“Most importantly, our deep concern is her record which showed that she dumps political parties at will, leaving the parties in its wake factionalized - from the Peoples Democratic Party to All Progressives Grand Alliance, to Progressive Peoples Alliance, back to PDP or vice versa and now to APC. She is more or less a fair-weather-hen.”
Those are not my words. That was the verdict delivered by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senatorial Screening Committee a couple of weeks ago as it rejected the candidacy of Uche Ekwunife on it party’s platform for the Anambra Central Senatorial District.
Sad to say, Mrs. Ekwunife had it coming.
Last month, a Court of Appeal had annulled her election as a Senator. The court ordered that a fresh election be conducted within 90 days. The madam has been scrambling since then to return to the Senate by fire, by force. Mrs. Ekwunife had won a seat in the Senate as a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, but something funny happened and the lady refused to return to the party - or vice versa.
Well, let’s hear it from the madam herself:
“My good people of Anambra Central, the outcome of what we witnessed was a conspiracy between some elements in PDP and the State Government who were panicking over what they referred to as my rising profile.”
Strictly speaking, this is not exactly true. Mrs Ekwunife bolted the PDP because that party advertised in four national newspapers that it would not participate in further political elections or congresses including the Anambra Central Senatorial election re-run until its National spokesman, Olisa Metuh, who was back then still grooming his now luxurious beard within the confines of a lonely cell in Kuje prison, is released.
Nigerian politicians–especially Mrs Ekwunife-do not play that kind of game. Party primaries are time sensitive, so the lady quickly moved on.
Before she moved on to another Party, however, Mrs. Ekwunife had to tidy up some loose ends.
“Some leaders from South East called me on the phone and said that since they have nullified the election and requested for fresh election, why don’t we use this opportunity to play national politics?” She claimed.
Hmm... Also, Mrs. Ekwunife had to reach out to the APC. You see, whilst previously campaigning for the Senate as a PDP candidate, Mrs. Ekwunife happily referred to the APC as a ‘terrorist party.’ She has since apologised to the APC. She said she was only joking when she made that comment.
She then added the coup de grâce:
”It is true some of us did not give our support to APC in the previous election …We Ndigbo cannot continue to be relegated from the national bargain which we are co-owners. This is the time to join forces with the Federal Government to move our country forward.”
I’m sure you now get the full picture. In just 7 years, Mrs Ekwunife changed political parties 4 times. She was another average Jane, living a normal quiet life somewhere in Awka.
Post-1999, Mrs. Ekwunife was appointed a bank manager. Within a short time, the small bank ran into financial difficulties. Curiously, as the bank’s fortune nosedived, Mrs. Ekwunife’s skyrocketed. Before you could say “external audit”, Mrs. Ekwunife left the struggling bank for politics. She joined forces with then-Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju, and the formula was repeated: as Anambra financial resources dwindled, those of Mrs. Ekwunife and Mr. Mbadinuju soared.
Not a lot of people were aware that when Chris Ngige, a former half-term governor of Anambra State was abducted, and smuggled into the boot of a small car and held for over five hours in an audacious Igbo-made coup in Awka in July 2003, Mrs. Ekwunife’s was the only head-tie sighted among the jubilant Chris Uba crowd.
By 2007, Mrs. Ekwunife was in the House of Representatives courtesy of the PDP. You don’t need me to tell you that she signed her name then as Hon. Dr. (Mrs.) Uche Ekwunife. “Chief” came afterwards. Four years later, her nose to the ground, she followed the political wind of change in Anambra, dumped the PDP and sailed into the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Before her election into the Senate last March, she had twice contested the governorship of Anambra State under PPA and APGA and lost both times.
Now she’s tried to follow another wind of change back to the Senate, but the APC screening committee has only gone and said mba.
Where Ngige could not sweep well with an APC broom because the people are not too sold on APC’s seemingly segregationist policies, Mrs. Ekwunife was desperate enough to want to try. Alas, even the APC says Iyom is not good enough for them.
Mrs. Ekwunife now finds herself effectively stranded. What’s a gal to do...?