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Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Thought Of APGA Without Chief Sir Victor Umeh- By Hon. Chinedu Nkwonta



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victor umeh


So much have been written, said, insinuated and suggested on the person of Chief Sir Victor Umeh the National Chairman of APGA and Senatorial aspirant for Anambra Central both by the circumcised and uncircumcised. One question that keeps coming to my mind remains, ok, assuming whatever is being written or said are true representation of the man Sir Victor Umeh, where would APGA have been without Chief Victor Umeh?

In an attempt to answer this question, one is likely to find the answers to all the issues that have been raise by so some people trying to justify their bias and lack of interest, selfish suggestions that are actually meant to deviate attention rather than allow us to think straight towards finding our common enemy and resolving our political issues once and for all for the common interest of the Igbo Nation.

From inception, Chief Sir Victor Umeh, as the first National Treasurer of APGA and one of the founding fathers, had interest to nurture this baby called APGA. When Ikemba was brought into the political party as the focal point of leadership, it completed the entire circle that was needed to position the party in search of a political direction for the Igbos in the bigger polity of Nigeria.

The way Nigerian politics works, all zones of this nation have political parties that represents their interests.

The South East fared very well in the political history of this nation when we were in either alliance or accord with political parties at the centre. Our relevance and interest were always protected and any power at the centre could not afford to play with our collective interest. Our sons and daughters flourished and almost all issues concerning the Igbo nation were dealt with optimally with care and respect, today it is not the same, at all.

Sir Victor Umeh saw the coming of Peter Obi to APGA as a great opportunity to explore the destiny of the party. Sir Victor was extra ordinarily motivated to work considering also that Peter Obi is his brother, Umeh coming from Aguluzigbo and Peter from Agulu. Umeh as a visionary had advantaged on a brotherly love and motivation, got off the ground and set on the field and worked his heart off trying to secure a win for APGA at least in Anambra State for a start. The political equation as at the time did not have APGA in the political winning radar at all. When people talk out of pure mischief or ignorance that Sir Victor Umeh never made Peter, it becomes the equivalent of saying that coaches do not make players or that film directors do not make actors or that producers do not make artists. Because one is behind the scene does not mean they have not worked very hard in driving the system, Umeh was not the APGA candidate or the national Chairman at the time, he was not in the public eye, it does not in any way undermine the efforts he may have made towards the making of Governor Obi.

A comparable scenery of the making of Peter Obi will be the efforts of the Etiabas during the APGA elections and throughout the period of going to court. Any ungrateful person can come out and tell us any rubbish about the Etiabas but the truth was that Emeka Etiaba relocated permanently to Marble Arch Hotels in Awka during the court process. Before then, it was Echezona Etiaba during the election and then Emeka during the court process. Many people attribute the successes of Governor Obi in the first court win to his resilience and determination but it is wholly and utterly untrue, it was powered by the collective will of all the components that had interest, it was during that period that I came to know Chief Sir Victor Umeh. Ohamadike was always coming down from Enugu to be with Emeka Etiaba and they were collectively working hard for a ticket they had collective investment on.

If the suggestion that Chekwas would have been better for APGA is taken without due assessment, Governor Obi would not have been the governor of Anambra State.

Chekwas Okorie had already done a deal with the process, not necessarily because he wanted a deal but mainly because he did not see any possibility of the ticket ever reverting back to APGA. Victor Umeh and Emeka Etiaba as at the time were not on the same wave length, their investment was not just on the immediate, they had better interest than just fighting for a candidate, they were stake holders, APGA meant everything to them.

Governor Obi is one of the luckiest politician around today on that singular reason, because he had men that had genuine and committed interest in the possibilities than him. The truth must be told as I witnessed it, Governor Obi did not play more role in his making than being the Governorship candidate. Victor, Echezona, and Emeka Etiaba and others I may not have know worked their hearts off,  it may therefore not be an over statement if Victor says he made Peter. Victor and Peter know the nocturnal and other sensitive and private moves they may have made for collective interest. Victor is naturally a man that is on the high and not scared to dare for a greater result, I am personally convinced if Victor said he made Peter.

