By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka – THERE was an anti climax in the build-up to the race for the 2010 governorship election in Anambra State yesterday as the son of the state deputy governor, Mr. Emeka Etiaba who was gunning for the office of his motherâ€™s boss, Mr. Peter Obi resigned his membership of the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Before yesterdayâ€™s development, political watchers had believed that Etiaba was actually not interested in the race in the first place, but was out to ensure that the incumbent governorâ€™s ambition for a second term was scuttled.
Since he announced his intention to vie for the office, he has consistently been attacking Obiâ€™s polices whose relationship with his mother, the deputy governor, could not be said to be cordial since Obi returned from an impeachment during which the Etiabaâ€™s held sway at the Government House.
Apparently sensing his mission in APGA, the national chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh had consistently stated that as a result of Obiâ€™s performance, the party would give him an automatic ticket because there was no need to change a performing administration, a decision that did not go down well with the Etiaba camp.
In his letter to the national chairman of APGA, dated August 31, 2009, which he made public yesterday, Etiaba said that he was leaving the party as a result of perceived high-handedness, intimidation, and expression of malice against his person and supporters, as well as lack of internal democracy within the party.
â€œIt is a painful moment in my political career because nobody builds a house only to quit from it. You build a house to occupy it. But I have realized that for me to accomplish my desire to be the next governor of Anambra State, I have to look for a vehicle that would deliver me; a vehicle that will ensure that internal democracy is accorded the rightful position; a vehicle that cares for its own people and lives up to the tenet of democracy. So, that is why I am leaving APGA.
â€œMy decision to quit the party is borne out of the facts that there had been unsubstantial accusations from the hierarchy of the party that I am in the governorship race to finally negotiate a deputy governorship position with a given candidate, while destroying our party in the process.â€ he said in an emotion-laden statement.
The letter was also copied the national leader of APGA, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, national secretary of APGA, as well as Governor Peter Obi and his deputy, Dame Virgy Etiaba,
He also alleged that he and his members were experiencing a total lockout from the APGA state, local government and ward offices and machineries in his quest for the governorship, recalling that there were threats of sanction against him and his supporters
Though he did not disclose his next move, Sunday Vanguard gathered that he was heading to the Progressives Peoples Alliance (PPA), which already has a number of formidable governorship aspirants, including one from Etiabaâ€™s hometown, Nnewi.
It was also gathered that his alleged move to PPA was to scuttle the on-going pressure on Governor Obi by leaders of PPA to contest the 2010 governorship election on the platform of the party in view of the seeming confusion in APGA.