By Victor Arji
Deacon Okey Ogbodo is the factional chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Enugu State. He has been involved in a battle for the exalted position of Chairman of the party in the state.
There have been claims and counter-claims by the warring parties, yet the national body seems hesitant to call a spade by its name. In this exclusive interview, Deacon Ogbodo whose rich background in trade unionism and government enviably endears him to many, bares his mind over the lingering dispute.
APC crisis in Enugu
“APC in Enugu is in a man-made crisis, a situation brought about by greed for power and the sit-tight syndrome made popular by infamous African dictators. Why do I say this? A man who had led APC in Enugu for so many years lost a re-election bid and apparently vowed he won’t take it. Mr. Nwoye, who claims to be a well-read lawyer, trained in America, lost a free and transparent election but still goes around parading himself as chairman of APC in Enugu State and quite shamefully, some people are putting up with him.
How it all started
“I have already given you a fair idea how it all started but the long and short of it is that I beat Mr. Nwoye at the state congress of the APC on May 19, 2018, after which a new state working committee headed by my humble self took over, but Nwoye and his gang would have none of that. He continues to parade himself as state chairman of the party despite even a subsisting Federal High Court order.
He should concede defeat
“You cannot work together as a disorderly unit. A genuine party man should be able to work for the party in any capacity for the collective good. You don’t always have to be the chairman, especially when you have had the opportunity and more than a fair chance to do your bit at the highest level. He had been chairman for so many years, but looks incapable of managing or accepting defeat. We shall be facing general elections shortly but we have to sort out our internal issues first to be able to face the outside world.
I am an inclusive leader by nature and pedigree, and would be ready to co-opt Nwoye and his small band of supporters into the mainstream of our activities but he needs to concede defeat first and stop those disruptive activities.
National body should be decisive
“The national body should be concerned about our situation here and I have been urging it to take a decisive action to uphold our position which is the lawful situation. Nwoye and his co-travellers are doing their best to muddle up the waters, but the national body should be courageous enough to do the needful which in my opinion, is to recognize the team that emerged from the May 19, congress. To do otherwise, would amount to de-marketing our party, and indeed compromising our chances in next year’s general elections.
Senator Eze should wait for next time
“Senator Ayogu Eze is a high ranking citizen of our state in his own right but he is not the man that can do it for us and more importantly, he did not win the APC primary election to be our candidate. He came a distant 3rd in our direct primaries. The winner, Barrister Tagbo Ogara is a candidate in whom we repose a lot of hope and trust. Ogara is unblemished, able, ready and willing to run a good race for APC as gubernatorial candidate. Mr. Eze is not the man to do it, this time, but maybe he can be deployed in other areas since he has been around for a while.
APC should take over Enugu
Assessment is relative at all times but Apc needs to take control of governance in Enugu State. It is overdue. And I know we can do it together. If I have any shred of doubt we won’t do it or that we don’t deserve it, why am I in this struggle in the first place? Forget the propaganda all over the place, people are yearning for the change we are here to give.
Working for PDP
That doesn’t make sense, does it? How could I leave PDP to move to APC to become a mole? I left PDP to APC because I didn’t like what was happening there. The PDP we founded, and you can verify this claim, had been misdirected and mismanaged by opportunists and political rascals. It ceased to be a befitting platform to pursue our noble agenda for our people. I am a Nigerian of Igbo extraction doing my own bit in politics to leave a mark as somebody who loved his people and worked so hard to make life meaningful for Nigerians as a whole. At any point in time, I look at the bigger picture, the picture of Nigeria and Nigerians in a better society. That’s my calling, and that is my interest.
Purported suspension of Nnamani
That was arrant nonsense. It has no basis and not worth the paper on which it was written. Who is Nwoye to suspend anybody? He is not the party chairman anymore. Nwoye has been doing a lot of incalculable damages to APC of recent and very soon, we shall be wielding the big stick against him. He has sabotaged APC enough and we as state working committee shall be meeting soon to consider appropriate sanction to whip him into line.
Highlights of APC leadership in Enugu
We want to give APC proper direction, because the party has largely been rudderless under Nwoye. We have the pedigree as political party administrators. APC had been a big political party on paper, because it had never won any election here. Why you may ask? Mismanagement. People have been in APC in the day and somewhere else at night. But that has to change. We shall reposition APC to take its proper place in our state, and in the heart of our people.