Ekwunife, who initially saw herself as a shoe-in for the ticket, is now facing a challenge she never imagined when she recently decamped from PDP to APC.
Now that Uche Ekwunife’s quest to become the APC nominee for Anambra Central senatorial zone has run into a brick wall, new facts have emerged revealing the secret deal that seems to have sealed her fate.
According to APC insider sources, Ekwunife had approached Dr Chris Ngige, offering to pay him a whooping One Hundred Million Naira in return for supporting her nomination.
Ngige, who was the nominee before he became a Minister was said to have initially considered the deal because he saw it as the only means to recover the tens of millions he had spent in the annulled election in which he had emerged a distant third behind Victor Umeh of APGA.
But in a new twist and fearing the wrath of President Buhari, Ngige later reneged on the deal and began to distance himself from Ekwunife.
It was gathered that it was Ekwunife who, in her intention to rope in Ngige, leaked the details of the deal to APC leader Bola Tinubu, who in turn leaked it to sources close to President Buhari.
Tinubu’s involvement was to the limited extent that Ekwunife had sought Tinubu’s support in a burgeoning plot she hatched to supplant Saraki as senate president and become the first female senate president of Nigeria, were to win the re-run election.
Tinubu, even though known to detest Saraki, later balked at the deal because of what our source described as ‘Ekwunife’s vaulting ambitions’.
Tinubu, a strategist, also calculated that pushing Ekwunife as senate president will alienate the conservative elements in APC, especially those from the Muslim north who are uncomfortable with the many rumors on Ekwunife’s morals.
So fearing a party-wide backlash, Tinubu rattled on Ekwunife; which made Chris Ngige queasy enough to abandon the initial deal to see Ekwunife through as the APC nominee.
Sources disclosed further that the Presidency is “keenly watching the scenario and is poised to move against anybody who dares to push the idea that the APC ticket is for sale, especially to a defector”.
This was why Dr Ngige now began to secretly support Sharon Ikeazor, who is seen as a more credible nominee.
In a related development, APC party faithfuls in Anambra Central and indeed the whole country appear to be unhappy that, Ekwunife, a recent decampee is even being considered for a ticket to the detriment of members that have stood with the party from the very beginning.
This has added to Ekwunife’s troubles and thus made her chances for the ticket all too remote.
Odey filed this report from: firstname.lastname@example.org