The National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr. Victor Oye, has said that the party’s presidential candidate, Major General John W.T Gbor (rtd), is better than President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) respectively. Speaking with VINCENT KALU, Oye spoke on various national issues.
What are your expectations for the 2019 general elections?
Forget about all the noise people are making, it is going to go successfully. All we need do is to appeal to the two gladiators, President Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the APC and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the PDP to tread softly in order not to overheat the polity. The choice of who becomes the president lies with the people; they should be allowed to make their choice. Calling one another names won’t take us anywhere. I don’t know what has happened to the Nigerian politicians; they have gone bunkum, abusing one another and insulting themselves. Why should it be so? Let them play politics with decorum and allow the will of God to prevail.
You just mentioned Buhari and Atiku, is APGA not contesting?
I’m talking about those overheating the polity. APGA is a peaceful party; we don’t overheat the polity. It appears only APC and PDP are existing with many conjectures that the other parties are pretenders; do you agree?
Who told you it is zeroed to just two parties, what of APGA that is prepared to win the election. How can you say APGA, the third largest party in Nigeria is a pretender, and from all indications and indices, the party is prepared to win.
I’m confident because I know what is on ground. I have not failed to predict Nigeria’s political line since 1998. I told them in 1998 that Obasanjo was going to win, and he won. I told them in 2003 that despite the shenanigans of Atiku that Obasanjo was going to be reelected and it was so. In 2007, I said Umaru Yar’Adua would win and he won.
When Jonathan emerged in 2011, I told people that he was going to win, and it was so. In 2015, I predicted that Buhari was going to win even in the face of Jonathan being an incumbent, and it came to pass. So, I’m capable of predicting Nigeria’s political activity. Next year, my prediction will come one week to the election.
There is always a first time, this may be the fist time that you may miss the bulls eye in your prediction?
It is a spiritual thing, and it can’t go wrong.
APGA is engulfed in crisis; do you think you can come out of it to face electoral challenges before you. Some people say they have formed new APGA, a faction of the party?
Where is the crisis coming from? There is nothing like new APGA. Who registered the new APGA? The two persons that addressed the press were persona non grata; both of them were expelled from the party since 2001. Go to INEC office and find out if there is anything like new APGA.
APGA is a party free of crisis, and ready to fly in 2019. We have a very qualified presidential candidate, a PhD holder; he is the best qualified of the other two – one has a Diploma in Hygiene, while the other has WASC. Our candidate has PhD in Anthropology from the United States of America. If it were possible, Nigerians should just move a motion to allow him become the president without election because of what he is coming to offer.
You said APGA is free of crisis, but in Abia State, Prince Ukaegbu says he is the authentic chairman of the party in that state?
Who is Ukaegbu? His tenure expired in 2014, and what he is doing now is grandstanding; looking for who will give him money. If you go to INEC, we have one governorship candidate, Dr. Alex Otti. Ukaegbu was suspended in 2014, the same time his tenure ended and that was the last of him.
He has a court document that affirms him as the state chairman, and accused you of destroying the party?
It is not the duty of the state party chairman to handle the primaries of APGA; it is the duty of the National Working Committee of our party acting on behalf of the NEC of the party.
They are also back in court, won’t it affect the fortunes of the party in the state, as it did four years ago?
It will not affect anything, the people are already routing for Otti, who is busy going ahead with campaigns and electioneering.
Ukaegbu and the likes of Ohakim are accusing you of destroying APGA, what is your problem with them?
Ohakim is a political fugitive; he doesn’t have any moral obligation to point fingers at me. He has never been an APGA man; he said he joined the party, but I haven’t seen his registration documents. He said he joined the party one month to the primary. He joined APGA in a mechanic overall.
When he came, we looked at him and the committee didn’t worry too much into his affairs, and he went to the primary poll and lost. He lost abysmally and he is accusing everybody, what moral right has he to do that. I challenge him to tell me why he should be castigating the party; what has he contributed to the growth of APGA, nothing. He has been a PDP man.
It is not the same like Ararume, who was in APC and few months to the primary, he defected to APGA and got the ticket?
Ararume joined APGA before Ohakim and the primary was held, and he won. It is the prerogative of the party to grant a waiver. So, the party granted him a waiver, and that made him a full member of the party and qualified to receive the privileges accruable in the party.
He won the primary election and we submitted his name to INEC.
What about those old members of the party like Nneji, Ziggy that have been working for the party, but were sidelined for the emergence of Ararume?
