Posted by John Okiyi Kalu | 8 years ago | 3,140 times
I agree that the truth is relative. Just like I agree with the Bible that "ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free".
In taking public positions on issues I am usually guided by the truth I know even while conceding that the truth I know might not be exactly the whole truth there is to know. I also concede that others retain the right to hold views based on what they know. My only worry is that most depend on what they are fed by those with capacity to manage the media and define what should be the "truth".
Guided by what is written in Hosea 4:6 (my people perish for lack of knowledge) I usually try my best to share what I know to be true while permitting others to factually dispute my position. Of course not everyone is capable of factual disputation in public discussions and the consequence is that they throw in abuses and uncouth language to distract and derail the uninitiated. But even that does not bother me because I know that the mob is hardly right but yet will chant and destroy when overdosed with propaganda and outright lies.
Let me tell you a little about what I know about Abia elections, with emphasis on Obingwa, Osisioma and Isiala Ngwa. Please make conscious effort to verify my position before jumping into the bandwagon of public opinion. Patience will also be needed to read through this long note and if you cannot read through just save and read later.
From the days of Dee Sam Mbakwe when I started following local elections, Obioma Ngwa LGA (later renamed Obingwa) always produce some of the highest poll numbers in our state. Even Aba urban does not produce votes anywhere near that of Obingwa.
Permit me to inform non Abians that the city they call "Aba" is an amalgam of 5 LGAs namely Aba South, Aba North, Obingwa, Ugwunagbo and Osisioma LGAs. While Aba north and South might register more voters it is actually Obingwa that produces the highest actual voters. "Aba urban" is basically Aba South and 60% of Aba North LGAs. From Umungasi towards Osisioma junction fall within Osisioma LGA just like old Umuahia road area of Ogbor Hill is within Obingwa. Spare part market area and parts of PH road are in Ugwunagbo LGA.
The reasons why Obingwa consistently produce high voting numbers are well known.
While most registered voters at Aba north and south migrate easily the ones at Obingwa, Ugwunagbo and Osisioma are mostly non migratory rural dwelling voters. Simply explained: most of the registered voters at Aba North and South are non indigenous short and long term residents. They mostly return to their home states during elections for many reasons including security concerns and "patriotic" considerations. Many of them are also employees who registered at Aba but were transferred out before polls or voluntarily relocated before polling period. All these partly explain why an Ngige or Ihedioha will come to Aba to campaign for elections that will hold in Anambra and Imo States respectively. They know Aba is a melting pot for Ndigbo with most residents likely to return "home" during actual elections to vote.
But the mostly indigenous populations at Obingwa, Osisioma and Ugwunagbo will remain to vote at home. These are mostly the farmers supplying "garri Aba Ngwa" and other agricultural products from the very fertile Ngwa land. That easily explains why Obingwa and co will report more actual voters than Aba north and Aba South LGAs.
Did APGA actually factor in this fact during the polls?
The answer is yes, but unfortunately, not the way you will conventionally expect.
APGA had some support among the non indigenous population at Aba urban (Aba north and South LGAs) but knew they will handsomely lose Obingwa, Osisioma and Ugwunagbo for obvious reasons. The PDP candidate, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, is from Obingwa and also an authentic Ngwa man without blemish or doubt. Since God created the earth no Ngwa man before Dr Ikpeazu was ever a Governor anywhere on earth and for more than 12 years our Ngwa brothers have been fighting to produce the Governor of Abia state. They formed "otu onu" movement and "Ukwa la Ngwa" political groupings to pursue that goal.
Some of the violence witnessed at Aba between 2009 and 2011 have some nexus to the quest for equity by the Ngwa clan which control 9 of Abia's 17 LGAs. It is important to note that Abia as created by IBB is currently made up of two major geopolitical blocks: Bende and Ngwa divisions of the old East central state. Afikpo division joined Abakaliki to form Ebonyi state after producing the first executive Governor of Abia State, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
In fact there were demands for creation of Aba State because of the collective anger of Ukwa/Ngwa people over the feeling of political exclusion and inequity in the power equation of the state that saw old Bende block producing the Governor of the state for 16 years.
I am not going to attempt to do the job of God by predicting that if Dr Okezie Ikpeazu had lost the 2015 Guber election Abia would have imploded with the demand for Aba State louder. All I can say is that I have never seen a people so united around a political agenda as the Ukwa-Ngwa people were in supporting Dr Okezie's quest to emerge as Abia's Governor. You probably saw the unprecedented crowd that witnessed his inauguration on may 29th at Umuahia Stadium. If you missed it, see attached picture.
