From Kenneth Udeh, Abuja
Former Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika, yesterday joined the All Progressive’s Congress (APC), few months after meeting with the Senate Chief Whip, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.
General Ihejirika, who served at the helm of the service from 2010-2014 under former President Goodluck Jonathan, made his declaration to join the APC at Isuikwuato country home in Abia-North Senatorial district.
The former COAS made his declaration and subsequently registered at Ezere ward 2. His registration was conducted by the APC ward chairman, Mr. Iheanyi Chukwu in the presence of stalwarts of the party which included Senator Uzor Kalu, State Secretary of the party, Perfect Okorie; Deputy State Women leader, Lady Franca Osuwa; chairman, Abia APC Registration panel, Amb. Bala Mohammed Mairiga; Chief Ameobi Ogah; Dr. Lilian Obenwa; Abia-North APC Zonal Chairman, Chief Chris Ajah; member, Abia House of Assembly representing Isuikwuato constituency, Emeka Okorofor, party faithfuls and others.
In November last year, Senator Kalu had urged the former army chief to join the party.
Kalu made the move when he paid a private visit in his Isuikwuato country home. According to reports, Kalu’s earlier visit to the residence of Ihejirika and other prominent Abians was to further push the efforts of the party in the state and national to woo prominent Abians and indeed the southerners into the party.
In his remarks, Senator Kalu applauded the decision of the former COAS to join the party, and emphasised that it is a result of the internal democracy in APC.
“Gen Ihejirika’s decision to join us today in the APC is no doubt a great one and I must commend him for taking the bold step after over a year of convincing him to join to the party.
“He should be assured that his membership of our party will be a very fruitful one. I am loyal to the party this is why I have always subjected myself to the party’s decision making process.
“My appreciation also goes to the chairman Abia APC Registration panel, Amb. Bala Mohammed Mairiga and his team for joining me to be grace this exercise.”
“The chairman can see for himself that the APC in Abia is deeply rooted, in the last few days he was accompanied me to some decamping ceremonies of people former other parties into our party. On behalf of our national chairman Gov. Buni I welcome you to our great party.
Disclosing his reasons for joining the party, General Ihejirika said that he’s coming into politics by joining the APC is to contribute to the progress of the party in the state and national level, the former COAS said further that having served in the Army for almost 38 years he has gathered sufficient experience to contribute to the democracy of the nation and the fortunes of the party.
In his words ” I am delighted by the presence of the leader of the party in our state, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to honour this event. Having served almost 38 years in the military, I am convinced that it will be a waste of experience for me to remain outside government activities. Thus is because I have a lot to offer and assure you all that I will operate an open door policy, I will also learn fast.
Gen Ihejirika said that his first goal is to unite the party, he said” My first goal is to unite the party, unity is very important because if we are united we can achieve all our goals for the state and the nation at large.
Also recall that similar advances by Senator Kalu had yielded results as the moves saw the founder of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and United Peoples Party (UPP), Chekwas Okorie; former Governorship candidate of the APGA in 2015 and 2019, Dr. Alex Otti; former Governorship Candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP),Chief Emeka Atuma; former Commissioner for finance in Abia State, Obinna Oriaku…(list others you know ) and among others have joined the party in the state.
Azubuike Ihejirika, CFR (born February 13, 1956) is a retired Nigerian Army lieutenant general and former Chief of Army Staff.