It worries me that the Anambra State chapter of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has already conceded the upcoming 2023 election to a certain opposition party and candidate. Who in the halls of power would do such a thing? To me, it is unforgivable that the leaders of APGA are taking political advice from their most dangerous opponent, whose sole goal is to dismantle and devastate the party.
This piece is sent to the APGA family to serve as a gentle reminder that our late leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu gave APGA to the Ndi-Igbo to use as a political platform. The cockerel represents the party since it was a deliberate choice. It would appear that we have moved away from the spiritual guidance and values of our late leader in favour of something completely different from our Igbo spirituality. Traditionally, APGA is strong in Anambra. The most dramatic sway that ever happened was in favour of PDP. We need to wake up in Anambra. It’s APGA first. I recently attended an event of purported APGA supporters, at which several speakers discussed the upcoming general election. To my dismay, the attendees did not seem particularly enthusiastic about their party or its candidates, leading me to conclude that they have quietly conceded the 2023 election. They were nice to the other side, but harsh in their criticism of their own candidate. In fact, they spiritedly argued why they will vote for a specific presidential candidate while ignoring their responsibilities to their own party.
I’m not arguing that civility should be abandoned in the name of politics. Certainly, politicians should work to improve their level of civility, but there’s a huge gap between that and simply being nice. My point is that being kind or taking it easy with an intimidating opponent will not help you win election. If you don’t throw some serious jabs, you’ll go down in defeat.
You can also tell you’re about to lose a potentially winnable election if you listen to or follow the counsel of your opponent. Fighting with only one hand rarely ends well. You win by throwing everything you have at the problem, and that includes using and maximizing all of your available resources.
By joining a political party, you take on the role of a partisan, a member of the political family whose primary responsibility is to help that family’s candidates get elected and form the government. In such case, you have a good grasp of my meaning. Members of a political party have an obligation to help their party win elections by working to advance the party’s agenda and by casting their votes in favour of that party. Without adding or subtracting a single cent. I am an advocate of issue-based politics, which emphasises finding common ground, offering concessions, and settling disputes through discussions and compensation. The existence of an agreement between APGA and a political party would be comprehensible. So far as I am aware, APGA has not agreed to give up her ability to vote for any of her party candidates, including in states where the party is running candidates. The last time I checked, the party was running a presidential candidate in the 2023 election and candidates in all levels of government in Anambra State in particular.
Despite the absence of physical weapons, the tactics and results of an election are strikingly comparable to those of a conventional battle. You either succeed or fail. Election isn’t a beauty pageant, where there are runners up.
APGA candidates in Anambra and the South East should brace themselves for a huge showdown, I warn. Both they and their supporters need to get into the mindset that they’ll have to fight hard for every single vote. They should know that many candidates whose approach to the election is to be nice and play safe with their opponents end up losing.
The South West AD leadership learned this the hard way when they kowtowed to former President Obasanjo, who happens to be their son despite being the PDP’s presidential candidate. Obasanjo didn’t only take the presidential votes from the South West, he took everything and wiped out AD. The only exception was the governor of Lagos, who is currently running for president as a member of the APC.
In 2019, APGA in Anambra also fell victim to a similar hoax, but its members apparently did not learn their lesson. You just cannot have your cake and eat it too. A child cannot be poked in the eyes twice with the same stick. I expect APGA not to repeat the same error it made in 2019 that caused it to struggle to win a seat in the House of Assembly. I simply pray they realise how dangerous it is to be helpless or go into an election working for the success of your worst nightmare.
Given the situation on the ground, I cannot say that I am pleased with how the party is being led in the local areas. They seem unconcerned about the forthcoming general elections. They didn’t have the drive or determination of a group that is desperate for success. They don’t care much about their party, and they aren’t eager to support their presidential candidate.
A party leader told me that he is not backing the party’s presidential candidate because the latter has no chance of winning the election. The candidate stands a good chance of being elected if the party rallies behind him and doesn’t leave him to stand alone.
If APGA does poorly in the Anambra presidential election, it could have repercussions in other contests held on the same day. It could even have an adverse effect on the outcome of the election for the House of Assembly.
If APGA doesn’t do well in the upcoming House of Assembly election, the governor may have trouble implementing democratic reforms. This implies he will be unable to implement his plans for improving the state of Anambra economically and socially. This means that the government’s plans for economic growth and prosperity will be put on hold. As a result, all progress accomplished thus far will be undone, and the final destruction of APGA, which we claimed as our own, will commence.
Anambra has made great strides under APGA rule, and the Igbo have high hopes in the party for the future, especially with the leadership of Prof Charles Soludo. Those who rose to power on the party’s coattails have betrayed us with their betrayal of the cause. Those who have betrayed our basic principles are now demanding blind obedience. They demand that we do what we are told and not use our own judgment. That’s what they mean by “obidient.”
When they chant “obedient,” what they really want is for you to switch to voting for their candidate instead of the one you support, otherwise you are blackmailed, bullied and harassed. But then, nobody in their right mind would store inventory of their product in a warehouse in an effort to boost sales of their rivals in a competitive market place. If the party leadership and their candidates don’t change strategy, I’m willing to bet that APGA’s efforts to win the Labour Party and its candidates in Anambra State would be in vain.
If the party does not win majority votes in Anambra in 2023, it might as well start the burial services of the party now. All APGA faithful will need to be strong and confident on their feet if they want to win. They need to get beyond being ashamed of campaigning for their candidates or apologetic for disobeying their bitter enemy. Those with a lack of competitive drive and a lack of winning strategy have no place in this election. One must be brave and daring to have a winning mentality. A winning mindset is one that can pull triumph out of the lion’s jaw. The cockerel has crowed and this is a wakeup call.