At the formation of the All Progressives Congress, APC, many Igbos saw it as an Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba party as such distanced themselves from it.
In Abia state it was worst, not only did the dominant party then use propaganda to dwindle the fortune of APC, but planted their stooges who were on their payroll inside the party. Those who claimed to be pioneer members of APC does not have the clout to attract membership and the courage to propagate the party’s ideals as well as make it acceptable to Abians.
Those who tried to openly associate with the party was regarded as outcast, intimidated and called derogatory names. The so called leaders at that time was only interested in the monies that will flow into their pocket rather than work on how to win over followers for the party. Despite the huge amount invested into Abia APC, the party failed to win a single sit both at the national level and at the state. The Presidential candidate of APC got just meagre thirteen thousand three hundred and ninety-four (13,394) votes only from Abia state in the 2015 election.
The abysmal performance was not because Abians hate the candidate of APC, Muhammadu Buhari, but because the so called leaders saw their emergence as an opportunity to make money from both sides of the divide, hence, the failure to do proper grassroots campaign.
However, these changed the moment His Excellency Dr Samson Uchechukwu Ogah, joined the party in 2016. The popularity of Uche Ogah was tested by PDP in 2014, when he was rigged out of the governorship primaries. The consequences were PDP’s near loss of the state as a result of protest vote occasioned by the injustice meted out to the people’s choice, Uche Samson Ogah.
Therefore, when in 2016 Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, joined the party, it was mass defection from all political parties in Abia state. APC came alive for the first time. Office holders in the party from the state, Local Government to ward level suddenly became juicy as many office occupants do not want to leave again despite outliving their time.
It was Uche Ogah’s present in the party that gave both the old and new members the boldness to admit openly that they belong to APC. No one was called the derogatory name of “ewu awusa”(Hausa goat) or was APC regarded as west and northern party.
Uche Ogah, staked his name and reputation for APC to grow, if not for the lions in sheep’s clothing within the party led by Chief BB Apugo, APC would have produced the governor of Abia state in 2019, as the masses massively voted for APC because of Uche Ogah.
The truth remained that Ogah popularly known as “Master Energy” has followership in the remotest part of Abia state. Up till date, Uche Ogah is the only politician within the state whose 2015 posters still adore many peoples home.
Again, despite all the sabotage experienced during the last general election by those who thinks that politics is all about making personal money, USO’s effort to place the party first in Abia yielded result.
The president scored eight- five thousand and fifty-eight (85,058) votes in the 2019 election as against the thirteen thousand three hundred and ninety-four (13,394) votes scored in 2015. In 2019, APC won a Senate, two houses of representative and few houses of assembly.
Today, APC has become a beautiful bride that everybody wants to romance. All these are courtesy of Uche Ogah, a man ordained by God to liberate Abia State from the shackles of under development, poverty and godfatherisim.
Some will say party makes politicians, while others say individuals makes the party. The latter applied to the coming of Uche Ogah to APC, Abia chapter. In 2015 it was Peoples Democratic Party, PDP versus All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, while in 2019, with USO involved it became All Progressive Congress, APC versus PDP.
Many are in APC today because of Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah. Because of him members of PDP and APGA will vote him anytime any day and anywhere. Anyone who thinks otherwise should test his popularity by moving to another party and see what happens.
Uche Ogah is the Christian Ronaldo of Abia state politics while others can be better described as Messi who performs only in one club.
From National Office of the Media Desk of Abia Integrity Forum.