2019 Election: Use Your Brain Now, Chekwas Okrie warns Ndigbo
By Henry Uwalaka.
The National Chairman of United Progressive Party UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie says political wisdom suggests an improved political strategy for Ndigbo to be relevant in Nigeria political context.
Chief Okroie made this known while responding to comments over UPP adoption of President Muhammadu Buhari as their presidential candidate.
The UPP National Chairman in his statements said; “I am surprised that our people, do not appreciate the political trajectory we are charting based on practical reality in our country today. Let me briefly narrate a few points that are self evident.
“The two foremost Presidential Candidates namely PMB of the APC and ATIKU of the PDP are both moslems, Fulanis and in their 70s. Head or tail the North will produce the President of Nigeria on 16/02/2019.”
“The South West have all of their 6 States controlled by the APC while their opposite leaders are led by the powerful OBJ in the PDP. Head or tail the South West will remain relevant in government.”
The South South controls the administrative and political machineries of the APC and the PDP by way of producing the National Chairmen of both Parties. Head or tail the South South will be in government.”
“There is no South East political leader that seats where decisions are made in any of these two front line political parties. That is the reason no Igbo politician in the PDP was privy to the appointment of Gov. Peter Obi as Atiku's running mate. Except in the highly unlikely event of an Atiku presidency, Ndigbo will be out in the cold for another 4 years and indeed the laughing stock of Nigerian politics because we will turn out to be the geopolitical zone that put its eggs in the PDP basket as we did in 2015. Political wisdom suggests an improved strategy this time.
“UPP has not collapsed into the APC. We have only engaged PMB for the 2019 presidential election under a well structured Memorandum of Understanding. The NCNC and the NPP under the leadership of the legendary Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe were similarly engaged with the NPC and the NPN in the 2nd and 3rd republics respectively. Ndigbo retained their political relevance in Nigeria in those circumstances.”
“If APGA was not high jacked and turned into a cash cow with Ndigbo watching helplessly, shortly after we led Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu successfully to the 2003 presidential election in Nigeria there would have been no need to form UPP.
“We have granted that our people in PDP and APC are at liberty to belong to their chosen parties and negotiate their best for Ndigbo. Why we are not granted similar liberty to make and live with our choice of political engagement, especially when our choice was the unanimous policy decision of the National Executive Committee of our great Party.
“On a personal note, I can boast that I have paid my dues to my people. I remain the longest standing opposition Igbo politician ever. Ndigbo are not cutout for opposition politics. Opposition is a lonely road. I am in a position to know.
“It is too late in the day for me to turn against Ndigbo under any circumstance. My antecedents and track records speak for me. I have never gone for public appointments. I have always relied on my personal resources and the support of a few friends to make my contributions in favour of Ndigbo. I have always made my interventions on the platforms I founded. I challenge any Igbo leader with a better Igbo profile than me to step forward to be recognised. Those who choose to misunderstand and misrepresent me today will understand me tomorrow. I have passed through the same route before, at the formative days of APGA.
“I challenge all Igbo political leaders who have benefitted from the PDP patronages for 16 years (1999-2015) to show Ndigbo any social, economic and infrastructural development they attracted to any part of Ala Igbo.”