2023: Nigeria will divide to unite — Chekwas Okorie

Posted by News Express | 22 January 2020 | 3,203 times

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APGA Founder and UPP National Chairman, Chekwas Okorie

Chief Chekwas Okorie is the founder and first National Chairman of the All Progressives Alliance (APGA) and the current National Chairman of United Progressive Party (UPP). In this interview with Senior Correspondent PAMELA EBOH, Okorie, who is also a member of the pan-Igbo organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, spoke on issues concerning the Igbo presidency, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, APGA’s future in the political hemisphere and other issues of national importance. Excerpts:

Question: The discussion on the lips of every noble Igbo man gears towards the way forward for 2023 presidential election. A lot of conjectures and postulations are also being made, not just for the Igbos but the suitable political party for realisation of this dream. Politically, Igbos have experimented in the past with political parties like NPP, NPN, etc. Now we have APGA, UPP, APC and so on. Do you think the Igbos have a germane political platform to birth this dream?

Chekwas Okorie: Yes, the Igbo people have the political platform to achieve the ambition. First and foremost, we have to have a political party that is sympathetic to the course of Igbo people. By that, I mean a political party that will, as a matter of political policy, zone the presidential ticket to the Southeast geopolitical zone. You have to be a candidate before you begin to think of whether you will win or not. I’m glad you went down history lane to talk about NPP and co. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe led the NCNC and In that regard, he was able to lead the party to a coalition with NPC and Igbo people which formed the bloc of the leadership of the party were part of the government of the first republic. He did exactly the same thing with NPP and at the end of the election, he went into an accord with NPN and Igbo people were also part of the central government. Late Chief Umezuoke was the Speaker (of the House of Representatives) at the time, late Dr Alex Ekwueme was also the Vice President. That combination has never repeated itself. Of course, there were many prominent Igbo people who held key ministerial positions as a result of that accord. The truth is, if you don't have your people control the machinery of a party, the aspiration may be aborted because you will never be a candidate.

What those who established the PDP which is still owned by retired military Generals is that they took total control of the party. In doing that, they misled the late Dr Alex Ekwueme into believing that he would be the presidential candidate of the party for 1999. So, for that reason, he had to relinquish the position of the National Chairman of the party. He was the first protem national chairman of the PDP. They went further to manipulate the electoral commission to ensure that the election for the governorship and state assembly took place even before the primary election, that is, the convention for the presidential candidate. All this things were choreographed to scheme Igbo people out. The story they floated was that any geo-political zone where any candidate could not win his war or local government will not be eligible to contest, even when it had been zoned to the entire South. So, all the prominent Igbo people, some are late now, met here in Enugu and decided that the bulk of Igbo political leaders will go to the PDP to deliver it so that Ekwueme will have that opportunity. His counterparts in the North also convinced him that it would be payback time for his loyalty to Alhaji Shehu Shagari. Everything pointed something that was genuine. The whole Southeast gave PDP hundred percent in both state assembly and governorship election and at the national convention, all the governors were governor's elect, they had not been elected. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo at that time could not deliver his ward, not even his polling unit. AD won the entire six states in the South West. They immediately changed that policy to make sure Obasanjo was not disqualified. As a result of party policy, they changed it overnight and delivered Obasanjo. The same people compelled APP where I was with late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to go into alliance with AD. APP had nine elected governors at the time and AD had six. In doing that, they compelled APP to concede the presidential ticket to a party with a smaller number of states, which  is very absurd. You don't go into an alliance and the smaller partner will take the highest slot. That was how Olu Falae came up and the Abdulsalami-led military government that was supposed to hand over ensured that head and tail, the Yorubas won. So, the Igbo people experienced the worst type of political 419 by a party it invested all their political capital on.

Was that a breaking point, so to speak, for Igbos?

