We, the members of Anambra Democratic Watch have watched with utmost dismay and discomfiture the soap opera being played out on innocent Nigerians who are in the main, ignorant of the real political situation in Anambra State especially as it relates to the trio of Mr. Peter Obi, the sitting Governor of Anambra State, Mrs. Dorathy Akunyili, past Minister for Information and Mr. Victor Umeh, factional chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).

By way of background, it is important to note that all these persons come from the same town of Agulu in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra Central Senatorial District. In spite of hard promises to loyal APGA faithfuls that the Senate ticket was theirs for the contest, Mr. Peter Obi gave away the ticket to Mrs.  Akunyili of the PDP, who had spent but a few hours of membership in APGA.

How this Carpetbagger with no previous electoral experience nor political structure expected to accomplish the feat of winning Anambra Central Senate seat was yet to be seen. It therefore did not come to us as a surprise that instead of engaging in a free and fair contest, Mrs Akunyili and her party APGA rigged the election in  her town of Agulu and her LG of Anaocha which returned a total of 22,500 votes where the total registered voters is 69,000.  But while she engaged in the “Ido Osi” of Anaocha votes, she did not factor in the stumbling block, the HERO of DEMOCRACY, in the person of Mr. Alex Anene, the Senatorial District Collating/Returning Officer (SDC/RO) for Anambra Central Senatorial District. When Mrs. Akunyili tried to rebrand rigging, Mr. Anene the true Patriot stopped her right in her tracks. And now that Mrs. Akunyili has taken a full page Advertorial in the Sun Newspaper of April 13, 2011 and in other National Dailies trying  to rebrand lies, we wish to use this medium to say that a lie is a lie and can never be rebranded. Even when she makes unsavory allusions to Anambra’s most worthy son, Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige OON, Onwa, we merely advise that those who live in glass houses should not walk around naked. Dora accuses Onwa of having rigged himself into power in 2003 and held on to power for 34 months. We wonder which is better: To be in power for 34 months and liberate the people, spreading cheers and dividends of democracy or to be a common generator thief, a common car thief, a lier, use and dump, a land grabber, Queen of Greed and a contract thief.

Nigerians may not know but need to be told that Mrs. Dorathy Akunyili is nothing but a whited sepulcher. Let us go down memory lane: In 2001, contrary to laid down rules, Mrs. Akunyili divested the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Enugu of their landed property at the Government Reserved Area (GRA) Enugu. The workers protested and carried placards but the queen of greed was unmoved and instead, got the incoming State Governor, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani to regularize her brigandage by issuing her a certificate of occupancy. Today, her Enugu home is sitting on the lot. A verifiable fact.

Prior to that time, between 1994 and 1998, Dora Akunyili worked for the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) as Secretary to the South East Division. She was unable to account for a generator set which was attached to her office. She claimed that it was “scrap” and she sold it to herself. Nobody knew how much she paid for it nor was any payment found. Next to go from PTF was the official car assigned to her. On an official trip returning from Abuja, a cheque for 3 million naira was issued to her for PTF’s business. She requested that she be given cash instead and she was obliged, only for the cash and official car to disappear. Dora claimed she was attacked by armed robbers in Abuja and we are talking about 1995 when armed robbery was unknown in that environ. In any event, her immediate boss together with the Chairman of PTF, General Muhammadu Buhari advised her to go to the Police and make a formal report, but she was hesitant. Instead she broke down weeping before the two Gentlemen. She never went to the Police and neither the car nor cash was ever found. A verifiable fact.

Not too long ago while the boss at National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Dora claimed that fake drug dealers were after her life and to drive home the point, she orchestrated and stage managed a shooting incident where according to her, the bullet landed in her “gele”. Security reports have since debunked her story and it has emerged that the whole idea was to receive an increased security vote and for the then President Obasanjo to pay more attention to her office. She achieved that and became wealthy. She reported directly to the President, by-passing her supervisory Ministry and Minister for Health. No wonder the late Gani Fawehinmi, SAN defended those innocent traders who were arrested and charged with attempted murder for free. By his antecedents, Gani would never get involved unless he was sure the innocent was being wrongly accused. And thanks to Gani, the case crumbled like a pack of cards at the close of the prosecution’s case. The court’s records are there for verification.

