Mr. Ikenga Ugochinyere or as he likes to call himself Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere Michael is a political mercenary for hire. Usually he renders his service to members of the PDP who have scores to settle with other PDP members, however he recently became notorious for being hired by the PDP to do a hatchet job on the APC registration with INEC.
He personally hired Barrister Samuel Chinedu, the lawyer who filed the registration application for the African People’s Congress with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He paid Chinedu less than N80,000 and gave him a Samsung Galaxy phone with the promise of riches if the application was to scale through successfully.
Previous hatchet jobs he has executed successfully and unsuccessfully for other PDP members include:
- He was hired by former Governor Ohakim of Imo State to stage demonstrations protesting the removal of Maurice Iwu, the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Acting in the name of a shadowy group called Alliance for the Defense of Democracy (ADD), Mr. Ugochinyere sued to compel the government to retain Mr. Iwu, who had set scandalous records as a rigger of elections in favor of candidates of the PDP. In addition to filing a pro-Iwu lawsuit, Mr. Ugochinyere also said he had galvanized 15 million youths to support Mr. Iwu.
- Seeking Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s disqualification from the party’s chairmanship. In addition, Mr. Ugochinyere threatened to mobilize protesters against Mr. Tukur.
- According to PremiumTimes, in September 2006, while then President Olusegun Obasanjo and his deputy, Vice President Atiku Abubakar, feuded, Mr. Ugochinyere was contracted to lead protests against the vice president as a way of putting pressure on him and his camp. On September 30 that year, Mr. Ugochinyere led a huge protest to the PDP national secretariat in Abuja demanding that Mr. Atiku be expelled from the party. The then party secretary, Ojo Maduekwe, who received the protesters, thanked them for demonstrating and promised that the party would consider their demands.Mr. Abubakar was later expelled from the party.
- On February 1, 2007, Mr. Ugochinyere led a protest to the INEC headquarters in Abuja, requesting the commission to disqualify VP Atiku from that year’s presidential election. The group was received by the then INEC National Commissioner in charge of Political Party Monitoring, Ishmael Igbani, who received a petition from them.
The commission later disqualified the vice president from the election, a decision Mr. Atiku challenged and set aside in court.
- Tenure extension for Ahmadu Ali and Co.In November 2007, the lawyer was used here by a group within the party opposed to a national convention members yearned for at the time. At that time Ahmadu Ali and his group in the National Working Committee were reluctant to step down and it was to Mr. Ugochinyere they turned. For days, Mr. Ugochinyere widely circulated text messages asking journalists and party members across the country to support the campaign to allow the Ahmadu Ali-led leadership of the party remain in office till 2009.
His message at the time read, “Support the patriotic campaign for the present PDP National Working Committee four-year tenure completion. The present NWC led by Dr. Ahmadu Ali and Bernard Eze is still valid. The era of cut and join politics is over and Rule of Law must prevail. All loyal PDP members and patriotic Nigerians must join the campaign for the restoration of the dignity of the PDP Constitution as an internal foundation for enhanced democracy”, one of the test messages read. “We must put Mr. President’s Rule of Law theory into work by standing on the side of constitutionality that an NWC elected at our 2005 national convention can only go at the end of a four-year tenure (2009). Any move to illegally institute a new NWC will be declared null and void by a competent court. On 2009 convention we stand.”
- PDP front man in battle against Pius Anyim
Also in February 2008, Mr. Ugochinyere was used by a bloc within the PDP opposed to a former President of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim, who was angling for the position of party chairman at the time. Mr. Obasanjo and the party leadership had backed Vincent Ogbulafor for the position, which was zoned to the South-East geopolitical zone at the time. Mr. Ugochinyere was recruited to mount a campaign of calumny against Mr. Anyim.
He took the job seriously accusing Ike Ekeremadu, deputy president of the senate, of trying to foist Mr. Anyim on the party. On February 22, 2008, he addressed a press conference in Abuja carpeting the South-East leaders of the party and alleging that the South-East caucus meeting scheduled for that Saturday had been programmed to throw up Mr. Anyim. He alleged that the script of the meeting had been written in Abuja and would only be acted out in Enugu.
He also claimed that the communiqué of the meeting had been drafted and that an unnamed chieftain of the party would only fly into Enugu to read it to participants.
Mr. Ugochinyere said then, “The reason for raising this alarm is that high wire intrigues and influence of external forces capable of destroying our march towards enhanced intra party democracy have overtaken the meeting of this caucus billed to hold in Enugu on Saturday with a select few of the conveners already arranged to adopt Anyim Pius without respect for participatory democracy.”
He continued, “Great party men are worried that a meeting billed to hold on Saturday has had its agenda and communiqué already drafted and written at Abuja and handed over to a top member of the caucus who will fly into Enugu to read it to the press.Political watchers in the South-East and beyond have wondered why the caucus of legislature wants to dabble into the issue of anointing a candidate for a position zoned to the South-East without due consultation and calling an all embracing meeting of leaders of the zone.”
Ikenga has enjoyed a robust relationship with the PDP, and has been rewarded handsomely for his actions on their behalf. Here are a few pictures found on his Facebook profile:
Sources: SaharaReporters, PremiumTimes, Facebook