From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu is right now meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa,Abuja. The minister who wore black suit arrived the Villa at about 11:35am and we t straight to the President’s office. Kachikwu’s letter to the President in which he alleged gross…
By Peter Anosike
A member of the Board of Trustee of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Prof. David Bamgbose, has predicted that Governor Willie Obiano would carry the day at the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State.
Bamgbose who was the APGA governorship candidate in Ogun State during the 2015 general election said Obiano would win because of his superlative performance in the last three years.
He also said that Ndi-Anambra should not allow the memory of Dim Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to die, adding that the only way they could uphold it was by voting for the party that Dim Ojukwu supported when he was alive and which his wife, Bianca is still a board of trustee member. He also spoke on other issues.
How do you see the chances of Governor Obiano without former Governor Peter Obi supporting him?
Governor Willie Obiano will not be judged at the poll based on the individuals behind him rather he would be judged based on his achievements in office in the last three and half years. I want to say that he has done extremely well. Anambra State is the only state in the country today where workers are being paid as and when due. It is the only state in the federation, where the state government has reduced tax paid by the people as a way of ameliorating the effect of the economic downturn being experienced in the country. Governor Obiano has transformed the state with regard to infrastructure. He has also made the state a model for agriculture. The Federal Government and other states in the country have been coming to Anambra State to study what is now known as ‘Anambra State model’ in agriculture. These are what would count in the election and not who is behind him and who is not.
APGA is currently factionalised. Don’t you think it can count against the governor?
There is no faction in APGA. It is only a gimmick by a few disgruntled elements in the party and their partners in crime outside the party to distract Governor Willie Obiano from fulfilling his campaign promises to the people of Anambra State and also stop him from going for a second term, but it has failed because right now INEC has recognized the governor as the APGA governorship candidate for the November 18 election. The leadership of the party is intact. The 36 state chairmen of the party are united in their support to the National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Ike Oye who was properly elected at a convention in Awka in 2015 with all the instruments of the party. So, we are not in any way perturbed by the activities of the few disgruntled elements. We are focused on winning the November election and then making APGA the better national alternative to PDP and APC. Nigerians have tasted the PDP and APC and have their fingers burnt. It is, therefore, our desire to bring APGA to the national level so that Nigeria would have a better alternative. What the party has done in Anambra State in the last 12 years has shown that it is the only hope of the people. Apart from our manifesto which is welfarian, we also look for talents with knack for development. That is why we are working hard to ensure that Obiano wins the election so that the rest of Nigerians could taste the dividends of democracy which APGA has been giving to the people of Anambra State.
Since the case is now at the Appeal Court, are you not afraid that what happened in Ondo State might happen in Anambra?
It will not happen because I have confidence in the Nigerian judiciary. In fact, judiciary the world over has upped their game. You can recall what happened in Kenya recently. The Supreme Court decision is very clear on how the national chairman of a party can emerge and how he can be removed and I know that we are on the right part. Justice is on our side. However, because we are in a human society, we are not leaving anything to chance. You remember in Ondo State, candidate Jegede was distracted until the last day of the election and that affected his campaign as well as the outcome of the election. So, right now, Governor Willie Obiano’s campaign team is in full force, traversing the length and breadth of the state. We are being proactive because in politics anything can happen. But the reality is that the judgment of the Appeal Court would be in our favour because we have superior argument.
Is it true that the future of APGA is tied to the outcome of the November 18 Anambra State governorship election?
I want to say that Anambra State is very important to APGA. In fact, it is the spiritual headquarters of the party being the home state of Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu. So, a blow on Obiano would definitely be a blow on APGA. That is why I am appealing to Ndi-Anambra not to allow the memory of Ojukwu to die. APGA is synonymous with Ojukwu and the masses of this country. Therefore, it would not be in the interest of the Igbo in particular and Nigerians in general for APGA to lose Anambra State. Right now, APGA is the only untested alternative among the three biggest parties in the country. Nigerians need to give the party the opportunity to replicate the good works it is doing in Anambra State in the last 12 years at the national level. Again, if you look at the political developments in the country since independence, we always have three dominant parties at every point in time. In the First Republic, we had the NPC, the AG and the NCNC. During the Second Republic, we had the NPN, the UPN and the NPP. So, it has been that way. So, my appeal to Nigerians is that APGA must not be allowed to die because it is in the interest of the country’s political development and democracy.
Governor Obiano has the capacity to do what Senator Bola Ahmed Bola Tinubu did with the Action Congress in Lagos State, that is, build it from one state to a truly national party. Though we are not making noise, but I want to assure you that the current national leadership of the party led by Chief Victor Ike Oye is working very hard to reposition the party. APGA won chairmanship election at the last council poll in FCT. APGA has won elections in Nasarawa, where the National Secretary, Labran Maku comes from. APGA has won elections in Bayelsa, Taraba and other states across the country. So, it is a national party. What the national leadership is doing now is to make it more formidable for 2019 and beyond.