The Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, has urged members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State to fully integrate into the All Progressives Congress (APC), citing history of long cosy political understanding dating even back to 2013 when a faction of APGA joined the merger of APC.
He equally said that in 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari more or less saved His Excellency Willie Obiano from his traducers, hence his re-election.
Okechukwu, who is also one of the founding members of APC, said it was that background of cordial relationship that informed his recent counsel to APGA leaders to fuse into APC as a pragmatic step towards successful and seamless prosecution of the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.
“So, that suggestion was made from the prism of the pragmatic Zikist political model, which joins us with APGA. Pragmatism is the best strategy for Ndigbo to kill two birds with one stone, because if APGA fuses into APC that will gift APC with three states in the Southeast geopolitical zone – a milestone,” he told journalists on Thursday.
“With three strategic states of Southeast in APC’s kitty, that is a halfway stroke to Ndigbo’s ambition of achieving Nigeria president of Igbo extraction in 2023. Therefore, I implore to kindly consider the fruit in APGA joining APC to win the Anambra governorship. Other details will be cordially harmonized.
“My take is that if the two parties-APGA and APC-come together under one bloc, it would then be possible for us to weigh the two flag bearers, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and Senator Andy Uba, on the scale of which of them could better win the election in terms of acceptability, integrity, public service record, capacity and vision for good governance,” he stated.
While faulting the claim by Chinedu Obidigwe that APC was plotting a forceful takeover of Anambra State, he insisted that the feasibility of his suggestion could be seen from the political understanding between the All Peoples Party (APP) and Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999.
“We must recall that in 1999, based on strategic thinking, AD and APP were merged for the Presidential election.
“But, although the powers that be wanted Chief Olusegun Obasanjo of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), every stakeholder in APP and AD, and indeed all progressive Nigerians saw the political understanding as a win- win offering on the ballot. So, with the benefit of hindsight, I am seeing the same opportunity for APGA and APC in Anambra State,” he said.
Obidigwe, the National Coordinator of APGA Media Warriors, had in a statement to journalists, criticised Okechukwu for asking APGA to integrate fully into APC and join the mainstream of Nigeria politics so as to help Igbo pick the Presidential seat in 2023.
Okechukwu, responding, said APGA was missing the point by seeking to remain as a big fish in a small pond of regional politics that has only earned just one state out of the entire federation.
He insisted that APGA can, apart from solving its intractable myriad of post-governorship primary litigations join its old ally, APC, to win the governorship, insisted of doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different result.
The VON DG pleaded with APGA leaders to give serious thoughts to his pragmatic suggestions, noting that indeed time has come for APGA to explore other avenues to achieve collective purpose for Ndigbo by teaming up with APC.
“This tunnel vision of rigid partisanship has remained the bane of Southeast politics. Therefore, I am still calling on my friends in APGA to look up and count the stars. In 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari restored Governor Obiano’s security details on the APC governorship campaign ground. In 2019, Obiano led APGA to reciprocate the grand political gesture of understanding by Mr. President.
“Gentlemen, would it not make for a greater political impact and success if APGA consummates what its leaders started right from 2014 by embracing APC in a closer embrace?
“They should show patriotism and respect for the campaign for Nigeria President of Igbo extraction by joining the mainstream, which APC’s victory in the governorship poll will enhance,” he contended.