IN the fourth republic, Dr. Alex Ekwueme told the then chariot of Ndigbo, Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu and APGA faithful to join the mainstream political vehicle (the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP) so that all the political goodies would be ours. But Dim Ojukwu replyed him: “It is better to be a majority in a minority party than to be a minority in a majority party. Again, it is better to be a big fish in a small pond than to be a small fish in a big pond.” After the establishment of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in 2002, their lionization spread like wild fire in Nigeria and particularly in Igbo land.
Progressively, not up to six months of her formation, the strength of the party was tested. The member representing Ayamelum Local Government Area in Anambra State House of Assembly, Mr. Okenwa Odikpo kicked the bucket and a by-election was conducted. APGA won, but PDP rigging gadgetry brought APGA down via ex-governor Mbadinuju. In 2003 and 2007, Ojukwu contested in a presidential election demonstrating to all that APGA came to conquer and progress. They won up to 80 percent elective post in Igbo land and few outside the south east, but PDP executed another rigging against them. During Ojukwu’s time APGA was vibrant and focused and was playing the real work of an opposition party. They never joined the government of national unity, in fact they knew where they were heading to.
Furthermore, because of Ojukwu/APGA’s constructive criticism against the Federal Government, Obasanjo awarded contracts for the reconstruction of Onitsha-Owerri, Ihiala-Orlu and Afikpo federal roads. During Ojukwu’s reign, the Federal Government built Obosi by pass along Onitsha-Owerri express way and another flyover at Nkpor junction along Onitsha-Enugu federal road. Even Omambala Bridge in Anambra north was constructed during Ikemba’s era. But as soon as Eze Igbo Gburu Gburu departed this world in 2010, APGA drifted from their ideology. They lost focus and direction. APGA after Ojukwu began to run around in circles. First, in 2011 they shot themselves in the foot by not presenting a presidential candidate, rather they adopted the Presidential candidate of another party (PDP) that has been rigging them out from Adam. To make the matter worse, they never reached or signed any treaty with Goodluck Jonathan.
Painfully, APGA forgot that an empty sack cannot stand upright and gluttony kills more that the sword. The political blunder that they committed in 2011 justified that they never learnt a lesson from what happened to Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 2003 after endorsing Obasanjo as their presidential candidate. Certainly, they are not good students of history, As soon as Owelle Okorocha became governor in 2011, he recommended that APGA should be restructured ahead of 2015 election in other to present a presidential candidate. But Ndi agbata ekee (businessmen) in APGA that are only after their dip pockets trashed this fantastice idea and APGA became an appendage of PDP automatically. Governor Okorocha saw the handwriting on the wall and wept, he shouted that APGA had been divided in two, Original APGA and APGA-PDP.
Fortunately, because of the love Owelle Ndigbo has for his beloved race, he courageously took the soul of APGA to form APC and named the leftover a cultural organisation. Yes he was right, Rochas recalled what happened in the fourth republic (1999) where the Yoruba rejected Obasanjo at the pools but the votes of the remaining two major tribes Igbo and Hausa liberated and transported Obasanjo to the presidency. As someone who is politically enlightened, Owelle knew that the coming together of Hausa and Yoruba under the umbrella (APC) would surely sink Jonathan and he took intelligent decree. But instead of the leftover APGA and Ndi Igbo understanding with him where the political pendulum was swinging to, they hated Okorocha the more. Truly, it is a foolish sheep that makes the wolf his confessor.
Alarmingly, APGA never realised that it was safer to be among the majority than among the minority, they forget that you cannot sell the cow and drink the milk. APGA continued deceiving Ndigbo, they covered themselves with the blanket of sentiment and emotion. And swore not to wear their thinking caps and also put on their spiritual antenna in reasoning with Owelle Ndigbo.
(To be continued next week)
► Ifechukwu Chiagoziem Oragui wrote from Onitsha, Anambra State 08120045080