APGA and Its Voyage to Illusion


Nwachukwu Obidiwe

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is in turmoil of sorts. The worst fate has befallen the party already torn apart by crisis of factional leadership and the below average performance in Anambra, the only state it controls in the federation. For months, the party has dedicated much of its time and energy to a campaign of calumny against the leaders of the All Progressives Congress(APC).

Propaganda is a free tool in the game of politics. It is a potent weapon in the hands of those who know beyond its rudiments. I must admit that APGA is exploiting this in full. Their game is a well-rehearsed pernicious hype whose essence is to enact a tragic imagery of the APC and its flagbearer in the Anambra State governorship election through a well scripted pedagogy of lies and half-truths. The design is complemented by a frenetic cameo of distorted history, intended to achieve annulling effects, and consequent tragic catharsis, culminating in the ultimate rejection of the APC in the state.

This futile undertaking stems from a morbid fear that with the larger than life image of Sen. Chris Ngige and the high caliber politicians who joined the APC, APGA’s twelve years hold on power has been issued a terminal date . Governorship election has been scheduled for November 18, 2017. The ruling party in Anambra has literally fasted, prayed and vigorously campaigned that if Ngige, the most credible politician in the state would not contest, he should make sure Hon. Tony Nwoye and Sen. Andy Uba were blocked from joining the APC much less pick its ticket. A voyage to illusion, you may say. APGA has rightly reasoned that any of these two inheriting the formidable political machine of Sen. Ngige means worsening its nightmare. But there is little APGA can do beyond wasting Anambra tax payers sweat on propaganda as Hon. Tony Nwoye, the current Member Representing Anambra East and West in the Federal House of Representatives has won the APC governorship primary, polling 2146 out of 4332 votes cast. The exercise was unprecedented in its credibility going by the state’s antecedents. APGA is scared stiff! Sen. Ngige understood APGA’s Greek gift and instructively, maintained neutrality as the father of the party in the state to allow the best to emerge.

The burden of self-preservation worsened the desperation in APGA with the emergence of Nwoye, as the party took to more laughable pursuits. Beyond the self-defeatist interrogation of the morality of Sen. Ngige sharing the same platform with Nwoye, APGA has busied self, sponsoring half-truths on a jaded theorization of godfatherism as an albatross on the APC candidate. But the glitch is the paradox of a political party, APGA, enmeshed in godfatherism, turning back to look for an example elsewhere, thus, electing itself as the sole custodian of the key to political sainthood! Anyway, the elaborate provisions of section 40 of the constitution that guarantees the right of every Nigerian to freely associate, belong to or exit from any political party without let or hindrance is very clear. A democrat like Ngige should be the least to have problems with that. Doing otherwise would have rubbished his matchless legacy as governor. It would have also been a sludge on his unimpeachable representation as Senator representing Anambra Central, indeed, entire Anambra for almost seven months that Andy Uba and Mrs. Okadigbo were at election petitions courts. His extant peerless stewardship as the Minister of Labour would have also been cast on a blurry spotlight. Ngige couldn’t have attempted narrowing the political space in APC when all eyes are on him to give direction and cut short the extant bland governance in the state. I will come back to this after I have x-rayed the process that produced Tony Nwoye as candidate and its implications for the electoral arithmetic that will likely play out on November 18 .

To do this, a look at what transpired across the major parties will easily delineate the tracks and situate the front position of the APC on the relay to November 18. The mass participatory process of the party’s primary election beautifully adds to the democratic credentials of the APC; such a huge credit that sets it apart from other parties. The sheer number, 4332 delegates does not only raise the huddle and stake, it also makes the game the mettle for the strong and popular. Of all, Nwoye scored 2146 while his closest rival, Andy Uba scored 931.
The margin of victory is emphatic but the underlying inference is that were Andy Uba to be in PDP that had a total of 958 delegates, he would have pocketed its ticket with his 931 votes against Oseloka Obaze’s 672. APGA where Obiano was the sole contestant wasn’t different . It had a total of 1,092 delegates and he polled 1,070. The UPP that starred Osita Chidoka as the sole candidate had 1,222 delegates. If these statistics crystalize the state of this major political parties, it foreshadows too, the inherent strength of each candidate and by extension, the laden capacity of the party for the election. Consider this situation please. If each of the 4,332 delegates who directly participated in the APC primary is mobilized in their respective electoral wards to influence at least 50 persons to vote for Tony Nwoye, the APC would have netted in 216, 600 votes from party members alone, making the election as good as won. If the same mathematics is applied to Obaze and Obiano, they will garner only 47, 000 votes , and 54, 000 votes respectively.

A little back in history will provide further insight. In 2010, Peter Obi scored 97, 833 votes to win the governorship election and in 2013, amidst heavy allocation of votes which APGA successfully achieved with the connivance of PDP led Federal Government, the incumbent Willie Obiano won with 180, 178 votes. As things stand today, the APC is the most fully mobilized political party in the state and the reason is obvious. The party within the past three months leading to the primary had at least seven of its juggernauts traverse the nooks and crannies of the state , reviving old alliances and making new ones. No other party gearing up for the November election has such an impact. That partly explains why securing the APC ticket was as competitive as going for the main election. No wonder the outcome was so much anticipated. Just as Nwoye and Uba were combing the villages for delegates and supporters, George Moughalu, Paul Chuwkuma, Barth Nwibe , Johnbosco Onunkwo were also scavenging the wards for support. It stands to reason that what is left for the APC is to harness this and the outcome of the election would have been decided even before the ballots are cast . APGA’s woes is compounded by the very fact that the much-anticipated post primary implosion where other aspirants will abandon the APC as was the case in the then PDP turned a remote possibility as all who lost, have pledged commitment to the victory of the party. What else can APGA do? Governor Obiano’s nunc dimitis, unfortunately, has been written! What again can APGA do?

Nwachukwu Obidiwe, a journalist writes from Abuja.