Having gotten the President’s attention 100 percent at NAFDAC, Dora proceeded to acquire a large expanse of land from her kinsmen of Agulu where she would attract the NAFDAC Toxicology Laboratory. Sure enough, the Toxicology Laboratory was built, but on half the huge expanse of land. Today, the other half has a majestic edifice valued at over five hundred million naira standing on it: the private country home of Saint Dorathy Nkem Akunyili. The source of the funds for the building is anybody’s guess. But we quickly recall that as Information Minister, in preparation for the World Youth Football Championship, Mrs. Akunyili’s Ministry purchased refurbished Outside Broadcasting Vans (OB Vans) at inflated costs, when placed side by side to brand new OB Vans procured by the South Africans from the same company during the same period. This in fact made Nigeria a laughing stock as we were branding (or re-branding) corruption. This again, is a verifiable fact.

And while Dora held sway at the Information Ministry, she crowned herself “the highest Igbo in Government” and therefore the leader of Ndi Igbo! Queen Dora did not hesitate to use her big stick on any one in her way especially those she considered subordinates. And so it was that she used the EFCC to hound her kinsman, Ernest Ndukwe, the then vice chairman of NCC. His offence was that Ndukwe and NCC Chairman, Alhaji Joda, auctioned off NCC licences without her consent and approval, thereby denying her a share of her “crude oil allocation”. Come time for the gubernatorial elections in Anambra State, she positioned herself for the PDP ticket but when it did not materialize, she wholeheartedly sabotaged Prof. Charles Soludo’s efforts, ensuring a defeat for her party and a victory for APGA.

Now, having been rewarded with a Senate ticket by APGA, Dora failed to reckon with the caliber of persons she was meeting. She relied on Mr. Peter Obi’s wobbly political structure but albeit, plenty of Government resources. Dora prosecuted her campaign living in the Government Lodge at tax payer’s expense. Dora had access to State TV and Radio stations where she placed adverts for free while other competitor’s adverts were rejected. It is important for the reading public to know that the Judiciary has been on strike for six months in Anambra State, Doctors are on strike and State University Teachers just called off a six month strike. In the face of all these challenges, Governor Obi and Mrs. Akunyili have embarked on a spending spree of tax payers money for election and campaign matters on behalf of Dora.

The truth of the matter regarding the Anambra Central Senatorial District is that the duo of APGA (Obi, Akunyili and Umeh) and Prof (Pastor) C. Onukaogu, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC) entered into an unholy alliance to wreck the process and return Mrs. Akunyili at all costs. That there was no Senatorial District Collating/Returning Officer (SDC/RO) to do the job by Friday, April 8, 2011 exposes the incompetence of the REC. That many well meaning persons, including Prof. Goddy Onu, the Rector of Okoh Polytechnic, turned down the job was simply because no one agreed to the REC’s condition to wreck the process and return Mrs. Akunyili at all costs. And that was how Mr. Alex “God-Sent” Anene ended up with the job. Mr. Anene heads the Nnamdi Azikiwe University’s Accounts Department as Chief Records and Reconciliation Officer. As a Chartered Accountant, The Riggers Inc. believed Anene would be a willing tool who can manipulate numbers from the 7 LG Areas to Dora’s advantage.

