Ekwunife: The battles, the victories and the affirmation of the People's Mandate*

Power they say, belongs to the people, hence those who seek to govern the people must first seek their consent. This consent under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is given through the electoral process where the people choose their representatives at different levels of government through a process called voting.

The 2019 general elections may have come and gone, however the series of litigations that succeeded the electoral conquest have continued to create ripple effects and stir public opinion.

The Anambra Central Senatorial election is no less without it's own share of litigations. The election which produced the Candidate of the People's Democratic Party, Senator Uche Ekwunife as the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial district though adjudged free, fair and credible by many, received several petitions challenging it's validity.

In the eye of the storm is Senator Uche Ekwunife, a woman who many describe as the 'lady with the midas touch'.

Senator Ekwunife as expected of any serious contender presented herself to serve the people of Anambra Central on the platform of the People's Democratic Party, PDP. She ran a campaign driven by a clear message of hope and empathy.

Ekwunife traversed the length and breadth of Anambra Central in contemporary fashion. Her message was strong and consistent! Through Anaocha, Awka North and South, Dunukofia, Idemmili North and South and Njikoka - the seven local governments of Anambra Central, a Senatorial zone made up of 109 wards and 59 communities, Ekwunife visited Anambra Central constituents in their homes and places of business. She visited Community leaders, Religious leaders, Political leaders, Market leaders, Women groups and Youth groups, communicating her interest to serve the people with humility and the fear of God, and consequently drive the dividends of democracy down to the grassroots.

Her efforts were crowned with a victory which was unanimously given by the entire seven local governments of the Senatorial zone - a 7/7 victory!

It would have been expected that such a loud statement of approval by the good people of Anambra Central would have given no room for contestation. However, Senator Uche Ekwunife was dragged to court by those who unfortunately do not mean well for the constituents.

Their arguments and basis for going to court was perfectly summed up by Justice Okon Abang who in giving judgement on a case challenging the nomination of Senator Ekwunife as the Candidate of PDP, described the plantiff as a meddlesome interloper and a busy body. In another case brought against Ekwunife at the Appeal Court, the court in dismissing the appeal stated that it is disgraceful and unbecoming to file such "frivolous appeal" which has absolutely no basis in law.

Similarly, in the recently delivered judgment in a case instituted by the Candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the 2019 Anambra Central Senatorial district election against Ekwunife, the tribunal Justices, in a unanimous judgement, affirmed Senator Ekwunife as the duly elected Senator of Anambra Central Senatorial district and dismissed the petition as lacking in merit.

While the battle last, it is important to note that Senator Uche Ekwunife kept her focus on the people and has continued to effectively discharge her duties as Senator. It is on record that Senator Ekwunife has moved motions on the floor of the Senate, key of which is a motion of Urgent National Importance, entitled: Motion on the devastating storm in Obosi, Nkpor and Oraukwu communities of Anambra State. Senator Uche Ekwunife through this motion which was unanimously adopted by her colleagues drew the attention of the Nation to the environmental challenges of the people of South East, particularly as it relates to erosion menace. Within 50 days in office, Ekwunife distributed close to 50 tricycles to Anambra Central constituents. She has facilitated Federal Government employment for about 20 of her constituents. She has remained a strong voice in the Senate and there is no doubt that Iyom as she is fondly called is determined to rise to greater heights in service to her people, a height above the challenges of litigations.

Kingsley Ubani is the Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to Senator Uche Ekwunife


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