IGWEBUIKE PONZI SCHEME: The empty wind that blew away men of little political faith, part 3.*
As soon as Governor Obiano returned from Abuja where he got a firm assurance from President Muhammadu Buhari that the Governorship election will not be rigged, he summoned an emergency APGA meeting at the Government House, Awka.
In that meeting, they decided to beat Senator Andy Uba to his own game. One of the far-reaching decisions made was to encourage more APGA faithful at the ward, Local Government, and State levels to intensify the campaign into the grassroots
This master-stroke was aimed at completely disarming the Igwebuike group. In their calculation, Andy Uba lacked the necessary manpower to execute any rigging plans across the State or even effectively canvass for votes in all polling units in Anambra.
The Igwebuike Ponzi was being executed by a closely-knit circle led by Senator Andy Uba. Other members of the team include Chief Paul Chukwuma, Chief Obi Okoli, Johnbosco Anaedobe, and Alhaji Yusuf, a businessman from Kaduna.
The group had one main plan, to get Senator Andy Uba announced the winner of the November 6th Governorship election in Anambra by hook or crook.
A secondary plan was to make as much money as possible in the process of making Senator Uba Governor.
One thing all of them had in common was that none had any field experience of ever executing and winning elections in any part of Nigeria. Most of them do not understand how the electoral process works. Neither do they understand the various improvements and steps taken by INEC through successive elections to make rigging nearly impossible?
The defection of Ifeanyi Ibezim, who was immediately appointed the deputy DG of the campaign was a pointer to this. Ibezim was considered a valuable addition to the group as he was the only person with real field experience among all of them.
The group equally got external help from Governor Hope Uzodinmma of Imo, Mala Mai Buni of Yobe, and AGF Malami.
Everything about the “Igwebuike” group was centered on “make-belief” and “name-dropping”.
A larger-than-life image of Andy Uba which was created a long time ago needed to be sustained. Lies were deployed. Fake phone calls were made to non-existing individuals at the other end of the call after which Andy Uba will pass instructions from the Presidency to his team while the victims listened.
On a few occasions, authentic steps were taken. For example, the AGF had to write the EFCC requesting for the case file of Senator Stella Oduah to be sent to its office for review. That was all Senator Oduah needed to throw in all her support for Andy Uba.
The group’s modus operandi was simple.
Before you are ushered into a meeting with “The incoming Governor”, your phone will have to be taken from you to avoid the conversations being recorded.
You will be kept waiting for a while, sometimes running into hours depending on how prominent you are. “The incoming” was
When he eventually avails himself, you will be regaled with stories of how Andy Uba was instrumental in reconciliation between Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Buhari. How the reconciliation eventually led to a halt in the letters being written by Obasanjo against the Buhari administration and how it was decided that Buhari settles Obasanjo by making his son, Andy Uba, the Governor of Anambra State.
You will be told how this was why Obasanjo agreed with the party hierarchy to send the Governor of his State, Ogun, Dapo Abiodun to come and announce Andy Uba winner of the June 26th APC Governorship primary that was never held. And how despite all the protestations from Chris Ngige and other aspirants, nothing happened.
You will also be told how the whole arrangement is beyond the Anambra State Governorship election as the North is looking for an Igbo man to succeed Buhari in 2023 and have eventually settled for Senator Andy Uba. Anambra State Governorship was just a mere preparation ground to making Andy Uba President in 2023.
Text and Whatsapp message exchanges between and among “prominent Nigerians” on how Andy Uba would be made Governor will be shown to you.
To cap it all, election results will be dangled or flashed on your face to finally convince you “na edechago result”
The intention is for you to go out there and relay this interesting encounter to as many people as possible to create an impression that their is no need for a contest.
While you are on your way out, some other people will approach you and impress on you the need for you to contribute so as not to be left out in the incoming administration.
The same process was used to extort money from many prominent Nigerians whom Senator Uba paid private visits to, mostly in Lagos.
