“I discovered that some our APC members are actually working for the opposition, to be specific, they are working for PDP, that was a big challenge.”
Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia
Martins Apugo is the son of Prince Benjamin B. Apugo, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Board of Trustees (BoT).
The young Apugo wants to represent Ikwuano/ Umuahia Federal Constituency. He is running on the platform of the APC. He speaks on his chances.
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You are a successful businessman by all standard, why politics?
I decided to contest because of the yearnings of my people. I am happy with what I am doing , but because of their insistence that they want me to serve them, I couldn’t say no to them. That is why I am going there to teach others how to carry out qualitative representation
The primaries have come and gone and you emerged victorious, how did you manage to get this far because the primaries was fierce?
Talking about my victory at the primaries is a long story, the bottom line is that God has given me the ticket to be the APC candidate for Ikwuano/Umuahaia constituency. In politics, one always face challenges, and one of the challenges I had was that some people you believed are with you are not with you. I discovered that some our APC members, respectable ones, are actually working for the opposition, to be specific, they are working for PDP, that was a big challenge. Their target is to ensure that better candidates are not fielded by APC, so that they will have a victory on a platter.
Initially, it looked like allegation, but their activities at the primaries proved beyond every reasonable doubt that these people are agents of other parties. So we saw openly anti-party activities going on because they are already compromised by the opponents. In fact they are on the payroll of the party in power and did everything within their reach to ensure that they defend the money they receive from their paymasters. It is very disheartening, but I know that with time, the party hierarchy will unmask them. If political activities have descended to the level we find ourselves today, where a party member will collect money to deliver an opponent instead of his party man, then there is danger.
What is your message to your party with regards to what you experienced?
Our party leadership should buckle up to ensure that those who are sabotaging our party are flushed out before it is too late. I never believed it when people were saying it, I thought it was the handiwork of rumour peddlers , but I know better now with the experience I had at the primaries. It was a big eye opener to some genuine party members. It was surprising that people you respect and hold very high in opinion turned out to be fake party members. I never knew that in politics, people can sell virtue for money. It is unfortunate.
You know that there is an incumbent in your constituency, are you not bothered that his emergence may mar your chances at the poll?
The fact that the incumbent did not follow the agreement drawn by Ikauano/ Umuahia people to run only one term, but decided to run for another, thereby truncating the charter of equity drawn by the people has made the job very easy for me . The reason is that stakeholders in this constituency and other important figures, together with my supporters will cash in on their desire for a second term to vote them out. Most politicians don’t know when and where to stop, the person in question has just shot himself on the foot? Following the history of the charter of equity in this constituency , nobody needed to have advised him not
to try, he should have seen the handwriting on the wall. But if someone chooses to risk his resources, who are you to dissuade him, because a lot of people flocking round him are interested in what he is bringing out and not whether he is doing the right thing or not. If Ikwuano/Umuahia people say that it is only one term , who is he to change it. It has been rotating like that since 1999. Nobody can stop it including me, I am going there to do one term and leave. We are well prepared to face this battle, because Umuahia North and South will not want an Ikwuano person to go to House of Representatives for a second term when there is an agreement for one term.
Oppositions are saying that President Buhari is not doing anything about security, what is your reaction?
Boko Harm was holding sway in almost all the villages in the North-East until Buhari came and push them out, so anyone saying that the president is not doing the needful security wise is just carrying out campaign of calumny. Several people died during the PDP regime , but today those who ran away from their homes in Maiduguri have gone back, so security wise , Buhari has done well. This is the only time Nigeria has tried to match Boko Haram power for power. PDP appropriated money for arms, about $2billion and shared it among themselves, and many were killed by Boko Harm due to lack of adequate weapons on the side of military. But today, the military is well equipped to face them and they are doing so.