By Wale Adedayo
The All Progressives Congress (APC) is about to throw away a good chance at getting a South-East state to its side, given the reported resignation of Senator Annie Okonkwo as campaign manager to Dr. Chris Ngige. It is not as if Okonkwo has any magic wand with which to command the electorates and win the elections for APC. But whoever suggested him as campaign manager has good political management capabilities because he is also a force to be reckoned with in that state. You need to give aspirants who lost out in party primaries prominent roles in the campaign so that internal haemorrhaging does not happen.
Okonkwo, according to media reports, is accusing of not keeping to his words. The man was quoted as writing in a letter to APC national chairman that, “I regrettably decline the appointment and also disassociate myself from the candidature of our flag bearer, Senator Chris Ngige. My decision was borne out of the inability of not keeping to agreement and flagrant distrust and abuses by our flag bearer who, of course, showed no appreciation of supreme sacrifice of stepping down for him.”
This could mean many things. But what immediately comes to my mind is money, and secondly, a firm promise of what’ll go to Okonkwo’s supporters once Ngige wins the elections. There is no reason the national leadership of APC should not have seen this coming. It is a normal thing in politics for those who lost out to be compensated. In a situation where the flagbearer is not trusted, it is a leader with clout, credibility and almost limitless funds that will step in.
That is why there is need for ONE acknowledged Leader, whose influence should be able to sort out serious problems arising from personality clashes in a political party in our Third World setting. Definitely, Chief Bisi Akande, is a caretaker for the two landlords of APC – Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. Akande is only a national chairman in name, not in reality, thus he does not fit the bill of the Leader mentioned earlier, who Okonkwo should have cried out to, or who would have even called Okonkwo and ‘sorted’ him out.
The Leader in question MUST have a very deep pocket, and not be an ‘Accountant’ with money in any way. In this wise, Buhari does not fit the bill too, which is why I’ll blame the absence of The Jagaban Borgu on whatever problem is being faced by the APC in Anambra State today. Only a Tinubu can conveniently bring Okonkwo back on board, and in a manner that’ll compel the man to throw in everything necessary to ensure victory for APC in the November elections.
It is not too late to rectify this damage as both APGA and PDP will be too happy to have Okonkwo on board. Tinubu’s key people know the damage this can do to their party in the election in that state. For me, only a victory in Anambra State can confirm APC’s presence in the South-East, not Rochas Okorochas many words in Imo State. Doing the needful to make this happen will be a plus for the APC and remove the toga of Hausa-Fulani-Yoruba gang-up against the Igbo, which the party currently represents in the mind of the average person from the South-East.