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TONY EJIOGU, APGA GUBER CANDIDATE: SO MANY ENEMIES AGAINST ONE MAN ( PSALM 62.3)

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TONY EJIOGU, APGA GUBER CANDIDATE: SO MANY ENEMIES AGAINST ONE MAN ( PSALM 62.3)

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Ever since he emerged as the consensus candidate of APGA for the 2023 guber elections in Imo State, the Emekuku born technocrat, Mr Tony Ejiogu has kept receiving jabs. Stones have been hurled on his barely-bared head. Those on whose heels he stepped swore never to forgive him. Among those who took him up in the recent weeks is the clique we could describe as the foundational curse of APGA. In this category are men and women who see their membership of APGA as an opportunity to service their needs every four years. They are never concerned about the growth of the party neither do they give a wink on the possibility of APGA emerging victorious in any election. Growth of the party membership and prospect of enthroning an APGA government are tangential to their thoughts. Their political struggles are targeted at membership of the National Working Committee of the party, the National Executive Council of the Party, etc. Some of these men and women have been in the party’s NWC, NEC and SWC since the birth of the party. Using these plum political positions as stepping stone to negotiating the fate of APGA, these men and women, few as they are and unpopular too, they see any attempt at redesigning the fate of APGA as an attack on their survival.

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Imo APGA messed up in 2015 and 2019 because of the activities of their foundational curses. The detectors of the direction of the party preferred to work and align with the government in power rather than struggle to place APGA at the epicentre of power. One of these opportunist whose grip over Imo state APGA has been as firm as the clutches of Damotles, is busy creating disaffection everywhere simply because his well hatched plan to swindle candidates as has been his trade, didn’t come to pass. Prior to the entrance of Mr Tony Ejiogu to the gubernatorial race, Imo State APGA has been a party under the armpit of a Barrister with no verifiable chamber, a politician with no ascertainable stronghold and a man who has no clear source of livelihood. He dominates and governs the State Working Committee of the Party and rides on the back of whoever falls on his track. Barrister Steve Nwoga is his name.

Steve’s grudge hinges on the fact that he sees Tony Ejiogu as a threat to his survival in APGA. Steve Nwoga has been the dictator in Imo State APGA. He abhors light. He doesn’t cherish men with clean mind and heart. He is possibly not going to find it easy to work with a candidate who wouldn’t submit himself to his antics, machinations and dictations. Steve wanted to become the next National Chairman of APGA and ambition that crumbled on the weight of his inadequacies. The National Leadership of the party wrote him off. All those who desire to see a stronger APGA moved swiftly against his desire. He was literally disgraced at Awka and was forced to drop his bid. Those who know him alerted the owners of the party and gambits were cordoned off! He returned from Awka, defeated and dejected. Someone who could not add a little point to the life of his state’s APGA wanted to become the party’s national face. The dexterity with which the outgoing National Chairman of APGA, Ozomkpu Victor Oye dealt with the selfish plans of Barrister Steve Nwoga is very salvific.

Nwoga was busy moving through the length and breath of the state looking for a buyer. He claims ownership of APGA and promises to hand over the party to whoever pays handsomely for the Guber ticket .He reached out to desperate guber failures from some political parties with a promise to handover the APGA structure to them in return for funds and positions. Steve Nwoga has not been working alone. Insiders have indicted the controversial APGA State Chairman, Mr Iwuala and some of the members of the State Working Committee. Iwuoha and his team felt aggrieved over the manner in which the Party guber flag-bearer emerged. The party faithfuls have opted for a consensus formula; an arrangement that knocked out opportunities for ‘consultations and possible bribe taking”. The decent-American trained Ejiogu felt there was no need to bribe APGA state officials for his guber ticket. And this was what incensed the anger of Steve Nwoga and his gang. They felt that they were deprived of an opportunity to settle some mounting bills.
At the moment, Iwuala, who has managed to get himself back as the State Chairman of APGA in transposition of known zonal formula is not working for the interest of his party. John Iwuala is from the zone that produced his party’s guber candidate and he doesn’t see anything wrong in it. The party members are seriously kicking against what they termed as domestication of offices of the governor and the party chairman in one senatorial zone ( Owerri) As this is going on, Steve, Iwuala and others encouraged General Ogunewe to pick up the gubernatorial ticket of the Action Alliance. This became expedient as these actors couldn’t succeed in convincing the mainstream APGA to replace her candidate with Rtd General Ogunewe. Not a few believe that the retired General would name Steve Nwoga as the Director General of his Gubernatorial campaign team. Some members of the State Working Committee of APGA may make the list of the Campaign Council of the AA guber candidate. That shows how biting, their desperation is.
We are interested in the end desire of the likes of Steve Nwoga, John Iwuala. Both are working at clear polar with the desires and interests of Ndi Imo. At this critical moment, when all forces are directed towards securing a better future and building a greater Imo State, efforts made to return Imo State to abyss cannot be for the interest of the state. Efforts that are made to run the governorship of the state in partnership with Rochas Okorocha and his Rescue Mission, and moves that are being made to draft into the project, forces that may have brought Imo State to her hopeless situation, must be resisted by all men and women of goodwill.

We are calling on the National Leadership of APGA to wade into the anti-party activities of Steve Nwoga, John Iwuala, Chyma, Comrade Edede Frankline Maduabuchi and the rest. Never in our recent history has the odds been in clearer favour for the party towards a successful gubernatorial outing than now. The emergence of Mr Tony Ejiogu as the candidate of APGA worth celebrating and every member of the party should be preparing for a victory dance. APGA in Imo State has never been so close to victory in IMo State than it is at the moment. Detractors and hirelings from Mbaise should never be allowed to reenact the divisiveness of Edozie Njoku in APGA. A group whose loyalty and allegiance to the National body is shaky must not be allowed to determine the fate of the party in their state. Individuals who are openly working for the success of a candidate of the rivalry party must be made to face disciplinary consequences in APGA. Since both Steve Nwoga and John Iwuala have vowed not to support their party’s flag bearer, they should not be allowed to use the machinery of the party to accomplish their inordinate desires.

All the media attacks, hostility and incitements recorded in the last few weeks are traceable to the refusal to sell the APGA ticket to the highest bidder. Tony Ejiogu is not desperate. His eyes are on the guber elections and not on what he would gain from the party. He is busy gaining and winning support across the state and wouldn’t think of debasing his campaign thrusts. A gentleman to the core and one who has vowed to run an issue-based campaign, Mr Ejiogu believes strongly in APGA and wouldn’t entertain doubts on the viability of the party. Efforts that are underway to weaken the party and if possible dampen the morale of Mr Ejiogu and his teeming supporters wouldn’t fly. As Steve Nwoga and his few dissidents are busy working against the gubernatorial aspiration of the candidate, support for Mr Tony Ejiogu keeps streaming from other political parties.

Imo citizens are taking the gubernatorial aspiration of Mr Tony Ejiogu serious. He offers hope and prospect of survival of Imo State at the moment when the current administration is buying off structures of opposition and quenching dissenting voices. Not a few believe that the APGA candidate is the only one who is not being sponsored by the government in power. The character and pedigree of the candidate come to play. Mr Tony Ejiogu is impeccable. He has a name to protect. He also has a future to guard. APGA stands the best chance to produce the next governor of Imo State if the retrogressive and highly despicable acts of Steve Nwoga and his cohorts are arrested at this point. Those who pray for a better Imo State must disregard the words and writings of the likes of Steve Nwoga.

Jude Nwanguma, an APGA enthusiast writes from Umuna, Orlu LGA, Imo State

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