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Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra State

Opinion: APC’s arrogance and quest for Igbo heartland By Emeka Ozumba

Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra State
Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra State

It is no longer news that the All Progressives Congress (APC) which came to power on the wings of “Change,” now carries in its wake the inexorable sign that says: ‘am-coming–to-get-ya’, in the typical American Wild West style in pursuit of more political fiefdoms across Nigeria. Obviously, this new-found all-conquering posture is not lost on discerning citizens who are comparing the APC, the so-called party of Change with the People’s Democratic Party’s Trojan reputation as a political army of occupation.

Whereas this concern may not be considered such “A Matter of Urgent National Importance,” to warrant a Legislative Motion, the APC’s unbridled quest for new frontiers in the Igbo country, especially Anambra State, is not lost on well-meaning sons and daughters of the pace-setting state which prides itself as the Light of the Nation.

It is understandable that as the Anambra 2017 gubernatorial election draws closer, the tempo of political realignments and permutations would be on the rise. However, the desperate scheming by APC agents, who seek to distort and distract the wheel of development in Anambra state with baseless claims and falsehood in the name of political propaganda, calls to question the party’s agenda for the state.

One wonders if the unfolding scenario is informed by the possession of a coherent vision for a better future for Anambra or the South East by these new political ‘masters’. Or is the party and its band of new acolytes able to proffer policies that would be better than what currently obtains in the progressive corners of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States, since it’s poster enclave of Imo is hardly a good testimonial to support the party’s misguided quest to draft neighbouring governors and their states into their political coven.

Apparently buoyed by the party’s recent exploits in Edo, Ondo and Rivers States, APC promoters in Anambra are already announcing from the roof-tops, and for all to hear, that as siblings of the new lords of Aso Villa, they have enough armada to cause disruptions of unimaginable proportions in the State, to emasculate the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

But a little scratch to discern the source of APC’s new found bragging rights in Anambra with no proof of presence at the grass-roots or significant foothold across the state, reveals an all-conquering disposition which sees the populace as a minor consideration to a calculation that once “we capture the big men, we capture the votes.” Thus the desperation to co-opt political big-wigs of Anambra extraction to the APC at all cost.

Granted that to aspire to the governor’s seat is open to all parties, the question still begs to be put: does holding the reins of power in Abuja automatically mean that the APC can annex Anambra or any other South East state it cherishes? Perhaps the party needs to be told in plain language that the conscription of membership and the reliance on certain political-tycoons with well-known penchant for electoral heist will not bode well for it. Not in Anambra State of today and not elsewhere in the South East.

Many would have noticed the recurring attempt to link the high-performing Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, to APC in spite of repeated refutations by the governor and his aides. There is no doubt that the up-coming election in the state is the reason behind such asinine rumours meant to pressure the governor into joining the APC. Another gambit hinged on a flawed assumption is that joining APC would be Obiano’s only protection against expected onslaught with the ‘federal might’ that is at the disposal of political hawks already compelled by sinister circumstances to board the APC train.

Without pained contemplation, it is crystal clear that the APC shenanigans is coming right out of the PDP playbook of using might and electoral heist rather than reliance on the unhindered political choice of the electorates. Fortunately, Anambra State has for over a decade been an exception at the gubernatorial level, given the consequential developmental milestones under APGA governors; a legacy sustained by Governor Obiano whose performance speaks volumes and dwarfs the illogic of the APC bait.

Incidentally, a similar scenario is playing out in Enugu State where the likes of the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu is targeted amongst others. Some protagonists of the APC neo-expansionism have argued that “Igbos can’t afford to be in the opposition.” But, what are the bases for such a claim? Does belonging to APC solve the problems of the states they control? Is it not the case that most APC states are currently reeling from an overhang of unpaid salaries and perquisites? Are non APC states to be denied constitutionally guaranteed revenues, appointments and individual rights? Again, the Anambra model of maintaining healthy relationship and synergy with the Federal Government and its agencies in the area of programme implementation deserves commendation rather than deliberate childish political chicanery to stunt its progress.

It may be charitable to say that the Presidency can’t possibly be a party to APC’s shenanigans in the South East. But it behooves it to insist on all parties playing by democratic rules. Perhaps the party’s ranking strategists are desperate to shore up their support base for the 2019 elections. What is certain is the existence of foot soldiers and hawks within its fold that are angling to be seen as relevant in the scheme of things, folks intent on ingratiating themselves to perceived party barons, claiming to have the ability to win more states for the APC! But, then, the APC and its cavalry should be advised that citizens of stable and exemplary states like the APGA-led Anambra are wide awake to their responsibilities and would not allow anyone to derail the present government of excellence.

Ozumba writes from Enugwu-Ukwu, Anambra State.

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