Message To APGA Delegates – Gamble With The Primaries And Lose 2019 Elections – By Hon Uzoma Nwagwu
The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, is a Party painstakingly inaugurated as a necessity to give Ndi Igbo identity, floated originally by Chief Chekwas Okorie in 2002, on justice and fair play, due process, unity and all-inclusive. The later declaration by the symbol of the Biafra struggle Ikemba Nnewi, late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu for the party and his emergence as the Presidential candidate in April 19 2003 elections, polarized the conceptualization of APGA as a political party that would serve all Igbos, and other progressive minds south East of Nigeria. Ikemba’s heroism and identification with APGA gave the party the much-needed acceptance and popularity in all nooks and crannies of Igbo land. The likes of Peter Obi, former Executive Governor of Anambra State, Victor Umeh and others have further worked to enshrine the Igbo identity of APGA, at a time our presumed Igbo leaders sold their conscience in search of primitive accumulation in PDP, APC and other quasi parties that exist in portfolio or poster. The triumphs anchored and the good expectations of tomorrow for Igbos therefore cannot be swept away at the threshold of the 2019 elections’ party primaries.
It is pertinent to draw the attention of all delegates that what will make or break APGA candidacy will be largely defined by the outcome of the primaries. Politics they say is littered with broken relationships and strange bedfellow.
Party loyalty: Success remains the result of perfection, hard work, and persistence to a defined course of action. The unparalleled party defection, call it cross- carpeting, party-switching, floor crossing, party-hopping, canoe-jumping, decamping, party-jumping into APGA has become challenging, and may spell recipe for disaster if not properly handled. I refuse to submit that the influx is due to flaws in the country’s democratic process, nor ever in the interest of the people. The truth is that many who have found it expedient to dump any party will opportunistically flock back if the party they dumped wins the election. These movements most often are self-serving. It is all about primitive accumulation of wealth and political power. You will agree with me that any politician the moves from one party to another, a party in power to a party in-the-making, says so much about the person’s integrity and leadership.
Section 68 (1) (g) of the 1999 constitution may have been intended to address the issue of party defection, but did not. Why? While Gen Abacha was looking and drafting 1999 constitution ab initio, for self-succession, Abdulsalam Abubakar saw it as a mechanism for quick handover. Delegates must resist and shutout this category of political marauders. They do not mean well for the party and for Imo State.
Vote buying – Vote buying and various other electoral corruptions have become the defining theme in the party primaries and general elections. The recent events in Ekiti and Osun States remain testaments of what to expect. There is no electoral corruption that is worse than corrupting the human mind. The trend has now become more visible than ever, where the highest bidder wins the election.
Now APGA in Imo state is under siege, the rescue can only be the emergence of a candidate that represents the heartbeat of the people, and not a candidate imposed on the people by any gangster clandestine permutations from the party leadership and delegates. To learn from history, late Chief Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe who till date has maintained towering record of achievements as Imo State governor, emerged 1979 in Nigeria People’s party (NPP) not based on his affluence but his credibility, track record of his fight for Igbo people in the abandoned property case in Rivers state, and essentially his intellectual capacity to govern. We cannot afford to entrust our bleeding state in the hands of political traders and hustlers. The ball is in your court to elect a credible candidate, that has not compromised his integrity with the ongoing idiocy called Rochas administration, a candidate that has not been part of the problem, and has proved over the years that he parades capacity to govern as demonstrated in his track record of business and human capital management. Choose wisely and soar like an eagle into 2019 elections, or play the role of lunatics in history. I wish all delegates the guidance of Almighty God as you converge for the primaries.