•Zone to back Buhari for 2nd term
By George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
FORMER Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, is now the leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Southeast, while the party in the zone would support President Mohammadu Buhari for a second term in office should he seek re-election in 2019.
These were parts of decisions taken at the meeting of Southeast APC stakeholders held at the Imo International Convention Centre (IICC), Owerri, yesterday.
The meeting had dignitaries like Sen. Nnamani, Emeka Offor, Ifeanyi Araraume, George Moughalu, Tony Eze, Ebuka Onunkwo, Jombo Offor, Eze Madumere and members of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) in attendance.
In his speech, the host Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, said he left the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to join the APC at its formative stage because APGA was seen as an Igbo party and not a national party. He stated that he joined APC against all odds because he knew that Igbos would achieve their political aspirations within Nigeria only through a national party.
He said: “Now that Igbo leaders are together in APC, Nigerians will hear us. There is a vacuum of leadership in the Southeast APC. I am a governor. My brothers Chris Ngige and Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu are ministers. Hence, the importance of Ken Nnamani coming at this time. I decline leadership of Ndigbo in APC. With Nnamani, the question of who is the leader of APC in the Southeast has been answered. Nnamani is the leader of APC in the South-East.”
He continued: “Senator Nnamani should then work with other leaders like Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Jim Nwobodo and a host of others to give Ndigbo political direction. Those who have joined the party or who want to join should do so to build the party and not to cause confusion. APC is the right party for the Igbos, and the only party that can guarantee Igbo presidency.”
For him, “we are going to support President Mohammadu Buhari for the eight years he is going to lead the nation. This is the time for Ndigbo to come and work together. We are also going to use the Anambra election to show that APC has arrived in the Southeast. The Igbos played bad Politics in 2015. Today we have lost a lot. We are not anywhere because of our bad politics.”
Okorocha also disclosed that three serving governors in the Southeast were in touch with him and would soon join APC, adding that being the only APC governor in the Southeast does not give him joy. He advised that other political leaders in the geo-political zone should take advantage of the moment and come into APC.
Nnamani, in his speech, said the Igbos needed more of their leaders at the national leadership of the APC where decisions are being made, and even at the National Assembly and other strategic areas.
The former Senate President said: “Some of us going into APC are not doing so because of hunger, but in the interest of the Igbos. We should play politics of ideas and avoid abusive words. Ndigbo do not have the ingredients for opposition politics. We do not have the media or business or money to play opposition politics, but we won’t ask for handouts.”
He continued: “How the Yorubas voted in 2015 should be an eye-opener. They voted both sides, but the Southeast put their eggs in one basket. I am not of the view that everybody should be in APC, but those who have seen the need should do so. If Gov. Okorocha has realised that he needs more hands in APC, he should be commended. We are the worst enemies of ourselves. If we work together we will go very far. This is the time to play national politics”.
Nnamani further explained that “some people could say we have the Deputy Senate President, but he does not attend the meeting of APC caucus where important decisions are taken. We must think ahead.
The benefit of that office is therefore personal and does not enhance the political fortunes of the Southeast people.”