• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

Mrakpor: INEC, PDP should ignore antics of ‘united bad-losers’

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The leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the electoral umpire, INEC, recently recognised Onyemaechi Joan Mrakpor as the authentic winner of the House of Representatives primary election in Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency. Since the declaration was made, many fictitious groups have sprung up in every nook and cranny of Nigeria and even overseas. These groups operate under different names but obviously, one can confidently detect that they emanate from a single source. Their clandestine mission is: sponsoring of defamatory campaigns against Mrakpor in every available media space. They will not even mind if an innocent human blood is spilled provided their evil-minded goal is achieved.

The newest and condemnable malicious campaign against Mrakpor is a deceitful newspaper advertorial by a non-existing group, Concerned Anioma Patriotic Forum, Delta State chapter. It was boldly captioned “Onyemaechi Joan Mrakpor of age declaration, change of name and discrepancies”.

Summarily, their unsubstantiated claims are: (a.) Hon Mrakpor swore an affidavit that she was born in 1966 yet she submitted 80 years as her age under duress; (b.) Hon Mrakpor changed her name from Mary Amechi Ugba Bielonwu to Onyemaechi Joan Mrakpor; (c.) Hon Mrakpor’s alleged fraud is already affecting Anioma’s chances of producing the next governor of Delta State.

Expectedly, their ‘only’ prayer is that INEC and PDP should substitute Hon Mrakpor with another ‘competent person’.

The group’s unverified claims and single request raises some thought-provoking questions. A quick analysis of the ‘issues raised’ will equally help vigilant and objective readers as well as eligible electorates in detecting the real identities of the fictitious group and their sponsors.

Mrakpor is not a first-time political office-seeker. She contested and won her elective seat in the Delta State House of Assembly in 2007 and 2011, respectively. Those elections are clear evidence that she submitted all relevant documents and was duly cleared by all relevant authorities. She was even challenged at the electoral tribunal and ‘age declaration’ was never used as evidence against her.

It would also be recalled that after the PDP’s House of Representations primary election in Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, there were reports in both online and conventional media that some cabals were bent on thwarting the outcome of that exercise. Who is the COMPETENT PERSON? What stops the groups from projecting and winning the primary election if the said COMPETENT PERSON is very popular?

The group claimed that they are channelling their grievances to the INEC chairman and PDP chairman, respectively. They know the appropriate channels through which they can reach the said authorities, yet they chose a sponsored newspaper page. What stops them from holding a press conference so that their real identities can be known?

The group also claimed that the make-believe Mrakpor fraud is already affecting PDP’s chances in winning and retaining Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency and Delta State in general. PDP is in control of virtually all the constituencies in the state, what makes Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency distinct from other constituencies in Delta North Senatorial District and Delta State in general? Are all Anioma sons and daughters, whom they claim to be serving, seeking elective positions only in the PDP?

The group further claimed that the opposition parties are already gaining relevance in Delta State because of the make-believe Mrakpor fraud. Should a socio-cultural group support only one political party when many Anioma sons and daughters are seeking elective positions in other political parties? What stops them from approaching PDP’s leadership in the state or even the appeal panel put in place for aggrieved aspirants to seek redress?

The fictitious signatories claimed to be Mr. Patrick Amaechi and Mr. Philip Onyema, chairman and secretary, respectively. However, vigilant readers do not even need a forensic expert in detecting that the write-up emanated from one source. Even from the thickness of the ink, one can confidently prove that the same source embossed the signatures on the malicious article.

The group also claimed that their office is situated at No 368, Nnebuisi Road, Asaba. Readers and eligible electorates in Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency can confirm from Asaba residents if that house address even exists. Interestingly and laughably, the group does not have a telephone address. How do they maintain close contact with Anioma sons and daughters living within and outside Delta State? Is this not a ploy to conceal their real identities from appropriate law enforcement agencies?

For the interest of readers and eligible electorates who have not been following the highly condemnable political trend in Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, Hon Mrakpor’s political enemies have made several attempts to stop her from representing her people at the House of Representatives. Their initial failed effort was malicious online publications, claiming that she has nothing to show for eight years as the lawmaker representing Aniocha South Constituency at Delta State House of Assembly. Another futile claim is that she is a married woman; therefore she is not eligible to contest elections in her patrimonial constituency. Their next futile attempt was to see that the PDP primary election where Hon Mrakpor convincingly trounced them was declared inconclusive. They further attempted to create an acrimonious relationship between the Aniochas and the Oshimilis by exhuming an unknown equity charter.

Hon Mrakpor has proven that she can deliver meaningful results in areas where some of her male counterparts are struggling to find their feet. This is evident in her sterling and unprecedented performance as a lawmaker at the Delta State House of Assembly. Yes, she is an Aniocha-born astute politician and happily married to an Urhobo man but constitutionally, she can aspire for any elective position in her patrimonial and matrimonial constituency.

Hon Mrakpor’s slogan is: A voice, not an echo. This is the hallmark of a public officer-seeker who is strongly committed to attraction of meaningful development to her constituency. She is banking on the people’s support and ultimately on the powers of the Almighty God for a resounding victory during the February polls. However, the electorates in the constituency and, indeed, Delta State must be very wary of the antics of the ‘united crop of bad-losers’. The nefarious groups must be stopped from ever gaining political or social relevance even after the February elections.

Shorikwue Odiaka