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The past weeks have not brought sweet stories to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Imo State, especially to APGA members from Mbaise Nation.

The past weeks have not brought sweet stories to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Imo State, especially to APGA members from Mbaise Nation.

This is particularly so to our brothers who aspire to become the governor of the state on the party's platform. Some of these people are the reason APGA still exists in Imo State. They had labored day and night and spent their hard earned money and good will to ensure that APGA was not wiped away as many had expected after the general elections of 2015 where the party failed woefully with a mere 28,000 votes.
Sadly, the reason APGA lost woefully in the last election is playing up again and the leadership of the party both at the national and state levels are doing nothing about it. There have been rumours since the past three weeks that the governorship ticket of APGA has been zoned to Emekuku, for the third time. This “zoning” is intended to exclude other people who keep on sweating for APGA, especially when the party was abandoned by same people from Emekuku after the 2015 general elections.
Since the inception of APGA in 2003 the governorship ticket of the party has been zoned to Emekuku community in Owerri North Local Government Area in Owerri Federal Constituency. To be very clear, the party in 2007 "zoned" its governorship ticket to Chief Martin Agbaso from Emekuku and he lost. In 2011 APGA produced its first ever deputy governor from Emekuku and the outcome was that he did not complete four (4) years as he was impeached by the state assembly. In 2015, APGA zoned its governorship ticket to another person from Emekuku in the person of Capt. Emmanuel Ihenacho and he got only 28,000 votes. APGA failed and all of us failed. When this failure occurred the man who led the party to failure abandoned it and shockingly announced that he was leaving politics to face his private business. Now after laboring tirelessly for the party the cabal from Emekuku wants to push away the people.
Apart from leading us to failures and bringing shame to the party all the time, Emekuku has been responsible for the divisions in the party. Few months ago the Supreme Court of Nigeria sealed what could have been the greatest undoing of APGA when it upheld Dr. Victor Oye as the authentic national chairman of the party and rejected Martin Agbaso's claim of being the national chairman of the party. Same goes to the second Agbaso, the younger brother to Chief Martin Agbaso, Sir Jude Agbaso, who was accused of corruption and subsequently impeached. The shock and shame this brought to the party was unimaginable. As soon as APGA was set for a breath of fresh air, Capt. Emmanuel Ihenacho from the same Emekuku was given the ticket for the 2015 governorship election. The painful outcome of that election is well documented. Regrettably, having survived all the shocks and betrayal, the party now struggles to present the best candidate for the job. But same Emekuku cabal wants to be the cog in the wheel of APGA's progress as there have been rumours that a certain governorship aspirant from Emekuku has been picked for the party's governorship ticket. This sad commentary on the party raises the question of whether APGA is a party for Emekuku.
It should be noted clearly that the agenda to produce the governor of Imo State from Emekuku has been an old one. According to findings, the person behind this agenda is regrettably Archbishop AJV Obinna who incidentally is the spiritual father of the party. The Archbishop believes that his Emekuku community is the cradle of civilization in Imo State; that Emekuku provided the hospital and school where most of the people running for governorship were born and schooled. He considers it unfair that Emekuku should sit back and watch “other people” become governor. But in insisting on producing the governor from Emekuku the Archbishop seems to have only paid attention to what has become an obsession.
The Archbishop is our father, but he should realize that he has tried for his people of Emekuku; that even if APGA was owing them anything, the party has paid off its debt. He should realize that it was not the fault of the party that the whole people he produced as APGA governorship candidates had all failed to deliver. He should also realize that insisting on keeping the governorship ticket in any part of Owerri Federal Constituency will not work for the party.
If the leadership of APGA both at state and national levels are really in tune with the yearnings of the people, if they know that what APGA needs now is to win the governorship in 2019, they should remove the governorship ticket of the party entirely from Owerri Federal Constituency and try others. APGA now parades an array of competent people with grassroots following. I say this with every sense of commitment to the ideals of the party and its survival. By the level of support APGA now enjoys in the state, the 2019 governorship has become an easy ride and if the party allows its thinking faculties to be clouded by clannish sentiments and retains the governorship ticket in Owerri Federal Constituency or in Emekuku particularly, then the party would be singing its own nunc-demitis. It would be the end of the party in Imo State.