It was from that time that people like me began to be agitated. This issue of restructuring people are talking about now was started long ago and I knew then that the structure of Nigeria is such that no Igbo man would be the presidential candidate of a prominent party if the people are not in control of the machinery of that party. That was what led me to making a third attempt into registering a political party. APGA was my third attempt. I had tried in 1996 with PDC, it wasn't registered by INEC. In 1998, I tried again. By 2001, I began the process that produced APGA in 2002, and the first policy decision we took was to zone the presidential ticket to the South East. The then President, Obasanjo, was agitated and did everything to scuttle it because they knew that we were going to bring late Ojukwu on board as our candidate. At a press conference at Modotels Enugu on the 26th of December 2002, I had proposed that Ojukwu will be our presidential candidate even though he was not yet a registered member of the party then. They went and sponsored somebody from Abagana that I don’t want to mention his name here to come and pay our nomination fee. They will then buy over all our party delegates who are from the North, because they are more in number to vote for that person. The story would have been that I lured Ikemba to national stage to disgrace him. So, what we did was to disqualify that gentleman and rejected his N10million for a party that didn’t have money. That’s why, when some people carry propaganda against me, I just laugh at them because I know what I was offered, even by the Obasanjo administration, not to allow Ikemba become the presidential candidate, they won’t be talking rubbish. That was how on the 10th of January 2003, Odumegwu Ojukwu became the presidential candidate of APGA and that immediately roused the Igbo consciousness and ignited the movement through which Igbo people voted in a manner they had never voted before. The President, Obasanjo, went into massive manipulation of the results to make sure that the votes given to Ojukwu did not count. So, whatever number they assigned to him was far below what he got. The movement was such that APGA won Suleja Federal Constituency without a candidate.

Without a candidate? How could that be?

Yes, without a candidate because that time, what was published on the ballot paper was just the logo. What we got in Suleja Federal Constituency was the highest in that area but because we didn't have a candidate, the votes were given to PDP which came second. It also happened in Ojo and Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency. We then started looking for a way to consolidate on that feat but a year after that, crisis befell the party. APGA never survived that crisis and since then, it has remained an Anambra party. Sadly, It has not even occupied Anambra State a hundred percent. It's sharing Anambra with PDP.

Can you link these issues to 2023?

I have seen 2023 in advance. When I led UPP to support President Buhari, I made it in a press conference and in writing that it was clear to us in UPP that any person from the South at that time, 2019 contesting for the presidency would be swimming against the tide and that it was better for us to allow President Buhari complete the remaining four years instead of Atiku coming to do eight years, so that we will weigh in come 2023. Igbos weighing in 2023 was well planned in advance. If Atiku had won, nobody from the Southeast would be talking about 2023 today. So, now we are talking about it because some had the foresight to at least, make it debatable, a dialogue, an issue. Now the position of the UPP despite the fact we are the ones to feel offended by what happened in APGA but in the interest of the Igbos, we have always extended hand of fellowship to have UPP and APGA have a political merger, that will help the Igbos speak with a stronger voice, because after we produced Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, APGA never produced another presidential candidate. In 2011, they adopted Jonathan, in 2015, they again adopted Jonathan. In 2019, they went to Tivland brought one Gbor who had never been in politics in his life. Whatever he came to do there, nobody knows. Now, he has returned to his cocoon and nobody is hearing about him anymore. What the handlers of APGA had in mind in bringing that gentleman to come and take a presidential ticket that is supposed to be very dear to Igbo people, only them and their God can explain that. But, up till today, don't forget that nobody, from their leader, Obiano has explained to bid Igbo why that man was brought on to fly APGA's flag. Again, they have not accepted our hand of fellowship, so we are moving on.

In a nutshell, are you saying APGA has no business with any other zone flying its flag except the South-East zone?

UPP will produce an Igbo candidate for 2023 election and we will make sure there is a consensus among genuine patriotic Igbo leaders in doing that. It is not going to be a Chekwas Okorie affair because I am not interested. I don’t have that kind of ambition. If I had, in 2003 I was qualified to be a candidate but instead, I took it to Ohanaeze Ndigbo and asked them to give me a candidate. People may not know but I'm giving it to you first hand, it was Justice Ezeobu who nominated Ikemba, in the presence of Chief F. C. Ogboko who was Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Joe Nwogu, Prince Richard Ozobu, Onwuka Ukwa and Ody Nwosu who later became an Ambassador to Rwanda. Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife missed it narrowly because he needed to return to Abuja and was going by road. Chief Eze Ozobu is now late took Ikemba’s hand and put it into my hand and said to me, go and make Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu a presidential candidate. This event happened on December 24th, 2002. On that very day, I called the media on the 26th of December at the Zodiac Hotel in Enugu and announced Ojukwu as our flagbearer.

