Hon Dr Tony Nwoye was bold and daring at the stakeholders’ interactive roundtable of the Anambra State All Progressives Congress, APC with Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo. He told him there was no APC in Anambra. That was direct and pungent. Not all can speak with that audacity. APC members dealt with Nwoye when he campaigned to be Governor of Anambra state November 2017.
The event which took place at Prof Dora Akunyili Women’s Development center was entitled, ‘Repositioning APC Anambra State Chapter in the Next Level era’. Former Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige, National Auditor of APC, Chief George Moghalu, Director, Budget, Pastor Ben Akabueze, former House of Representatives, Hon Rapheal Okeke among others attended the event.
Those purportedly in the front run who couldn’t get the ticket of the party constituted a nuisance against their own party man, Tony Nwoye, even when they have party man, Tony Nwoye, even when they have party positions. How then, do they expect goodies to be happening to members, when they are only good in sabotaging others fortune?
That’s why Senator Ngige continues to enjoy party goodies alone with his cronies. He plays better party politics, though crafty in actions, and thrift in political spending than others. He played clean, so to speak, as other political bigwigs used all forms of subterfuge against Tony Nwoye. They constituted a parallel campaign organization poised at thwarting every move of Tony Nwoye. They became feeders to opposition. They attend meetings in the morning and divulge deliberations to the opposition by night.
I witnessed it first hand, and these people are shamelessly angling to be given positions in APC as true Ambassadors of the party in Anambra state unknown to them that inability to settle gentleman agreement is a bad omen any day. Some of them are already having positions, but wish to be ministers and higher positions like Ambassadorial post. One day, their co-travellers would name and shame them, not me.
Prof Yemi Osinbajo was shocked at Tony’s postulations, but that was the truth. He knew those who sabotaged his ambition to be Governor just because they were not favoured at the APC Primary.
Nwoye, a former member, House Representatives, told Osinbajo that APC members are deceiving themselves that APC exist in the state, yet it had not won any seat in the Anambra state House of Assembly, House of Representatives and even Senate. APC achieved six percent in the last election.
Nwoye said: “As of today, APC is not in existence in Anambra state. We are just deceiving ourselves about the existence of APC in the state. Since inception of the party it has not won any seat either at the state or federal level,” he said. He appealed to the Vice President to rescue the party in the state so that members could wake up from their slumbers. Please tell Mr President that if he wants APC to exist in Anambra state, he must personally intervene and save it from total collapse,” Nwoye said.
Another former member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Ihiala federal constituency, Chief Fort Dike was equally direct as he lamented, “our members are hungry, angry and ashamed at the way we are being treated in Anambra state as members of APC. This is the first time since I joined politics in 1979 that members of the ruling party would be so relegated. Party democracy is never run by gangs, cliques or cabals’’.
Dike spoke the minds of other members who couldn’t muster such courage to speak pungently to people in authority. He said APC is at the Centre, but members in the state are all in pains, suffering bitterly and gnashing teeth. He insisted that it’s like the members, especially in the state are being deceived, as there were no jobs, no appointments or any way of carrying the people along.
Deputy National Youth Leader of the party, Chief Olisa Onyeka, proposed that four hundred (400) board appointment slots be made available for APC members in the state, since Anambra has only 326 electoral wards.
He said further, “The way the party and the federal government affairs are being run has rendered APC a regional party. We have been so side lined in the scheme of things that it is really in doubt whether any of the leaders is thinking of how to shore up the party in the state and zone. He described the situation as ugly.
Onyeka dared APC leadership with a one year ultimatum to change and improve on the welfare of her members in the state or there would be no more APC in the state. He said that while the party prides itself on “Next Level”, it’s “Last Level” in the state.
On same ground, the Acting state chairman of the party, Mr. Basil Ejidike, a former Member of the state Assembly (Awka North), Mrs Rebecca Udorji, and, a former Deputy Speaker of the state, Mike Ugwa expressed the displeasure of members of the party, saying that even though the party was the ruling party at the centre, its members were in hardship.
They condemned the recent appointment of a known member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Hon. Anayo Nebe by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as an aide, when there were several capable hands in the party.
They lamented that APC government’s school feeding programme has been hijacked, same for the NPower programmes, Trader Moni and many others to enable them to take the state in the coming governorship election.
Anambra Central Zonal Publicity Secretary of the APC, Igboeli Arinze, in a release, said APC in state and the South-East were urging the Speaker to rescind his decision or face the anger of party members in the region.
The statement stated, “The appointment leaves a sour taste in the mouths of party faithful who have stood by the party through thick and thin and expect much better from the Speaker.
