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APC Convention and Anunobi's unifying agenda

By News Express on 01/06/2018

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Rex Anunobi, a lawyer, is indisputably a personality to reckon with when it comes to politics in Imo State. While the Nkwerre-born political strategist is highly admired and called Sokom, other close associates and allies have always celebrated his sagacity and brilliance by eulogising him as ‘Igbudu Nkwerre’.

An Nsukka-trained lawyer and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Anunobi remarkably showcases a profound profile as a public administrator, grassroots mobiliser, political and development strategist.

A two-term elected chairman of old Nkwerre Local Government Area, Imo State, Anunobi has occupied several positions that endearingly exposed him to offering quality and strategic services to his people and the state.

Anunobi served variously as special adviser on Inter-governmental Affairs, special adviser on Revenue Generation and Mobilisation, political adviser to the Governor of Imo State 2007 to 2011; chairman, Land Use and Allocation Committee (LUAC) Imo State, and State secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), before joining the All Progressives Congress(APC). He is also the immediate past director-general, Imo College of Advanced Professional Studies (ICAPS) and, presently, special adviser to the Governor on Trade and Investment. 

He was notably among the political chiefs that were received by Gen Muhammadu Buhari in Owerri, as a presidential candidate, shortly before his landmark victory in 2015. Anunobi's foray into APC indisputably reshuffled subsequent political developments, which spirally influenced a landslide victory for Imo APC in 2015. 

Recently, Anunobi publicly declared his interest to serve his party as national organising secretary. His declaration took place at Nkwerre, in the presence of party stakeholders. That Anunobi has the credentials, political capacity and outreach relishing on his vast experience as party and public service administrator is obviously not in doubt. That his aspiration and subsequent declaration are generally viewed as a strategic development that may ‘unify’ the party is ostensibly perceived by discerning stakeholders.

However, certain reactions that are probably nauseating and mischievous have no doubt trailed Anunobi’s genuine aspiration. These presumptions and ill-informed postulations are spewed out of mischief and bandied around by dysfunctional minds and ignoramus of political dynamics. The alarming disunity and disagreements enveloping the party as a fallout of the recently conducted congresses at the ward, local government and state levels by APC remains a contentious issue that must be genuinely addressed for the party to move forward. Imo, as predicted by bookmakers and political watchers, got her own dosage of the spirally but congress-induced crisis. 

It is a known fact that a coalition known as “Allied Forces” and championed by Senator Osita  Izunaso, the national organising secretary of the party and other bigwigs in APC have temporarily or permanently seized the soul of Imo APC, hence they enjoy total control of the Abuja recognised structure of the party. 

What is yet unknown, judging from the political crisis presently rocking Imo APC, remains whether “Abuja” power-brokers are ready to dispense with Governor Rochas Okorocha, who ranks as the party’s apex leader in South-east. As chairman of Progressive Governor’s Forum, Okorocha unarguably wields a greater influence within the party’s hierarchy and the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.

Without Okorocha and his supporters, the “Allied Forces” may likely hit the rock, as the PDP and the resurged APGA may take advantage of the brouhaha to mobilise the electorate towards dislodging APC in 2019.

There is no gainsaying that the genuine concern expressed in some quarters over the survival of APC Imo calls for consensus and sacrifices. And this should begin strategically with the office of the national organising secretary. The congresses and the attendant crisis rocking over 20 state chapters, as there are still un-reconciled parallel congresses are obviously not healthy to the party. This development portends frightening danger and shall adversely affect the party's forthcoming primaries, if not adequately addressed.

It, therefore, becomes imperative that the right decision must be taken, hence the unpalatable trend largely orchestrated by Abuja cabals has equally exposed the near incompetence of Izunaso, the national organising secretary. The mass protests and calls for his removal are directly mirroring the surest step that could salvage the party. This suggests that a firm, fair-minded and party loyalist like Anunobi should be given the opportunity to vastly deploy a worthy experience in unifying all state chapters with parallel executives by strictly applying due process and the constitution of the party.  

If Adams Oshiomhole should succeed in the task of repositioning the party ahead 2019 political projects and actualise the re-election of President Buhari, Izunaso must give way as the national organising secretary. Also, if a consensus must be reached towards reconciling the two factions of Imo APC, Izunaso should follow the honourable and dignifying path by not re-contesting his present position. He has colossally failed to exhibit reasonable impartiality, diligence and unbiased mentality in organising the party’s programmes, as manifested in the recently conducted congresses. 

This, supposedly, calls for a “neutral” or “unity” candidate whose political profile and credentials will progressively restore confidence and strategically shield the party from a looming disaster. 

With Anunobi’s declaration for the office of the national organising secretary, the search for Izunaso’s replacement assumes a perfect conclusion. He showcases the capacity, intellectual prowess, political sagacity and the right disposition to midwife a new era for APC, should the delegates choose him through their votes as the next national organising secretary of the party. 

Little wonder Anunobi declared: “I am presenting myself as a unifying candidate for the position of national organising secretary. My election will restore peace and unify stakeholders who are disagreeing over the outcome of the congresses in some states. 

“To be honest, members of APC need to remain united, if we must win election the forthcoming elections. Our leaders should be unified and encouraged to work closely with one another to maintain a one united family.”

The promise of deploying robust knowledge and experience in party administration, ensuring that APC remains united and stronger, is one major reason Anunobi should be encouraged and supported by all stakeholders to succeed Izunaso as the national organising secretary. He is good enough to succeed Osita Izunaso.

•Uzoukwa, a seasoned journalist and PR practitioner, is currently pursuing his Doctorate Degree on Mass Communication in Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri.

Source News Express

Posted 01/06/2018 08:32:32 AM


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