By Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Barr. Mike Ikegbunam, an indigene of Omor in Ayamelum local government area of Anambra state, has accused the Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uche Victor Okafor, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra Dr. Queen Elizabeth Awgwu and security agencies of secretly planning to rig Ayamelum state constituency election in favour of the Speaker.
Ikegbunam who held a press conference in his Chambers in Awka on Friday, said he had it on good authority that the Speaker who is the APGA candidate for the state assembly election in Ayamelum, has perfected plans to ensure that the pendulum swung in the direction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The legal luminary equally disclosed that from the grapevine, he heard that Anambra REC has allegedly instructed officials of the commission on election duties not to announce results at polling units until they get express permission from her. He also told journalists that security agencies have been co-opted into the evil plot.
He said, “I am Barr. Mike Ikegbunam. I am from Omor in Ayamelum local government area of Anambra state. In my area there is a rotational agreement ratified by the 8 communities that make up Ayamelum.
“Now it is the turn of my town Omor which is central. The Speaker has done two tenures against the rotational agreement that brought him to limelight. Now, people are becoming more knowledgeable about what they want .
“In the first instance, the Speaker performed abysmally poor. The only single visible project one can ascribe to the Speaker is a modern library he built where he schooled at St. Patrick’s Emene, Enugu state . In spite of that, he is coming again to go for a third term.
“As we speak now, the Speaker has known that the people have rejected him. Almost all the towns in Ayamelum have rejected him because the only campaign tool he has is to instigate towns against themselves.
“The Speaker has continued to recommend only his brothers for commissionership, TC Chairmen and what have you. Now that he has understood that the people have rejected and ready to demonstrate that on March 18th, he has resorted to rigging and intimidations.
“We heard from the grapevine that the Speaker was at INEC on Monday with a brown envelope which he presented to the Resident Electoral Commissioner while kneeling down and crying to the woman to come to his aid.
“Now we have heard again that the REC has made it a policy and also warned all the Electoral Officers not to announce results until they get permission from her. Of course, as a lawyer, I know that that is not the procedure. I know it is within the powers of the EOs to announce the results immediately.
“Another thing we heard again is that the Speaker approached the DSS and was begging the man to carry out random arrests in Ayamelum but I must be fair to the DSS boss because he declined and told the Speaker that he has the powers to do good things for his people to earn their votes legitimately.
“I heard again that he has met with the Military authority in Anambra state and now he is boasting that he has bought INEC, Army, Police and whatever. Last week, he made an attempt to arrest some of us but he was cautioned by the police not to resort to such that it will backfire. That was why he didn’t it carry it out.
“But we have heard from good authority that the Speaker has paid all the security agencies and INEC and INEC has assured him that once the votes start trickling in, what they will do is to cause a little trouble and then the REC will tell everybody to move the materials to Awka where the election will be rigged.
“We also heard that Ayamelum local government is one of the 18 local government areas already listed by the state government for outright rigging. On a good authority again, yesterday we heard that the Governor gave them N30 million each. Is the N30 million for Constituency projects, which the Speaker has not done any? There is no infrastructure anywhere in Ayamelum local government area.
“There is no development of any kind in Ayamelum by this APGA government and people are now ready to reject them. The only road in Ayamelum is the one done by Peter Obi and our brother Engr. Paul Okafor.
“The Speaker has made it categorically clear that he must rig the election. He has been rejected by the people for non performance. He has never done anything in Ayamelum since he has been in the House of Assembly.
“The only thing he has done as a Speaker is to build houses here and there and to acquire choice properties. Rumour has it that the Speaker has built a house in London. This is somebody who had nothing when he became the Speaker. He now has plethora of houses here and there and still not satisfied with that. He wants to shed blood so that he will get into power.
“We are worried. We want INEC national headquarters to call Anambra REC to order because we heard that the REC told the Speaker to go and sleep; that he has no cause to worry.”
When contacted to obtain the Speaker’s response through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Emma Mmadu, he did not take calls from our correspondent as of the time of filing the report at about 5: 31pm on Friday evening.