APGA'S IMO VICTORY AND OBI'S POLITICAL SAGACITY
The victory of Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha in the just-concluded Imo governorship election, no doubt has advanced the quest for an Igbo identity in a heterogeneous Nigerian society.
This is so because that historic feat of ousting the incumbent Governor Ikedi Ohakim of a party with seeming national spread the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was achieved on the platform of one that is yet to enjoy the same rating, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
APGA was nurtured by the indomitable Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu.
Formed nearly 10 years ago, Governor Peter Obi gave the party the needed blossom by contesting the governorship of Anambra State on its platform in 2003. The humble dispositions of the governor which he exhibited during his 2003 campaign and the dogged manner with which he fought and recovered his stolen mandate from the courts after three years of legal battle, made APGA more of a creed than a political party in the South East and beyond.
Further attempt by anti-Igbo forces to destabilize the Obi/ APGA government via impeachment and unconstitutional conduct of election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2007 showed all and sundry that somebody, somewhere was out there to stifle the Ojukwu dream of giving the Igbo an identity through a political party.
But in all this, Obi remained resolute and committed to ensure that APGA grows beyond the shore of Anambra state. Thus when the opportunity called in Abia, Obi was ready to stamp the Onye aghala nwanne ya philosophy in Abia state, but again the anti Igbo forces frustrated that attempt by luring Governor Theodore Orji back to the PDP. However, those with foresight still believe that all hopes are not lost in that respect.
While that venture failed in Abia, Obi did not relent until recently when Imo state made bold statement by rejecting the PDP government in the state and voted for APGA. Today, Imo people are glad that they have been hooked to the national grid of Igbo consciousness, so to speak.
That opportunity came during the keenly contested Imo Governorship election of April 26 and the supplementary polls of May 6. During the period under review, Governor Obi was determined to ward off the sleaze of election misconduct by giving Rochas all the support to make good the vision of enthroning APGA in the entire Southeast and beyond.
Okorocha in a thank-you visit to Governor Obi at the Government House, Awka three days after his election said he lacked words with which to thank Governor Obi and the National Chairman of the party, Victor Umeh for his victory in the Imo polls.
Okorocha maintained that the march to advance the Igbo cause via a credible platform had been given a push by Obi's avowed demonstrable commitment in giving the Igbo nation an identity in Nigeria.
He commended Governor Obi for what he (Obi) did for Imo people by his (Okorocha's) election as the new helmsman of Imo state.
The South West by the last general elections has created a political niche for themselves by embracing wholly and entirely the Action Congress of Nigeria as their own.
With that feat, the zone has become a powerful bloc in the country to contend with.
It is expected that now Governor Obi has raised the stake in APGA by sixty percent in the last general elections via the election of Rochas Okorocha as the Governor of Imo State, and securing of more seats for APGA both in the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly, all hands must be on deck to re-awaken the Onye aghala nwnne ya consciousness in Ndigbo. Now is the time.