Anambra election: Aspirant drag party to Okija shrine over sale of fake interest/nomination form
BY SUNNY A. DAVID
A Governorship aspirant, Dr. Mathias Ichoku, has threatened to sue a political party, know as National Rescue Movement (NRM) and its leadership before the deadly Okija Shrine for selling fake guber interest/nomination form to him as a sole candidate in the forthcoming November 6th, 2021 Anambra Governorship election.
He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to de-registered the party, alleging that the party is engaged in fraudulent practices.
Dr. Ichoku also urged Nigerians who are card-carrying members of the party and engaged in the activities of the party to walk with caution.
The Governorship aspirant, who spoke to some selected Journalists, shortly after he was disqualified as the sole candidate of NRM, at the party’s Primary election, plan to hold at Indigo Hotel Awka, on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, appealed to the National Working Committee of the Party, headed by Senator Saidu Mohammad, to do the needful as required of them.
According to him, the quest to be the youngest Governor of Anambra State lead him into NRM through the internet. “I got to know about the party through internet browsing.”
Dr. Ichoku added that “I came across the contact address of the party National Secretariat in Abuja, through browsing. I was told that the interest/nomination forms for the Anambra guber polls were sold for 200,000 and 250,000 naira each.
“So, I was happy to be the next Governor under the party platform, then I travelled down to Abuja, where I met the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Barrister Chinedu Obidike, that fraudulently informed me that the forms are sold at the above mention prices and that I would be made soul candidate of the party in the election.
“Barrister Obidike sweet-mouthedly told me that I will single-handedly sponsor the party electioneering activities in Anambra State because the party has no money, office and structure in the State – in which I excellently agreed.
“But to my greatest surprise, on the scheduled day for the primary at the above address in Awka, I was told by the State Chairman of the party, Mr. Nze Nwama Unachukwu, that I was not qualified to contest the primary election because the original guber form for the party was sold at the rate of N300,000 and N350,000 naira respectively and that my membership in the party has not matured for the number one seat in Anambra government house.” He said ever since the electoral process started, he has spent over one million naira including the National party officials flight ticket from Abuja to Anambra and their food, hotel bills – all for the process.
The aggrieved Governorship aspirant accused the National Publicity Secretary of the party of conniving with Anambra State party Chairman, Mr. Nwama Unachukwu, of being behind his disqualification after stealing politically from him.
“As I speak to you journalists now, I am disorganised. I don’t know what to do,” he lament.
Said Dr. Ichoku: “I am calling on the NRM to fulfil their promise by making me the Governorship candidate or return my money, else, I have no option than to sue the party to Court or Okija shrine.”
In his response, the State Chairman of NRM, Mr. Nwama Unachukwu, maintain that Dr. Ichoku was disqualified for being arrogant and a new member of the party.
But in his swift defence, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Barrister Obidike, denied all the allegations, saying “it was the decision of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party to disqualify him (Ichoku) over his desperation to emerged as the party candidate by all means.
“Because he wants to get it, by all means, he brought into the venue thugs and practically harassed our National organising Secretary, Onowu Nwafor Orizu and other leaders of the party.
“Dr Ichoku joins the party one week before the primary and he thought he will emerge as the sole candidate without knowing that the party have other aspirants vying for the position.
“NRM with about ninety practising Lawyers as members believes in transparency and equal right for all card-carrying members. So the party, being among the recognised political parties in Nigeria did not have or sell fake forms to any Anambra Governorship aspirants.
“I what to used the medium to appealed to Dr. Ichoku to accept the party decision and work for the victory of the party, come November 6, 2021.” the Party Spokesman stated.
Our correspondent gathered that the party later picks lady Uchenna Adaobi Okpeke as its flag bearer for the November 6th election. The primary election which took place at Best Western Meloc Hotel, Awka, on July 1, 2021, has 64 party delegates from the 21 Local Government Areas of the State.