“The appointment of Nnebe, an APGA member, is indeed a slap on the face of the APC, not only in the zone where Nnebe hails from but the entire South-East zone; it is not acceptable.
But, Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, rather ignored all the woes presented before him and predicted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would win the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State.
He told the party members that all the complaints were possible because there was lack of unity.
He said, “What you lack is unity. I am not here to talk to you as a politician but to tell you the truth that will help move this party forward in the state.
“Anambra APC must move forward. How come Anambra performed so low in the 2019 election? You were the second lowest in the presidential election.
‘’How come we do not even have a House of Assembly member from APC in Anambra, yet we have a lot of landmark projects in the state?
“You are not united in Anambra and that is the problem. It will be a waste of time if you are not united. You must start now to show commitment to the party. Dr. Tony Nwoye came second during the last governorship election, and what that means is that if you had pushed a little further, APC would have won.
“As we approach 2021 for another governorship election, we must move to another level by having an APC governor here. We will do it’’.
According to Osinbajo, “no spirit can come and win elections for us in this state; it is time for us to take over Anambra state in 2021”
“Anambra APC must move on. Party leadership must be united, if we don’t work together, nothing will work and must equally show commitment”
“I’m here to open a new chapter, a new beginning, in 2021, we must have a Governor in this state, but it is not going to be easy without being together and hard work “Osinbajo said.
In line with Osinbajo’s visit, APC had called on the All progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to prepare for war in the next governorship election in the state in 2021. The party leaders in a unanimous decision at the Milatel Hotels in Awka, vowed that what happened in the past during elections in Anambra State, would never repeat itself again. They want other parties to prepare for battle in 2021.
Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Anambra State chapter described the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) as a sinking boat.
The Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr Nnamdi Nwangwu who stated this, said that he was not surprised that that the PDP stakeholders meeting which held in the state capital has become a source of worry for the ruling political party in Anambra state. He said instead of APGA faithful to be losing sleep over the activities of the People’s Democratic Party, they should rather worry about the debt profile the incumbent administration has plunged the state into.
The PDP’s spokesperson said the internal and external debt profile of Anambra State is now embarrassing noting that the external debt of the state stands at N107b as at June while the domestic debt was put at N33b. He said the debt situation is not a secret as the information can be assessed from the Debt Management Office. APGA according to him, has plunged Anambra into unnecessary debt which unborn generations would bear. He noted that the situation is even more annoying if one remembers the fact that Chief Willie Obiano inherited a whooping N75b from his predecessor, Mr Peter Obi and wondered what the government of APGA has done with such huge resources.
“The APGA government has failed in all ramifications, it has become notorious for low budget implementation which is as low as 12 percent, the education standard has nose dived resulting in poor performance of Anambra state students in SSCE and NECO as the state has descended from the zenith to an uninspiring seventh position, the functional primary health institutions this administration inherited from Mr Peter Obi are dead.
But, the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) reacted sharply by describing PDP’s statement as a mere wishful thinking, that it would reclaim the state in 2021 gubernatorial election in the state.
State chairman of APGA, Sir Norbert Obi, while saying that era of PDP was between 1999 and 2006 which is over, described PDP’s ambition to return to Government House Awka as “a pipe dream,” insisting that the party died in the state in March 2006, when APGA took over its mantle of leadership. He is optimistic APGA will win 2021 landslide.
However, the leadership of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has condemned the internal crisis and loss of trust and confidence rocking the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), a political party that is generally believed and adjusted as Igbo regional party.
Chief Ikechukwu Ekwe, the Deputy Leader of MASSOB who made the statement said that MASSOB as a stakeholder in the affairs of Ndigbo is not happy about this APGA degeneration.
‘’Our major concern in this political ill wind is burned out of the fact that the name of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (Eze Igbo Gburugburu) was involved in APGA. MASSOB warned that every legacy that the name and person of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was genuinely involved will never allowed to be destroy’’, he said.
Truly, the last general elections with accusations and counter accusations of fraudulently fleecing APGA candidates of several millions in Anambra and Imo state dealt a blow on APGA. Can it survive it to have a good candidate in 2021?
Can APGA survive this wild gathering against it by the APC and the PDP? Is it actually game over for APGA and if it is, which party stands a chance of a rebound to Anambra Government House come 2021? Is it PDP that has tasted it before or APC that has never had a taste of what it is like? Or shall the APGA enjoying it since Peter Obi’s two terms good governance that gave birth to Obiano’s administration continue? Those planning rigging and all forms of subterfuge should forget it because, it won’t happen in Anambra as the center of Igbo race with men imbued with enough political sagacity to stop political manipulators in their game. We are watching developments in the wake of events leading to Anambra 2021! It has started!
Cornucopia is a weekly column of Odogwu Emeka Odogwu.
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