By Collins Ughalaa KSC
Last year we came across a book written by Barr. Willie Amadi titled SECOND CHANCE. Willie Amadi is no new name in Imo State politics. He was Special Adviser under former Governor Ikedi Ohakim. He later became a Commissioner at the Public Complaints Commission, otherwise called OMBUDSMAN. He has been involved in various political arrangements since 2011 when Ohakim left office. Few days ago we had cause to read his book we had forgotten on the shelf. It was Hon. Ethelbert Okere, the Director General of the Imo State Orientation Agency, that called our mind back to the book.
Writing on “HON HENRY NWAWUBA: AMAZING BRILLIANCE POLLUTED BY SOPHISTRY”, Okere delved into Ihedioha’s purported victory at the 2019 governorship polls. The reference to the book forced us to open it for the very first time and we read it from cover to cover. We are amazed at the quantum of revelation in the book, especially as it concerns the 2019 governorship election in Imo. From what we gleaned from the book, Ihedioha did not win the 2019 governorship election. At best, what Ihedioha got on Sunday, March 10, 2019 was what we at the Global Association of Concerned Imo Youths (GACIY) now call “Negotiated INEC Declaration”.
According to Willie Amadi’s SECOND CHANCE: “While the collation of votes was going on in the early hours of March 10, 2019, insider information from INEC showed a likelihood of a run-off between Nwosu and Ihedioha. I reached out to Chief Tony Chukwu whom I knew had access to the Presidential Villa, Abuja. As collation entered into a critical and determining stage, I drove to his residence at Civic Centre [Owerri]. I met him with Chief Longers Anyanwu sitting alone in his expansive parlour”.
He continued: “I intimated them with the feelers I was getting from INEC and demanded to know from [Toney Chukwu], who, between Nwosu and Ihedioha, we should support. He replied angrily that Nwosu was a no-go area. He explained that he was not ready to help sentencing Imolites to another gruesome eight years since he was certain that Nwosu was going to be a surrogate governor to his father-in-law, the outgoing governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha. On Ihedioha, he had mixed feelings based on the latter’s disrespect to him and an allegation that Ihedioha had told some powerful people in the presidency that he, Chukwu, voted for Atiku Abubakar rather than Buhari the previous week. It took me close to forty minutes to placate him with an appeal that he should forgive Ihedioha since time was of [the] essence. Longers intervened and spoke in a similar vein, pleading with Tony to help in delivering Ihedioha (sic).
“Before going to Tony’s place, I had called Ihedioha to find out how he was faring and whether reports from his election control room was favourable. Typical of Ihedioha, he confessed that he was having problems with the issue of spread but that [he] hoped that the six remaining local government areas would sway in his favour; a hope that was eventually dashed. While Tony was still trying to make up his mind, Chief Anyanwu took a step further by putting a call across to Chief Emeka Offor, a well known and influential businessman from Anambra State and solicited for his intervention (sic).
“Not too long after, Chief Offor called Tony and spoke with him. After their conversation, Tony received calls from governors of Ebonyi and Abia states. When I realized that Chief Chukwu had been [captured] emotionally, I conspired with Longers to take him to Senator Hope Uzodimma. We returned to Tony Chukwu’s house and once there, I called Ihedioha to alert him that action would soon commence.
“As soon as we got back to his house, Chief Chukwu called Mallam Abba Kyari, the late Chief of Staff to President Buhari; the Minister of Interior, Major General Dambaba; the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami as well as the National Security Adviser, Major-General Monguno. According to him, they all agreed with him that Okorocha’s candidate, Nwosu, was not favoured by the new power configuration for 2023. When it appeared that our efforts were beginning to yield fruits – in fact 70 per cent successful – with directives communicated to the INEC Chairman from the appropriate quarters, I suggested to Tony to invite Ihedioha and Jones Onyereri for the final capture and possession. While the two were in Tony’s house, the result was announced and Ihedioha was declared winner. An obviously dazed Ihedioha turned to Tony and asked: ‘What is the Source of Your Power?’ Tony brought out his Rosary, waved it before him” (sic).