Our people always believe that to make someone is all about material gains, if I open my contacts and time for the benefit of another, depending on the level of involvement, I have contributed to the making because my contributions affected the pattern of destiny for the better. That I eventually make a few bob out of the situation later does not change the fundamental fact that I contributed immensely to the change of fortune. Some people sight examples of where Victor is today in terms of affluence, was the effort supposed to be all in vain?

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Did Governor Obi not equally benefit?

Can the benefits made by Sir. Victor Umeh materially and otherwise be compared with same made by Governor Obi?

Telling us about first V boot Mercedes bought for Victor and international passport is more like leaving the substance and pursing the shadows, telling us such is actually an indictment on Governor Obi accepting that Victor contributed in no small measures in making him, assuming the information is true.

Governor Obi is not the kind of man known for buying cars and paying for international passports and all that for anyone if there is no immense benefit, for him. Let us agree for the sake of this logic that Sir Victor Umeh was living under the bridge with his entire family as at the time, the same under the bridge man was found worthy by Governor Obi to be given a Mercedes and an international passport, it is a clear acceptance of the fact that without Umeh, he could not have made it.

If Governor Obi disagrees, let him publish the list of the individuals that he has bought cars for or paid for their international passports and travels. My logic here is purely to bring out all evidence from my little understanding so that we deduce who is at fault and move on.

Umeh rose very quickly to become the National Chairman, a feat that was rare, he went ahead to work with Governor Obi. I have heard people close to Obi admit that Obi cannot be called a great politician, who then played the politics for him?

I am not that close to Umeh but I guess if he will ever tell Ndi Anambra the pressure and fights he had with Governor Peter Obi as it concerns empowering party structure through appointments and contracts. Sir Victor Umeh, as a politician that he is was very aware that followership is not for free. The Umeh that I know would expect some positions for the hard working men and women of APGA, that fought without food or water in the political trenches to make things possible for Obi, but Governor Obi will dismiss Umeh with a wave of hand, Obi needed technocrats, he brought in technocrats,  APGA soldiers became strangers in their own victory. Umeh would naturally be disappointed but knowing that the burden of settling his members laid on his shoulders, he would have no option than to swallow his pride and keep praying and begging believing and hoping that things will change for the better.

It is ridiculous and undermining on Governor Obi to tell us today that the problems of APGA has been Sir Victor Umeh.

I have asked before and I want to ask again;

1) Is it Umeh that asked Governor Obi not to empower APGA in Anambra?

2) Do we really think that if Obi had done the right things for the sustenance of APGA and advancement of the Ikemba ideals and visions all over the South East, that the Igbos would keep silent while anyone wants to mess with him?

3) Would Governor Obi sincerely tell all of us that he did well for APGA, being the first ever elected governor and focus of Igbos?

4) The position of the National Chairman of APGA and Executive Governor of a State with power and resources, which one is more powerful?

5) Will it be right to say that the reasons that made Umeh the problems of APGA today is because Umeh has decoded and thwarted the plans of Governor Obi against Ndi Igbo and our party APGA?

Governor Obi shot himself in the foot in so many actions he took against his people during his first tenure. Most of Governor Obi’s actions looked like the actions of a man determined to commit suicide. How could he have given a “shoot at sight” order to the army at Onitsha because he wanted to take control of the markets, how could he have started building stock exchange at Onitsha when what Onitsha desperately needed at the time was security and clean environment.

Victor Umeh is probably the only man that would have told him the truth at the time but the truth told to men that think they “know it all” is a bloody waste of time.

Bringing all these to the present, assuming that Chief Maxi Okwu succeeded in being the National Chairman of APGA and Governor Obi wants to join PDP to further his personal political ambitions, where would APGA be by now, what will be the position of APGA?

Let me attempt to answer this question, APGA would have conveniently, with ease collapsed into PDP without any questions asked by anyone. That is the idea of the entire package. It would have been difficult for mere mortals like us to understand exactly what happened because the setting and the plan is that of the extra gifted, it is an extra ordinary intrigue set or comparative realities.

This is why I said that Governor Obi only wanted history to remember APGA as the political party that existed exclusively for his political interest, nothing more, nothing less.

