[Interview] Gov Peter Obi’s Aide, Val Obieyem talks on APGA Crisis

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Val Obieyem
Val Obieyem

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Chief Victor Umeh have continued to insist that your principal and Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has plans of ‘killing APGA’ prior to his exit as governor come March 17, 2014. Would you or would you not justify this assertion, taking into consideration the allegations raised by Chief Umeh that Governor Obi is responsible for his woes and sacking as APGA national chairman?

What I have noticed from jobless politicians is the penchant for blackmail. A lot of falsehoods have been propagated about my Governor and Boss, Mr. Peter Obi, but because he has direct relationship with the grassroots, those falsehoods have refused to stick. It has not stuck by now, it will not stick again. So my candid advice to the purveyors of that falsehood is to look for other strategies.

Come to think of it, simply because the Governor wants and canvasses the restructuring of APGA to make it more attractive and endurable, those who perceive that they might, rightly or wrongly, be swept by the restructuring are prancing all over the place and inventing invectives against the Governor.


It is still on record that Gov. Peter Obi was the sole financier of APGA even before he became the Governor. He provided the offices, paid for overseas trips, paid for many court cases, assisted many APGA members that contested various elections, among others. Surely, a person who has done all this cannot become an undertaker for APGA, instead, as with Obi, his desire is for the party to wax stronger.

As for some people saying that Obi is responsible for this or that. I reserve my comments. My only happiness is that the Governor recognizes the virtue of silence. I remember the story of a man who had a nagging wife. Each time this woman nagged, the husband would keep quite. One day after nagging, the husband kept quite as usual, the wife, not satisfied went to shake him violently with the demand that he must say something. In this APGA problem, some people badly wanted the Governor to start exchanging words with them, but he has refrained from doing that. So, let those saying that he is responsible for this or that go on, but when the day of reckoning comes, the truth shall be seen by all.

What happened in APGA was like the case of somebody who wanted to set a particular person on fire for reason best known to him. In the process of pursuing that person, the fire caught him. He made futile attempts to stop the conflagration, which eventually consumed him.

Now, let’s dissect the controversy that has been generated from the ongoing fusion of four political parties into a mega party, that is the All Progressives Congress. While most members of APGA in Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi and Enugu states persist in their arguments that APGA isn’t part of the mega party, those from Imo State are of the view that the party is indeed inclusive in the APC structure. As the oldest controlled-APGA state in Nigeria, what is the position of the government of Anambra State?

Many notable members of APGA have said that APGA was not in any merger agreement. The meeting of the caucus of the party attended by people like Dr. Tim Menakaya, Ambassador Odi Nwosu, APGA national Assembly members, about 16 former members of the party’s National Working Committee, among others said so. Amidst all this, asking if APGA is for merger or not is seeking controversy where there is none.

I am happy to even note that APGA gave reasons why it is not for merger. I understand merger was never discussed in the party. Merger is such a vital undertaken that parties merging must have clearly defined rules of engagement, which is not the case. It is not enough to say that parties are coming together to oust the PDP without sitting down and working out the modalities. If A want to become President tomorrow and B wants to become Governor and C wants to become Senate and three of them hurriedly say they are merging, what happens when election comes and A, B and C discover that others came into the party with the same selfish ambition? It will be catastrophic.

The concern of APGA is to rebuild the party now. It is a rebuilt party that will be in a position to negotiate from point of strength. These things are not about bragging, they are about serious planning and strategizing.

But is there any truth in the APGA-APGA or APGA-PDP puzzle, especially now that it is being rumoured by specific people in Imo State that Governor Obi is on his way to joining the Peoples Democratic Party?

Given a dog a bad name in order to hang it is what the purveyors of these falsehoods are doing. Obi must have recorded another first by being the longest in the process of transiting from one party to other. I say this because they have been saying this for over five years and yet the man has not joined the PDP. Eventually, some people said that they had recently joined the APC and yet Obi keeps saying that once he leaves APGA, he would retire from politics.

The people saying this should know that Obi has character and integrity. He is not desperate and he does not have betrayal instinct as most politicians do. He is not a man to prostitute from one party to another in endless cycle because of political power. If he would leave APGA, it would have been long before now because I am aware of many delegations from different parties urging him to join their own parties. He believes there must be limit to how far one can impugn on one’s own character.

Did you not notice that one of our brothers who is not even a member of APGA is the only voice from Anambra saying that APGA was part of merger arrangement. Such a person, going by his antecedents, is not even one to be taken seriously on any issue. He is probably under delusion that APC is an abridged route to become a Governor or a Senator. Such people will be among the first to leave APC when the chips are down, when they will be outwitted. Mark my words!

There is no doubt that there is indeed a power tussle between Governors Obi and Okorocha, and all these became visible immediately after the demise of late Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu-Ojukwu. Some say that Chief Umeh’s conferment on Okorocha as the next Igbo leader on the day late Ojukwu was being buried may have spurred the altercation. More so, the incident at Chief Alex Ekwueme’s 80th birthday in Enugu, where Okorocha slapped an aide of Obi over a seat seems to have exposed the Imo governor’s quest for power. What’s your take on these issues?

I think after we came back from the burial of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, somebody asked the Governor about the event and the Governor told him that he was grief-stricken over the death of Ojukwu to notice the pronouncement. Did he go to Owerri to mourn Ojukwu or to scheme for his replacement when the man was yet to be buried? I hope this tells you about the working of Obi’s mind. When the person wanted to explain further and even tried suggesting to the Governor what to do, the man immediately called for his files and started working.

Now that you have consistently assured that APGA is still in existence for good, how then does the party hope to manage its affair with the entire crisis plaguing it and ensure it emerges victorious in the Anambra State governorship election in January 2014?

Are you not aware of the election by the caucus of the party of Interim leadership to conduct Convention for the party? This is a very good decision that would put the party on the part of growth. I am happy the Interim Chairman, Chief Maxi Okwu understands the import of his assignment judging from the actions he has taken so far. With him, it is clear that APGA has graduated from a one-man show to a part where people now feel they are actually stakeholders in fact and name.

1 COMMENT

  1. The good people of Anambra State are now well educated. They can now separate the good, the bad, even the ugly.

    It shall be well with us.

    Ichie Nwakibie N’Ogidi
    (Ogidi of Ogidi)

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