As the crisis in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) deepens, Willie Obiano, outgoing governor of Anambra State, is already making moves to ensure his anointed candidate emerges victorious in the governorship election scheduled to hold on November 6, Daily Independent has gathered.
A credible source in APGA told Daily Independent that while there is hope that the crisis will be resolved before the election which is less than five months away, Obiano is not leaving anything to chance as he was already in talks with the APC over a possible alliance.
It was gathered that the governor’s fear is that the APC as the ruling party at the centre might capitalise on the crisis in APGA and deploy federal might to win the governorship election.
APGA Anambra State chapter was thrown into confusion on Tuesday following the alleged sack of the national chairman, Chief Victor Oye, and suspension of six other executives of the party.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Ikechukwu Chinyere, who briefed journalists after the party’s 114th NEC meeting in Abuja, announced the name of Chief Jude Okeke as replacement for the national chairman, as he listed other suspended members to include Chinedu Obidigwe, Hamman Ghide, Sylvester Ezeokenwa, Adamu Musa, Chief Okogbuo and Ifeanyi Mbaeri.
He said they were suspended indefinitely from the party for anti-party activities, gross misconduct and conduct capable of bringing the party’s image to disrepute, among others.
However, Oye while reacting to the development said his purported sack was laughable and inconsequential.
While directing APGA members and the public to disregard the announcement, Oye said that he remained the national chairman of the party.
Speaking with Daily Independent, on Thursday, our source said the latest crisis in APGA has really unsettled Governor Obiano as he had done everything possible to keep the party united ahead of the governorship election.
He also said aside the crisis at the national level, loyalists of Biafra warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, who are still in APGA have vowed to teach the governor a bitter lesson at the polls by voting against his anointed candidate during the major election.
These loyalists had accused Obiano of abandoning the ideals of Ojukwu, who was one of the founders of APGA and also the manner she treated Bianca, Ojukwu’s widow, who sought to represent Anambra South Senatorial District in the 2019 general elections.
According to the source, “The governor is really worried about the latest development. As you know, Anambra is the headquarters of APGA in Nigeria as that is the only state the party controls in the federation. So, anything that happens to APGA directly affects Anambra, especially with few weeks to the governorship election.
“He has his plan B already. Despite the fact that he belongs to an opposition party, Obiano remains one of the favourites of President Muhammadu Buhari. The APC leadership has also made overtures to him but he has remained resolute that he will not leave his party, APGA.
“I understand that they are already in talks over a possible alliance ahead of the election and I believe the outcome will be positive at the end of the day”.
Earlier in February, Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said the APC is going to deploy both seen and unseen forces to win the governorship election in Anambra State, a statement many understood to mean the use of federal might.
Ngige also said Obiano will join the APC immediately after serving out his tenure as governor.
“When he finishes serving, he will come. I’m sure. He is a pragmatist, he is a realist. I have tried to let him know that the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is good, but it’s a regional party”.
The APC is trying to make incursion into the South-East ahead of the 2023 general elections. With Ebonyi State already in its fold following the defection of Governor Dave Umahi, it is believed that the party is focused on winning the governorship election in Anambra State.
Speaking with Daily Independent, Okelo Madukaife, Publicity Secretary of APC in Anambra, said while anything is possible in politics, it is illogical how an untainted brand like APC will want to enter into an alliance with a tainted brand like APGA.
According to him, APC is going into the November 6 governorship election with the sole aim of winning, having addressed all the challenges that made it lose to APGA in the 2017 election.
“APC is an untainted brand that is heading towards victory in the election. So, I do not know why a tainted party like APGA will smear it. The Anambra governorship election is an election we have to win. APC was winning the election in 2013 when it was perverted by dislocation of elections in six local government areas. Our candidate then was Chris Ngige.
“In 2017, APC took second position and we have addressed down to the roots what gave us number two and not number one. Now, we have a tainted brand called APGA. You only need to witness the massive registration and influx into APC and when you even understand the number of people who made that movement from APGA, then you will understand why that kind of alliance is illogical.
“However, in politics, anything is possible. If it ever becomes real that he is making such an overture, then we will respond on the basis of facts and not speculation”.
Nnamdi Nwangwu, State Publicity Secretary, PDP, Anambra State, said any alliance between the APC and APGA will fail as the people of the state have already made up their minds to vote PDP in the governorship election.
He said, “APC is non-existent in Anambra State. That is the fact on ground. On APGA, people in Anambra State are disenchanted with APGA because of the poor performance of the current administration. They have performed below the expectation of the masses. So, no matter the unholy alliance they are going to reach, it is not going to produce any result.
“The thing is, once we get it right, the PDP will win the election because we are the only party on ground. We have the followership and we have the appeal. The people of Anambra are yearning for the return of PDP in the forthcoming governorship election”.