The truth I know is that Otti faction of APGA did not have any political heavy weight as member at Obingwa or Osisioma. Feel free to contradict me by naming just ONE person. The party fielded no candidate for Osisioma Federal constituency and all the candidates they fielded at Aba urban were non indigenous residents of the city. Otti's APGA even found it tough to nominate house of assembly candidates in the 2 state constituency seats within Obingwa LGA. It was well known to APGA leadership that the only aspirants they could find at Obingwa were not to be trusted to hedge against thier people. That was why they gave one of them money for election and then collected back N20m from the N25m they gave him. They also found out that the second aspirant was a staunch Okezie supporter and did not present her as their candidate. The consequence was that they did not have any candidate for one of 2 state legislative seats in Obingwa and also couldn't get polling agents to cover most of the LGA and contiguous LGAs. That was why they could not find a single polling agent at any Obingwa polling unit to witness for them at the tribunal.
How on earth will you win an election at a Local Government Area where you could not find enough supporters to serve as polling agents? Will you use juju?
What then was the APGA Game Plan for Obingwa, Osisioma, Isiala Ngwa North and Ugwunagbo LGAs?
The APGA game plan was simply to ensure that Obingwa, Osisioma, Ugwunagbo and Isiala Ngwa results were cancelled.
In pursuit of this plan they imported thugs from Aguleri with mandate to disrupt polls at Obingwa and other PDP strongholds using violence. The locals fortunately caught the thugs and demobilized them at Obingwa. Ehere was not so lucky and the thugs shot sporadically into the air on election day and disrupted voting at a cluster of polling units at Ehere. Results from the cluster of units at Ehere Aba were cancelled and later re contested during the supplementary polls and Okezie of PDP won in the presence of national media and observers. Just like he won the overall INEC ordered supplementary election across the state that was witnessed by local and foreign media and observers.
Why is nobody wondering why card readers had more issues at Obingwa than at other locations? Could it be that INEC deliberately refused to supply functional card readers to Obingwa in collusion with one of the parties? Media reporters will confirm that even the polling unit where Dr Okezie voted had card reading issues that took long to correct. He was only accredited around 1:30pm after repeated trials. If you understand Nigeria's political games you will know that the plan was simply to reduce the number of votes coming out of Obingwa. Feel free to suspect collusion with rogue INEC officials but read the next paragraphs first.
During result collation at Umuahia, APGA rejected results from Obingwa that were previously announced at the LGA collation centre. They also fought against results from Ugwunabo, Osisioma and Isiala Ngwa north. Yet they accepted results from Arochukwu (Otti's hometown) alongside that of Aba North and South that the so called foreign observer "Sheila" was shouting "there was no election at Aba North and South". She only stopped shouting after Dr Alex Otti entered the collation centre, met with her and others and the results were announced in favor of APGA. I challenge APGA operatives and supporters to swear with their lives that Otti did not enter the Umuahia collation centre and met "Sheilla" and others. Even the media people at the collation centre that day will corroborate my story and I need not name them, for their own security.
That was not all that happened to ensure cancellation of Obingwa result.
I have a video of the Collation Officer for Obingwa stating at the Umuahia collation centre that he was called by a known APGA supporter masquerading as "foreign observer" whose name and phone number he gave before Police officers and others present at the collation centre and offered bribe of N50m (fifty million naira) to cancel Obingwa result. The DPO of Isiala Ngwa North verified his story. Follow this link and watch part of the video: http://youtu.be/uSWG5l_dvm8
Was the culprit ever arrested and prosecuted by the same security authorities who are now raiding homes of Okezie supporters? It is not from me that you will read that security agents, including a named Brigadier General of the Army, were involved in malpractices at Aba South LGA. The so called foreign observer, "Sheila", may have observed the malfeasance by the security agents and thought they were working for PDP and hence her initial "no election at Aba north and south" chants which APGA social media hirelings re-echoed. Please go to the walls of APGA social media supporters and check their initial posts on the polls in the evening of April 11th. The honest ones wouldn't have deleted the posts and if you approach me I will give you names of those to check.
