" />
Published On: Mon, Dec 4th, 2017

(Editorial) APGA, a future in jeopardy  

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) fought a good fight to retain power in Anambra state last month. Should the result have been different, and it easily could have been, it would have marked the beginning of the end for the party.

Power of incumbency, emotional attachment to APGA among the Igbo, rifts within the Anambra PDP and general dislike for the APC were some of the factors that combined to ensure that Governor Willie Obiano achieved a landslide victory at the November 18 polls. His victory will ensure that, at least for the next four years, APGA will remain in charge of a state and thus retain a measure of significance, especially in the South East

However, when looked more critically, APGA is a party with a very uncertain future. It is a party that has continued to stagnate for a long period, and nature does not accommodate stagnation; it is either you progress or you regress, and APGA now seems ever more likely to do the latter.

Since the party’s formation in 2002 by Chief Chekwas Okorie who also acted as its pioneer chairman until he was forced out by Chief Victor Umeh, APGA has largely remained an Anambra affair for very obvious reasons.

Chief Okorie, in founding APGA said he was motivated by a strong desire to found a national political party based on Igbo initiative hence the motto: “Onye Aghala Nwanne Ya” (Let’s be our brothers’ keepers). In line with this philosophy, the late Emeka Ojukwu was encouraged to join the party.

Ojukwu being a widely recognised and respected Igbo leader, once he came on board and became APGA’s presidential candidate in 2003, he immediately became the face of the party and this in no small measure helped to endear it to many Igbo.

APGA was loved; it was to be the pride of the Igbo. Igbo political leaders, both in PDP and elsewhere offered moral and financial support.

During the general elections of 2003, APGA governorship candidates were widely popular in the South East: Mr. Peter Obi in Anambra, Barr Ugo Agballah in Enugu, Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu in Imo, Barr. Chief Onwuka Kalu in Abia and and Barr. Sylvester Oduko in Ebonyi, but PDP the ruling party maneuvered the electoral process, thus ensuring that its candidates won in all the states.

However, in Anambra, a rift between Dr. Chris Ngige who emerged governor and his then godfather, Chris Uba paved the way for Obi to reclaim his mandate in 2006. Anambra then became an APGA state and has remained so.

A stake in Anambra offered a strong foothold for APGA to emerge in the South East. Sadly, instead of evolving a broad vision in this regard, some opportunists aggressively began to hijack the party in the state. Okorie who is from Abia, was forced out by Umeh from Anambra which meant that both the governor and the party chairman became Ndi Anambra.

Gradually, the vision of APGA as an Igbo centric party began to diminish as it largely assumed the status of an Anambra party.

But the party had one saving grace. Ojukwu was still in the picture – his influence ensured that the party remained appealing across the South East. In 2011, Governor Rochas Okorocha rode on this appeal to power in Imo, but later opted for APC. He was always going to do so.

In 2012, Ojukwu passed away and although he remains in the heart of many Igbo which is why APGA in Anambra continues to hang on to his name for leverage, his presence is missing and his appeal therefore, minimal. Thus, while the fact that the party’s leadership had been restricted to Anambra may not have mattered so much whilst Ojukwu was alive, it does so now.

In Enugu and Ebonyi presently, APGA is non-existent. In Imo, it only exists in the fringes because of people like Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho and Martin Agbaso; same as in Abia because of Dr. Alex Otti.

In 2015, Otti as APGA candidate was widely voted for, but lost out to the PDP machinery. However, it must be said that his popularity was generally because of his person, PDP’s alleged failure to deliver in the state and the outright rejection of APC.

APGA’s fast eroding popularity in the zone requires that the party takes conscious effort to stem the tide. Unfortunately, it continues to carry on with mindless insensitivity.

Presently, both its national chairman, Chief Victor Oye and national publicity secretary,  Chief Ifeatu Obi-Okoye; the two most visible positions in a political party, are from the same Anambra.

The fact that there is an ever present mutual suspicion among various groups in the South East must be kept in view, and Anambra particularly is seen to always want to dominate. It is this perception that is causing tension at the Catholic Church in Ahiara Mbaise, where despite the people of Mbaise having the highest number of Catholic priests in the South East, indeed in Nigeria, an Anambra indigene was appointed as their Bishop.

APGA cannot afford to give itself away as a tool for Anambra imperialism, which is what it is doing so far by restricting relevant positions to the state. It will only serve to restrict it to an Anambra affair, which it has largely become. And in the event that it loses Anambra which is very possible in 2021 with Obiano completing second term, the party would fast fade into the abyss.

This Newspaper believes that the only way to save APGA is to immediately begin moves to establish strong presence in the South East, and the best way to start will be ceding chairmanship and other key positions to other states in the zone. If Governor Obiano and his man, Umeh are wise, they should strive to bring Chief Okorie back to the party.

If these steps are not taken, and urgently too, APGA may not survive Obiano in Anambra.

