By Chimezie Brown
Following a very long stalemate as a result of leadership vacuum, the newly appointed Acting State Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Lagos State, Chief ThankGod, Kenechukwu Ibeh has promised to make the party a force to reckoned with.
Chief Ibeh who is also one of the frontline aspirants for the November 6, governorship election in Anambra State on the platform of APGA, said that he would use everything in him to reposition and also activate the huge potentials of APGA in Lagos State.
In this interview, he spoke on various issues.
How do you feel about your appointment as the acting state chairman of APGA in Lagos State?
Well, let me start by doing a brief introduction of myself. My names are Chief ThankGod, Kenechukwu Ibeh. I am a native of Awgbu in Orumba North Local Government Area, that is Anambra South Senatorial zone of Anambra State. I am into maritime services, clearing and forwarding to be precise. Before my appointment as the acting state chairman of APGA, Lagos State, I was the deputy state chairman of the party in Lagos State. But there was a leadership vacuum, because the then state chairman travelled out of the country for more than one year and there was stalemate in the party, which made our National Chairman, Ozomkpu Victor Ike Oye to elevate me to the position of acting state chairman, so as to fill the void. I am a strong party man and have been contributing my quota to the running of the party.
What do you think are the challenges of APGA in Lagos State?
Well, as I said before, APGA has very huge potentials because it remains the only political party that has not disappointed the electorate. The massive human and capital development that has been recorded in Anambra State is a testimony of the character of the party. But the main challenge that we have in Lagos is communication gap because we have not got the right leadership that would preach the success of APGA to the people. A lot of People in Lagos are no doubt yearning for APGA, because it is the only party that cares for the poor masses, but we don’t have political evangelists that would take the message to them. Most of the past state chairmen that the party has had in Lagos were incapacitated in one form or another. Some were even doing trading with the party. That is why it has been struggling.
What is your vision for the party?
My vision as the acting state chairman of APGA, Lagos chapter, is to rebuild the party from the scratch. Right now, APGA in Lagos State looks wayward. People see it as a party of unserious people and that is why they are not joining. So, I would like to change the perception that people have of the party in Lagos State. I am going to start by giving the party a befitting secretariat as a way of announcing its rebirth in Lagos State. APGA is going to be born again in Lagos State. After getting a befitting state secretariat, I would go down to the 20 local government areas and also get secretariats. We would then start membership drive to all the nooks and crannies of the state. No stone would be left unturned to make APGA formidable in Lagos. I also want to use this opportunity to appeal to all those who have left the party for one reason or another to please come back. This is a new APGA. All the old grudges have passed away. All hands must be on deck to make APGA a party to be reckoned with in Lagos State. I cannot do it alone. We have to join hands and do it together.
Anambra governorship election is around the corner, what are the chances of APGA retaining the state?
Anambra is a great state with a lot of men of timber and caliber. As the only APGA state in the country, for the past 16 years and still counting, the party has been delivering the dividends of democracy to the people. We have not disappointed the people of Anambra. So, the party’s chances of retaining the state is 90 per cent. Governor Willy Obiano is doing extremely well. Anambra State has the highest number of international business men in the country, but we don’t have an airport. But with the international cargo and passenger airport, Obiano has wiped the shame out of our faces. A lot of infrastructure have been built, while a lot are on- going in different parts of the state. I know that Anambra people are very wise. They would not want to change from the APGA that they know to another political party that they don’t know. They have tested APGA and it is delivering the dividends of democracy, so they would want to continue with it and that is the sensible thing to do.
APGA governorship primary is around the corner, what is your advice to the party as an aspirant?
I want the would be delegates to the primary to look very well so that they would choose the right candidate for the party. No matter the wonder that APGA has done in the state in the last 16 years, if they fail to choose the right candidate, we will lose the election. They should try to choose a candidate with true grassroots support; a candidate who the majority of Anambra people love from their heart. I have the confidence that if I am given the opportunity to fly the flag of the party in the election, I will deliver the state to the party, because I am on ground and I will consolidate on the good works of Governor Willy Obiano. I will make Anambra an I.C.T state. I will silence the insecurity challenges that we are currently facing in the state. I will complete all the projects that Obiano may leave uncompleted, no matter where they are. The well-being of all Anambrarians would be my number one priority if I win the APGA primary and elected governor of Anambra state.