BY ONYEDIKACHUKWU OBIORA, ENUGU – Former Governor of Anambra State and current Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, says Governor Willie Obiano, as a practical person, is good for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)
He said immediately after his tenure at the Anambra State government house, Governor Obiano will ready to play politics at the centre being a pragmatist and a realist.
“When he finishes serving, he will come. I’m sure. He is a pragmatist, he is a realist. I have tried to let him know that the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is good, but it’s a regional party. You can’t use a regional party to go and do election and fight. People have abandoned the idea of regional parties. That’s why AD, AC decided that after many years of staying at the periphery of Federal Government, they decided to coalesce with LPP; CPC and rebel faction of APGA, led by Rochas Okorocha and formed APC.”
Speaking with newsmen in Awka, the Anambra state capital, Senator Ngige said given the governor Obiano’s nationalistic disposition, the APC present an ideal platform for him to play progressive and inclusive politics.
“Regional parties are not in vogue and the governor knows. Even his predecessor, Peter Obi, when he was using APGA to canvass and do other things, it dawned on him that he cannot be playing in the region with a regional party. He can’t come to national with a regional party and that is why he unceremoniously defected. In fact, they started the defection you are seeing today. Obi is part of the early defectors.
“So, he joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but Obiano is a progressive. Any day he will do it, we will sit with him and arrange it in such a way that the Igbo will go into a party that will reckon with them and that party is APC.”
This is even the Labour Minister insisted that supporting re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari remained the best bet for the South-East to take up Nigerian presidency come 2023.
Ngige said with the zone fully supporting APC in 2019 general election, President Buhari and the party would have the moral grounds and basis of equity to support a president of South East origin
He said it would be another grave political miscalculation for the zone repeats the 2015 mistake when the Igbos put all their eggs in the PDP’s basket against better reasoning only to turn around with cries of marginalisation.
“All I’m saying in effect is that the Igbo of the South-East must do political engineering and the step to take is to support the Buhari presidency for 2019 and vote for it with all their strength. Because by so doing, they will not be left out in the power sharing that will come thereafter”, the Minister said
However, reacting to comments by Senator Ngige about likely political moves by Governor Obiano, Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Don Adinuba has said Governor Obiano will not have any reason to abandon APGA for any other party.
According to him, both APC and PDP have failed Nigerians as they have nothing tangible to offer, adding; “Governor Obiano is what the great Zik of Africa would refer to as the “beautiful bride” wooed by every confident suitor. He is wanted by all the parties because of his record and brand of politics devoid of bitterness and primordial cleavages.
“But, he is not going anywhere. He is an APGA man, through and through. He is strongly backing a candidate who all Nigerians expect to win the presidential election.”