Posted by Anuoluwa Biodun | 21 May 2017 | 2,277 times
Let no one be deceived, the ability of the All Progressives Congress, APC as a party that can win election in any part of Nigeria with the intervention of state apparatus now is in serious doubt. In most cases, supporters of the once unassailable party are wondering how they have been hoodwinked into accepting the APC which campaigned with a promise of change and a better deal for the people. In fairness, it is not that the manifesto of the party or its constitution is faulty. Truth is that most of those selling the change mantra after election have been less than average in their performances. At the national level, there is evident tardiness and inexplicable clumsiness. But the bulk of the mess rocking the party is at the level of the states which incidentally are closer to the people.
There is no state where APC needs to look more closely into its dwindling fortunes than Imo state where Owelle Rochas Okorocha is the Governor. He assumed office on the wave of popular protest votes. Okorocha raised the people’s hope of a better Imo state and the electorate believes him. Two years down the line though, despair has taken over in Imo state as the impact of Okorocha’s misrule is biting the people.
And the voices of dissent are very loud and clear. They have chosen a global platform to air their discomfiture.
Recall that APC enjoyed enormous support of the social media in the build up to 2015 general elections leading to vote the defeat of PDP. It is no surprise that those kicking against Okrocha’s misrule have also launched a very vitriolic hashtag called #ImoFailedMission. The Campaign on twitter has gone viral as various groups have joined in exposing what they consider the failures of Okorocha in Imo.
They have used short videos and graphic pictures to illustrate their points. See some of the tweets with the hashstag #ImoFailedMission.
Another tweet “He also promised to build 27 General hospitals in each LGA in Imo State. Two years to end his tenure, He’s completed none. #ImoFailedMission
“@ProjectWatch_NG tweeted “The Abandoned State of Ahiazu General Hospital .. One of the "Newly Built" Hospitals:No Gates, Bushes everywhere.. #ImoFailedMission
“Rochas envisaged that these trips or training would cost N5bn. enquiries done across 14 LGs here, no one has benefitted #ImoFailedMission
These are just excerpts from a burgeoning campaign against Okorocha and let’s not make a mistake, it is a campaign against the APC; the party could be terribly damaged if no action is taken to reclaim the confidence of the Imo electorate and beyond.
Even more, the implication of all this is that the APC cup has run over in Imo and the party needs to do a lot more for it to win over the people as elections beckon.
The campaign against Okorocha portends more danger for the APC beyond Imo. For instance, many had hoped that Imo being the only APC state in the South East will become a beacon, like a benchmark for attracting other states into the party’s fold in the East. Okorocha was meant to serve as the leader to show the way. However it appears something is terribly wrong.
And the campaigns so far indicate that except something is urgently done, the dream of expanding the grip of APC into other states in the South East will be deferred. Okorocha’s lackluster performance appears to have made APC unattractive to others in the region.
It is in the light of the foregoing that APC’s wish to win election in Anambra may be in grave danger. One can recall that that the party’s National Chairman Odigie Oyegun has announced that APC wants to win the forthcoming Anambra gubernatorial election. But the raging campaign against Okorocha and the party is the equivalent of what most Nigerians call a “bad sign.”
Clearly, the party needs to wake up and shake up a few things. The leaders have to pull up their sleeves as Nigerians often say and recruit more credible leaders that will lead the campaign for the revival of APC as a matter of urgency in the South East and Nigeria as a whole. But it is in the South East that it is most urgent. Resting on its past laurels can no longer help. In fact, the bridge that helped gain inroad into Imo appears to have broken down almost irretrievably. It is a warning APC may ignore to its own peril.
The facts above also make it imperative for APC to see the need to effect immediate changes to the leadership of the organs that represent the party at the national level. In particular, observers contacted are warning that it is high time the leadership of the APC Governors is changed. Those who share this view say Okorocha is a bad advertisement for the party and having him continue as Chairman of the ruling party’s Governors’ Forum is an indication of why people in the South East – where a lot of campaign for acceptance needs to be done- and the rest of the country, may not take the party seriously henceforth. Change must begin with removing those de-marketing the APC now.
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