The truth of the whole matter is that no good club continues to play the losing team. Operating like the Kaduna mafia, the Emekuku cabal sold APGA ticket to someone  from Orlu Zone and unleashed penury on the entire Imo people. They cannot continue to hold our collective destiny down by holding APGA down.
No successful man does the same thing over and over again and gets different results. Even when Jesus Christ noticed that his disciples had labored all night without a catch, he asked them to try another method by casting their net on the other side of the sea (Luke 5:4). Fortunately, the Archbishop teaches the Bible. He should adopt this and save APGA from what is becoming an impending cataclysm.
Our leaders should see things from a broader lens so they can see the broader picture. And as the elders would say, they should put their ears on the ground so that they can hear what the people really want. The broader picture is to make APGA a true Igbo party. The thinking that APGA is Anambra State party is not healthy for the party, and the only way to resolve this is to ensure that the party wins the Eastern Heartland, Imo State, in 2019, and goes on to produce governors in other states of the Southeast. The party should not bend to clannish interests because this will hold the party down forever. And if the party loses the 2019 governorship election and does not spread out, APGA would be Anambra party, no doubt.
The leadership of the party should listen to the deafening voice of the people and heed to their clamour. Imo people have resolved and sworn that anyone who worked with Governor Okorocha in any capacity and helped in unleashing mayhem on the people, including the attempt to destroy APGA, will not be governor. It is unimaginable and scandalous to many of us who are ardent members of the party that someone like Uche Onyeagucha who was elected the member of the Federal House of Representatives for Owerri Federal Constituency on APGA platform in 2003 abandoned the party while still in the House of Reps, ran for governorship on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) but now wants to be governor in 2019 on APGA platform. He condescended to the level of serving as Senior Special Assistant to Okorocha. Uche Oneagucha returned to APGA in 2011 with Okorocha and they succeeded in producing the governor. He was a key member of the Okorocha government. He also left APGA and joined the APC with Okorocha. He was among those who said that APGA was a cultural organization and a cock slaughtered for Christmas. Today, he is back in APGA and claims to be the First Son of APGA (Opara APGA). Such a person cannot be governor under APGA. He can at best be described as the prodigal son of APGA, who having squandered the good will the party offered him on a platter of gold now wants to get back through the back door by claiming to be APGA's first son. Like the prodigal son he cannot escape eating food meant for pigs before he could be forgiven.
The story of Nick Opara Ndudu is even worse. He was a commissioner in Okorocha's government for five years and he designed the economic blueprint which Okorkcha unleashed on the entire state, destroying every fabric of the state economy. Apart from his unpopularity in the state, he is believed to be responsible for the plight of the pensioners in Imo State, the untimely death of the pensioners, when he was in charge of pensions in the state. He left APGA and joined the APC with Okorocha only to return now to lay hold on the APGA guber ticket. This is a time bomb in APGA.
As it is now, APGA has only one sitting governor in Anambra State and by virtue of the constitution of the party and convention he is the leader of the party. By this destiny, the life of the party is in his hands. He should not play the fiddle while his house burns. He should rise up to the demands of leadership and of the Igbo people, and save APGA from rapacious wolves in human clothing.
The greatest legacy Governor Obiano will bequeath to APGA is not the good road network in Anambra or any other good policies or projects of his alone. His greatest legacy will not even be his producing an APGA successor in Anambra State. His greatest legacy for APGA is to make sure that APGA does not die in his hands. History has placed him on a trajectory and his role is to make sure that he lifts the party from the perception that it is Anambra party, by making sure that the party wins the 2019 governorship election in Imo.
That APGA has gone down from the perception of a regional party to Anambra party is not palatable to many people. This descent should be stopped. And the only people that can stop this are Governor Obiona and other leaders of the party at state and national levels.
Imo people are watching. Igbo people are watching. Nigerians are watching.

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