By EBOH AFAM
Since it coalition as a political party, the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) has failed in its bids at several junctures in our electoral history to win Anambra as a state in a guber election. Beginning from its days as the Action Congress, when it fielded Senator Chris Ngige. Same occurred in 2013 and then in 2017 when Hon. Tony Nwoye took up the gauntlet.
Now, a number of reasons have been offered as to why the party failed in its bids in 2010 and , 2013 and 2017, some of these reasons are germane while a number of them are simply tales told by children. For example, it is true that the elections of 2010 and 2013 were lost due to high power plays from the centre, while that of 2017 was due to the lack of unity amongst party members. The talk of the APC being an “ofemanu” party while it sought the seat in 2010 and its alleged transmogrification into a Boko Haram party in 2013 by silly beer parlor and pepper soup pundits are not strong reasons for the party’s loss. The party simply lost these elections for stronger and more cogent reasons.
So I was much enthused with the drive by the SouthEast APC leaders to add Anambra to its kitty come 2023 as there are cogent reasons for the party at the SouthEast and at the national level to do so. First of all, the state of governance has gotten so bad in the state that the present administration has been compared to that of Chinwoke Mbadinuju, which prior to now was adjudged as the worst thing that had ever happened to Anambra in terms of governance. The state is in need of deliverance as things have gone so awry that the people crave for new thinking which the All Progressives Congress can give.
Again, Anambra is central to the politics of NdiIgbo, for decades it has galvanized much of the political thinking of NdiIgbo as per its relations with the Nigerian nation, and is therefore important that Anambra be involved with the centre and not in exclusion as the case appears now to be.
Lastly, come 2023, NdiIgbo may have the best of chances to give Nigeria a president of its extraction, now, it doesn’t look like the All Progressives Congress will be leaving the centre anytime soon, is it not then necessary that Ndi Anambra join the centre like Azikiwe postulated and like Ojukwu dreamed on his return from exile? Again, elections is all about numbers, with Anambra joining the APC fold, and adding the party’s tally in the SouthEast to three, the Igbo Presidency project could become much more achievable. Moreso, Anambra joining the kitty could provide the domino effect needed for other states like Enugu and Abia to also join the progressive fold.
This drive which is been spearheaded by Governor Hope Uzodinma and a couple of SouthEast power houses such as , former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, Ogbonnaya Onu, Honorable Uche Ogah, Emeka Nwajiuba and a host of Anambra household names, such as Hon. Sir Azuka Okwuosa, Dr Chidozie Nwankwo, Chief George Moghalu , Senator Andy Uba, Engineer Johnbosco Onunkwo, Colonel Geoff Onyejegbu,who are among the leading guber aspirants in the state . Such an effort has surely culminated in the kickstart convergence on the 23rd of January 2021, which was like a summit to serve a warning sign to all parties that the APC was indeed ready to give leadership to the people of Anambra.
The summit, a brain child of the State Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress in Anambra State, led by its energetic chairman Chief Basil Ejidike was aimed at telling party faithfuls and stakeholders certain hometruths.
One key home truth was the message of unity which was preached by Governor Uzodinma and Senator Ken Nnamani, truth be told, certain factors of division that did arise within the party after 2017 much stemmed from the perceived betrayal of the APC candidate then by certain leaders. Other divisions range from the selfishness of these leaders, who believe that if it is not in their interest then all can go to blazes. Such divisions need not arise if the APC is serious about winning Anambra, thus leaders within and outside the party must buy such truths as sacred.
Lastly, the party must allow for genuine competition in the forthcoming primaries to enable it present a united front against the ruling party, this again was expressed by Governor Uzodinma, similar to what has also been expressed in certain quarters of the leadership of the party at the national level, which is the party’s ticket is not for sale; it is not for the highest bidder, it must be earned in the horse trading that such a contest requires, anything short of this will be seen as a handicap to the party from the beginning.
Anambra much needs the APC but then it will take the party getting a number of factors right in order to achieve such a dream.