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • Shell profits rise on back of soaring oil prices

    Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday reported a 42 percent rise in first-quarter profit, its highest in over three years, boosted by higher oil prices and production. Expectations are high for Shell to continue to generate strong profits and cash flow after the Anglo-Dutch company beat larger rival Exxon Mobil on both fronts in 2017 thanks […]

  • World’s first scrotum transplant successful

    Doctors at Johns Hopkins University said Monday they have performed the world’s first total penis and scrotum transplant on a US military serviceman who was wounded in Afghanistan. The 14-hour operation took place on March 26, and was performed by a team of nine plastic surgeons and two urologic surgeons. “We are optimistic that he […]

  • ‘Over two million bottles of Codeine consumed in Kano’

    n the last three years, Kano State reportedly tops the list of the states with the highest rate of drug addiction in the country. Codeine, a prescription pain medication used to treat mild or moderate pain is a drug which is abused by some youths in the state. It comes in tablet and syrup form and as […]

  • Businessman accused of cloning SON logo docked

    A businessman, Nonso Udoye, who was accused of cloning the production and registration logo of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) was on Wednesday brought to the Federal High Court in Lagos for trial. Udoye is facing a 15-count charge bordering on forgery and counterfeiting before Justice Saliu Saidu. At the commencement of trial, his […]

  • Lagos records revenue increase in first quarter

    The Lagos State Government has recorded success in its revenue generation for the first quarter. The Internally Generated Revenue for the first quarter of Y2018 stood at N103.476billion, as against N96.7billion recorded in the previous year, thereby accounting for 81 percent of the total revenue of N141billion generated in the quarter. Commissioner for Economic Planning […]

  • NIS generates N35.72bn in 2017 – NBS

    The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) generated more than N35.72 billion from passports applications in 2017. The NBS said this in a statistics on Immigration for 2017 posted on its website. According to the report, the figure is less than the N36.17 billion generated from passports application as local […]

  • MTN proposes $500m IPO- SEC

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday confirmed that MTN Group had finally commenced discussions with the commission on its proposed 500 million dollars Initial Public Offering (IPO). A senior management staff of SEC who pleaded anonymity told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that MTN had commenced discussion with the commission […]

  • Keystone Bank partners CeLD, launches ‘CashToken’ customers

    By OKEY ONYEMWEAKU  Fastest growing financial institution in Nigeria, Keystone Bank Limited, has partnered with a ‘Cash Reward as-a-Service Company’, CeLD Innovations Limited, to launch a ground-breaking product, ‘CashToken’, a new age of hyper consumer centricity in Nigeria. The new innovative product, CashToken, which was formally launched in Lagos on Thursday April 19, 2018 at […]

  • US oil hurts Nigeria, OPEC in Europe

    US oil producers are reaping the benefits of OPEC’s efforts to balance the crude market by flooding Europe with a record amount of crude, hurting traditional suppliers such as Nigeria. Russia paired with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries last year in cutting oil output jointly by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), a deal […]

  • CBN ruins Black Market business, says Gwadabe

    Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) foreign exchange management policies have begun to put severe pressure on Nigeria’s parallel foreign currency market as ‘Black marketers’ begin to see their trading margins disappear. Indeed with more stable supply of forex and growing investor confidence on rising oil prices (currently at $74 per barrel) , the business of […]

  • Manufacturers groan despite improved bank liquidity

    By FELIX OLOYEDE Nigerian manufacturers are still credit-starved despite the improved liquidity of the banking sector. Although credit to the private sector has been rising, manufacturers have claimed that access to funds still pose a serious problem. Broad money in circulation increased 8.14 per cent to N2, 401.91 trillion in February 2018 compared to N2, […]

  • MAN, LCCI disagree over CFTA

    By UCHE CHRIS President Buhari seems to be coming under increasing pressure from both home and abroad over his refusal to sign the Continental Free Trade Area treaty last month at the meeting African Union Heads of states and government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Also Nigerians particularly the business community are sharply divided over the […]

  • Gov. Wike: More garlands for Mr. Projects

    By OBINNA EZUGWU On Sunday April 15, 2018 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike was the cynosure of all eyes as he stood firm and composed to the cheering of the audience at the capacity hall to receive the prestigious Zik Prize for good governance. It was indeed an […]

  • The Sterling Bank spreadsheet… an uppity lenders burden

    By TESLIM SHITTA-BEY Despite not stirring excitement in recent years, Sterling Bank Plc has run a recession gauntlet and come out looking marvelous. The bank in 2017 grew its gross earnings by slightly under twenty per cent to 19.79 per cent between 2016 and 2017.  The banks gross earnings (a measure of its business volume) […]

  • Melaye released after being detained, police deny involvement

    Kogi West senator, Dino Melaye has been released from detention reports reaching Business Hallmark indicate. The Senator was released after being detained by officials of the immigration service at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on his way to Morocco The officials allege that he was detained based on an order from Interpol. However, the […]

  • Breaking: Senator Dino Melaye arrested at Abuja airport

      Senator Dino Melaye on Monday morning arrested after checking in at the international wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja. The embattled senator representing Kogi West on the platform of the APC, tweeted that he was picked up on his way to Morocco for an official engagement sponsored by the Nigerian government. Melaye was […]