The Oasis Reporters
August 20, 2017
When the United Progressive Party, UPP delegates arrived to choose their gubernatorial flag bearer for the forthcoming elections in the state, it was akin to a large family gathering.
The primary election was a two horse race between a former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka and an ex-member of the House of Representatives, Chudi Offodile.
Offodile, however, announced his withdrawal from the race at about 11am while delegates were being accredited for the polls.
It was graciousness at play, to synergize and present a united front for the big picture, the taking over of the Government House and forming the next government in Anambra State, akin to what Emmanuel Macron did in France where a new party caused an upset, to present new faces of leadership.
Or so everyone thought.
It was obvious that Chidoka would win. Then suddenly, Hon. Chudi Offodile announced his withdrawal. The announcement was not well taken by some delegates which led to a fracas as some were denied entry into the venue.
Thugs took over to cause mayhem with the police throwing tear gas canisters to disperse the rowdy crowd. Unfortunately someone identified as Uwakwe, a delegate for Owelle Ezunaka Ward 1 and the Chairman of the party in the ward slumped and died.
However, sources claim that the victim died after inhaling tear-gas fumes from the Police when they attempted to disperse the crowd.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Nkeiru Nwode, confirmed the incident saying the man slumped and died.
“Some people came to the venue to cause trouble but they were locked out,” she said.
“I think the man slumped and died as a result of the stampede that ensued.”
Sources close to Uwakwe’s family, indicated that the deceased was asthmatic. People in such conditions are usually advised by medical practitioners to avoid stinging or pungent smells.
Chidoka eventually emerged the candidate of the party for the November 18 governorship election in the state and a grateful heart thanked the delegates for finding him worthy to be the Party’s flagbearer.
Soon afterwards, Chidoka led his campaign team and officials to the family home of Mr. Uwakwe on a condolence visit. Despite the sad atmosphere, the family received him well and offered prayers and goodwill for his success at the polls.