Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu , APGA’s National Leader
Leadership of the All Progressive Grand Alliance has said the party’s national leader, Dim Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, was in support of the party’s decision to back President Goodluck Jonathan in the April Presidential elections.
National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, who spoke in an interview with THISDAY in Abuja Saturday, said the recent adoption of Jonathan as the party's candidate in the presidential contest was made with the tacit approval of Ojukwu.
He said Ojukwu, who is presently recuperating in London after undergoing an intensive medical treatment in the hospital, was intimated of the plan and he gave his blessings.
“Our leader, the ‘Ikemba’ is fully aware of the decision to adopt Jonathan’s candidacy and has given his tacit support to the arrangement”, he said.
Umeh, who recently visited Ojukwu in London, said Jonathan had also been magnanimous enough to extend care to the former Biafran leader.
He said Ojukwu is now being kept under close watch and observation by medical personnel and officials of the Nigerian High Commission in London on the orders of the president.
Umeh said there was an understanding to use the party’s platform to provide support for Jonathan but that the arrangement does not in any way mean that APGA is backing the Peoples Democratic Party at other levels of the election.
"Definitely, this is not an APGA-PDP agreement. What we decided to do is to ask our teaming supporters in the South-east to vote for Jonathan during the presidential elections and then vote APGA's candidates in all other levels of the elections.
"If you observed closely the build-up to the presidential primaries, you will agree with me that Jonathan's candidacy has become a kind of stabilising factor in the politics of the country, especially among those fanning ethnic and sectional interests. The president's emergence as the PDP candidate has acted as a stabilising force and nobody can deny that," he added.
According to Umeh, APGA based its decision on the understanding that such a move will engender stability and national cohesion in the polity, adding that the new posture is tilting more towards the politics of development than anything else.
“When Jonathan came to Anambra State to declare his presidential ambition, he promised to complete the Second Niger Bridge before the expiration of his four-year tenure and he also gave an undertaking to complete the dredging of the River Niger port as well as finish upgrading projects at the Enugu International Airport,” he said.
He said the president gave his word to carry the interest of the Igbos along while in office.
“If you measure his promises to complete the Onitsha bridge, Enugu International Airport and for flight operations to commence within two years, you will know that these are concrete issues,” he said.