But, unfortunately, this momentum could not be sustained. Here we are again, good enough, the Igbo people are more conscious now than time and our undertaking to show that we are not selfish about it is that, if APC will nominate an Igbo presidential candidate for 2023, UPP will not be a spoiler; in fact, we will do for that candidate more than we did for President Buhari because we will ensure that the presidency comes to the southeast. Many people don't understand that you cannot restructure Nigeria if the president of the country is not inclined to it. Those who supported Atiku said they did so because he said he will restructure the country. How will he restructure? He will restructure if he became President, he wouldn't have restructured as Atiku. After the elections, he went to Dubai and stayed. Did he restructure from there? It’s only a President of the country that has the capacity to convoke a national conference. It is also the President who has the capacity to sponsor an Executive Bill on constitutional reforms that will bring into focus everything we need for restructuring. If you do not know that, then, you do not know that restructuring is ninety nine percent political. This two things, Restructuring and Presidency, cannot be separated from each other, they come together. So, when some people say we don’t want President, we want restructuring, I laugh and some prominent people who you think are brilliant and well exposed also say the same thing but because of the position we took which some of you have been promoting, including this one we are doing now, many of them have started turning around and supporting the call for Igbo presidency. For the first time since the war ended, we have had non Igbo prominent opinion leaders saying that it is the turn of the Igbo people. We have the likes of Ayo Adebanjo from the West, Rotimi Williams also from the West, Edwin Clark from the South-South, Comrade Joseph Eva from Ijaw, Prof Kemsi Okoko, former National President of Ijaw National Congress, in North-East, we have Senator Nashua, Balarabe Musa from North-West. Go to Middle Belt, we have them too. All of this people are saying, if justice must be done, it has to be the Igbos turn. We have never had it like that, So, we cannot have this people saying it’s about time, then we will be the ones showing lack of self confidence. So, it will happen, an Igbo man will fly the presidential flag, whether they like it or not. But if APC wishes to remain in power, their best bet is to bring an Igbo person as their presidential candidate and they have sufficient and highly qualified Igbo people there in their party. Ogbonnaya Onu is their friend and has been loyal to them. He is acceptable to us, hence they have no difficulty in that one. Beyond him, there are others. We are really ready for a major democratic encounter.

There is no arguing that Ogbonna Onu is close to the APC and the powers that be. The clause here is, is President Buhari and the Fulanis ready to relinquish power to an Igbo man?

This is why it is a contest. This is why you must show that you have something to bring to the table. If we have UPP fully mobilised, bear in mind, Igbo people constitute the largest ethnic group, not only in Nigeria but in West Africa, but take Nigeria alone, there is no state in Nigeria that you don't have at least second highest population of that state being Igbo, second only to the indigenous population, no state in Nigeria. So, if you have thirty six states and in some you are first, in others you are second, if it’s an exam, you have passed well. If you build the political structure in this enormous number and spread, you are good to go. What has happened over time is that Igbo people disconnected, withdrew, saying political power is not for them. It’s painful because if it’s not for us, who then laid the struggle for independence. That effort to get back their political consciousness is ongoing and we are going to reach out to the leaders of the political blocs. Let me also tell you why the chances of Igbo man are brighter now.

Why do you think the chances of Igbo man making it to Ask Rock seat of power is greener now with reference to 2023?

2023 will be like no other year in Nigeria’s presidential race. I tell you why: The Hausas coalescing now on the platform of PRP, which was originally founded by Aminu Kano and laid by Balarabe Musa. They have decided that PRP is the platform they will re-assert themselves into politics. They can no longer be tagged as Hausa-Fulani. So, they are going back to the Aminu Kano trajectory and don’t forget that the Hausas are quite large in the North. The Fulanis and the Kanuris are the ones that are controlling the government, whether it’s in the military or other executive arm of government. When you take away the Fulanis and the Kanuris, what is left? Very small number for the rest of Nigeria. So, when people are talking about lopsidedness in appointment, you can reduce it further. The Hausas feel they need to return to political relevance in the country. The body language in APC is that they are most likely going to bring a candidate from the North. The PDP is also going to do that. Intact, the chairman of Board of Trustees of PDP has led the cat out of the bag when he said at a press conference in Kaduna that the ticket was going to be thrown open; even when he did not have the power to make such statement because it is supposed to be a policy decision  of their National Executive Council, NEC, which the National Working Committee will then make public through the National Chairman, but he didn't want to wait so that nobody is left in doubt as to where they want to go. He said that it is going to be open and that anybody is free to run, including Atiku Abubakar. I was expecting the Igbo leaders in PDP to react decisively to that and say that PDP has rotation in its party constitution and it has been strictly observed over time, now that it will favour Igbos, you come out and everybody is free to run; without first amending the constitutional provision in the party constitution. But all the Igbo leaders kept quiet. If you ask them now, they will say they will contest in 2023, tell me how. They are not controlling the machinery of PDP, they are not where decisions are made in PDP, not one of them.

