By Ebere Uzoukwa
There is no gainsaying that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is working seriously to politically consolidate its grip at the national stage and in some states of Nigeria. The party under President Mohammadu Buhari has governed the country for more than seven years after dislodging the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015. As expected and democratically too, Nigerians are preparing to seize the opportunity that will be provided by the 2023 general elections to carry out an electoral assessment of APC performance so far at the national level and in those states it controls. The verdict will no doubt explain how well the party that came into power under the ‘change mathra’ has indeed performed.
However, the party in Abia State appears to represent everything bad in APC. This assumption is empirically strengthened by the shameful and the undemocratic tendencies of some of the party leaders in Abia State. A good number of those priding themselves as Abia APC leaders are worst human beings anybody can follow politically. They are selfish, destructive, disheartened, disorganized, un-strategic, undemocratic and also lacks followership at the grassroots. On the other hand, these so-called leaders are only interested in Abuja appointments. These leaders, moreso, are nothing but anti-party promoters who are merely clandestine and self-centered in their politicking. To put is rightly, these leaders are niccodimously APC in the day, and at Abuja and PDP in the night, at Abia State. Succintly, their activities grossly underime the electoral fortunes of their party as they consistently work underground for Abia PDP for whatever agreed political and monetary rewards.
Recall Abia APC was strengthened shortly after the 2019 elections with the joining of strong opposition leaders including Dr. Alex Otti Ofr. There was an understanding of rebuilding the party and returning it on the path of strong democratic foundation, unity and sincerity of purpose. The essence was to among others make Abia APC attractive to political actors and Abians at large via democratic ethos and culture that would later translate to comprehensive electoral victory for the party in 2023. Dr. Otti, Dr. Uche Ogah and other progressives joined forces to achieve this well-intended political agenda. Unfortunately, some unpopular leaders and PDP apologists in the party would not allow the party to flourish. It became more painful and disappointing that those taking decisions in Abuja could neither help rescue the party. For reasons best known to them, they took unpopular decisions that would rather destroy the party in Abia State. Today, Abia APC is facing elections obviously disjointed, fragmented and without appreciable electoral relationship with the voters. Though the party has a handful of good candidates, their chances of winning any electoral seat is obviously slimming down by the day given the unresolved disagreements, anti-party activities of some of the its leaders and the growing negative perception puncturing the image of the party in Abia State. Without sounding biased, a larger percentage of political analysts and Abia voters are not attaching any semblance of seriousness to what Abia APC is presently doing ahead of the 2023 polls. As a matter of fact, Abia APC Governorship candidate, High Chief Ikechi Emenike is not adjudged among the first four (4) candidates that are practically in the governorship race of the God’s Own State. That is nothing but the bitter truth stiring at the face of Abia APC.
Rather than redeem the bad situation enveloping the party, its leaders are rather taking their anti-party activities to an alarming and irredemtive level.
Just a few days ago, there was a news making the rounds that Abia APC had expelled Hon. Uzor Azubuike, a former PDP House of Representatives member and Commissioner in Abia State as well as Hon. Obinna Oriaku, a former Commissioner for Finance who also served under a Okezie Ikpeazu led PDP administration. Both had at different times ago joined APC after ditching their former party, the PDP in a public glare. But the funniest response one could ever read from Hon. Azubuike after his expulsion was that Abia APC could not have expelled someone that was never her member. So pathetic! The implication of Hon. Azubuike’s response going forward is that he came to APC either as a spy or PDP agent. Hon. Uzor Azubuike at the moment is jumping around around Abia adopting and campaigning for the PDP Governorship candidate.
The truth, however, remains that Hon. Azubuike is not alone in this unmitigated voyage. A further investigation shows that many APC leaders have niccodimously and shamelessly too, entered into political agreement to work for the PDP Governorship candidate, Prof. Uche Ikonne, whom many believe was handpicked by the outgoing Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and his brother-inlaw, Chief Eric Acho Nwakanma, a former Deputy Governor of the State.
Among the APC leaders allegedly backing the PDP Governorship candidates include but not limited to Hon. Stanley Ohajiriuka, Elder Chibuike Nwokeukwu, Hon. Uzor Azubuike, Hon. Obinna Oriaku, Dr. Nyerere Anyim, Chief Chris Akomas and Prince Paul Ikonne. Though some of the leaders may have resorted to anti-party to protest and demonstrate their disagreement against the imposition of High Chief Ikechi Emenike by Abuja cabal and the Presidency, the undisputable fact remains that such negative disposition and tendency against their party do not in any manner portray them as good party men but PDP agents paid to sink Abia APC ahead of the 2023 elections.
While the campaigns for elective positions in Abia gather momentum, all eyes are beaming on Abia APC leaders whom unfortunately have exhibited clear symptoms of unhabitancy and disunity. Unfortunately, these leaders are merely having APC membership in their pockets to either retain their Abuja political appointments or secure fresh ones if APC eventually wins again at the centre in 2023.
It is a statement of fact that Abia APC is being destroyed by those that ought have rallied every support and momentum that are expected to drive the party into victory. The most regrettable aspect of the entire scenario is that those presently enjoying APC’s federal appointment from Abia are the major anti-party players whose activities are presently sinking APC in Abia.
Ebere Uzoukwa, a journalist and political analyst, writes from Obingwa, Abia State.