LP Not Taking The Shine Off Apga, Says Obiokoye
You recently launched a book titled
“My Political Odyssey”. What informed that?
Yes, I have been in politics since 1982 and 1983 when I contested and won the Idemili North State Assembly seat on the platform of the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP), and since then, I have been in politics and at some point I was the Anambra State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which produced former governor Sen. Chris Ngige, three Senatorial seats, 10 out of the 11 National Assembly seats, 30 State Assembly seatsI later joined the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and became the National Publicity Secretary of the party and before now served as the Special Adviser to the then governor Willie Obiano on political matters. So by and large I am a consummate politician and I have always been around…....read more
The essence of this book is not just to talk about my political profile, but also to take a look at our party APGA in order to fashioning out ways of sustaining it’s mileage in the political space. The last general election was indeed challenging for the party when you compare its performance with the previous ones.
Are you not worried?
There is nothing to worry about because our party got the majority in the State Assembly and won four seats at the National Assembly. So we are still on course. It is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that should worry as the party lost a lot in that election compared with what it got in the other elections.
According to my book which is verifiable, APGA was a political party that came in the year 2002 as an Interventionist Disruptive Movement.
When you look at the Constitution of our country of the 1999 under Article 6 which is imperi-materia with the 2002 Constitution of APGA, the aims and objectives include establishing a political system governed under the rule of law, justice, equity, transparency and good governance.
To ensure the eradication of politics of bitterness and rancor, but pursue peace with all people, to ensure the institutionalisation of meritocracy, justice, equity and accountability and also to work together to build a new nation which will guarantee social justice and elimination of all forms of discrimination amongst our people.
But the main issue here is how do we sustain our great party as an interventionist movement in the light of the nascent socio-political challenges facing the nation?
Be that as it may our party has a leader in the mole of Governor Charles Soludo and against this backdrop it is my view that the in-coming leadership of the party ahead of its state congress and convention must assimilate the direct principles of positive disruptive engagement as the bases for social economic development and transformation of the state and the party leadership at all levels must imbibe this and become partners with government in the transformative initiatives of Governor Charles Soludo. Your party members at some point have been complaining of exclusion after every general election.
Didn’t you think it is part of the problem?
You see when someone says exclusion we understand what it means and this concert of appointments after the election need to be looked into because you will discover that after that government had left office the political appointees return back to the unemployment market and that doesn’t speak well of party politics.
I think that it’s about time that we revolution- alize this practice and find a more engaging solution that provides more permanent job opportunities.
What I mean is to create avenues that would make party members feel included and that would make them not to be nominal members that are only remembered during elections.
This would also discourage the issue of anti- party during elections and as you know our party has an ideology that says be your brother’s keeper which is the spirit of brotherhood and chivalry. Your party would be holding its Congresses and Convention
What kind of leadership do you advocate?
No doubt the stewardship of our National Chairman, Ozo Victor Oyeh has been a success story and there is that need to sustain it at all levels. There have been allegations of non-existence of internal democracy in the party and whether they are true or not, what is patient is for us to conduct a transparent Congress and Convention to enthrone the right type of leadership that would be seen to be all inclusive.
Though there would still be pockets of complaints which is understandable I would recommend to the incoming leadership of our party the need to set up a high powered Truth and Reconciliation Committee to address all internal grievances plaguing the smooth running and unity of the party and hence make appreciate recommendations to the governor on ways and means of finding lasting peace amongst aggrieved party members.
Moving forward, we must strengthen our internal democratic process in line with the dictates and spirit of Article 6 of the 2019 Construction of our party. In promoting reconciliation, the new leadership of the party must re- engineer confidence and commitment among party members.
Don’t you think that the new trend of the Labour Party is taking the shine off APGA?
When did the Labour Party start and what mileage has the party covered?
When you talk about political parties that have been in the battlefield you cannot be referring to the Labour Party.
The issue here is after the general elections what next for the party?
A political party is not hinged on one person because the party is about people and if the success of a party is determined by the membership of one person then there is a problem somewhere.
What becomes the fate of the party if its candidate doesn’t emerge as President?
I see defections from that party by members who would return to their former party.
These are members of the PDP who felt unhappy that their preferred candidate was not nominated as candidate and they left the party on protest and by share luck some won their elections not because they are on ground but that bandwagon effect.
You cannot compare that party to APGA that has continued in the battlefield since 2002 and has produced senators, National Assembly and State Assembly members as well as governors.
Yes, Labour Party won in Abia State but the man, Alex Otti has been on ground and may have won elections under APGA though he was never declared but his declaration this time is not because he is now a member of the Labour Party.
Sen Enyinnaya Abaribe won his election under the platform of APGA and this is a state Labor Party won the gubernatorial election and the bandwagon effect of the Labour Party did not consume his ambition.
What we should be looking at is beyond the candidate of the party what happens afterwards and who would sustain the party now and the next general elections. For us in APGA, we have all the records to show for it and the road construction revolution going on during the stewardship of Governor Charles Soludo is a case in point and no Anambra person would say that the governor is not working.
But he is being accused of heavy taxation?
You know that people don’t like to pay tax and in fact they want everything from the government but they don’t want to pay tax.
How can you expect the government to provide everything without tax?
This is a civic responsibility and it is a social contract between the leader and the led and it is not a one way thing.
Those involved in revenue theft are not finding it funny because he has been able to checkmate them and taxpayers money is being used judiciously and some people are not comfortable with that .
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