A civil society group, the Civil Society Committee for Anambra Election Security (COSCAES), has raised the alarm over desperate attempts by Senator Uche Ekwunife, the senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, to subvert the electoral process for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary.
In a strong-worded statement issued on Sunday, June 20, 2021, and signed by its coordinator, Comrade Kennedy Iyere, COSCAES called on Ekwunife to embrace democratic tenets and end all forms of thuggery, gangsterism and disregard for the rule of law ahead of the PDP’s primaries in the state.
The call comes on the heels of the recently-held ward ad-hoc congress where agents linked to Senator Ekwunife allegedly disrupted the process in some local governments.
The group listed some of the extreme political moves by the female senator, which include engendering acts of gangsterism and radicalization, particularly among your youth supporters, who, in their ignorance or naivety, will be engaged as thugs and elements of political intimidation.
The group also condemned Ekwunife for waging a media attack on a former governor of the state, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who recently endorsed another governorship aspirant in the state.
“Your most recent media report on His Excellency, Chukwuemeka Ezeife (Okwadike Ndigbo), following his open endorsement of another gubernatorial aspirant, is not only uncivil and undemocratic but also very childish, unpatriotic, and cliquish,” the letter read.
“Okwadike has the right to choose and endorse whoever he pleases to align with. He does not need your consent or authorization to do so. At this point, you must stop this “do or die” approach to politics. It is most disappointing of a woman who currently serves as a Senator of the Federal Republic.”
Referring to a now-viral video where Dr Ezeife publicly endorsed Mr Valentine Ozigbo ahead of the primary, Comrade Iyere said the move by Okwadike was well-calculated and clearly depicts where the heart of the elder statesman lies.
“Okwadike is an institution. As the first democratically elected Governor of Anambra State, he is a father to all indigenes of the state.
“The video in circulation shows where the heart of Okwadike lies, it is not what you can change but a hard reality you must inevitably embrace. Okwadike is aware that the aspirant he endorsed is far ahead of you in the ongoing gubernatorial race and stands the best chance of winning the election among the contestants within the PDP,” parts of the letter stated.
Reacting to clandestine moves by the senator to emerge as the party’s candidate by crooked means, the group warned that there would be consequences for her actions, as she is sending dangerous signals to the active players in the political space.
Parts of the statement read:
“Senator Uche Ekwunife, your inordinate ambition to clinch the PDP Anambra 2021 gubernatorial ticket by all means, either by hook or by crook, sends a very dangerous signal to those of us, who are investing a great deal of our financial resources, expertise, energy and time in promoting peace and stimulating political stability in Nigeria.
“Inarguably, you are very much afraid of a free and fair primary election because you know that without manipulations, you will perform poorly. This is the point you need to humble yourself for once and lend your ears to Okwadike, he has some open secrets to share with you. He is aware you stand no chance of being elected a Governor by the people of Anambra State. Several prominent political influencers in Anambra State had at different times called on Okwadike to advise you to step down from the gubernatorial contest.
“Many key stakeholders in your party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), both at the national and state levels, are also aware of the fact that the people of Anambra State are not willing to elect Uche Ekwunife as Governor. But they could choose to play along with you just to exploit financial gains to your own detriment and that of the party.
“You may have been assisted by some few corrupt top PDP stakeholders in manipulating the outcome of the recently conducted delegate primary but still, it is certain that you will lose out in the actual primary election, scheduled to hold on the June 26, 2021. This is because there are still other credible top stakeholders in PDP whose interest lies more on the party’s victory in the main election in November than deriving selfish financial benefits from a desperate Uche Ekwunife.
“Also, the PDP delegates themselves are not ignorant of the fact that the good people of Anambra do not want you as their Governor for obvious reasons.
“I am one of the greatest advocates of greater participation of women in politics but certainly not in the uncivil way and reckless manner you have conducted yourself. Please adjust yourself and adopt a new approach which portrays the spirit of sportsmanship.
“This is supposedly a civil contest and not an electoral war! Just for the records, I spoke with Okwadike yesterday. He regretfully confirmed that you are circulating FAKE NEWS about him around the media, alleging that he denied endorsement of Valentine Ozigbo. He is not happy with you, and I will, on that note, advise that you give him a call and tender to him your unreserved apologies. I hope you also know that his wife, Her Excellency, Mrs Grace Ezeife, has not forgiven you for what you did to her. Please, in the interest of peace, it will be advisable for you to make peace with the Ezeifes.
“Senator Uche Ekwunife, I implore you, give peace a chance in Anambra PDP and Anambra State! Please, this is not a media attack on your person but a brotherly admonition. This is the right time to speak up against any threats that can further jeopardize our already evasive peace, security and political stability. Election is no war, there was a life before it, and there will still be life after it. Let’s not destroy the future for ourselves,” the group added.