APGA is in Good Hands under Obiano By Chukwuemeka Okutaoloibe

By chukwuemeka okutaoloibe

The rash of commentaries trailing the defection of former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is not unexpected given the central role the former governor played in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) hierarchy and the volt-face denials of the vows he made to justify his new political trajectory. Whereas many especially in the Igbo heartland felt scandalized by the former governor’s action and expressed it in different ways, others tried to lend support rather tamely by turning round to blame those who felt outraged by the apparent betrayal of trust.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the action of the former governor practically threw the mantle of leadership of APGA on the current governor of Anambra State Chief Willie Obiano. Of course APGA has been buffeted by crisis fuelled by the clash of egos of its former standard bearers -former Governor Peter Obi and the National Chairman Chief Victor Umeh-both friends of the current governor. Thus the onus therefore is on Chief Obiano to pull the chest nuts from the fire and redirect the ship of APGA to the coast of great things. Thankfully, since Peter’s bubbles burst, Obiano’s actions have shown that he would not shirk that responsibility but would rather transfer his passion for building superstructures in Anambra into rebuilding the APGA family.
For those lined up in defense of Mr. Obi’s actions, they should not worry that his legacy may be shaped by his critics. In fact, just as Mr. Peter Obi reserved the inalienable right to associate with any person or group of his choice, intrinsic in his recent move is that more than any other thing history will judge him based on his actions. Some who erroneously argued that Mr. Obi may have decamped with the soul of APGA should note that on the contrary APGA and indeed Anambra State are on the rise.
The indictment of Mr. Peter Obi by Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu the widow of its late leader Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, and Emeka Ojukwu junior over the defection are enough evidence of the revulsion of the people over the betrayal. Can anyone really ignore the symbolism of the march to Ojukwu’s Mausoleum by the youths? In fact the solidarity messages to governor Obiano by various groups including elected Local Government Council Chairmen, traders, traditional rulers and other well-meaning people attest to the convergence of interest and the fact that APGA is intact.
After eight years of Peter Obi, APGA now has the chance of moving to greater heights, while Anambra State is unwittingly freed of distractions from close quarters by a man who could not handle the realities of being out of power. It is well known that during Peters’ years in the saddle as governor he never built nor increased the fortunes of APGA beyond the level where he met it when Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu endorsed him over Chief Ralph Okey Nwosu in 2003. A little peep into history confirms it.
Actually when Peter Obi appeared on Anambra State’s political scene in year 2003, he came posturing as a man on a mission to rescue Anambra from the scourge of a pervasive group of lecherous political brigands whose pastime is looting state treasury as spoils of their election heists and conquests. In Mr. Obi’s world view, those group of politicians are vermin preying on the patrimony and inheritance of a very talented and blessed people who are yet incapable of living up to their potentials. Many would remember Mr. Obi’s entry mantra “Is Anambra cursed or are we the curse?” What is baffling is that after eight years Mr. Obi has joined the same group and persons he castigated over the years. Whither the principle Peter Obi pretends to champion?
On his part governor Obiano has remained focused on the task at hand in Anambra and is committed to the strengthening of APGA while those who seek must have heard that Obiano doesn’t have personal issues with Mr. Peter Obi. Already the APGA faithful are reaping the fruits of the changing times in the party as things which hitherto are considered a rarity are now within the reach of party leaders and stakeholders with the mobilization of members down to the Ward level.
Today many attest to a brighter prospect for APGA in the years ahead. Governor Obianos’ inclusive approach is evident in the rebuilding of the APGA machinery. His regular consultations and meetings with party officials and stakeholders have galvanized the party with the positive effect gradually trickling down to the grassroots. Liaison Officers have been appointed and empowered and Counselors now have a sense of belonging in the party and LGA affairs.
Above all, Obiano is on the verge of building a befitting Secretariat for APGA. With the architectural drawing completed, APGA and indeed all who believe in the movement have good cause to be excited about its future. The positive vibes APGA is already emitting under Governor Willie Obiano is a clear sign that instead of the doom predicted by the naysayers, APGAs’ sun is effectively on the rise again.
Okutaoloibe Public Affairs commentator writes from Enugwu-Ukwu

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