By Tony Edike
A Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain in Anambra State, Chief Benedict Obiora Ezeibe has decried the conditional support which the national leadership of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) have decided to give President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 presidential ambition.
Chief Ezeibe told reporters in Enugu, yesterday, that APGA should be collapsed into the PDP rather than such proposal, coming from its national leadership which he accused of hypocrisy.
Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, his predecessor in office, Mr. Peter Obi and National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh had said that the conditions upon which their party would support President Jonathan in 2015 presidential election is, among others, giving their party members high profile Board appointments.
Chief Ezeibe, who was also Chairman of the PDP Finance Committee in the state, described the demand as “mere blackmail and an opportunistic outburst.”
“For four years, you are telling us there is no APGApresidential candidate; does that make it (APGA) a political party?” he asked, adding: “What’s the essence of having a party that will not present a presidential candidate during elections?” He further re-stated: “We should collapse APGA into PDP. What do APGA people have that will deliver the president in 2015? We want them to have their own presidential candidate as a political party.” He added sarcastically: “Is APGA a national party or Igbo party? Or is it an Igbo party for a particular Local Government Area in Anambra State?”
According to him, PDP does not, in any way, need APGA todeliver President Jonathan in next year’s presidential poll. “It is important to clear the air at this stage so that our brothers and sisters in APGA are not deceived or cowed into isolated Local Government Party. PDP has a good product and candidate and we do not need APGA to vote him in. In 1999 and 2003 President Olusegun Obasanjo was voted in without APGA, again in 2007, Musa Yar’Adua won without APGA support so what are we talking about? APGA or no APGA, PDP will deliver its candidate, Jonathan in 2015,” he said.
In the opinion of Ezeibe, nobody should blame the APGA National Assembly members for their recent defection to the PDP since they saw clearly the handwriting on the wall. “Nigeria is an indivisible country; if you cannot beat them, you join them. How do you blame Uche Ekwunife and Chuma Nzeribe for dumping APGA back to PDP? It was PDP that made her what she is today, including making her Chairman, House Committee on Environment,” according to Ezeibe.
Ezeibe advised the leadership of APGA to tow the path of best democratic practices by engaging in dialogue with PDP, “the party that produced President Jonathan,” because “if you like the product of the party, you must also accept the party; your support for Jonathan will be more meaningful if you join the party, PDP.”