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The intrigue was to create a situation of much confusion, then use that same guise to take most of us with him to PDP, it would have added great values to his negotiating strength, unfortunately, the general has no battalion.

Governor Obi holds us with utmost disdain and ignominy, that is why he does not see any need to tell us why he had to abandon a party that did everything for him, it is somehow any indication that he is not happy with us, because we refused to go with him into PDP, thank God for Chief Sir Victor Umeh.

Diverting attention to Victor Umeh purely because Ohamadike wants to go to the Senate will not help issues. If Governor Obi is a strong grass root politician after serving Anambra for eight years as our governor and Victor can still have his way with the people politically, then Governor Obi needs to do a reality check on himself, something is fundamentally wrong, that thing is not Sir Victor Umeh.

It is true that APGA has survived till date due to the efforts of like minds and strong political leadership under Chief Sir Victor Umeh, Umeh is the man that won at the law court and still condescended and reached an understanding with Governor Obi because he wants peace to rain, could one imagine what would have been of us if Victor had lost, God is wonderful.

I have this gut feeling that Sir Umeh has become a bit wiser after spending so long a time with Governor Obi, Umeh knows exactly where to hold him to extract the correct values for self and others, that is why Governor Obi cannot stop calling his name. Sir Victor Umeh is also the albatross that obstructed his APGA demise agenda, we understand clearly why Obi is angry.

I want to make myself clear, this is not to paint a perfect picture of Sir Victor Umeh as an angel, far from the it. It is to clearly to identify the issues that are being presented and deduce the guilty, guilty against our common interest and vision and reprimand same accordingly. I have done my critical analysis and I have my own conclusions. My conclusions are purely of facts.

Let me be clear as I am certain some people will accuse me of being biased towards Ohamadike because he appointed me his Media and Publicity Director. I choose that job after critical and careful analysis of the political journey of the Igbo nation so far. The quality of our leaders in elective positions are far lower than those in appointive positions. Sir Victor Umeh, with his clear consistency in positions and issues that affect our common interest as a people has proven over the years that he can be the rallying point for all Igbo elected officers as a form or inspiration, guidance, advice, support or all of the above. Sir Victor Umeh has the capacity to rally our people towards achieving a set goal and can lead the political horse trading with other zones, protecting our interest. Ohamadike has always put himself out there by saying the things we want from our elected leaders putting his being at great risk out there. Sir Victor Umeh went to the national conference and turned around the fortunes of the Igbo men and women, please ask General Ike Nwachukwu. For all keen observers of politics, we as a people are seen as political irritants and irrelevants because of the position that the likes of the former Governor put all of us.

The Igbo nation needs fearless leadership like other zones, we need leadership that has integrity and respect, a motivator to ginger all of us, we need a man with brevity and bravado as to defend our given common positions at any given time. We need a political negotiator that shall negotiate better deals for Ndi Igbo in a comity of all zones. We need a passionate and committed leadership that shall tell us the truth and guide our common destiny to a more peaceful, fruitful relationship with other zones while getting our due benefits maximally. I personally feel that Ohamadike Victor Umeh fits into the picture.

I am not God but one thing is clear, to be alive is anchored on hope, I hope and believe that he will do better for us all.

If Chief Sir Victor Umeh has kept APGA alive, maintained his loyalty to the ideals our dear revered leader, and been consistent with his positions as it concerns our common goals, I am convinced he will do well, that is why I am a part of his team.

This is equally the period I want to suggest we stop pouring aspersions on others in public. We must accept that the era of Governor Obi and his APGA is in the past now, this is the era of Chief Willie Obiano, the new face of APGA leadership , let us not be seen to be distracting him.

As Chief Sir Victor Umeh prepares to migrate his services to the Igbo nation from party political boardroom to the Senate, I am concerned and deeply worried on the quality of party leadership that shall come to be early next year.

We need to seek the face of the Almighty to guide us as the shoe will be difficult to fit. The survival of APGA is our paramount interest at the moment, if we lose APGA, we have lost everything.

May God never allow that to happen, Amen.

I salute you all.

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