By Simon Edeh
The recent meeting of some self-acclaimed stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu state led by former Senate president Ken Nnamani, witnessed a colossal failure as only 48 members honoured the invitation.
The long-suffering party members shunned the meeting in apparent disdain and revolt against Nnamani and his team whose game of merchandizing of political interests of the APC members in the state have long been exposed.
Those in the meeting included: former Chairman of APC in Enugu State, Ben Nwoye (who was recently expelled); Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu; Ifeanyi Nwoga and others.
The reason for the ill-fated meeting, according to the politicians, was the official inuaguration of the Enugu State local government Independent Campaign Council ICC, for Tinubu/Shettima presidential Campaign.
Members of the APC in the state shunned the meeting because of the characters behind it. They saw that the aim of the gathering was nothing but their usual deceptive move to hoist a bogus scheme to fleece APC presidential campaign council of millions of Naira. The aim is also to distract the party members in the state from their grassroots campaign movement that is already sending goose pimples to the ruling Peoples Democratic party (PDP).
The APC train under the able and effective leadership of Chief Uche Nnaji (Nwakaibie) and The Hon Barr Ugochukwu H Agballah, the governorship candidate and state chairman of the party respectively, is firmly on course in the state. The party has been recovered from the political merchants of fortune who have been trading with the party for the past seven years. The party has been repositioned to give PDP members a run for their money.
The APC led by Nnaji as Governorship candidate and Agballah as Chairman had since completed a campaign tour of 260 wards of the state, visited more than 400 traditional rulers, more than 200 religious leaders and more than 300 community leaders.
Instead of supporting the party leadership, the politicians were busy playing the written script of the panicky PDP ruling cabal by scheming for the removal of Agballah as state chairman as well as dissolution of the entire state, local government and ward executives of the party just few months to the general elections.
But having failed in their bid, and seeing that the party has been strengthened and repositioned to their envy and threat to PDP (their sponsors), they are now regrouping. Their mortal fear, of course, is that they are about to lose out in the share of the campaign funds! That’s always their target: to corner the money, and still negotiate with the PDP to collect settlement which runs into billions of Naira, and then go to sleep on the election day abandoning their unsuspecting APC candidates to their fate!
The 2019 general election was a classical example. Where they cornered Buhari’s campaign Presidential funds and still went to Enugu govt House to collect PDP’s campaign funds. Then on Election Day they made sure they all lost their polling booths in the election! From Ken Nnamani to Ben Nwoye to Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu, Sullivan Chime, Geoffrey Onyeama (Minister of Foreign Affairs) Osita Okechukwu (DG Voice of Nigeria), Eugene Odoh, Baywood Ibe, Ifeanyi Nwoga, Group Captain Orji, A.C Udeh, Gen Okoloagu, Sen Ayogu Eze (guber candidate who later struck a deal with PDP not to pursue his case in the tribunal) and a host of others. Not one single takeholder won their booth.
But the long-suffering members of APC Enugu state have learnt their lessons in the hands of these mindless political merchants , who are APC members in Abuja and PDP apologists in Enugu. Currently, all of them are working for PDP’s Gubernatorial, national and state assembly candidates. Some of them serve in the campaign council of the PDP in the state including the expelled former deputy chairman of the party, Adolphus Udeh. Former military governor of Gombe state, Group Capt Orji, who the group had wanted to foist on the party as state chairman, but was roundly rejected by the people, was caught publicly endorsing the governorship candidate of the PDP, Peter Mbah recently. Where he said on recorded tape that they were all at the meeting where he was selected in Dec 2022 long before the primaries. He rejoined PDP with AC Udeh after the tape was made public. Same with Udeh who was also caught on tape in a meeting with Atiku Abubakar presidential candidate of PDP. Their leader Ben Nwoye attended PDP rally held at Okpara square where he thanked Ugwuanyi for nominating Peter Mba as governorship candidate.
This same people are still bent on convincing the national leadership of the party as well as the Tinubu campaign team on the need to negotiate with Enugu state government for 25% votes in Enugu state. The question members are asking them are: what happened to their negotiations with PDP in 2019? What was the percentage of vote APC got in the state in 2019? Did the party get up to 4% of the votes in the presidential election? Did the party win a single seat in the national assembly or state assembly elections? The answer is Nil! And they are on it again, just to collect campaign money! There should be an end to political deception!
How can failed politicians lead a campaign for Tinubu/Shettima in Enugu state! Is that not the joke of the century? Are they not big names for nothing? The answers to the above posers can be gotten in the streets of Enugu state!
The Tinubu/Shettima campaign council and the national leadership of the party are better advised to avoid these men if indeed they want APC to make substantial gains in Enugu state. There is no doubt that with the caliber of candidates fielded by APC for various positions as well as the failure of PDP in Enugu to deliver democracy dividends in the last 23 years, the people of Enugu are yearning for change and the Chief Uchenna Nnaji leadership with Ugochukwu Agballah as Chairman have repositioned APC to serve as a credible and formidable alternative. Any deal whatsoever with with these politicians of fortune will only end up hurting the chances of APC in Enugu state!