By Umar Muhammad Puma
Emeka Ojukwu jnr, son of late Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu on Wednesday disclosed that 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 process of the country.
Ojukwu jnr said this when he was formally received into the APC by the Party’s National Leadership led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun at the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.
Odigie-Oyegun was accompanied by the Party’s Deputy National Chairman (South), Engr. Segun Oni; National Vice Chairman (South-East), Hon. Emma Eneukwu; National Auditor, Chief (Dr.) George Moghalu and Chief of Staff to the APC National Chairman, Mr. Edwin Ikhinmwin.
Recall that Ojukwu jnr had earlier made his declaration in Awka at a rally for Tony Nwoye, the APC candidate for the November 18 Anambra governorship election.
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 have 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 are part of Igbo and Igbo are valued part of the Nigerian nation. We hit around the 25 per cent 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 be shackles that hold us in one place, rather they should be stepping stones and building 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, you will be marginalized. 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 at your service to help us achieve our dreams. For me, anyway that I can help to push this message forward, I am ready.”
While formally receiving Ojukwu jnr. into the Party, the APC National Chairman said his entry to the Party will be a major asset in the APC’s ongoing drive to mainstream the South East in the national governance and political decision making process in the APC.
Odigie-Oyegun said despite losing the recent Anambra governorship election, the Party’s performance clearly showed that progress is being made in terms of the Party’s appeal and inroads in the South East.