It is not how long, but how well. In Imo State, the choice of Ararume has been well received and the man is campaigning and he is going to win. What we are interested in APGA is who has the capacity to win, and the choice of the people. That is what we are doing.You can stay in APGA for donkey years and not contributing anything for the party.
Why didn’t APGA have a governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom?
Are we going to manufacture a candidate in Akwa Ibom?
On that election day, you will see our candidate.
The main opposition party, PDP has been raising the alarm that the INEC may not deliver a credible poll; do you think INEC will live up to expectation?
INEC has done well so far and they will do better in 2019. PDP doesn’t trust anybody; even themselves they don’t trust.
PDP is a cancerous and canterkerous political party, creating problems where none existed. PDP is haemorrhaging, while APC is asphyxiating. APGA is the only political party with a clean bill of health; forget the size of APC and PDP.
Recently, you granted a press briefing, in which you demanded an apology from Bianca Ojukwu, has she apologised?
You should call her and ask if she has apologised to the national chairman of APGA. I’m not the one to answer that question. If she has done that, maybe I didn’t know, you can call her and find out.
You are the one involved and should know if she has done that?
Since you know that APGA didn’t feature a candidate in Akwa Ibom, you should also know this one.
But where did the problem start?
We gave her everything to win that election, so, she should explain to us why she lost. We gave her everything she needed and she went there and fumbled.
We are witnessing desperation on the part of politicians for the 2019 elections, what is your message to Nigerians?
Nigerians should remain hopeful that all things will go well in 2019; we should continue to trust God because everything about us concerns God, who has the final say in the affairs of men.
Let them be hopeful and faithful in the pursuit of what is proper. Let them vote the right political party, which is APGA, the only party that will give them what they want. The other two parties, PDP and APC have been tested and they have failed. Let them test APGA and see the difference; our party will show them that they have been out of governance for long, and we have the capacity to deliver.
We have our strategies on how to revive the economy of Nigeria, how to improve security. We have it and we are not going to tell you now, but in due time when the party has assumed office, Nigerians will experience a new lease of life.
Is your party ready for the presidential debate?
We are ready, even if you call us today, we are very ready. On that day, our candidate is going to mesmerise the others because he is the most qualified.
Obiano performed well in his first term, but governors hardly do well in their second term, do you see that happening in Anambra State?
The governor is doing better in his second term; he has awarded over 200 road contracts and pursuing them vigorously; works are going on all over the places, and workers are being paid salaries. Recently, all the workers in the state were paid their leave allowances, each one received Christmas package from the state government. On December 15, they were paid their December salaries. That is innovative and wonderful. There is no governor in Nigeria that has more passion for workers than Obiano, and he should be encouraged and not castigated.
What is happening in APGA and Anambra State is just out of envy and greed; those fighting me from are just out of selfishness. They are looking at second term; who told them that I’m going for second term. I wonder why people cannot just go and sit down and rest. Did I tell them that I was going for second term, why are they fighting for second term, do they know who will be alive by January next year? Let them go and sit down and stop disturbing my peace.
Anybody who fights me unjustifiably, God will crucify the person alive. I have not done anything against anybody; I have grown this party to what it is today and I’m proud of what I have done in APGA, and generations unborn will appreciate what I have done in the party.
I removed the regional toga from the party to now a global one; it has grown beyond a regional enclave to a truly national global party.
We have branches in 35 countries, apart from the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory.
We have two seats in Bayelsa House of Assembly; two seats in Taraba House of Assembly, One House of Representatives seat in the same state; one House of Representatives in Abia, nine House of Assembly seats in Abia; FCT chairmanship, Gwagwalada; we have five councillors in Niger State, we defeated the governor in his ward, Paiko. We won the governorship seat in Abia, but we were shortchanged, and we will make it up in 2019, and we are going to win Nasarawa hands down. We will win Zamfara, Imo and Abia. There is no PDP in Zamfara; Governor Yari killed PDP in the state, thinking that APC will be the only party, until the tragedy happened. The deal is favouring APGA now.
We are everywhere; we won 21 out 24 House of Assembly seats in Anambra and for the first time, the party has a senator in the state. Obiano won in the entire 21 local governments, won 96 percent in 236 wards, won 98 percent in the polling units across the state; that is a record nobody can beat in the foreseeable future in the state.
Whoever that will take over from me, as national chairman will have a lot of enjoyment to make.