- Category: POLITICS
- Published on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 18:00
- Written by Joe Igbokwe
Nigeria is a country of anything goes. This is a country where people project self rather than project national institutions. This is a country where somebody is made a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a minister for 150 million people and the person goes ahead to personalize the
exalted office and consequently use it to the benefit of his immediate and extended family, his cronies, friends, associates and hangers on. Therefore, the huge resources meant for the people of Nigeria are deployed to service personal interests to the detriment of 150 million Nigerians. This is the more reason why things have remained the same in Nigeria even in the midst of plenty. The more it looks as if we are moving forward the more we remain the same.
Prof Maurice Iwu, the Chairman of INEC has through personal greed, gross inefficiency, political timidity and lack of respect personalized the office of the nation´s Independent Electoral Commission and used it fight seen and unseen enemies. Professor Maurice Iwu in his penchant for petty things does not know that he is a public servant that is accountable to 150 million Nigerians. Perhaps, Prof Maurice Iwu´s pedigree did not prepare him to realize that the position of INEC Chairman in Nigeria is an exalted office meant for a decent, responsible, and committed person who understands that public service is a service to fatherland. Prof Iwu has stubbornly refused to serve the people of Nigeria, he has shamelessly refused to toe the path of sanity and he has refused to learn from the history. Before Professor Maurice Iwu, we have had, Justice Ovie Whisky, Professor Eme Awa, Professor Humphrey Nwosu, Professor Okon Uya, Justice Ephraim Akpata, and Dr
Abel Guobadia. Professor Iwu fails to realize that institutions remain but people come and go. Probably in the next couple of months, Iwu may become history in INEC office, Abuja. But how would he be remembered?
Iwu´s conduct of the 2007 elections was an unmitigated disaster. The international and local election observers said so. Several divisions of the election tribunals and Appeal Courts through their judgments said so. But only Professor Maurice Iwu and the PDP which benefited from his shoddy conduit of the 2007 elections is right in the face of these startling and frightening revelations. Professor Maurice Iwu became the Chairman of INEC at the instance of the notorious Mr. Andy Ubah. It was Andy Ubah who took him to Obasanjo and he was made the INEC Chairman. As a way of paying back for the good deeds of Mr Ubah, Iwu used his position to stop Chief Nicholas Ukachukwu of ANPP, Mr Peter Obi of APGA and Dr Chris Ngige of AC from participating in the 2007 governorship elections. Andy Ubah and his cronies could not even permit the elections he was the sole candidate to take place; rather he caused all the election materials to be dumped in the bush near
Nnewi and went ahead to write the results that never was. The tribunal and the Appeal Court stopped him. Based on the results of 2003 election where Governor Peter Obi got almost 90% of the votes, the Appeal declared that the so-called 2007 was a non event because there was no vacancy in Anambra Governor´s office. Yes, Governor Peter Obi won the 2003 elections fair and square but a gang of five led by one Chris Ubah of PDP using the instrumentality of the nation´s security agencies overpowered APGA and stole the mandate for three years (2003-2006). Please remember that in the midst of the crisis that followed the brigandage and criminality in Anambra, because the perpetrators could not agree on how to share the loot, one Barrister Olisa Metuh took the two electoral offenders Dr Chris Ngige and Mr Chris Ubah to President Obasanjo for reconciliation in Aso Rock. There, Chris Ubah asked Dr Ngige to tell the president how he came to power. When Ngige
could not talk Chris Ubah opened up on how the deed was done.
When president Obasanjo asked Ngige to confirm whether what Ubah said was the truth, he said yes. President Obasanjo said he ordered them out of Aso Rock. Eventually Gov Peter Obi won after three years. When Gov Obi trounced Mr. Chris Ubah and company and was sworn in as Governor, President Obasanjo invited him to Aso Rock and said: "Governor Obi almost all of us Abuja did not support you. I did not support you. You almost did this fight alone. I think God has a hand in this. He wants you in this position. Very soon some people will come to Awka to tell you how they fought for you. Please ignore them. Nobody fought for you. You did the battle yourself. Go in peace and be a good Governor" While Ngige was removed and Peter Obi sworn in, members of the Anambra House who came through the same fraudulent process were left intact. While almost every body in the House is PDP, Gov Peter Obi is APGA. This arrangement led to the illegal impeachment of Gov
Peter Obi in 2007. But how was Obi impeached? It was an Nnewi affair, a town where I come from. It was a day few well-to-do people from Nnewi conspired to steal power through the back door and I remember I made it clear then why I will not support my former teacher, Mrs Dame Virgy Etiaba, the Deputy Governor who became the Governor after the criminal impeachment. And I gave reasons. Now, what are the reasons: Chief Emeka Ojukwu, Ikemba Nnewi who was the Presidential candidate of APGA and leader of the Party is from Nnewi? The Chief Justice of Anambra State then, retired Justice C.J Okoli is from Nnewi; the Deputy Governor is from Nnewi. The impeachment panel Chairman is from Nnewi. Another member of the five man panel is also from Nnewi. I made it clear that Governor Obi will not get justice in the face of this onslaught from Nnewi. I therefore wrote that the Governorship position was stolen. Governor Peter fought the impeachment in the Court and he was
Now, because Obi scuttled Andy Ubah´s ambition to be Governor through the back door, Obi has never been in the good books of Professor Maurice Iwu of INEC. Again in Imo State in 2007 Chief Martin Agbaso of APGA won the Governorship elections but Professor Iwu cancelled the election but retained the House of Assembly election which was conducted simultaneously with that of the Governorship. APGA rejected the cancellation and spoke without mincing words through the Chairmen Chief Victor Umeh. The matter is still in Court today. Professor Maurice Iwu will not want Chief Agbaso in the governorship House in Imo State because his brother will be removed as SSG, his daughter removed as Special Assistance, and his in-law thrown away from the Imo State Public Service. Besides, Gov Peter Obi has been calling for Prof Iwu´s removal if we must have free and fair elections in this country.
