By Chinedu Jideofo-Ogbuagu
Some may think rather ignorantly that you and I are sworn enemies, but only they know from where they are getting that erroneous impression.
Since when you were state chairmen of APP and I first expressed interest to you at your Trans-Ekulu, Enugu residence in national secretaryship of same party but later opted for presidential aspiration on the combined APP/UNCP (ANPP) platform in 2002/2003, we have had cordial relationship.
However, as you know me and have told many persons before and behind me, I am driven by principles and not sentiments. Hence, a friend of mine who behaves in an unprincipled manner, should not be surprised if I fight him/her for that.
But in all cases, my fights are without malice and will stop the moment I see sincere repentance on the part of he/she who had erred. You and a few other leaders of Enugu State APC (Osita Okechukwu, Geoffrey Onyeama, Ken Nnamani, Ben Nwoye, Chris Ibe, etc) erred since 2015 by your uncalled for romance with Enugu State PDP that you were meant to oppose with every ounce of energy in you.
Before 2015, your romance with Enugu State PDP would have been understandable though still not justifiable. PDP controlled both the centre and Enugu State, and ANPP governors of few Northern states might not have been forthcoming in carrying the burden of Enugu State ANPP. So hardship probably drove you and other opposition party leaders into unholy romance with Enugu State PDP.
But since 2015, with APC in control of the centre and appointing ministers and other federal government officials, what reasons or excuses remained for you and other leaders of Enugu State APC to romance with the Lion Building?
The most perplexing and worrisome aspect of it all is that top APC and APC-controlled Federal Government officials appear to think that Enugu State Government largesse is sweeter than your APC and FG entitlements.
But in seeking for or accepting patronage of any kind from the Lion Building presently occupied by Enugu State PDP, you leaders of Enugu State APC have handed Enugu State APC to the ruling Enugu State PDP, to treat us with utter contempt and disdain.
Do I need to remind you that with two local government area elections in Enugu State since 2015 (in 2017 and very recently on 29 February 2020), APC – the ruling party at the centre, for goodness sake – has not produced even one councillor of any Enugu State ward?
Do I need to remind you that after two general elections (conducted by INEC in 2015 and 2019), Enugu State APC has not produced even one state assembly member?
What other evidence does anyone need to show that Enugu State PDP has no regard for Enugu State APC leaders in bed with it?
That has been my grouse since 2015. No one is saying that you people should pick street fights with PDP in the streets of Enugu State, but crawling into bed with PDP-controlled Enugu State Government is not an acceptable expression of civility in Enugu State politics.
No one is saying that Enugu State APC leaders and members should die of starvation, but none of you our leaders – with your fleet of exotic cars and big residences – is poor. Even if you were not as rich you would want to be, sacrifices are expected of political leaders.
Besides, it is your duty to approach APC federal and state governments (not PDP, APGA or any other party government) for your empowerment and the empowerment of Enugu State APC members who rightly look up to you.
You top party and government officials of Enugu State APC cannot be eating at a bigger king’s table and be scrounging for crumbs from the table of a lesser king.
You, the Honourable Minister and other top APC and APC-controlled Federal Government officials from Enugu State should carry yourselves with dignity as leaders of the ruling party at the centre, task yourselves and create Enugu State APC structures capable of winning elections in Enugu State and controlling the Lion Building from May 29, 2023.
We cannot ever find ourselves in leadership of Enugu State if you our state party leaders remain beggarly under and compromised to PDP-controlled Enugu State Government.
Particularly in your own case as Chairman of South-East APC, it is not only in Enugu State but in all five states of the South-East geopolitical zone that you should inspire independence of state chapters of APC in our zone from ruling PDP or APGA.
If you can extricate yourself from unholy romance with state governments we should be fighting to replace, if you can shun all largesse from our party opponents whose only interest is to kill APC in their state, South-East APC Integrity Group – the strategy, advocacy and pressure group committed to sanitization and growth of South-East APC – will stand with, by and behind you in repositioning APC for electoral victories in Enugu and other four South-East states.
With emergence of Senator Hope Uzodinma as APC governor of Imo State, your electoral burden is now less and you now have a dogged and rugged fighter with generous disposition to help you, but your electoral burden is still heavy.
Anambra governorship election will hold before 2023 general elections. And APC should become the party that will produce president of South-East extraction in 2023. To win these and other future elections requires credible, vibrant and viable/electable/winning South-East APC under your chairmanship
May I finally remind you that a political party exists only to win elections and form or participate in forming government. Therefore, everything we do in Enugu State/South-East APC must be geared towards winning elections – from councillorship to presidency. All other things matter less or not at all.
I remain your brother and fellow party man of 20 years’ standing.
Convener, South-East APC Integrity Group