From Chuks Moses, 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. The drama had begun two days earlier with the announced disqualification of oil mogul businessman Dr Ifeanyi Ubah for a strange new political excuse of “waiver not obtained”. This was against the widely circulated information that both the party and Gov Obiano was going against an agreement he had with Ubah, and brokered by some Anambra elites.
The deal which was allegedly sealed ahead the 2007 governorship election in the state copiously indicated that the governor will grant him automatic ticket in return for supporting him in the governorship contest which Obiano went on to win last year. So, as the time for the deal to be made whole, it appears the governor was dragging his foot and eventually chickened out completely.
Consequently, sleazy details, both audio and video recordings of the agreement began to surface on the social media platforms. It was a sad spectacle to watch because media aides of both leaders and even the party floundered a good opportunity to salvage their image. They simply continued to wring their fingers while the sordid expose went on till date.
Little wonder the security challenges experienced at the Ekwulobia Stadium ahead the senatorial election primary on Wed, Oct 3,2018. But for those conversant with political atmosphere, it was normal, though not ideal.
At the end of it all the Orsumenyi electoral powerhouse – Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu, a name the whole search engines have come to recognize in the annals of Nigerian political lexicon triumphed.
Incidentally the collation of results began with that of Mr Bianca Ojukwu who scored 177 votes while she, alongside her avid supporters sat face to face with the party officials flanked by Independent National Electoral Commission officials and security chiefs in the state as the collation and counting of the results went ahead till the end. Ukachukwu polled 211 votes to emerge winner.
The wild jubilation that followed the announcement of the winner shocked everyone present. The excited supporters went wild round the arena despite the late hour when the process ended. Even Ukachukwu was personally dazed as he couldn’t settle in his chair again and had to be made to sit pretty on the grass to enable him regain composure. It was indeed a sweet victory.
One of the aspirants – Ikenna Mbazulike-Amechi did a gentleman’s thing, conceded defeat and went over immediately to congratulate Ukachukwu. All this while, Mrs Ojukwu keenly watched few steps away. She nearly stepped into a pool of water in her front when the surging crowd which was trying to catch a glimpse of or even the silhouette of Ukachukwu pressed so hard on her. It was indeed a fine day for APGA as many believed it is only Prince Ukachukwu that has the political capacity and financial muscle to prosecute the senatorial contest alongside heavyweights being thrown up by other parties like the PDP and the APC.
Surprisingly an unconfirmed report indicated that the failure of the favoured aspirant, Mrs Ojukwu, to secure the ticket, led the party leadership to refuse to validate the result.
It further indicated that the delegates chose to vote Ukachakwu over what they saw as callous treatment on Ubah ahead the primaries infuriated the delegates against the party. They were reportedly angry that Obiano brazenly jettisoned his earlier agreement with Ubah, as well as the hijack of APGA by Aguleri indigenes. So the party faithful chose to massively vote Ukachukwu in protest.
These angry delegates quickly went to the Otolo-Nnewi home of Dr Ubah in solidarity that Obiano’s candidate(Mrs Ojukwu) lost.
Simultaneously, there was rumored jubilation in the camp of Gov Obiano’s wife as the report alleged that the constant presence of Mrs Ojukwu was already giving the First Lady some concern. This information may not be true as no other source agreed to confirm it.
However, party faithful have reasoned that whether APGA would survive beyond Obiano and the incumbent Victor Oye-executive would depend on how this election matters were tackled.
Besides Dr Ubah, the party also disqualified Chinedu Ekwealor who is the only challenger against Prince Chinedu Emeka for Anambra North senatorial zone.
Senator Stella Oduah had left the party in anger following the ignominious way she was treated despite the understanding she reached with them which made her join the party earlier. She left the moment they started recanting on the agreement.
Political watchers posited that whatever Obiano and Oye end up with as final decision must be in the growth and future interest of the party, or it would just sing the party’s nunc dimitis.