Trouble however started on Sunday April 10, 2011 when after receiving the results for 5 Local Government Areas, the Collating Officer for Njikoka LG, one Prof Elias N. Nnabuife, a person of questionable character, turned in some dubious numbers on a mutilated and dirty result sheet known as Form EC8C to Mr. Anene. Prof Nnabuife by his own admission as contained in his advertorial of Thursday April 14, 2011 as published in the Vanguard on page 47, with the consent of the REC, doctored and shaved the numbers obtained by the ACN candidate in Njikoka LGA. Unable to reconcile the figures, he engaged in an outright cancellation of Enugwu-Ukwu Ward One where ACN scored 1712 to APGA’s 612 votes. Despite the rigged numbers from Anaocha, ACN was still in the lead so the REC/APGA engaged in panel beating and shaving of votes to achieve victory for Mrs. Akunyili. The REC acted criminally and in excess of his authority when he instructed Prof Nnabuife to cancel the results for ACN from Enugu Ukwu Ward 1. He also wrecked the process when he bullied Mr. Anene into accepting the cancellations. We call for his prosecution. We commend Mr. Anene for refusing the REC’s instructions and for resisting the APGA agents (who had come with Mrs. Akunyili dressed in their Aso-ebi for her announcement as winner) who assaulted him. It was by sheer luck that Mr. Anene managed to escape and went into hiding from where he emerged on Monday, April 11, 2011 to announce the results and the real winner in the person of Dr. Chris. Ngige.

It may interest fellow Nigerians to note that after Mr. Anene refused to enter the mutilated result sheets, threats were made to his life and he reported same to the REC. He then went into hiding as the REC was not able to offer him any protection. Two hours thereafter, a new ‘Returning Officer’, Prof Charles Okey Esimone was appointed.  We all remember the Ekiti re-run saga of Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo who disappeared for 72 hours and Dora Akunyili as Information Minister sent an ultimatum for her to come out of hiding and complete her job. Her resignation was even rejected. One wonders why it is different in Mr. Anene’s case. Contrary to what Dora De Pretender would want us to believe about Prof Esimone, the fact remains that he comes from a neighboring town (Akwaeze) to Dora’s Agulu, same Anaocha Local Government area; was Dora’s student at UNN; was hired by Dora to head the NAFDAC Toxicology Laboratory at Agulu in 2008; was hired by Dora to act as Collating /Returning Officer in Idemmili North LGA to “protect her votes” and if these do not constitute conflict of interest, then we wonder what does. Saint Dora in her usual lying propensity claimed of Esimone “I met Esimone after many years of his student days at the INEC office Awka on Monday April 11”.  The truth of the matter is that the new INEC under Prof Jega has no space for Dora’s brand of politics (assuming she has any brand). It was the late Pa Adedibu who first gave us an insight into her dubious manner of play until we saw it unfold first hand when she betrayed the Yar’Adua family “after cooking for Madam”.

As for Dora’s cantankerousness the list is endless. We remember Chief Dan Ogbuefi of Becks Biscuit, Prof Udeala of Pharmacy Dept, UNN, Dr Ernest Ndukwe of NCC, Prof ABC Nwosu, former Minister of Health, Alhaji Bilbiris, former Minister of State for Information and Communication, Former First Lady Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, Prof Charles Soludo, former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Engr. Emeka Ezenwanne (Dora’s nephew) and many others.

This senate election is one where a majority vote throws up a winner and Ngige is the winner. Neither the REC, Prof Onukaogu, nor Prof Esimone, the 3rd RO, can usurp the functions and responsibilities of Mr. Anene who as the Collation/Returning Officer is the boss in the senatorial election as far as final collation and return of a winner is concerned.

In closing, Dora is well advised that “Old things have passed away…all things have become new”- 2nd Cor.5:17. Her choices are to learn to be a good sport, borrow a leaf from Rt.  Hon. Dimeji Bankole and congratulate the winner, Dr. Ngige. Or, swallow the pill she was preparing for Ngige and head to the Election Tribunal. The choice is hers as Ndi Anambra Central have spoken.

LIVINUS UZOEGBU    CHIKA OFIAELI   
FOR ANAMBRA DEMOCRATIC [email protected]

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