What about Peter Obi?

He is not in the party leadership structure. I am a party chairman and I can tell you  how things play out. Secondus is South-South and he is already playing the script of those that put him there. So, I can tell you that PDP is already going North – I’m sure as daylight and you can hold me on that. PDP will bring a northern candidate and a South-South running mate. So, PRP is bringing a Hausa candidate and the Yorubas are already planning to return to the Awolowo political trajectory. They have AD, UPN, SDP; it could be any of them or a combination of them. Yorubas will fly a presidential flag whether APC gives them or not. You are going to be seeing in Nigeria, 2023 an election like no other. There will be minimum of five formidable presidential candidates contesting for that office. Let me tell you what to expect: Nigeria will divide to unite. That is the way I describe 2023. Nigeria will divide to unite.

How will that play out?

This formidable candidates will have their strong bases in their major constituencies and their allies because there are those who are aligned to the type of agenda and ideology that will promote those who are not from southwest who may also be inclined to that. It’s not going to be a purely regional thing but each of this people will have a strong base in his major area he is coming from.

That is to say an outright winner will not emerge at the end of the day?

That is why I said it will be like an election we have never had in any presidential contest. So, what Nigerians should be looking out for or be concerned about is a free and fair election which will be technologically based. If that is not done, Nigerians are not going to prepare for elections, they are going to prepare for war. But, if we have an election where people’s vote will count, then there would be an election and people will accept the outcome of a credible election. What we will now have in 2023 will be a coalition government because no one party will have a sweeping result that will give it an outright win. So, you will have at least minimum of two but I can see three parties coming into a coalition to form a stable government. In that kind of situation, there is negotiation, winner takes all will never occur again, Nigeria unity would be more guaranteed. That’s why I said, for 2023, I predict, there shall be division. We shall divide to unite.

With what has played out in the political hemisphere in Nigeria in the recent time in both state and federal elections, do you think votes of the electorate will count in 2023 presidential election?

That is my caution. If votes will not count, then we will be ready for war, because instead of the politicians preparing for election, they will be preparing for war. If you know what is happening in the south West now, you will know that whether you like it or not, they have already launched a land army. If shove comes to push, they will be called to duty and before then, other geo-political zones are going to copy the southwest geo-political arrangement. So, they will maintain security at home but you already have people in uniform, no matter the colour of uniform who are being trained to maintain security but they could be called to duty should the need arise. What Nigeria needs to do to save the situation is to ensure votes count. That would be the legacy of this president and I hope he will understand so. His name will be written in gold if the electoral reform is carried out in time and signed into law once it's presented to him. Right now, it has not been presented to him, so it’s not his headache. The problem is with the National Assembly, let them do what they have to do and then present to the President. I believe that the President who has consistently assured of a credible election as part of his legacy will sign it without hesitation. Once that is done, there will be no need to prepare for any war. All they need to do is to canvass for people’s vote across the country. The field will be open for people to market their ideology.

You mentioned that the Hausas, Yorubas are coalescing, what do you think will be the outcome in the event of a deadlock? Don’t you think it will be only fair and just to form a regional government at that point?

No, it will be too short a time to make that kind of U-Turn. What the constitution provides that when there is no outright winner, the first two will go for a run-off election and if the first two are going for a run-off election, party C, D and E will now be available for coalition. So, the other two will over any of the three or all of the three depending on how he is prepared to share government or power. That is why I said, you have to divide to unite.

You have elucidated how all the geo political zones are preparing, either good or bad. How do you look at the docility of the South-East governors, the lone ranger status of the party leaders? Are you not worried?

Of course, I am worried but the situation is looking better than it was four years ago. First of all (most of the) South-East governors are nearing the end of their tenure. Now they are knowledge able enough to . . . They were not there when Atiku picked Peter Obi as his running mate . . . Now, we have the likes of Iwuanyanwu who has been speaking out recently about Igbos mounting the saddle of leadership in 2023. He is not just a founding member of PDP but a prominent member of the party. But he was not consulted when his chairman went to Kaduna and a very controversial statement. I was expecting the South-East caucus of PDP – which is made up of all these governors you are talking about, the senators, the House of Representatives and the rest of them – to meet and give the PDP leadership a deadline of not later than the first quarter of this year to go back to the party constitution and make a clear statement that the South-East will present a presidential candidate, failing which they would review their continued membership of the party.

