PRESS RELEASE (3/10/18)
Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State made clear the other day that the South-East is PDP:
He was not joking.
At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA, we take him seriously.
We only wish he – Ifeanyi Okowa, was just as firm on other issues. E-hem!
The contest for the political soul of the South-East rages again. While the APGA maintains a spiritual hold on the region, falling back on ethnic marginalization politics to rally its adherents, the PDP and men like Okowa seek to move into the Nigerian mainstream and advocate for the same Igbo issues despite the evident baggage.
Odumegwu Ojukwu and Nnamdi Azikiwe are at it again.
Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is the new model progressive Igbo, who has to find a way to progress despite the odds. You have to doff your hat to the Asaba-Igbo. Dr. Okowa may have nascent political progressives on his side. If there is a way to make a headway into the Nigerian quagmire, The Ifeanyi Okowa group seeks to embrace it. It is the continued fight between the hinterland Igbo and the borderland Igbo on how to address Igbo political relevance in central Nigerian politics. While the borderland Igbo must find a way to co-exist with other ethnicities and make progress, the hinterland group promotes Igbo nationalism as the only way forward. The borderland Igbo including the Ikwerre/Etche/Ndoni, Asaba, and somewhat the Ezza have come to understand the need to acknowledge the sovereignty of other groups around them to live in peace/progress. And they want to keep it that way. Although some groups like the Ikwerre/Etche are defending their ethnic origins fiercely and are no longer prepared to lose any inch – ethnic or territorial, of their domain.
Therein lies the crux of the Amaechi/Wike fight. While Amaechi seeks to share the political largesse with other ethnicities in the Rivers Area, it is Wike’s opinion that they cannot lose any more psychological, ethnic and political territory with unnecessary accommodation which eventually whittles down existing influence. The Ikwerre Etche must establish themselves ethnically and politically now, and the near future. They were witnesses to clear Ijaw domination when the Ijaw had a chance at political leadership in old Rivers State. Not Again. Across the border, The folks in Bayelsa State are sharing – Nothing.
At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA it is our opinion that The borderland Igbo have made an actual bid for central Nigerian politics through the PDP. And there is no holding them back. We are not talking about the old guard here. The Ekwueme era is gone. We are talking of Children of the 1960’s who are clearly determined to find their way and the Igbo way into contemporary Nigerian political administration. Presently, Igbos have five (5) governors in the PDP. The National Chairman of the PDP is Uche Secondus. Don’t be fooled. His first name is enough to do damage in Igboland, and everywhere the Igbo Sympathy resides.
Uche Secondus is flanked by 2 Igbo PDP Governors from the borderland – Chief (Barrister) Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, and Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta tate who are doing great work in their respective States. They are supported by the hinterland Igbo Governors including Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State. They further have Former President Goodluck Jonathan who is beloved in the South-East. If this train makes a calculated attempt for the South-East, they have a good chance.
The problem with the PDP Igbo is that they used Igbo emotions without paying the relevant homage, and continue to refuse to reference same. They won power, then recklessly spent political and economic capital without acknowledging the emotional base which provided support and why they provided that support. They foolishly taunted their electorates’ emotions. Such stupidity. You should never spit in your own well, you’ll always come back to it for a drink.
Seeing is believing.
If the PDP had toed the line of former Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, They would have no difficulty explaining themselves in the South-East. Sullivan Chime despite party affiliation, remains the Gold standard for any public minded personnel in the South-East.
Hinterland Brethren, Our Igbo brothers from the borderland have come to ask us to join the mainland train into Nigeria.
And you thought the Igbo were marginalized in Nigeria politics.
At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA, it is our opinion that the APGA must truly make bold for its electorate. It must begin campaign and explain the relevance of our issues in Nigerian national politics, while explaining it to the appropriate quarters, publicly and privately. Embracing the emotional will not always cut it. The traders at Onitsha, Aba, Asaba, Lagos, Ikot-Ekpene, Uyo, Jos, Kaduna, Zaki-biam, Abuja, Lokoja, Sabon-Gari who daily seek a voice to represent their trades in Nigerian policy circles may not be ignored. The recent graduates who need jobs and loans to set up new businesses must be addressed. The traveling businessman at the Airport in Enugu, Lagos, Abuja who is daily harassed to declare their currency, and whose trading capital is seized without recourse must be represented. The businessman whose goods are daily seized and auctioned off by the Customs and Excise awaits an advocating voice. The welfare and security of the Non-native population in Nigerian towns and cities must be addressed. The lack of access roads to our living domains in the South-East and elsewhere in Nigeria must be addressed. The teeming armed check-points on the roads should be re-dressed. The South-Eastern populations particularly, live under heavy stress and duress. This is not good for their general welfare. These are issues that make the APGA potent and should be thrown in the face of opposition pundits. Anyday.
Yes, the APGA may be a global party with branches in the EU, Britain, America, Ukraine, the Slavic Republics, South Africa. Unfortunately that electorate does not vote. They however play other quasi electoral roles to the benefit of the Nigerian electorate, which reflects on the Party.
Are you listening, Mr. APGA Chairman?
The local electorate in Nigeria is a voting electorate, and their whims should be catered to. If the PDP rouses its Governors to their duties and allegiance to the local South-East electorate, through the provision of infrastructure, jobs and materiel, the APGA may wave its base goodbye and find itself on the fringes. With a National Chairman who sings the praises of an administration anathema to the APGA Electorate, the APGA may actually kiss its goodwill goodbye, as the base will embrace their borderland brothers who seem to know where they are going and doing well in it. You do not have to tell the Igboman twice what caters to his welfare. APGA will always be ours, but we have to find different ways to sustain existence. ‘APGA BU NKE ANYI’ is a truism. So also are other movements which seek to integrate our South-Eastern issues into mainstream Nigeria. Ask Governor Okorocha. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!
2019 is already here. The APGA should already be mobilizing front and center with billboards, vehicles, jingles, leaflets across the South-East, if we are serious. We cannot make half-hearted bids. The opposition is serious. And so should the proposition. Our electorate now understands they are up for grabs. And they await the best proposal. Either way, they now know their welfare will not be ignored.