The South-East All Progressives Congress, APC, said on Sunday that it has uncovered a plot by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to use the Manual Voters Register to rig the rerun election of Imo North senatorial district, billed for Saturday February 20, 2016.
The spokesman of APC Leadership Caucus in the zone, Osita Okechukwu, raised the alarm in a statement on Sunday in Enugu.
Mr. Okechukwu disclosed that he spent a week in Okigwe and found out that the APC candidate, Benjamin Uwajumogu, was leading and the camp of the PDP candidate, Senator Athan Achonu, was panicking because some of his party’s State House of Assembly candidates blame him for their failure in the last election and therefore Mr. Achonu from all indications wants to truncate free poll.
Mr. Okechukwu charged the people of Okigwe zone to remain vigilant as information available to the APC indicated that the PDP has perfected plans to rely on the manual voters register to manipulate the polls. According to the APC spokesman, the discovery reinforces the rumour making the rounds that the PDP was banking on the Supreme Court ruling, which more or else killed the card reader.
The APC chieftain however urged the people of Okigwe zone to vote for Benjamin Uwajimogu, the former Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly.
Mr. Okechukwu made it clear that a vote for Mr. Uwajimogu translates to an automatic ticket for Ndigbo to join the Senate leadership caucus, a privilege even Senator Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President does not have.
He observed that as a former Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Mr. Uwajumogu had paid his dues and acquitted himself diligently.
The statement reads further: “For us in the South East Zone of the APC, this is a golden opportunity, as no Igbo Senator, even our revered Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, is currently a member of the elite APC Senate Caucus.
“This is the ruling party’s Caucus which meets bi-weekly with the Secretary to Government of the Federation, the Vice President and the President; a conclave where major policies, programmes and projects are fine tuned.
“Okigwe has this rare privilege to fill this embarrassing void for Ndigbo. Senator Athan Achor of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yes is qualified, and has the wherewithal to spread, yet he cannot make the APC Senate Caucus because he is not a member of the ruling party.
“May we remind ourselves, that it is very easy to sit in our comfort zone and luxury bedroom shouting on top of our voices that Ndigbo are being marginalized; hallucinate that they hate Ndigbo or lament that Enugu-Port Harcourt highway is dilapidated and ironically still vote for PDP which abandoned all the federal roads in the South East. We must think out of the box, as the time of sentiment is gone.
“Imagine, most alarmingly, how prominent Igbo sons trumpet on daily basis that the government of the day must implement the constitutional conference report, without aligning with Buhari’s government.
“They canvas that Buhari’s government must do all our wish-list, yet they vote for the wrong candidate, because of money. We must say no to money politics as this is the golden opportunity for us to elect one of us to be in the conclave where vital decisions are taken,” Mr. Okechukwu stated.
He recalled that this golden opportunity was provided by the ruling of the Hon. Justice I.B. Garba of the Court of Appeal sitting at Owerri, which ruled on the October 13, 2015, that the election of Senator Athan Achor was not substantially in compliance with the 2010 Electoral Act as amended.
Mr. Okechukwu dismissed information propaganda chant from the PDP that the Supreme Court has buried the Card Reader and they were waiting to see how Mr. Uwajumogu could win without money, even as his governor may not spend a kobo for him, warning that such cannot help Ndigbo.
He equally appealed to officials of Independent National Electoral Commission to watch out for those who were intent on manipulating the election and ensure that they do not derail the wishes of the Okigwe electorate in the rerun election.
Mr. Okechukwu enjoined the people of Okigwe to vote for Mr. Uwajumogu as senator on February 20, 2016, for the collective interest of our dear country, as President Muhammadu Buhari and other compatriots would be happy if this election provides Ndigbo opportunity to close the missing link in the APC-led Federal Government.