Home News Tragic mistakes made by Igbo APC Leaders – Innocent Ebirim Okadigbo
News - February 21, 2017

Tragic mistakes made by Igbo APC Leaders – Innocent Ebirim Okadigbo

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu

It was the late Revolutionary Comrade, Marxist Economist and Radical

Scholar, Esko Toyo who established in 1991 at Imo State (now Abia

State) University Uturu during the declining days of the former USSR

that, “if Joseph Stalin made a mistake by introducing communism,

Mikhail Gorbachev was equally negative for dismantling it.”


Similarly, if at all the South-East geopolitical region made a mistake

during the 2015 presidential election by not voting for Buhari or by

casting their votes in one direction as the wise saying goes, putting

ones eggs in one basket; the current position of South East APC

leaders in addressing the so-called mistake is negative because their

position is beggarly, self-centered, myopic, ridiculous, hasty,

betrayal, lack clear ideological content and political sagacity and

not in tandem with current political realities as canvassed



Abinitio, I must sound this note of warning that APC South – East

leaders should stop blaming and ridiculing the region for not giving

Buhari bloc or massive votes. The appropriate time to blame the region

is at the end of Buhari’s tenure in 2019. If Buhari excels as a

leader, it becomes timely and justified to appropriate blames on the

South-East for lacking the foresight to be part of the winning and

success team. However, if Buhari fails at the end of his four year

tenure, the South East will be exonerated, vindicated and exculpated

for not being part of the disastrous team that brought woes for the

country and the vision and sagacity of the South – East will be



It is therefore hasty and early to start apportioning blames to the

South-East for not voting for Buhari en-bloc. The performance of

Buhari at the end of his tenure will determine the nature of blame on

the South-East.


If at all there will be any blame on the South-East at this point,

such blame should be heaped on the South-East leaders who failed to

use their sensitive and resource allocation positions during the 16

year PDP tenure to appropriate gigantic projects for the region. We

should blame our Senators like Ken Nnamani and Jim Nwobodo who were

sabotaging themselves in the upper chambers and who produced five

Senate Presidents in 8 years and could not do tangible things for

their people while the North Central Zone produced only one Senate

President in 8 years.


We should blame such leaders like Anyim pius Anyim who was the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for four years having previously served as the Senate President and do not have much to show to his people for all these lucrative positions. We should equally blame the South-East leaders who hid under the

camouflage of the region to enrich their personal pockets at the

expense of their people.


The point I am trying to make is that we should realize where and when

to apportion blame on the South – East. After all, what is wrong with

opposition status? The South – East had been in the main stream

politics for 16 years but could not utilize the opportunity well.

Buhari emerged from excruciating opposition to main position and the

same status was applicable to the South – West. At no point did they

ridicule themselves because they were in opposition. Opposition is a

period of deep reflection for wise political strategies and

re-alignment of political forces. It is not a period of committing

political gaffes just like the APC South East leaders did in Owerri



The Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha recently hosted

South East APC leaders meeting in Owerri where the forum decided among

others to support PMB for re-election in 2019 and clinch the

Presidency in 2023. The forum pronounced the former Senate President

and new entrant to the party, Ken Nnamani as the Apex leader of the

party in the zone and revealed that 3 South-East Governors were on

their way to the party. Those who attended the meeting had barely

reached their various homes when the outcomes of the meeting started

generating heat and opprobrium.


Not only that the South-East Governors distanced themselves from APC,

the Governors of Imo and Anambra States used gutter language to wash

their dirty linens in the public. The Ebonyi State chapter of the

party openly and vehemently rejected Ken Nnamani as the Apex leader of

the party in the zone and instead named Chief Ogbonnaya Onu who had

labored for the party right from day one as the Apex leader. The

Owerri meeting had continued to generate heated debate, discordant

tunes, insults and controversies among Igbo Elite.

In comparison, it was the strategic politics played by the South-West

that made political gladiators in Nigeria cede power to the region in

  1. After late MKO Abiola’s presidential victory was thwarted in

1993; the South West almost let hell loose in the country. They were

united, vocal, violent, consistent, strategic and tactical in

demanding for the redress of that injustice.