I will not like to speculate whether similar financial or other pressures were brought to bear on Prof Benjamin Ozumba to cancel Obingwa result and others. I prefer to see his confirmed initial illegal action as an honest mistake, until I have contrary facts. He was promptly corrected within reasonable time and he reversed himself. Just like he was corrected when he miscalculated the total votes for the political parties and was corrected on live TV and he corrected himself. (Ask AIT for a copy of the video announcing final Abia Guber result, If in doubt). His employer then, Jega led INEC, publicly acknowledged that he had no power to cancel and hence was right to reverse himself. The tribunal and Appeal Court both confirmed that he had no right to cancel. In law his initial action, induced or misguided, is a nullity.
Are you now getting a whiff of the conspiracy to cancel Obingwa et al at all cost?
Unlike many, I am not entirely surprised that the Justices of the Appeal court in their ruling or misruling cancelled the much targeted Obingwa and 2 other contiguous LGAs. The game plan of APGA for victory rested on voiding of Obingwa votes from day one.
How many have asked questions about the fire at Obingwa INEC office or the purported arrest of INEC staff at Umuahia, beyond the popular story sold to the effect that PDP was responsible for both? How come the tribunal at APGA's prompting fixed examination of election materials at Obingwa INEC office for 3rd August (Monday) yet after unknown arsonists burnt it down on Sunday (2nd August) APGA never reported it formally to the tribunal?
Who actually benefited from the burning down of the INEC office at Obingwa? Who benefited from whatever the arrested INEC staff did at Umuahia? Could it be that their assignment was simply to delay uploading of data from Obingwa, Osisioma and Isiala Ngwa North? Why have they not been prosecuted so we can find out the truth and prevent future manipulations by ultra desperate politicians?
It should be obvious to careful observers that the APGA victory manual simply did not include winning or making inroads into Obingwa, Osisioma, Ugwunagbo and Isiala Ngwa north and South. Rather the plan was to use all possible means to sabotage votes from those LGAs.
Similarly, In the midst of the noise arising from the rather shocking ruling of the Appeal court nobody has asked about the many other allegations of electoral fraud leveled by APGA in their petition. All of them were thrown out by the tribunal and appeal court except cancellation of Obingwa and co results.
Obviously the only thing the specially selected panel of Judges could deem fair enough to hold on to in order to execute the job given to them was the issue of cancellation of Obingwa, Osisioma and Isiala Ngwa north. That assignment was executed without taking note of the fact that same Appeal Court (with different panel of Judges) had already upheld state legislative elections held at all the concerned LGAs. If there were "over voting" based on non use of card readers in the Governorship poll why did that not also affect the State House Elections held with same card reader data same day and time?
My checks confirmed similar total votes for the governorship and house of assembly polls at Obingwa, Osisioma and Isiala Ngwa.
Many APGA supporters have been quick to assert that "there was no election" at those LGAs and yet failed to explain how a governor can emerge without votes from 3 LGAs with a combined voting strength of over 300,000 voters even when the awarded margin of victory is about 50,000 votes. That the margin was only 50,000 after 3 LGAs voters were inexplicably disenfranchised by the learned jurists should actually get us asking if indeed APGA performed as well as advertised during the polls. Even if you dislike Okezie and choose to award only margins of 25,000 votes each for his LGA and the other two LGAs contiguous to it he would have won the election.
No wonder the Abia PDP folks are even asking for re-run in a matter that clearly should be foreclosed by simply upholding the victory of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu. They know that even if you bring the whole world to monitor and supervise elections at those LGAs Dr Ikpeazu will thrash his opponent handsomely. Just like Governor Dickson of Bayelsa yesterday thrashed Timipre Silva at Southern Ijaw LGA after all the brouhaha.
Search out and take a good look at the video showing Dr Okezie Ikpeazu voting at Obingwa on April 11th.
The challenge before the Supreme Court is simply to determine what the Appeal Court panel led by Justice Oyeyemi did to the vote he dropped there for himself as well as that of other citizens of Obingwa, Osisioma and Isiala Ngwa North. Did the votes enter pre-programmed legal voicemail?
If there was "no election" at Obingwa what was Dr Okezie doing in that video?
The little I know about our constitution and electoral law indicates that the law that permits citizens to vote also makes it compulsory for their votes to be counted. Will the Supreme Court agree that all the votes cast on April 11th at Obingwa will not count so that a desperado can govern Abia?
Given that no supplementary poll held at Obingwa have we legally excised Obingwa from Abia State? Just to satisfy a power desperado and his co-conspirators? The registered voters at Obingwa far exceed 50,000.
Let your conscience speak to you because conscience is an open wound that only truth can heal. My conscience bears me witness that I am fighting on the side of the truth I know.