The ongoing leadership tussle in APGA did not come to many as a surprise. With the sustained assault on APGA by groups supporting aspirants on the party’s platform, who pose to speak for the party in many instances, and tend to dictate the path the party takes, political crisis was only a matter of time. Every serious party man or woman must be concerned and worried at how low the party is going. And so the alleged sack of Ozonkpu Victor Oye as the National Chairman of the party only yesterday, could be a prelude to something much more injurious to the party. I have been following the development with kin interest and scandalously, the news has been received with excitement by many party men and women. This speaks, not only to the disapproval of the action in which a letter from the party signed by its Organizing Secretary fail to clear some aspirants of the party to participate in the party’s primary election for the coming Anambra governorship election, but also to the management of the party under Ozonkpu Victor Oye.
For some years now, to be relevant in APGA and in government, you must not only be a member of the party. You also have to belong to some of these groups that proudly pose as if they are superior to the party. There is no atom of style or cover up to the ragging impunity. Must APGA be that predictable such that people can say with certitude where the party is headed and it ends up exactly so? This smacks of impudence on the interest of other party faithful who, like those anointed, have legitimacy of aspiration that must, at least be accorded recognition and political solution rather than arrogance deployed in interest aggregation. This is better than imposition.
Looking at these developments, one wonders how this is going to pan out exactly. Even more worrisome is that as of now, support groups that enjoy uncanny privileges have already given selves appointments in view that their choice aspirant will pick, not only the party’s ticket, but also go on to win the general election. In this particular instance, members of U-AYA and U-AWA talk boastfully, brazenly laying claims to the structure of APGA, without caution to the chagrin of observers.
Surprisingly, the leadership of APGA under Oye, have remained silent. Some party stakeholders are just observing, silently angered or quietly benefiting from the situation, while still not exactly satisfied with the development. This, in particular is not a very good time to be a member of a party that carelessly embraces its own destruction. In plain language, many people are angered by the activities of the Aguleri cabal, and Prof. Soludo in many quarters, is only a victim of this discontentment towards this Aguleri group. To be clear, all aspirants do not and cannot enjoy the same level of privileges in any political contest. But can we make it this blatantly offensive, devoid of proper consideration and harmonization? I mean, if you cannot give free and fair primary election, it is understandable, but why rob it in?
Now, to understand the import of the development, we must appreciate that APGA is not just a political party. APGA is a political legacy and a movement that has endured and amassed followership. And so, the concern is, what does this relentless battering and attempt at hijacking the party mean for its members and followers that are critical or indifferent to the latest developments in the party?
Already party members are angry because they feel alienated and today, if a headcount is done to ascertain how party faithful feel over this matter, majority will express their deepest displeasures. Even now, it is no longer a secret that party members are angry with the way the party is being projected, especially with regards to the coming governorship election in Anambra state. Yet, it seems due attention is not being paid to how these party men and women feel as if it does not count at all. Yes, it may not count as far as who becomes the party flag bearer is concerned, I mean, the decision can be reached by a handful of people, irrespective of how the majority feels. And this precisely is the problem. This is nothing short of elite arrogance and at the right time, the consequences will be too escalated to manage, if it continues. Yesterday’s development being only, but a sign of what is yet to come, ought to be instructive and if proper care is not taken, this may be APGA implementing its own extinction. Even one of the cleared aspirants had yesterday complained that the Ward delegate election in his ward did not hold. In fact, the suspicion is that the party’s adhoc delegates have been selected, without the ward delegate election. In all considerations, it is really hard to understand how a candidate can win in a general election if he has not won his own party’s primary fairly. Primary election is a litmus test for all aspirants and political players must understand this and act accordingly.
The leadership of APGA should consider and feel the pulse of its members, not necessarily with the intention of doing what majority of its members want, but as a critical guide for whatever direction the party may wish to go in the governorship election, to forestall possible internal sabotage which will further diminish APGA’s chances not only at winning the general election, but also in participating in the election itself.