Many businessmen contributed hundreds of millions of Naira to buy their stake in the next administration. Some contributions were not even acknowledged as they were considered too small.
It is said that some under-hand tactics were also deployed in getting some key Federal agencies/parastatals to donate a total of N5 billion to the Igwebuike group through the CBN. That particular transaction is currently being investigated.
THE DEBATE THAT NAILED IGWEBUIKE
A prominent member of the group, Chief Obi Okoli had advised Senator Uba not to attend the debate with Professor Soludo as that would be disastrous.
However, Andy was too sure of himself as he had already paid for and obtained likely debate questions. He had already crammed answers to the questions and was sure of performing well until Soludo threw him off balance with one allegation after another. All the crammed answers disappeared. Andy Uba was disoriented.
Those close to Senator Andy Uba will tell you how he hates being reminded of his past. Prof Chukwuma Soludo did just that by reminding him of how he was a masseuse in the United States of America. He did not stop there, he reminded him how he is the mastermind behind the kidnapping of the sitting Governor and subsequent destruction of property in the State.
To nail Andy Uba’s political coffin, he told everybody who cared to listen that Andy was a domestic servant who fixed beds and cleaned shoes at the villa.
He said Andy’s stock in trade was to nose around the presidential villa in search of information and whenever he stumbles on details of any Igbo man being considered for an appointment, will immediately rush out to call the individual in order to take credit.
Nobody has spoken to Abdy Uba this way publicly.
His market value plummeted.
The Presidency was watching, the whole country watched. What Soludo said tallied with security reports on Andy Uba.
Andy Uba came out of the debate with a bruised and deflated ego. But he still had a mega plan for the election.
During his time at the Senate, while colleagues were jostling for juicy positions as Committee Chairmen, Andy chose to be Senate Committee Chairman on INEC.
All he cared about was how to win elections.
The Senator had made quite a few friends at INEC so had access.
Authentic election results were already cloned. All that was needed was to write a different result from the one obtained from the field and present it as the real one.
With both results sharing similar serial numbers, party agents who have been paid across party lines will be required to authenticate Senator Uba’s result with an affidavit for a fee.
Once you are paid to swear an affidavit confirming Uba’s result as authentic you cannot come to the tribunal to say otherwise as that will amount to lying under oath.
But what the Igwebuike group did not take into consideration was the electronic transmission of result which makes it difficult for authentic polling unit results to be changed during collation as they would have already been posted online.
However, the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood will not take chances. He heard result sheets have been cloned. He kept his game close to his chest and flew in fresh result sheets from the CBN on election morning. The new result sheets had 3 signatories and was quite different from the one already in possession of the Igwebuike group.
The compromised result sheets were pulled out from the field.
That was it. Igwebuike was stranded. It was all over.
Anambra people voted in what is adjudged the freest and fairest election and Soludo was announced winner.
It took just 2 days of mourning and the Igwebuike group was back with what it knows how best to do- DECEPTION.
A text message was sent out to all campaign coordinators in the 21 Local Governments of the State to return campaign vehicles in their possession as they will be deployed for Senator Uba’s Vice-Presidential campaign in 2023. An account was also given for everybody to pay all unspent funds into it.
A few weeks later the Igwebuike group went to town with the story of reclaiming their mandate in court just as Hope Uzodinma did in Imo.
According to them, Andy Uba came 3rd better than the 4th position of Hope Uzodinma before he was declared winner by the Supreme court.
As at yesterday the new information coming from the Igwebuike camp is that “it has now been concluded that Andy Uba should go back to the Senate. The position of the Senate President has finally been ceded to him as a compensation for his loss on November 6th”.
As events unfold, it is becoming clearer to observers that Senator Andy Uba and the Igwebuike group are not planning on changing tactics as their political survival solely depends on deception and make-belief.
Whenever Andy Uba decides to contest another election, just know that “edechago result”.
Ikenna Stanley Azuka