Do you think they have the capacity to do that?

Well, that’s my expectation, but they are Lilly livered, they are toothless bulldog. So, because they are close to the end of their second term, they are now more open to the reality of the time. Some of them don’t want to just retire and go away, some want to go to Senate. So, when the movements are igniting, starts sweeping across, nobody will tell them to be part of the effort. There is no doubt that there is no synergy among them when it comes to southeast as a whole. I asked one of the governors from the South-East at the peak of my support for President Buhari to tell me since 1999, one project that PDP started and completed within sixteen years of their administration. He didn’t give it a second thought before saying none. President Buhari, who some people choose to call names, started Ariaria Independent Power Project and completed it within his first tenure. He commissioned when he came to Aba to campaign and Aba closed down for him, because people will always appreciate any good thing you have done for them. Second Niger Bridge, many people will tell you PDP started it but no, they never started anything. What they started was PPP (Public Private Partnership) which never worked. It was in 2016 that the earth work was done and in 2018, the main contract was signed. I believe that bridge would be ready before 2022. Buhari said he will drive through it. I was in late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s burial 23 years ago when Gen. Jeremiah Useni who represented Abacha then read the Head of State address and it was promised that a Mausoleum would be built in memory of Zik. That Mausoleum was not built until twenty three years after. President Buhari not only built it but expanded it, because I was there during the commissioning of the place and i joined him in touring round the facilities there. Now, you came from Awka and you saw the progress on the expressway. Go from there to Ana, you will also see the progress, it’s my area and I travel that way all the time. I am sure before 2021, we will no longer remember the dilapidated nature of these roads. I am not trying to promote them but it’s just to emphasise on our people can touch or feel. If you talk of appointments, this is something only the people concerned and their immediate families benefit from. On the establishment of Aba, Enyimba Economic City, for which Abia State government provided close to 10,000 hectares of land, the President approved the N500 billion required for it. Investors are coming and to show seriousness, the Federal Government acquired 20 percent equity – that is one N100 billion – and paid upfront. That place is going to produce immediately 600,000 workers, direct employment. In that place, there will be a canal leading to the sea, just like Swiss canal that ships can enter and berth behind Aba. You will not see anything resembling it in the 16 years that PDP was there.

Dr Akanu Ibiam International Airport was only international by nickname; yes, because it never had any runway light that works in the night or for aircraft to take off in the night. By six o’clock in the evening, no plane can take off or land again. The Ethiopian Airlines that used to come there only came in the afternoon and also left in the afternoon and mind you, this airport was shut down for one year under Jonathan’s administration. After one year, we got this thing that didn’t last. Now, ten billion naira has been provided and any faculty that is supposed to be in an international airport will be there before Easter. With that, you can fly in the night and you will see the increased activities there. It is the man that you are calling names that is approving all of this and money us being made available. You can’t put PDP and APC side by side in terms of federal presence in Igbo land. No comparison. But, that notwithstanding, 2023, we have to go for the highest office of the land. We can do the same for other people and also do for ourselves.

It appears that during every election, the pan-Igbo organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo will be divided against each other. Such scenario played out during the 2019 presidential election. The President and the secretary were both supporting different candidates. When will the Igbos learn to speak with one voice?

