The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie Oyegun has said that the party’s performance at the just concluded Anambra governorship election was a clear indication that the party was making a major inroad into the southeastern part of the country.
Speaking when he formally received Emeka Ojukwu Jnr, son of late Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu into the party, Oyegun said the party intends to set up a committee to study the outcome of the outcome of the Anambra election with a view to finding out what went wrong and how to improve on subsequent elections.
He described Ojukwu Jnr as a major asset in the APC’s ongoing drive to mainstream the South East in the national government and political decision-making
He said: “I thank you for choosing the APC, a family that is practical in its political orientation.
It is significant that you chose the platform of the final rally at Akwa to make your very significant statement.
“I noted particularly the interpretation of your illustrious father’s interpretation of joining the NPN and the significance of being part of the Party’s decision making process such that for anybody who seeks to represent a large group, nationality of that nature, it is critical that he seeks to be where decisions that may affect his people are made.
“I hope the lesson went home, it is a lesson we will continue to propagate, particularly in the south-east because we hold the region very dear.
“I have no doubt that your appearance there (Akwa) also contributed significantly to the progress we have made in Anambra state and we are looking forward to being able to propagate that to the other South East states as we start approaching the next set of elections.
“I consider that we have made a lot of gains in spite of not winning the Anambra state. But it is clear if people interpret properly that the APC gave the base from which we were starting, given the kind of intense propaganda that goes out there that the South East is against the APC whether it is religion, ethnic or even historical we have made some progress.
“But we are not resting on that. We are immediately setting up a team to study the elections, to look at whatever significant issues it has thrown up, to find ways in which we can improve our performance as we spread into the rest of the South East, basically to tell us what we did not do right in Anambra State which we need to correct as the electoral processes begin in the rest of the South East.
“We hope it will throw up valuable lessons that will help us perform much better in subsequent elections in the South East. There is no question at all that your name is an asset, what you stand for is an asset and we hope that in the next few months, you will be much more closely integrated within the party structure at the national level and of course in the South East.
“For people to join us at this time is a clear indication that they understand what is going on and are ready to put their names, reputation, energies, and resources behind our effort to rebuild the country and be part of this process of change. This is a struggle that we must win.
The nation cannot afford to lose, because greatness beckons and unless we get our act right, we are not going to get there”.
Speaking earlier, Emeka Ojukwu Jnr, said his decision to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) was driven by his belief that the South East must occupy its rightful place in the national governance and the political decision-making
Ojukwu Jnr: “I decided to lead by example. I have been talking about this for a while and I decided it was time to take the step forward. It is a challenge, there are some people that will not be happy about that, but you have to be bold, take a step and let people understand where you are coming from and why you are doing what you are doing.
“APC has been seen in our part of the country as the ‘other’ and I believe we are now showing that the APC is a Party that can contend equally with any other Party in the South East and do
just as well.
“We now know that Igbo people are part of the APC, the APC is part of Igbo and Igbo are valued part of the Nigerian nation. We hit around the 25 percent mark in terms of votes in the Anambra election which is not bad given where we are coming from. I think in the future, we are going to do a lot better.
“Let me say this about my father, we shouldn’t take our history and our past to shackle that holds us in one place. Rather they should be stepping stones and build blocks to get us moving towards the future. When my father came back from exile, he had the option to join an ethnic-based party, but he chose to move to the centre and there was a reason for that.
“You need to be at the table where decisions are being made. If you are not there, you will always get the short end of the stick and you will be marginalised. That is the message I want to help to propagate. This is a much bigger party than the one I came from, so I put myself in your service to help us achieve our dreams. For me, anyway that I can help to push this message forward, I am ready.”