One of the most important legacies the great Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu left behind could be found around the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. But what he left behind wasn’t just that four-lettered acronym, neither the symbolic cock.
It was rather the ideology wrapped within that name and symbol that the great man left for us.
The ideology behind the coming together of a special people to get what we couldn’t get through 33 months of hard fighting was the bedrock of the composition of the party in question.
Having seen that the military was finally willing to quit the stage for politicians, even when same military equally changed uniforms to answer politicians, including advocating diarchy, the great Ezeigbogburugburu decided to lead the fight for the knowledge on how to develop our region via political wisdom.
When he saw His Excellency Peter Obi, he must have suspected that the Agulu-born philosopher had a very pleasing humility and natural intelligence to drive that new engine for regional stability.
When the man we later started calling Okwute tenaciously fought for and reclaimed his mandate, Ikemba must have seen a man with unwavering character. When the man methodically took to governance, the great Igbo leader must have heaved that huge sigh of relief that his hunches were spot on.
For him to urge to re-elect Okwute as his “last wish” was the most alluring statement of satisfaction any man of his calibre could ever make.
Unfortunately, we lost him before he could help us transit for another eight years of consolidation. Ikemba was a man, who could use intimidation or even force, when it must be used, to get the right things done. Okwute is made of another fibre. He shies away from applying any level of intimidation or force. He rather leads by conviction. And the people that bastardised Ikemba’s APGA greedily didn’t want to listen to reason. They saw a very financially wealthy state and decided to feast mercilessly, throwing decency to the dogs
Hence, Okwute’s well-planned transition programme from him to a seasoned technocrat, who had gone through the new Anambra State system of governance as Secretary to the State Government, didn’t materialise.
Fate played us a fast one and we.landed ourselves with one alien to Ikemba’s ideology. And the slump began!
We returned to the politics of personal aggrandisement, flagrant abuse of power, nepotism, financial recklessness, media falsehood and propaganda – all boldly against what Ikemba stood for and left behind.
But before we fell into this pit, the former governor did everything to avoid the sorry state we found ourselves. His wisdom to make sure his state continued with the well-oiled integrated development made him moot and insisted to involve EQUITY in determining his successor. He was so far-sighted that he knew that without equity that the state would have, sooner than later, gone into power struggle that could squander all the gains garnered. This equity invariably brought along ZONING.
We must have missed the direct beneficiary, but posterity will ever vindicate Okwute for a most worthy cause.
Worthy cause too was the slogan of, “onye aghana nwanne ya.” Having seen Okwute steady Anambra with not just unbelievable developmental leadership, but also the most important aspect of bringing back our values as a people, the great Ikemba instructed that we should expand our frontiers. Imo State was the first target. With the incumbent HE Ikedi Ohakim not delivering, Imo deserved a new leader. And with a smooth-operating and glib-talking Rochas Okorocha, Ikemba and the entire APGA fell for this man with unbelievable outward charm, but laden with what later proved unprecedented ulterior motive. While his health was then failing, the ex-General still mustered enough energy to go to Okorocha’s campaign podia to tell ndi Imo that they must join Anambra to equally get liberated.
After one incident where the constructed campaign platform caved in while Ikemba was speaking, he decided to be sending his younger and charming wife, Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu for the rest of the campaign. During that campaign, Anambra State took over as Senator Victor Umeh and of course, Okwute graced podia to urge Imolites to follow the way of light.
No need to mention resources our state put in to capture her second state in preparation for a third.
An incumbent governor, whose party was at the centre inevitably lost to a party that controlled just one state. A miracle, but Ikemba’s APGA achieved that.
What followed? Governor Okorocha took APGA’s sweat to the All Progressives Congress, APC. That was the first major betrayal of Ikemba’s ideologies regarding our new strategies to excel politically and develop our region holistically.
The second betrayal would come from Anambra APGA.
APGA continued to retain power in Anambra but since March 17, 2014, it has become everything Ikemba never wanted again in Igbo land.
With Okwute, we saw clearly that the word, MARGINALISATION didn’t really exist to the point of denying any focused state government from getting anything due her from the federal purse. It depends on how the governor of the state approaches issues of governance and the skill he/she involves in engagement and negotiation.
Okwute was the only APGA governor, yet he was the chairman of Southeast Governor’s Forum and vice chairman of Nigeria Governor’s Forum. He was a member of over 10 Presidential Committees on different departments of national development and headed most of them. He argued reasonably by convincing and not by shouting or throwing chairs. He went for what the people need and never for frivolities and noisemaking. He got everything dear state could get as her shares and even more throughout his tenure.
He was a governor who three different presidents from HE Olusegun Obasanjo through HE Umaru Yar’Adua down to HE Goodluck Jonathan, all loved his ways and worked closely with.
He also smoothly permeated all local and international donor agencies to always look the way of Anambra State in whatever grant due each state. Whatever grant or assistance Anambra didn’t get from these big humanitarian agencies, no other state in the federation did. Not many people were privy to why Ikemba used “last wish”, but the great Nnewi-born intellectual wasn’t a man that ever exaggerated or praised anybody for the fun of it.
Okwute is a man who truly came far ahead of his generation.
He achieved all he did, yet left over N75 billion behind for his successor. To tell you how terrible this present APGA has become, they’re still denying the fact that he left such amount in cash and investment, even after reconfirming via a Supreme Court affidavit. Even after credible voices, including those from Thisday that crowned him the Governor-of-the-Decade, had confirmed investigations proved the soft-spoken ex-governor actually left more.
After eight years of this great governor, the one that followed him has used seven years and counting to breed monsters, taking us as far back and even worse than the days of HE Chinwoke Mbadinuju, when governance was more or less a business for family and cronies. Today’s APGA government of the state is so astonishingly skilled in denying the people, fattening foreign bank accounts of close cronies, purchasing properties with names of proxies within the cabal, swearing them to secrecy via different deities, selling and squandering state’s resources as if the world would end by March 17, 2022. In truth, the man who led Biafra will be crying uncontrollably from the grave, seeing what became of a state he laboured to liberate for the second major time before departure. All the people who shared his very progressive ideologies have left APGA.
What is left think they are so smart by employing thousands of media hands to lie, propagate falsehood, intimidate and bully many into their shells. But there’s nothing smart about a set of greedy people. Ndi Anambra know what have been happening to their state in over seven years. Trying to hoodwink them with a frivolous bogus cargo airport project that was built mainly for sake of retiring carelessly squandered funds, won’t achieve the intent of continued foolery of many ndi Anambra.
They are waiting to pay them back.
Can the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP capitalise by giving this set of Republicans the right candidate for them to punish APGA for taking them for fools?
Can the PDP produce a candidate that can assure the people that those glory years of Mr Peter Obi would be brought back? Over 99.9% of those that left APGA are now in PDP. Ikemba’s legacies are not dead and won’t die. All we need is the power to return Anambra State to the glory days.
Take a look at Engr Chris Emeka Azubogu. Study his past 10 years as a legislator in the Green Chamber of the National Assembly. See how he equally proved that the word, marginalisation does not prevent any people-oriented servant of the people from delivering appropriately. Having attracted over 50 roads to his constituency of Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo and at least one in every other Local Government Area of the state, he is moulded in same fibres with Okwute in service delivery. His health interventions in four different yearly medical outreaches courier solid proof of one with deep interest for well-being of humanity.
With him, ndi Anambra will not hesitate to troop to the polls and vote for a man who doesn’t only have very appreciable knowledge of statecraft, but also is very willing to apply that knowledge for the good of his dear people.
PDP you have an aspirant that will bring back power to you after a long 16 years. Just make him your candidate for the November 6 election.