Willie Amadi’s book was released in November 2020 amidst fanfare. For one year there has been no response whatsoever from Ihedioha or his handlers on the issues raised in the book. Willie Amadi told the story of his involvement, leading to the Negotiated INEC Declaration of Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State. But beyond Willie’s roles, other things played out in the election. Ihedioha was helped to power with undeserved, outrageous and magical 64,219 votes from Aboh Mbaise, 32,987 votes from Ahiazu Mbaise, and 30,035 votes from Ezinihitte Mbaise, totalling 125,241 votes from the three local government areas of Mbaise clan.
According to the Negotiated INEC Declaration, Ihedioha became Governor with 273,404 votes, representing 38.29% of the total votes cast. Out of the 273,404 votes alloacted to Ihedioha, 125,241 votes came from Mbaise alone. Simple arithmetic shows that Ihedioha garnered mere 148,163 votes in other 24 local government areas of the State, and 125,241 votes from just three local government areas. On the average, Ihedioha and the PDP got 6,173 votes from each of the remaining 24 local government areas. And Ihedioha claims to be the popularly elected governor, with 148,163 votes from 24 local government areas! If the magical 125,241 votes from Mbaise alone did not strike you, then you have developed thick skin for anything. But you may consider yet another scenario, where Ihedioha’s agent at the State Collation Centre, Barr Uche Onyeagucha, shamelessly chew election results like Crackers biscuits, which landed him in custody.
Ihedioha knew what transpired in the election and how he became Governor. As a matter of fact, the ghost of that election haunted him for the seven and a half months he was in office. Despite his Negotiated Declaration as the winner of the 2019 governorship polls, he carried the toga of a governor that did not have the spread to win. This was made worse by the candidate of the Action Alliance (A.A), Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, who dragged him to court – from Tribunal to Appeal Court and the Supreme Court – asking the courts to nullify Ihedioha’s Negotiated Mandate for lacking the required spread. If you noticed, the Rebuild Imo Administration was prepared for a rerun. That was what they hoped could be the worst case scenario. That was why they were flagging off road projects just to be in the good books of the people. Apart from Ihedioha and his team, Ifeanyi Araraume and Uche Nwosu were also ready for a rerun election. That was what formed the midnight alliance between Okorocha/Uche Nwosu and Araraume.
The rerun election did not come. Rather the Supreme Court relied on irrefutable evidence from the Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma showing that votes due to him from 388 polling units were denied him, and that if those votes were added he would have been declared winner of the election by INEC. The Supreme Court delivered justice by retrieving the mandate from those who stole it, handing it over to the man who earned it – the Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma. The Supreme Court, in its landmark judgement on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, held “that on the preponderance of evidence, the appellants discharged the burden of proving that the results from 388 polling units, which were in their favour, were excluded from the collation of results and that if the excluded votes are added to the results declared in their favour, they would have emerged as the winners of the election”.
The PDP has not allowed the entire Imo State have peace since January 2020. From one phantom claim to the other, the party has turned itself not only into a sad orphan but the troubler of the whole State and the agitator-in-chief. Its guber candidate, Ihedioha, cries to the rooftop that his mandate was stolen, whereas evidence shows that the PDP is the actual mandate thief.
In those days, when you catch a thief he was usually remorseful, even if he would steal again. But these days, thieves can kill the owner of the property for daring to challenge them, for daring to recover his property. This is akin to the PDP refusing to be remorseful that they were caught pants down stealing another man’s mandate. They think they can only hold everyone down with lies. That’s why they continue to pollute the minds of young Imo people with the lie that they were popularly elected but the Supreme Court deprived them their victory. For this reason, they would rather Imo burns than give Governor Hope Uzodimma breathing space.
You would think that those the PDP are deceiving are ignorant folks. Or that only Ihedioha and his party are deceiving the people. That’s not so. Other PDP leaders, such as Hon. Henry Nwawuba, are among those who have not been able to rescue themselves from the lies and deceit from of Ihedioha. Instead they have become agents spreading same falsehood.
….to be continued…..