteed a resounding victory against them, as Imo people have taken a decision never to allow themselves to be taken for granted by any individual or group of people no matter how highly placed.
Their new plan may include, but not limited to regrouping in another political Party outside the APC, from where they will continue in their attempt to sabotage the progress of Imo State and the freedom of its people. However, they may gather, but as long as there is no light in their gathering, and their gathering is not of the people, they are bound to be put to shame and their investments are sure to go down the drain.
GOD HAS INDEED BLESSED IMO STATE AND IMO IS MOVING FORWARD…