Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said despite losing the recent Anambra State governorship election, the partyâ€™s performance clearly showed that progress is being made in terms of the partyâ€™s appeal and inroads in the South-east.
Oyegunâ€™s remark came just as the son of the late Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, Emeka Ojukwu jnr yesterday disclosed that his decision to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) was driven by his believe that the South-east must occupy its rightful place in the national governance and the political decision making process of the country.
Speaking while formally receiving Ojukwu junior at the national secretariat of the APC in Abuja, Oyegun said the party would not rest on its oars but would immediately set in motion the process of analysing what transpired during the election.
â€œI consider that we have made a lot of gains inspite of not winning Anambra State. But it is clear if people interpret properly that the APC given the base from which we were starting, given the kind of intense propaganda that goes out there that the South-east is against the APC – whether it is religion, ethnic or even historical – we have made some progress.
â€œBut we are not resting on that. We are immediately setting up a team to study the elections, to look at whatever significant issues it has thrown up, to find ways in which we can improve our performance as we spread into the rest of the South-east, basically to tell us what we did not do right in Anambra State which we need to correct as the electoral processes begin in the rest of the South-east.
â€œWe hope it will throw up valuable lessons that will help us perform much better in subsequent elections in the South-east,â€ he said.
On his part, Ojukwu Jnr explained the his reason for joining the APC, saying: â€œI decided to lead by example. I have been talking about this for a while and I decided it was time to take the step forward. It is a challenge, there are some people that will not be happy about that, but you have to be bold, take a step and let people understand where you are coming from and why you are doing what you are doing.
â€œAPC have been seen in our part of the country as the â€˜otherâ€™ and I believe we are now showing that the APC is a Party that can contend equally with any other party in the South-east and do just as well.
â€œWe now know that Igbo people are part of the APC, the APC are part of Igbo and Igbo are valued part of the Nigerian nation. We hit around the 25 per cent mark in terms of votes in the Anambra election which is not bad given where we are coming from. I think in the future, we are going to do a lot better,â€™â€ he said.