PPA REPS CANDIDATE, IGWE DECRIES INTIMIDATION BY PDP FEMALE OPPONENT IN ABIA NORTH
Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) candidate for Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency, Chief Chris Odinaka Igwe narrated how the female Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) opponent, Mrs. Nkeiruka Onyejiocha, a serving House of Representatives member from the same zone has been plotting to put him out of circulation in order to hijack victory in Saturday's polls.
Narrating his experience in the hand of the female PDP stalwart, Igwe said his crime was that he bailed out two elderly men who worked for Onyejiocha and instead of showing appreciation to them for their efforts in helping her succeed, she locked them up in police cell over some flimsy excuses.
'She alleged that they stole a party bench and used men of state CID and detained an elderly man that was over 70 years. When I heard of it, I cut short my trip to Paris and came back and released them. So her problem was why I released them.
'It was from there she started attacking me for any existing or imagined reason. These men worked for her during the congress organised by the Chief Ndidi Okereke-led PDP. She said she did not like some of the candidates that emerged and instead of going about it the normal way, she started using harassment and detention on those she believed made those men to emerge. And my crime was that I effected the release of these men whom I knew were innocent and worked for this woman and don't deserve the treatment she meted out to them.
'It was since I released those men that she started attacking me. And also the detention was strange to Umunneochi people because we usually settle our matter amongst ourselves. So what we got in return for sending her to Federal House of Assembly was harassment and detention of our people. She never talked to me again until the day Dr. I. C. Mdubuike's daughter was doing her traditional marriage ceremony, then she came to me to tell me that she had sent more than five appreciation letters to me and they didn't get to me and I asked her, how did you know that those letters did not get to me?
'She couldn't reply me. Ever since her strategy has been to intimidate, harass and if possible kill her perceived enemies. Incidentally, I don't give up a fight because you want to kill me. I only fear that entity that has the power to kill the body and soul but the one that can kill the body alone, I don't fear.
'In a party, if you hold the highest position, you are regarded as the leader and you are expected to perform certain functions in the party. As a House of Reps member from our zone, she never contributed anything to the growth of the party. In those days, she was the one doing anti-party activities. She was liaising with T.A. She never believed in Onyema Ugochukwu. The party went and brought in Theodore Orji and they dissolved the exco and brought in men that we didn't know, which is what Ikechi Emelike is fighting for up till today. And I said, this is a party I suffered so much to build. When they had rent problem at Ojike, I brought out N2 million and paid because there were no governors and the House of Reps member we had was not forthcoming. So some of us were running the party alone and somebody came from nowhere to hijack the party and chase us away. When the old PDP decided to go out, I said no, I will fight these people in the house here. That was how I stayed back in PDP.
'The congress we were to hold, the list was drawn by Nkiru and Chukwumerije alone. They put the names of those they felt were their followers. They drew the list and submitted. I petitioned against it, bringing all the leaders of LGA, two state chairmen, four former commissioners, led them to Senator Emma Nwaka at the presidential lodge and he promised to set a committee that would look into the matter to ensure that everybody is carried along. Emma Nwaka had an order from above and he never did that.
'At a point, in order to serve their masters, a doctorate degree holder in Umunneochi declared himself illiterate and an agent of Nkiru filled the form for him. It was that bad. Before the primary, the new PDP did everything to frustrate me. Part of it was that I should be disqualified, that I was not a member of PDP but PPA. Before then, the screening committee had told me to come and collect my clearance.
'They brought a new register which the new government prepared and my name was not there. I then brought the old register and told them that they just came and that they were not members of PDP, that none of them was qualified to be a member in a party where I had been a member since 2006. I brought photocopies of cheques of my contributions, donations, rents I paid, etc and letters from the members congratulating and thanking me for my contributions and the appeal committee felt so bad, and told me that they wanted to clear me but that their hands were tied. It was when I threatened to go to court that an order came from Government House that I should be cleared. But by then Nkiru had been going around with the photocopies of the none clearance paper to blackmail me.
When I got the clearance, there was jubilation in my constituency. However, during the primary, they still maneuvered everything to her favour. But all my effort to make a positive change did not yield any fruit as they were still neck deep in fraudulent activities which my faith and belief could not condone. I decided to leave for another party, Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), telling her that political party is just a label to sell a product. I told her point blank that I was leaving the party for her and her group and that I was going to PPA. That was why I went to PPA and they gave me ticket to run for the House of Representatives in Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency.