Ahead of the 2019 election, the controversies that trailed the APC primary election in Enugu State is far from over. Barr Ikechukwu Maximus Ugwuoke, also known as Hakuna Matata, an APC House of Representative hopeful for Nsukka Igboeze South Federal constituency on Sunday broke silence over the APC Enugu primaries insisting that he remains the winner of the primaries and the party’s Candidate and will resist every attempt by anyone to manipulate the process no matter whose ox is gored. Speaking during the meeting he held with some stake holders of his Hakuna Matata Support Group he said. “I remain the validly elected candidate of APC for Nsukka Igboeze South Federal constituency who emerged from the direct primary election held by the APC on the 3rdday of October 2018 and no one can deny me that mandate. I have a copy of the result of that primary where I scored the highest number of votes cast and I will resist the orchestrated imposition of whomever as the candidate of the party”.
“In my social media handle I raised this alarm on the day of the primaries. The Prof Momo led Electoral panel was originally drafted to Enugu to conduct indirect primary against the demands of the stakeholders of the party for direct primaries, when the National Working Committee of the party cancelled the indirect primary that started with Guber Primary and changed all Enugu primaries from indirect to direct primary, the same Prof Momoh committee who told the aspirants that did not come to Enugu with the material for direct primary still went ahead to summon all aspirants at the party secretariat were he addressed us. After the address he told all aspirants to go to their various wards and local government areas and wait for the purported material which they had earlier admitted they didn’t come with. I knew right from then that they were up to something. They refused any aspirant or our agents from accompanying them to disperse the purported material. They left the venue in company of the factional chairman of the party Dr Ben Nwoye and that was the last anyone saw him. They decided to go to and abode at Nike lake Hotel where they drew up a list of some purported winners without holding any election. They made no announcement of any result that day and even the following day because they knew they conducted no election.
“I put them to the strictest prove to come up with evidence of any election which they claimed to have held. I raised this alarm that they conducted no election and that anything that will result from such manipulation shall not stand. Check my facebook pages and whatsapp you will still see my post there.
But as fate would have it, that same day, the Enugu APC under the chairmanship of Deacon Okey Ogbodo that wanted the direct primaries from the onset was well prepared and well equipped with the materials for the direct primary election and had fully complied with all the knownlegitimate steps for the conduct of the election as stipulated in the APC party guideline for conduct of the 2018 Direct primaries. They had also notified the relevant security agencies and the INEC of their readiness for the election prior to that date. And so they went ahead with the conduct of the election in the various wards in the state. The results were collated as stipulated in the party guideline and in my constituency I emerged winner with a very wide margin to defeat my two other opponents Mr Emma Agama who came second and Engr Ik Ugwuegede who came third.
“I later heard the rumor that Engr Ugwuegede is laying claims as the party candidate, how?I repeat without mincing words that any attempt to impose him as the party candidate will spell a doom for APC as far as my constituency is concerned. Besides the fact that he did not emerge the winner of the primary through any democratic means, he is not a qualified member of APC and as such cannot be the Party’s candidate for that election. I have all it takes to prove this in Court if the party goes on with this impunity. He doesn’t possess the requisite qualifications for that office, I know what I mean and will let the cat out of the bag if the party decides to forge ahead with this impunity. The court of law is there to clean up any mess that anyone may want to do to circumvent this truth. Thank God I am a minister in the temple of justice, that is where I have proudly laboured for over a decade now, so I wouldn’t just say I will drag all those that may be involved in this impunity to court, I would rather say I am already waiting for them in the Court because that is where I already belong.
“I have confidence in our judicial system to right any wrong. As a lawyer, I am not new to controversies and good enough Ugwuegede is not new to controversy either. The difference perhaps lies on who can go the extra mile. I am determined to go that mile the legal way. What is morally wrong cannot be politically right. It does matter whose name is sent to INEC. I have filled and submitted my INEC Form, it doesn’t matter whose data is published by INEC, the final list of Candidates will be out by January 2019 by INEC timetable and even after then it doesn’t foreclose the avenue to remedy any injustice done in the process. Good enough under our law, INEC doesn’t print any candidate’s name on the ballot paper, it is the name of the political parties that are printed there. I pray and will continue to work for APC to win the general election in my constituency, then after we will know who has the valid claim to the party’s ticket in my constituency. The wind of justice grinds slowly but it will surely grind to a halt.
