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2023 Senatorial Race: I can’t succumb to blackmail, rhetoric – Senator Umeh



By Julie Sylvia, Onitsha

Senator Victor Umeh, the Labour Party candidate for Anambra Central senatorial district in the 2023 elections, on Monday, dismissed criticisms of himself and politics, describing them as sheer falsehood.

Umeh, who was reacting, through his media aide, Chinemelu Achebe, particularly to statements ascribed by some online media to a chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Ben Obi.

Obi had been quoted in the media over the weekend as saying that the late Biafra warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, was angry with Victor Umeh for, according to him, abandoning APGA to pursue his senatorial bid under LP.

Obi, popularly known as Igwe APGA, claimed that late Ojukwu communicated this to him in a dream.

In his words, “The eternal leader of APGA and freedom fighter, has continued to ask me the whereabouts of Victor Umeh since he jumped the APGA ship and couldn’t keep to his promise of standing firm with APGA.

“Victor Umeh led us to the Enugu home of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu (where he) swore by his life not to abandon APGA and to remain in the party to lead the people Ojukwu bequeathed on him.

“Our leader, in a revelation I had, turned around to look for Victor Umeh who had vowed as such but could only find me as the last man standing. He then asked me ‘where is Victor Umeh’?

The APGA chieftain was also quoted, in another instance, to have referred to the senator as “a hypocritical money monger,” declaring that “he will continue to labour in vain.”

In his Monday response to the said statement, Umeh stated that he was setting the records straight ” so that even posterity will be glad that we chronicled events accordingly,” describing the Obi claims as “an orchestrated falsehood criss-crossed with fabrics of ignorance, outright lies, emotional blackmails and fabrications.”

He said that although he promised not to engage in personal attacks, he would not let those he called “my political traducers” to use propaganda to demonise him while “presenting my political opponents as saints.”

Umeh referred to one as one of the online organisations through which Obi had allegedly tried to demonise him, saying that “Ndi Anambra Central, could not have bought that orchestrated falsehood.”

The statement added that “times have changed and that the Igbo masses are not less intelligent than their misleaders,” insisting that “the 2023 elections will no longer be won by uncanny intrigues of the opposition. Issue-based campaigns must lead to issue-based voting where voters compare the ideologies of candidates in order to decide whom to vote.”

According to him, “The victory bus has left the other political parties’ stations and on its way to the Labour Party station, most assuredly.”

He said that Umeh could have challenged the outcome of the APGA primaries, but that he rather bowed out of the party, in exercise of his fundamental right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly.

He challenged Obi to display whatever court processes and judgements he had which pronounced him a treacherous and hypocritical criminal, as alleged, reminding Obi that he was “not permitted by any law to arrogate the powers of the court to himself.”

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