By Grace Chigbu
Imo State – The controversy surrounding Action Alliance (AA) gubernatorial candidate seems to have no logical conclusion in sight as Chief Ukadike the parallel gubernatorial candidate of the Action Alliance Party has chosen Nwulu as his running mate for November 11 election in Imo.
Action Alliance found itself embroiled in a political tussle as the party’s leadership announces Major-General Lincoln Jack Ogunewe (retd) as its gubernatorial candidate for the upcoming elections. However, Chief Ukadike Chinedu Humphrey, has consistently alleged that he was earlier declared and is the party’s legal flag bearer.
The controversy surrounding the AA gubernatorial candidacy in Imo State began when Major-General Ogunewe was believed to have emerged as the party’s flagbearer. However, the party’s leadership has vehemently denied endorsing his candidature, labeling the reports as mere rumors. AA Chairman, Comrade Ifeanyi Okponwa Eze, issued a statement clarifying the party’s stance and urging citizens to disregard the misinformation.
According to Eze, the authentic National Chairman of AA is Hon. Adekunle Rufai Omo-Aje, as confirmed by a Court of Appeal judgment on November 11, 2022, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. This judgment affirmed Omo-Aje’s position against Kenneth Udeze, who claims to be the National Chairman but was expelled from the party. Eze pointed out that Udeze’s continued pretense as the party’s leader and his attempt to present Ogunewe as the governorship candidate is a clear disregard for the court’s ruling.
Furthermore, Eze expressed concern and embarrassment over the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s retention of Udeze as the AA National Chairman on its website, viewing it as a demonstration of contempt for the court’s judgment. The party warned that it would not hesitate to pursue contempt of court charges against both Udeze and INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu if they fail to rectify the situation.
In response to these developments, Chief Ukadike Chinedu Humphrey, who had initially been declared as the AA’s gubernatorial candidate for the November 11 poll, remains resolute in his quest to reclaim what he believes to be his stolen mandate. Despite the announcement of Ogunewe as the party’s candidate, Ukadike is determined to pursue legal recourse to challenge the decision.
Ukadike, in a statement reaffirming his position as the AA standard bearer, urged the people of Imo State to disregard impostors and maintain their support for him. He emphasized that the party’s primary election, conducted on April 17, 2023, in accordance with INEC’s guidelines, had already established his candidacy as legitimate. Ukadike called on his supporters to remain patient and steadfast while the issue is being sorted and legally interpreted to affirm his emergence.
The political landscape in Imo State has been shaken by this AA gubernatorial tussle, with implications for the upcoming elections. As the dispute intensifies, citizens and political observers await the final outcome of Chief Ukadike Chinedu Humphrey’s bid to reclaim what he perceives as his stolen mandate. The outcome of this legal battle will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of the Imo State governorship race and impact the political landscape of the state.
Meanwhile, INEC is urged to address the discrepancies regarding the AA’s leadership and ensure that the electoral process remains fair and transparent. The impartiality of the electoral body is crucial in maintaining public confidence and upholding the integrity of the democratic process.
As proceedings surrounding the issue unfold, all eyes are on Chief Ukadike Chinedu Humphrey as he takes on this challenge, determined to regain what he believes to be his rightful place as the Action Alliance candidate for the governorship elections in Imo State. The final outcome of this situation will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the political future of both the AA and the state as a whole.