By: Chuks Collins, Awka
Perhaps, many citizens, including party leaders, governors and governors at heart, senators and other categories of political actors do not know the aim or purpose for party primaries.
Else, how can someone or a bunch of highly placed citizens trifle with the governorship primary process of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that supposed to hold on June 26,2021 in the entire 326 electoral wards of Anambra.
Person after person had returned same report, that no one visited any of the designated centres mapped out for the event on the said date. Yet, a sitting governorship, an “Excellency” who travelled many kilometers to come to Anambra (perhaps for the first time in his life) on the headship of the special panel constituted by the party to supervise the primary sat comfortably in his Golden Tulip Hotel room to read out what was prepared and handed over to him!
The experience rattled not just his other 13 opponents, including even those he allegedly purchased the Nomination forms for. Their shock was simple and understandable. Just like one of them confided in his political associate, ‘I know it was going to happen, but no one imagined that party members would not be allowed to see the color of the ballot papers. The man had revealed that he was invited to join on the team going to Imo state for the packaging of the result
The fear is that INEC is watching, the world is watching, and the opponents are also watching.
Can APC afford to gamble a second time? The party experienced this in Bayelsa, Rivers and Zamfara states. But the most sweeping scenario occurred in Zamfara. The party went to the election, won but lost it because it had no candidate. And the runner-up suddenly became the winner and the greatest beneficiary of that internal administrative blunder. Funny enough they party is yet to recover from the problem till date.
Curiously, in this Anambra case, INEC has spoken. The Commission allied with the voice of the citizens , that there was no primary anywhere in the state on June 26.
Was it true that Gov Abiodun was sent to Anambra to extinguish the fledgling light of the party some members like Chief George Moghalu, Sen Chris Ngige, Chief Basil Ejidike and others painstakingly worked to establish.
Is it not shocking that having given the once non-existent party in the geopolitical zone two states in Imo and Ebonyi, and now rearing to add Anambra apparently in preparation for the 2023 presidential bid by the zone, someone would consciously erase all those hardwork on the alter of party primary election.
All who is who in APC in the state have said in many and diverse ways that no primary election was conducted in any of the 326 wards of the state on June 26, including Andy Uba’s Uga ward of Aguata Local Government Area of the state. Sen Ngige said it, Moghalu said it, Dr Chidozie Nwankwo said it and Chief Azuka Okwuosa said so too. All other thirteen (13) aspirants were firm and vehement on it. No election of any sort held in any part of the state that day. And no one could even till now guess the color or size of the ballot papers/boxes.
So, if that was the case, where did Gov Abiodun of Ogun state arrive at the figures he read out. Who are the officers that worked with him? Where and where did any of them operate that day. Who were the local staff that worked with them?
Who conducted or supervised the election in Nnewi without Moghalu knowing or being allowed to cast his vote. Where did the official visit in Alor that Ngige never cast his vote. Where did the voting point in Oraifite take place that Okwuosa didn’t know, and wasn’t allowed to cast his vote. Where in the entire Oko community did they perform the abracadabra called primary that Nwankwo, a son of the soil who had his primary and secondary life upbringing in the community, didn’t know.
Without any premonition of the whole drama, Moghalu, Ngige and Nwankwo sent out monitors who fed them minute by minute account of proceedings. And their individual situation rooms recorded a no election in all parts of the situation.
Unfortunately, it’s doubtful if any of them forwarded those minute minding reports to the WhatsApp or any other social media network of the party either the state or national Headquarters. Because that would have greatly enhanced the ongoing appraisal of all that transpired on June 26,2021.
And from media reports, it would be nunc dimitis to APC in the state and the geopolitical zone if the fraud of June 26 is allowed to stand.
Then the battle would be shifted to a new turf; the eligibility turf. Because while APC bicker over the conduct of her beleaguered primary election other opponents have been busy documenting and compiling details. It would therefore not be surprising if APC misses out of the main election because of the primary election brouhaha.
It’s funny that while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in a report by its Election and Party Monitoring (EPM) Department, testified that contrary to the results announced by the Governor Dapo Abiodun-led Anambra Governorship Election Committee, no primary held in the state on June 26.
The INEC officials who signed the document included Ibe U. Ibe who led the team, Nkechi Abuh, (Assistant Director) and Modibo Bellel (Principal Executive Officer). The EPM stated that the purported primary, which produced Senator Andy Uba as its winner, was non-existent.
The report, which was submitted by the commission’s monitoring team who was officially sent to monitor the APC primary didn’t mince words in the report. So it’s now clear that someone is out to embarrass the Anambra state APC out of relevance in the Nov 6,2021 governorship election.
Again, what manner of detergent would be used to wash off the mess that APC would find herself if things are allowed to stand. The Heritage Bank staff had portrayed Uba as insolvent.
That is an unpardonable issue to overlook. It’s serious. It’s grievous. Any other candidate, opponent, citizen would simply go to court and get APC disqualified for presenting a defective candidate. Then he would quickly run to the court, but it would be flogging a dead horse, because at the end of the day he would be disqualified and the party will lose out.
The question would then be, why should someone with a defective process of emergence foist himself on the party and the people. Because he issue of insolvency, whether proven or alleged remains a heavy allegation. That is why it’s constitutional. I mean, that was why the nation’s constitution; the grund norm copiously gave it a whole chapter.
It’s also why before anyone is given a responsibility, that key question is always asked. ‘Have you ever been declared bankrupt?’
If Andy Uba is bankrupt as alleged by the purported staff of Heritage Bank who laid siege on his Asokoro Abuja residence the footage of which has been widely circulated, then he should save the state, the APC and her enthusiastic members the heart ache and step aside. It will be more honorable that way.
Else, the Zamfara experience is vehemently staring Anambra APCin the face because of just one man. And Gov Abiodun need to apologize to the party, Anambra citizens and the nation for the mess.