Posted by News Express | 12 May 2019 | 2,560 times
Mr. Emeka-Ojukwu Jr., first son of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, has dismissed rumours that he is making moves to go back to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which he described as not only a national party but his late father’s legacy.
In this interview with Senior Correspondent Pamela Eboh in Awka, he said that his visit to the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Ike Oye, was predicated upon his earlier visit to his Abuja-residence, adding that his interest in the party is geared towards ensuring it does not crumble. Excerpts:
You recently visited the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in his country home at Amawbia, and it is being alleged that you have returned to the party?
Emeka Ojukwu Jnr.: It is not surprising that people would jump to that conclusion. But, by the way, people move from one party to another all the time (in Nigeria) and there is no noise about it; and when I visit my brother, it becomes an issue. At any rate, people are free to make insinuations about my visit to the chairman of the party. But, for the records, I have not.
Are you not worried that it might be said that you have swallowed your words?
You are presupposing that my answer to your previous question was yes; it was not. It is natural for people to read meaning into the visit. During my visit, the chairman and I discussed many issues: From the Igbo situation in Nigeria, pertaining to Anambra State, down to the growth of APGA in recent years as well as a prognosis for the party, given the current agitations by some members, after the recent primary elections. My input was solicited, and I gave my opinion as a stakeholder in Anambra State.
My focus was on the prognosis for the party and my opinion is as follows: ‘While it is true that some things could have been done better, I would appeal to all members that the baby should not be thrown out with the bath water. APGA is a national political party that has massive followership in the South-East and, I believe, that most Igbo, myself included, regardless of their political affiliations, still have that attachment to all issues that concern Igbo land.’
Ezeigbo Gburu-Gburu, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, my late father, sacrificed his youth, his time, his health, his wealth, for the good of his people. APGA is his legacy, and as such must be protected. If we allow our grievances, justified or unjustified, perceived or otherwise to lead us into actions that will lead to APGA’s demise, we would be destroying Ojukwu’s legacy and the ideologies he bequeathed to us.
Do you think you have a moral burden to shield this legacy your father left behind?
Being the first son of Ezeigbo, I have a moral burden to protect those things he held most dear and sacred, while exercising my right to freedom of association. I am honoured that the APGA National Chairman found it imperative to solicit my contribution.
Do you mean the aggrieved should all forgive and forget?
Let me first remind you of the story of King Solomon’s judgment and the biblical woman who advocated before the king: that instead of dissecting the baby, it should be kept alive so that when the child grows, it will discover who the mother is. Anybody who loves and holds dear everything my father stood for, would, like the woman, chose the personal sacrifice, as painful it may be, over the alternative, which would lead to the death of the ‘baby.’ So, I say they should sheathe their swords for the greater good and in honour of the man we all claim to love and respect.
If they persist and allow the party to disintegrate, there are other well-meaning sons of the soil ready and willing to pick up the mantle to keep the legacy alive.
The National Convention of the party will soon take place and you are making statements in sympathy of APGA. Why this slant?
I was asked questions about APGA and I answered questions about APGA; which happens to be the ruling party in my state. I cannot be concerned about my state without having a say on its ruling party which, by the way, has not done too badly in recent years. Sometimes, it is easier to focus on the negative and overlook the positive. From three, they now have 10 federal house (House of Representatives) members: They have gained ground in various states, including Bayelsa, Imo, Abia, Taraba, FCT, Niger, Kaduna and Anambra.
Some people are of the opinion that the governor has a hand in your visit; possibly, to use you to ensure that the party remains relevant. What is your relationship with Willie Obiano currently?
He is the governor and the first citizen of Anambra State. He is my elder and, in Igboland, we give respect to whom it is due; that is our tradition. Besides, we have been friends and continue to enjoy a good relationship. In terms of this particular visit, I am not aware that he is involved. By the way, APGA as a national party, has been relevant in the national discourse over the years and is even more so today than in years past.
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