“Recall that in 2015, Engr Ugwuegede contested this same position with the incumbent, Dr Pat Asadu in PDP. He claimed he had the mandate and my constituents believed him and voted massively for PDP. But guess what, he never smelled that office as the incumbent went to court and was declared the rightful candidate of PDP after the 2015 general election. That was how the incumbent who never did any campaign in 2015 and who in the real sense was never in contemplation of voters as the candidate during the election went back to the green chambers for the third term. Ugwuegede’s appeal to Court of Appeal and to the Supreme Court did not succeed. What this means in plain simple terms is that both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court took judicial notice of the fact that he stole the incumbent’s mandate during the 2014 PDP Primary election.May be history is about to repeat itself again.If he has the anointing for wining election with someone’s mandate, I should be happy for it beause this time I will be the beneficiary.
“This time around there has been a widespread clamour of the good people of Nsukka/Igboeze South federal constituency to stop the bid of the incumbent, Dr Pat Asadu to return to the green chambers for the forth term. We the Nsukka People have been agitating that it was high time we took our turn of the position after 12 whopping years of retention of the powerby the incumbent who is from our sister LGA , Igboeze South LGA . Instead of apologizing to my constituents for his inability to consolidate the mandate given to him in PDP in 2014,Ugwuegede jumped into APC about the time we were picking nomination form obviously to do what he did in PDP. Steal my mandate? Never. Those who are backing him will soon be disgraced. Let them claim he is APC candidate and go ahead with his campaign when the ban on campaign is lifted. He did it in PDP but lost in the end. He didn’t learn from that mistake. He now wants to repeat it again in APC. I assure you he will loseagain at the end because in mathematics one plus one will always be two any time any day.History repeats itself because we refuse to learn from it.
“My concern is that my constituents are looking on to APC now as a credible alternative to ventilate their wishes in 2019 general election especially now that PDP has goofed in giving back their ticket to the incumbent to contest for the fourth term. Ugwuegede doesn’t have what it takes to win the incumbent. If Dr Pat Asadu could wrestle the power out of him in 2014 inspite of the entire backup he had from the then Governor of the state, how much more now that he doesn’t seem to have such backup. Dr Pat Asadu knows Ugwuegede’s weak points and will still wrestle the powers from him even if he wins at the general election. Nsukka /Igboeze South Federal Constituency cannot continue to watch these two gladiators toil with their fate since 2014 till date when we have many better undertakers which I happen to be one of them.In every generation there will always be a David that must confront the Goloiaths. As at date, neither Ugwuegede nor Dr Asadu has any clearmanifestoes known to my people on what to do for them with the legislative powers they are seeking. I have a clear defined manifesto encapsulated in my I-Web Roadmap which I have unveiled during my official declaration for this race. My mission is divine. The title of my official declaration speech was ‘sunrise of change from the East’. My vision and mission has not changed and they are unstoppable as so long as no one can stop the sun from rising.
“I have the overwhelming support of my constituents.God has positionedme for that office and I will perform better than the incumbent in that office. I have both the legal and divine weapons to win the incumbent and to retain and defend that victory to any length.
“I don’t have anything personal against Engr Ugwuegede, we have been friends of late. I am only against the way people are going about deceiving him maybe because of the money or whatever they want from him. I blame APC as a party for not solving the factional problem it has inthe state before delving into the primary election. This is the result of it.
Speaking on the issue of the gubernatorial candidate of the party in the state, Barr Ugwuoke said“I make bold to state that I have my support for Barr George Ogara. He emerged through the same process that I emerged. He is better prepared for that job going by his sacrifice for the party and his antecedents.He and his deputy, Ginika Tor Williams stand for the conscience of the party in the state. Besides this, the power equation in Enugu North Zone where the party had zone her Guber candidate and which is where both Sentor Ayogu and Barr Ogara comes from favours Barr Ogara all the more. This is because; the Zone has three Federal Constituencies, Igbo Etiti/Uzouwani Federal Constituency, Udenu/Igboeze South Federal Constituency and Nsukka/Igboeze South federal constituency. Out of these three federal constituencies that make up Enugu North zone, the other two had taken a shot at the Guber position in the state. Former Governor of the State, Okwesilieze Nwodo is from Igboetiti/Uzouwani, he wasthe governor for one term, the current state governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who is from Udenu/Igboeze North is about finishing his first term, it is only equitable that if there should be a change of the baton this time, it should be from Nsukka/Igboeze South Constituency and that is my constituency which coincidentally is where Bar Ogara comes from. He is from Igboeze South LGA, I am from Nsukka LGA.”I have the freedom to support whoever I choose and I have long taken that decision.