Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu’s Candidature and the Judiciary as Arbiters

Chamberlain Okolo

For keen watchers of the unfolding politics of 2019 as it affects electioneering for Anambra South Senatorial seat, the 13 December, 2018 voiding of the All Progressives Grand Alliance’s 3rd October, 2018 primary election which duly produced Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu as APGA flag bearer for the Senate, by Justice Valentine Ashi of an Abuja High Court only confirms the endemic intrigues and obfuscating subterfuge that underscore the play of politics therein. Anambra South Senatorial Zone suffers all the malignant electoral features (excepting the bizarre phenomenon of a party’s multiple candidates for single electoral seats) obtainable in Anambra Central Senatorial seat tussle prior to the emergence of Senator Victor Umeh whose exemplary representation in the 8th Senate has largely subdued the political shenanigans and the systemic revulsions in the Zone, thereby smoothening Umeh’s track to the 9th Senate come February 2019.

Most, if not every, organized human endeavours operate within the framework of time and other regulatory codes of conduct. These intangible items determine what happens, when and how it happens. These fundamental factors inform the different strategies that the participants in the enterprise adopt pursuant to enjoying some advantages that would enable them excel in the competition inherent in most sociopolitical contexts.

As the signs of consigning the throes of pervasive politics in Anambra South Senatorial Zone began to emerge in Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu’s celebrated APGA candidature for the 2019 senatorial election, the insistence of ship wreckers on continuing to mine from the established political naivety or indifference of the Senatorial Zone’s populace soon came to the fore. The situation seems to replicate the paradox in Shakespeare’s remark in Macbeth thusly, ‘As whence the sun gins his reflection, shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break. So from that spring whence comfort seems to come discomfort swells’. And Igbos would say that elders (of course mischievous elders) are the usual beneficiaries when the land is troubled. Such elders will therefore deliberate instigate trouble and trouble. But Anambra South voters are not without hope. Fortune is bent on smiling at them given their newfound eagerness to right the wrongs of the past and the doggedness of the most popular candidate they have ever produced for the Senate, who also happens to bear the insignia of the most popular and most acceptable party ever to have ruled Anambra State.

So it is that of all the primary elections conducted by the All Progressives Grand Alliance towards 2019 elections, the one of Anambra South Senatorial Seat which, though attracted hyped pre-primary uncertainties, was adjudged free and fair by the representatives of the electoral umpires (the Independent National Electoral Commission), the Nigeria Police, the Directorate of State Security, and even the contestants, just witnessed a clog in the judiciary. And come to think of it, the Plaintiff in the case was an APGA aspirant for the Senate, Dr. Okey Chidolue, who after losing to Prince Ukachukwu (he scored one vote by the way), went ahead to congratulate him vowing to lend support to Ukachukwu’s and APGA’s electioneering gains. With Dr. Chidolue’s apparent electoral littleness, his probable failed effort to negotiate extortionist settlement from Ukachukwu after congratulating him, one would not be wrong to conclude that the candidate, sulking over in-house failed missions, easily fell for the enticing allurements from desperate opposition parties with very deep pockets who, in exploiting his sour mood, swooped on his spoiler value – after all what pedigree, what integrity, what would the young man miss confronted with monumental lucre? It is widely speculated that Chidolue’s choices as a later day sour loser are responsible for the momentary legal hiccup Prince Ukachukwu and APGA are now dealing with.               

While the people see through the decoy in the High Court pronouncement as a mere distraction by selfish political opponents in and out of APGA, they express confidence in the capacity of APGA, INEC and other fair minded bodies to quickly drive the process of establishing the truth through the relevant Courts of the land so as not to vitiate an intensive issues-based campaign which is Prince Ukachukwu’s desire to run. The legal fireworks might just be the exclusive of the lawyers and the courts, but the goodwill and conviction of the people surely supply the energies that sustain the struggle for the emancipation of a people who have suffered both political alienation and hostage since the creation of Anambra State in 1991. The people converge under the renaissance compulsions of Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu’s APGA candidature, and they would not buckle under any guise of manoeuvres, pressure or sabotage from wherever. The people are further strengthened by the porosity of the judgement which gives every impression of a procured commodity in the judicial space; an aberration, therefore, that must be shot down by a more critical legal examination that is sure to follow in the appeal. Thank God the judiciary is so structured to correct itself; else it loses its essence and cause grievous harm to society.

The people of Anambra South Senatorial Zone bask on their confidence in the judiciary to rise to the challenge of protecting the people’s will against willful manipulations of wannabe leaders who, latching onto the lures of office, would rather opt for systemic inanity than recognise emergent purposeful leadership. The people trust the Nigerian Judicial Council as the legal prefects who regulate and monitor the commitment or otherwise of judicial personages in the practice and administration of law in Nigeria.

Chamberlain Okolo writes from Ajalli.


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