They formed NADECO as a platform to realize their dream and the group

vociferously fought for the realization despite dissenting voice from

their people like Obasanjo. The North got back power in 2015 with

terrible propaganda; united political forces; super political

strategies and tactics. The G7 made up of mainly Northern Governors

were united in canvassing for the return of power to the North in

  1. The North unleashed serious propaganda and blackmail against

former President Goodluck Jonathan and then ruling PDP after forming

the mega party – APC. They were indirect threats of violence should

Nigeria fail to return power to the North in 2015.


I argue that South – East APC leaders’ position is beggarly because

their demand is not strong and not backed by any threat unlike what

was obtainable in South – West and the North before they got power.

You do not beg for power but you struggle and negotiate for it. They

ignored the marginalization and humiliation of Ndigbo by the present

administration as if Igobs are no longer Nigerians. They tied the

political destiny of a strong Nation like Igbo to the personal

ambition of an individual who we are not sure easily forgives others.

They threw away Biafran struggle which is the only reason why national

political gladiators are giving credence to the South East.


They should have strongly negotiated for 2019 first before finally

settling with 2023. The North negotiated for 2011 before they got

  1. This is the secret of diplomacy. The leaders spoke to the air

without having anybody in mind for any response. Their position should

have been presented in meetings and documented demands to PMB and APC

National Chairman who will study the matter and thereafter respond.

They should have bargained with Biafran struggle. Give us power and we

shall pacify the Biafran agitators. It is self-centered championed by

expired and desperate politicians, contractors who need relevance,

patronage and presidential tickets respectively. The APC South-East

leaders position is myopic because it lacked wide consultation and

tilted towards one direction otherwise Ogbonnaya Onu or Rochas

Okorocha should have  been named as the South East APC apex leader.


Ken Nnamani is new in the party and need to wait for sometime before

such status. Justice demands that too. Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and

the South-East Governors who recently distanced themselves from APC

were not consulted before dropping their names as possible or

potential members of the party. The wider spectrum of Ibo political

stakeholders both in Nigeria and abroad were not consulted before the

Owerri meeting otherwise its outcomes would not have been challenged

as such. It was supposed to be an Igbo affair and not only APC affair.


Their position is also ridiculous because the outcome of the meeting

is a subject of public odium and abuses. It was a hasty decision

because it rejected former President Obasanjo’s call for Presidency to

go the South-East in 2019 for equity, justice, fairplay and sense of

belonging. They should have trusted Obasanjo because the man had done

it before for the South-South by promoting former President Goodluck

Jonathan’s Presidency. Even if they did not adopt Obasanjo’s position,

they should have used it as a tool for political bargain and



As an associate Northerner, I felt the feelings of most

Northerners agreeing with Obasanjo’s position at least for the unity

of Nigeria but the hasty Owerri meeting has scattered everything. Many

South-Easterners felt betrayed that the meeting threw away Obasanjo’s

position. The ideological content of the meeting is not clear. The

meeting obviously did not mention Biafra and restructuring and could

not produce a sound roadmap for the Ibo Presidency. Put differently,

the meeting is suffering from a State of political syncretism or



The position of the meeting was not sagacious because it did not take

popular decisions that can stand the test of time. Among others, their

position was not in line with current realities. They should have used

Biafran struggle as a tool for negotiation assuring political

stakeholders that if South – East was fully integrated in mainstream

politics; they could use that to pacify the agitators. They should

have urged the federal Government to stop killing armless, harmless

and peaceful Biafran demonstrators. With the current hatred against

the Igbos in the Nigeria project; Biafran identity which is a peaceful

project not necessarily for secession is a strong political and

negotiating tool for the region after all the Southwest unleashed

mayhem in Nigeria before they got power in 1999 while there were

series of threats of making this country ungovernable before the North

got power in 2015.


As it is now, the APC South – East leaders meeting is a failure. As a

saving grace, the John Nwodo led Ohaneze should establish a

consultation committee which will consult locally, nationally and

internationally on the political destiny of the South – East people. (culled from Brandcampaign)

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