BY GBOYEGA ADEYEMI
HAVE they forgotten that Akume and Uzamere could best be described as accidental or circumstantial members of the party and Obende was a greenhorn in the political arena who rode on the back of Governor Adams Oshiomhole to emerge victorious in the election.
It is clear to every Nigerian that since 2006 Ngige co-founded the party with the likes of Tinubu, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and others, he has remained a committed and loyal party man to the core in the face of carrots being dangled before him by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on several occasions, which he had sacrificed for the party.
Ahead of the Anambra governorship election in February 2010, Ngige was approached by the leadership of the PDP under Chief Vincent Ogbulafor to fly the party flag in the election, an offer he categorically rejected, insisting that he was comfortable in ACN and remained the candidate to beat in the election.
Despite the glaring irregularities, ranging from compromising of voters register to disenfranchisement of voters that characterized the election, Ngige emerged the second runner up ahead of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo of the PDP and others.
Today the outcome of the election is still a subject of litigation pending at the tribunal as Ngige is questioning the constitutionality of INEC’s declaration of Governor Peter Obi of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, the winner of the election, having failed to meet the constitutional requirements of securing one quarter votes in two-third of the council areas in the State.
It is expected that at the end of the legal battle, if the judgement goes in favour of Ngige, there will be a run-off between him and Obi.
Before the just concluded April polls, many Nigerians had expected that Ngige would emerge as Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s running mate in the Presidential election, but he opted to contest for the Anambra Central senatorial seat. An election that was keenly contested and repeated, but at the end, due to his popularity and acceptance by the people, he defeated the candidate of the ruling party in the State, Prof. Dora Akunyili.
Apart from his own victory, his political influence and prowess helped ACN to win four State House of Assembly and one House of Representatives seats in the state during the elections. Before and during the elections, the ruling party in the State (APGA) had engaged in a serious campaign of calumny portraying ACN as a Yoruba party with no structure or good plan for the people of the Southeast zone. They even printed fliers bearing Ngige, Akande and Tinubu’s pictures which they distributed to voters in the state, all in a bid to ensure that the party loses out in the election in the State.
But with Ngige’s political exploits and track record, since his foray into the murky water of the country’s politics, which placed him ahead of his peers in the zone and beyond, the voters massively voted for him and his party in the election.
It is believed that with APGA’s dismal performance in the last elections in the Southeast, the choice of Ngige as Senate minority leader will provide ACN the opportunity to take over the Southeast zone and other zones across the country from the PDP, a development that will make it difficult for the ruling PDP to beat ACN in the 2015 general elections in the country. There is no other better opportunity for the leadership of ACN to reposition the party and prove to the people that the party is not a regional party than now by choosing Ngige for the position of Senate Minority Leader instead of Akume.
The choice of Ngige will definitely erase the perception by many that ACN is a regional or Tinubu’s party. It will equally put the ruling PDP members in the Senate on the spot that it is not going be business as usual in the Senate anymore.Taking into cognizance all the requirements for the position, it is clear that Ngige is the man the cap fits and should be so crowned.
That is the only way the whole of the old Eastern Region could be compensated and honoured for the massive support they have given the party. Anything short of this will mean short-changing of the zone by ACN leaders who are mostly Yorubas .
It is obvious that the choice of Akume by some cabal in the party might spell doom for the party as it seems to have started generating bad blood in the party already. The claim by Lai Mohammed that all is well with the party on the choice of principal officers in the National Assembly is a farce.
Mr. Adeyemi, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Abuja.
New York Times
Advertise with us
Rules And Regulations