– Imo Reps aspirant, Okpe
By Peter Anosike
Former House of Representatives aspirant for Owerri Federal Constituency under the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Evang. Tony Grey Okpe has predicted victory for Governor Willie Obiano in the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State.
The APGA chieftain said that Obiano would beat those contesting against him silly, as APGA was well entrenched in the state.
Okpe said nobody would want to change a winning team, adding that Obiano has done enough to merit an automatic return ticket to the Government House at Awka.
How do you think the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra would go?
I am a die-hard APGA stalwart. I don’t believe in jumping from party to party. I have been in APGA since the inception because I know it is the best place to be. If you go through all the manifestoes of the political parties in the country, you will know that APGA has the best manifesto, a welfarist manifesto, because it is a party for the market men and women, youths, students, taxi and Okada drivers. APGA was formed to lift the poor masses in the country. As for the forthcoming governorship election, I want to let you know that there is no party in the state other than APGA. It is the party that has transformed the state. PDP is currently battling against extinction. The party played into the hands of its enemies and before they would come out of it, the election would be over. The APC has no place in Igboland as a whole because Ndigbo know their history as well as their agenda. So, it is going to be a walk over for the incumbent governor. Even, apart from the crisis that the PDP walked itself into in broad daylight because they ought to have known Sheriff’s background and as such should not have admitted him into the party in the first place, let alone giving him any responsibility, Obiano has delivered on his election promises. He is not like those who come into office and begin to deny their election promises. He started from where Peter Obi stopped and has taken the state to the next level.
As you are from Imo State, what are the chances of APGA in your state?
Imo is an APGA state. The recent senatorial election in Okigwe zone where the APGA candidate led in all the polling booths only for the powers that be in Owerri and Abuja to re-write the result is a proof that Imo is an APGA state. The party is still on ground and if there is no imposition of candidates in 2019, I can assure you that we will get back to the Douglas House, Owerri. Ndi-Imo have always voted APGA and would continue to do so because they know that the party was formed for their political and economic salvation. It is a party that was formed for the downtrodden. While the other parties are for the rich and highly placed in the society, APGA was formed for the civil servants, the traders, artisans, students and so on; and these are the majority in the society. That is why we are winning and will continue to win. The chairman of the party in Imo State, Ezeobi, is God-sent. He has been working under the sun and rain to revive the party. He has succeeded in planting the party in all the nooks and crannies of the state. With him and his executive, APGA would remain the party to beat in Imo State. With what they are doing for the party right, in 2019, APGA would win all the state House of Assembly seats, all the federal seats, as well as the governorship. I am proud of him and his executive. Apart from Imo State, I also want you to know that if APGA fields Dr Alex Otti again, the party would win. Dr. Otti is a seasoned technocrat who the people of Abia voted to take them out of the woods, but the will of the people was thwarted. But right now everybody has become wise. APGA as a party has also learnt its lessons. So, if Otti is made the party’s flagbearer in Abia State in 2019, he would win.
How do you see the national leadership of APGA?
I strongly believe that the coming of Chief Victor Oye as the national chairman with Labran Maku is a good omen to the party. Chief Oye has a vision for the party. I don’t see him as a mercantile type of politician. I have watched him closely and I can say that he is a visionary leader that can take the party to the Promised Land in 2019. He is a God-fearing man. He has integrity. He is not your everyday politician that believes that everything is fair in politics. The party’s National Secretary, Labaran Maku is an experienced politician who I can say has seen it all in the game of politics. So, the national leadership of APGA is a winning ticket and I am sure that they would take the party to the next level.
What advice do you have for the leadership of APGA both at the national and state levels?
I want the national leadership of APGA to learn from what happened in 2015. If they don’t, our great party would not make a headway in 2019. They should know that the era when the national leadership would sideline the state working committee on who gets the party’s ticket is gone for good. That was one of the reasons the party failed in Imo State in 2015. It is the state leadership that knows the candidates and also knows who is on ground and who is not. So, the national leadership should allow the state leadership to choose candidates instead of imposing candidates on them. Another thing is that APGA is the party for the poor and as such its tickets must not be for the highest bidder, but rather for those who are on ground, those who can connect with the poor. We have seen situations in this country where APGA governorship forms are higher than that of PDP. This must be corrected.