Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State, the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), has said it has uncovered a plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the election for the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The party’s interim National Publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, dropped the hint in an interview with Sunday Independent during the week. He said the motive of those behind the plot was to humiliate the APC in the election. But he said the APC would checkmate them.
“We are not unaware that the game plan of the PDP and the Federal Government is to rubbish and humiliate APC in the November 16 election. As a matter of fact, as we are speaking today, PDP has no candidate but they are pumping money into APGA’s campaign. But it won’t work because in due course we are going to expose them. What they want to do is to write results. They don’t want any election to hold because they know
if it is free and fair election in Anambra state, Chris Ngige will win. They will use the military, they will use security forces, they will use INEC. We are aware of all these plans. But we are going to checkmate them.”
APC said as part of the plan, the PDP, in concert with some elements in the Independent National Electoral Commission, intend to send two of the commissions’ best election riggers to Anambra to supervise the election. “We also know that they intend to send two known riggers, two notorious riggers in INEC to go and supervise the election in Anambra. It won’t work. They should be ready to kill many people in Anambra if they think that what they did in Delta will work. The people of Anambra are resolved. You are not going to impose on them the person they don’t want.”
According to Mohammed, part of the plan to rig the election was already in motion with the manipulation of the recently concluded voter register. “All they want to do is rubbish us, humiliate us, and said look at APC with all their hype, they are not on ground. But believe me they will meet their waterloo.”
Mohammed also said the PDP has found a willing hand in APGA’s National Chairman, Victor Umeh whose stock in trade is playing politics with ethnicity. He said it was no wonder Umeh said Ngige belonged to a sectional party.
He advised Umeh to remember that there would be life after election and that the people of Anambra State know who they want. “When Ngige was voted governor of Anambra State in whatever circumstances in 2003, he wasn’t there enemy. So the people know who they want. His track records today stand to be seen. He contested as senator on the platform of ACN and defeated APGA. He defeated PDP. Is this the first time Ngige is going to contest election on a platform other than APGA or PDP? I will tell you one thing, Anambra people know who they are going to vote for. And all this campaign of calumny will not affect them. They know what they got in two and half years of Ngige than what they got in the eight years of Obi.”
Sunday Independent could not get Umeh to react to Mohammed’s comments, but we recall that in an interview with this newspaper recently Umeh made his point on Ngige succinct.
He told us: “I want also to tell you to make people hear that Ngige has all the odds against him in this election. His party is an enemy party here. Our people don’t want to hear about that party. Just few weeks before the nominations started, his brother, Governor Fashola of Lagos State deported the Igbo from Lagos and dumped them in Anambra State at the wee hours of the morning. As soon as that happened, he came out with a public statement supporting the deportation. You cannot wipe it out anywhere, in the markets, that he has deported our people. And we don’t understand why he wants to become the governor of Anambra State through APC, where whatever he will be doing will be cleared with people who are not from here.
“Our people are now wiser. Another thing against him is that election to office of the office of Anambra State is not about Ngige. Ngige is one individual. He has been there and did not satisfy the people of the state. He was too sectional in his approach to governance. He didn’t do the even-handed development of Anambra State that Peter Obi exemplified. He didn’t work in all parts of the state. Onitsha City where he flagged-off his campaign, he didn’t construct one metre of road in Onitsha for the three years he was in office. In Anambra North senatorial zone, no road was done by Ngige.
“Ngige has no reference point. Anybody he has dealt with has come out with a tale of woes. There is no place Ngige will go today and say this is my referee, ask him, he will tell you anything good about him. The people he is coming into Anambra State are strangers, the likes of Tinubu and Oshiomhole, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, who is on the throes of death politically; they are the people who will pile up behind Ngige, telling people of Anambra State to vote for him. You will not see any major person in Anambra State coming out to mount the podium to say vote for Ngige; be on the watch-out.
“Somebody who has run his political career aground because of his inability to keep faith to things he willingly entered into in form of agreement.”