I am a member of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, I can claim to be one of the surviving founding fathers of Ohanaeze. I was an undergraduate in Enugu campus in 1976 when it was formed. It was originally called Igbo forum until 1979 when the name was changed to Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Ohanaeze had its first crisis in 1979 when late Igwe M. M Ugochukwu, being a contractor aligned himself to NPN, that is the government if the day. Dr Azikiwe, Chief Azubuike Okafor, Chief Mbakwe and the young Jim Nwobodo, all of NPP pulled out because of that crisis. It was later resolved in 1983. In the constitution that was drafted then, it was clearly stated that Ohanaeze will be non-partisan, but, unfortunately, no leader of Ohanaeze has been able to resist the lure of political power. So, when the rotation of the leadership came, Prof Joe Irukwu from Abia State came on board and while steering the ship, he aligned with Obasanjo and even supported the third term agenda. He was almost physically attacked at Abakaliki. When his address cane to that point, it became something else. If not for Sam Egwu’s security that were around, it would have been a big problem. That thing split Ohanaeze into two and we had to take the committee led by Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, chairman with Mike Anambra, SAN as secretary. They tried to resolve it but the crisis lasted so long that the tenure of Joe Irukwu ended. It then became the turn of Anambra State, that was how late Ikedife became the president general. He didn’t go into partisan politics, though his rein had problems because he was a product of that crisis. After him, Delta State took over with Ralph Uwechue as the President. Uwechue went full blast into politics and turned Ohanaeze into a campaign wing of Jonathan; that also tore the place apart. After him, it was Ebonyi State; Igariwey, he on his part towed the same lane like his predecessor. After Igariwey, Nina Nwodo took over. I supported his candidature over three others that contested. He had been a part and parcel of Ohanaeze, hence nobody should tell him what damage partisanship had done to others but unfortunately, he didn’t hesitate to throw his weight behind Atiku while his secretary, Okwukwu went the other way. Though he was able to be sustained as we decided to let him complete his tenure, the dent is there, otherwise he would have s very vocal president General but that dent remains there. The disadvantage which I warned against is that he can hardly go to the President to make demands for Ndigbo. Here we are, the next President General will come from Imo State and we hope we will get somebody who will be like late Ezeozobu or Amaku Ibiam.

The two outstanding Ohanaeze Presidents from my own assessment are late Justice Eze Ozobu and Dr. Amaku Ibiam. The two men never stood on the party of integrity and principles and lifted the Igbo people very high. Even if a presidential candidate of Igbo extraction comes up, Ohanaeze is not supposed to go campaigning for the candidate. There are better ways of carrying people along.

You formed APGA and clearly you still have an emotional attachment towards it. At the moment, Anambra State is the only place it has a grip on. Do you think the party still has the capacity to pull a win in the next governorship election and be able to survive after the election?

Well, I will be a little reluctant to really take on APGA since I am not there anymore. But I will not also shy away from admitting the fact that those who took over APGA never shared in the vision of the founding fathers of the party. So, what they are doing has nothing whatsoever to do with the vision of APGA. They gave over time used the platform to dupe people in Anambra, Imo and Abia State. Abia was where the fraud was most pronounced and they sold so much insincerity in Anambra State where they use the portrait of late Odumegwu Ojukwu to campaign. Some of them even go to his grave side to worship but they will treat his spouse with levity. So, that type of hypocrisy and insincerity was not part of what APGA was known for. We stood on principles, if we felt something must be done, it must be based on logic and we do it. In 2017 when UPP brought out Chidoka as its governorship candidate, other parties also did and the campaign was very robust, there was also debate which everybody witnessed. I had the privilege of travelling with the campaign team round Anambra because I relocated to the state. There was no ward campaign I did not attend and I saw first-hand the absence of governance in terms of physical infrastructure. It was worse actually in Anambra North, Ayamelum and the rest. You wouldn’t believe that they came from that area. When the election came, the kind of vote buying we witnessed has never taken place in Nigeria. Money was spent as if it was going out of fashion so much so that the governor won the whole twenty one Local Government Areas. It has never happened before. The impression that was created was that he must be that popular but the truth is that he capitalised on the vulnerability of the masses who were hungry and he pulled down the treasury of the state. We knew that the state would be punished because you don't go to printing press and print money. So, if you spend the one you will use to develop the place, where will you then get the money to work. That is why the state is tottering now and what happens is that it will become difficult for the party to promote the Igbo agenda. The issue of “Nkea bu nke anyi” is outrightly a deceit, you can’t even market it. The one we brought which was the Motto of the party, “Onye aghana nwanne ya”, they have bastardised it, so Anambra State as far as I am concerned is open. I don’t see Anambra State as it is presently constituted making it. If they accept our hand of fellowship, it can be redeemed because I am still passionate about APGA. There is nothing a child will do and the mother will say, go and kill this child. Anything that can be done to bring the two parties together, I will be happy to do that, since the two parties, APGA and UPP, have the same DNA and the founder is still strong and kicking. I am not from Anambra so I don’t have any territorial interest in the state. My interest is for Igbo people to speak with one voice so that their political relevance can be restored.

What happens if they refuse your hand of friendship?

If they refuse our hand if fellowship, the present leadership of APGA may end up being the undertaker that will bury the actor.


Source: News Express

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