NewsEXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: “I Am Concerned About the Anambra Governorship Poll in November” – Emeka Ojukwu Jnr

Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, the first son of the late Biafran leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the supreme leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance –APGA, has expressed deep concerns about the upcoming Anambra State governorship election. Chief Emeka Ojukwu who is a member of APGA and a member of the Board of Trustees –BOT of the party also expressed worry over the party’s preparedness for the coming governorship election.

The Anambra governorship election slated for November 6, 2021, has all the major political parties more or less trapped in one form of internal crisis or another. The PDP, APGA which is the ruling party, as well as the APC, are all at different levels struggling with internal misgivings. In the PDP for instance, a few weeks back, many members of the Valentine Ozigbo campaign council have resigned their membership of the campaign council. A few days ago, a serving senator and former member of the PDP governorship campaign in Anambra decamped to the APC.

In APGA, although the governor’s choice of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo as his successor has been clear with attendant advantage, yet, there is still unresolved issues surrounding the national leadership of APGA and by extension, the party’s candidate, which case, it is expected will finally be put to rest by the Supreme Court sooner or later. Until then, members of APGA are divided into two in which some are in support of Soludo and Oye, while others are in support of Umeoji and Okeke. In political terms, what is the significance of this division in APGA? The reality it appears is that the right answer to that question can only be offered after November 6 gubernatorial poll.

However, for Emeka Ojukwu Jnr, after these years, APGA should not have been at this level where there are still questions about its national leadership. “You see, after some time, my thinking is that we would have out-grown certain level of distractions that are not in our best interests. You will agree that this recurrent tussle in APGA has not helped the party to take its pride of place”, Ojukwu said. Reacting to his silence since the current cracks on the walls of APGA, Emeka Ojukwu said he has not been silent. “I do not think I have been silent over the issue. I am a BOT member of APGA as you know. If the BOT was called for a meeting and as a member, I am invited, of course, I will attend. But then, I have been following developments and monitoring same closely. Over the past few months, a number of people have reached out to me to react. Even media, but I do not think it was right to jump into issues without proper and complete assessment. I am also a firm believer that until it becomes absolutely necessary, we should be careful not to wash our dirty linen in public. Private discussions with key players can sometimes work wonders”.

Speaking on APGA leadership, Ojukwu said the question of APGA leadership will be resolved but his concern is if APGA is in the best shape to win the coming Anambra governorship election. “The question of leadership of APGA will be resolved, I can tell you. The major challenge is if the party is well-positioned to carry the day on November 6. I am concerned about the Governorship poll because, a causal observation of what is happening even on social media among members of APGA, is a serious source of worry. More energy should be invested to bring people together so that we can all be on the same page. Also in such matters, perception is key. An effort should be made to ensure that the outreach is seen by all as an honest attempt to broker peace”, Emeka advised.

Recently, a picture of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo was captured in which he was putting on an APGA uniform with portrait of governor Obiano and that of himself (Prof. Soludo). Surprisingly, Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s portrait was missing on the uniform. This development raised a lot of eyebrows and some people wondered why the portrait of APGA’s supreme leader should disappear from the party’s uniform. Some people have in fact said that it was done because APGA under the current leadership wants to forge ahead without Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. Reacting to whether he was consulted before his father’s image was removed from APGA uniform or if that was the wishes of the Ojukwu family, Emeka said he was as surprised as any other person. “I was just as surprised. I mean, Eze Igbo Gburugburu is the supreme leader of APGA, except there is a new supreme leader. At no time were we consulted to have his image removed from APGA uniform. That is an honour that is due to him. There are certain boundaries that should never be crossed. I have equally heard that some are saying that the party should move without Ikemba because he is now late, but I do not want to believe it. On the surface, it would seem that the action is in absolute bad taste. For now, what I will say is that I suspect there is an error somewhere perhaps, based on misleading advice and like many other people keenly observing the events, we expect that the error is addressed”, Ojukwu said. It must at this point be acknowledged that some icons are relevant even in death and such is Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu to Ndi-Igbo, like other icons in different parts of the country.

Chief Emeka Ojukwu Jnr also assured of his willingness to speak on some other contentious issues in APGA, Anambra state government, among other issues. “I think it is time for us to talk about certain things that are germane to our collective stake, both in APGA and in government”, Ojukwu said. Although he mentioned some of these contentious issues and then promised to provide details during our next interview session, as scheduled.

Meanwhile, as the Anambra governorship election draws even closer, many observers have said that however it is viewed, the election is APGA’s to lose. Considering the formidability of APGA in Anambra state, it is a given that the party has all it takes to retain power come November 6, especially if the differences among some of its members are resolved.

Ebuka Onyekwelu (Staff Writer)
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