BY OKEY MADUFORO AWKA (edited by O’star Eze)
The All Progressives Congress APC is currently gearing up for the race to the Anambra state government house come 2021 gubernatoral election.
The party is one that has had a checkered litany of image problems occasioned by the impression of Anambra electorate has of it since its inception.
APC made its debut in the political landscape with the formation of the Social Democratic Front SDF shortly after the then governor Chris Ngige and his own faction of the People’s Democratic Party PDP were deregistered during the validation of its membership.
This was as a result of the face off between Ngige and his then godfather Chief Chris Uba and the the then governor was reduced to the status of a low ranger along with his supporters.
The Social Democratic Front SDF later rebaptized itself to the African Democratic Congress ADC which was a marriage of convenience between the left over of Ngige PDP and the Alliance for Democracy AD championed by the then governor of Lagos State Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
Ahead of the 2007 General election in the country the party was registered as Action Congress AC and Ngige became the governorship candidate of the party.
As at then the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA had started gaining ground as an Igbo Political platform and both the PDP and AC were seen as anti Igbo hence deepening their woes.
Later the party in a merger with the All Nigerian People’s Party ANPP gave birth to the Action Congress of Nigeria ACN and the party in Anambra produced a senator and four members of the state House of Assembly.
But this record was short-lived when it became the APC and attendant campaign of calumny against the party and the party lost its senatorai seat and the four seats at the state Assembly.
The last gubernatoral election in the state also show cased a clear disaster when it’s candidate Dr Tony Nwoye lost the election despite the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state few weeks to the conduct of the election and the party also lost in the local government area of it’s candidate.
To the Anambra electorates APC is seen as agents of Boko Haram and the menace of the Fulani herdsmen is not helping matters and that underscores the reservations the electorates have about the party.
Shortly after the last gubernatoral election the party set up a fact finding Committee to investigate the failure of the party in the last election headed by Chief Azuka Okwuosa.
In the course of the committee’s job memoranda indicated that most party members played anti party by working for the ruling APGA .
The anti party posture of most Party members was the conspiracy of some aspirants who lost to Tony Nwoye in the primary election and it was also gathered that logistics meant for the party during the election went into wrong hands.
The Okwuosa Committee embarked on a reconciliation move which to a large extent tried to cement the broken relationship among party members and stakeholders.
This reconciliation got to its climax when Vice President Yemi Osubanjo SAN visited the state and a town hall meeting was held.
The meeting also brought to the fore the anger of party members who alleged that whatever dividends due to the party were being highjacked by few members and leaders of the party while APC national programs for Anambra state were given to the ruling APGA government to dispense which according to them were used by the state government to feather their own Political nest.
Okwuosa who on his instance the town hall meeting was organised presented the party’s resolution to the delight of factions in the party and most members who had before now been sitting on the fence returned to the party with the hope of the party coming out of the woods.
The success story of the Okwuosa Committee may have given rise to the number of gubernatorial aspirants fighting for the gubernatorial ticket of the party in the fort coming election.
At the last count , eight persons have indicated their interest for the party’s ticket while more are being expected.
However there are pressures from members of the party that Okwuosa should be given the ticket of the party in view of his achievements in mending the party’s fallen Political fence.
According to the a member of the committee and Leader APC Anambra North senatorai district Chief Ike Ekwensi;
” We are talking about a lamb without blamish ,a man who has no axe to grind with any body in the party both the high , mighty and low class .
All the while I worked with him he displayed transparency and good party brotherhood which is commendable.
Another party stakeholder Dr Chibuzor Obiakor a one time Federal House of Representatives candidate of the party told this reporter that Okwuosa is a bridge builder.
There is no politician in Anambra state that do not know this man , he has a structure in APGA, PDP and here in APC and nobody in our party that can say that he has issues or problem with Emeka Okwuosa.
Interestingly he is from Anambra South Senatorai District and he has capacity both in the state and at the National leadership of the party.
Former lawmakers Emeka Chukwuemeka and Ebele Obi contended that the trouble with Anambra APC is the imposition of strange elements on the party at every general election.
People will come into the party from the beginning and build the party set up structures, open wards and local government offices , embark on membership drive and give the party a standard; but when it is time for election strangers will become candidates and the founding members of the party are left to leak their wounds.
This is not how to run a political party and this is one of our problems in Anambra APC. But we have loyal party members who have all that it takes to win the Governorship election in Anambra state and one of them is Emeka Okwuosa.
We have been searching for a credible and popular candidate for the party and the best so far is Okwuosa and we are not saying that other aspirants are not good but this is the best among them.
State chairman of the party Chief Basil Ejidike could not hide his anger over what he called the tragic flaws of imposition when he spoke with this reporter.
Somebody walks into the party with his own political structure and when he or she gets our ticket he abandons the party to its fate and during election he runs a different agenda from the party and at the end both the candidate and the party loose.
The era of Junny just come is gone and what we need now is real grassroot party man who knows most party men and women on first name basis.
Emeka Okwuosa is a party man and he has been with us ever since and his role in putting the party together is what we are enjoying now.
Out party have not had it so good like this before and it is to his credit and he deserves commendation. That doesn’t mean that he is now an anoited candidate but the truth must be told.
With this unlimited accolades on Okwuosa most observers are of the opinion that the APC may get it right this time around.
Okwuosa no doubt has intimidating credentials in the party compared with other aspirants going by his consistency in politics.
Okwuosa was chairman Old Nnewi local government area made up of the now Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo local government area.
He was Commissioner for works in the state and member of the state development committee in 1999 which produced the road map for the economic development of Anambra state which the regime of Dr Chris Ngige adopted and executed.
He had contested the Senatorai election for Anambra South under the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA in 2007 which he was acclaimed the winner though the tribunal upheld the declaration of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.
He was an aspirant of the APC for Anambra South Senatorai District but was allegedly denied ticket in that controversial primary election.
In 2017 governorship election he was Deputy Director General for Tony Nwoye campaign organization and currently Vice President Igbo Improvement Union.
The Improvement Union has been known for assembling South East business community towards jump starting a trade , commerce and industrial relations with the international community in conjunction with the federal government.
But Okwuosa may not find it rosy during the primary election of the party going by the caliber of aspirants in the party.
He has to battle with Chief Johnbosco Onunkwo from Old Aguata Union as well as Chidozie Nwankwo also from the Old Aguata Union.
Similarly in his Nnewi Political block he has to battle with the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Inland Water Ways NIWA Chief George Mughalu who is a BOT member of APC and another real party man.
Also two term senator for Anambra South Senatorai District Dr Andy Uba is in the race from the Old Aguata Union and he also have capacity in that regard while Dr Orajiaka from the same Old Aguata Union is also an aspirant to beat.
However the APC has a stigma of conducting what it calls guided primary elections and guided congresses with so much horse trading in the name of basketing which appears to be the ruin of the party’s fortunes at all times.
The party is seen by its traducers as a kind of a cult that takes decisions in their coven and force it down the throat of members who risk being suspended for insubordination.
But Ejidike agued that it is not in the character of the party adding that the party has constitution and guidelines for it’s primary elections which will always be followed.
We are taking over Anambra state in the next election and it is the success of our primary election that would show you our road map next year.
Should this be correct history destiny and Providence beckons for Emeka Okwuosa.