This is the reason why Prof Maurice Iwu is after Governor Peter Obi, Chief Victor Umeh and Chief Agbaso. It is a personal matter, a personal ambition, and a matter of greed. In Anambra State, he has deployed Chief Chekwas Okorie one of the most faceless politician ever known in the history of Nigeria to destroy APGA and to make sure Governor Peter Obi is deprived APGA platform to contest next year governorship elections in the State. But who is Chekwas Okorie? Chekwes Okorie has been a well known political contractor since 1999, a pay me and I will fight for you kind of person, Agbata ekee politician, an ugba and okpoloko and chop and quench politician. He fed fat on Orji Uzo Kalu when he was the Governor of Abia until that door was closed. Before 2003 elections, he and others sought for registration of APGA at Abuja and when that request was granted Chekwas Okorie went berserk. Okorie thought he accomplished an impossible task by getting the Party
registered and as a result he started to traverse the whole of South East calling himself Oje ozi Ndigbo and collecting money from prominent Igbo people who took APGA as Igbo Party. President Obasanjo saw the primitive celebration and decided to rubbish Chekwas with the registration of almost 30 Parties in one fell swoop. Chekwas was humiliated and humbled by this and he quickly retraced his steps. Chekwas Okorie was the Chairman of APGA and throughout the time Governor Obi was fighting for his mandate, the political harlot was no where to be found. It was later discovered that he was working for PDP and taking money from the then Governor Chris Ngige. When the leadership of APGA discovered this colossal and monumental betrayal they expelled him, and since then he has been fighting to retain his former position as APGA Chairman. This is the man Iwu is using to destroy APGA today. Early this year, Iwu paid APGA subvention to Chief Victor Umeh because
imprisonment was starring him on the face if he had done otherwise. Today Iwu says INEC recognizes the bread and butter politician called Chief Chekwas Okorie.
The good people of Anambra feel scandalized because Professor Iwu is turning their beloved State into a political laboratory for all kinds of dubious experiments. Iwu´s pranks with APGA are a direct affront on the country´s law and the judiciary. Everything Iwu is presently doing on APGA is in contempt of unvacated Court rulings. By the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja, Chekwas is not a member of APGA as he stands validly expelled from APGA. But Maurice Iwu has crowned him his own Chairman of APGA all in the bid to ensure the Party is destroyed for his selfish interests. I challenge Nigerian judiciary to put a stop to this affront and arrant nonsense and commit Iwu to prison to serve as a lesson to those who would want to play games with Court rulings the way Iwu is doing. Iwu´s antics is to deny Governor Obi a platform in 2010 elections but the truth remains that no elections will take place in Anambra State without Governor Peter Obi.
Governor Peter Obi has come a long way. He is the face of rule of law in Nigeria and has encouraged other robbed candidates to seek redress in the law Courts. Peter Obi is one of the most courageous sitting Governors in Nigeria today. He fought Mr. Chris Ubah and company to retrieve his stolen mandate. He fought his illegal impeachment for months. He defeated fraudulent contractors in Anambra State, he returned rule of law, dignified leadership and show cased accountability and probity in all government business. Governor Peter Obi has restored political sanity and added serious values in Anambra State.
Prof Maurice Iwu is playing to the gallery because he did not know how the democracy he is criminalizing was achieved in 1999. Over 5000 Nigerians died for this democracy. Iwu should get these two books: Heroes of Democracy and 2007: The IBB Option and after reading them he will change his mindset if he has conscience. The truth is that Nigerians will not trust Iwu with the conduct of 2010 elections in Anambra State. He is partial, totally irredeemable, unrepentant, incorrigible, arrogant and stupid. He is endangering our hard-earned democracy, and he must be stopped.
As 2010 approaches we are seeing bizarre political brigandage in Anambra State. We hear of `armed robberies´ and `kidnappings´ almost on a daily basis. This is politics by other means and if it is designed to rubbish Governor Obi, the plans will fail. We have seen it before in the days of the locusts. There must be elections in 2010 and it must be free and fair. It must be won and lost. Antecedents will play a critical role and I know that Anambra people will remember those who destroyed their State and those who are rebuilding the State.