Dear APGA Leaders in Aba-South Constituency and Abia State,
I write you all this open letter to personally express the utmost concerns that I have for Abia State and the good people of Aba-South constituency. Abia is a cardinal point in the political structure that make up the South-Eastern part of Nigeria. Any failure in Abia State is a failure in the collective struggle of Igbos.
Firstly, I am not an indigene of Abia State, neither do I hold any business, structural, educational, political, scientific or familial interests in any of the communities that make up Aba-South constituency. Nonetheless, I am an Igbo indigene with purity of concerns for the generality of Igbos and Nigerians.
After deep brooding on why my worries should be about Abia State, a distant land from home, I came to the conclusion not to keep my truths to myself, hence this letter, an open writeup of all concerns to you all because I know these concerns of mine shouldn’t be overlooked. In addition, the societal gains and needful importance of these concerns will positively germinate well for the well-meaning people of Abia State.
Politics in Nigeria has become a colossal business and many, qualified and unqualified are attracted to it for many reasons. These reasons can be personal, collective, religious, missionary or even unknown. Whatever reason a person joins politics for, leadership was not designed for everyone. The past mistakes in Aba-South constituency must not repeat itself and on this premise, I stand.
APGA, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, a registered political party primarily known to hold, express and represent the overall views and interests of Igbos living in Nigeria and abroad is losing its focus and grip among Igbo people in Igbo lands.
Historically, the political representation of the views of Igbo people by APGA has long been a subject of public political debates due to recent changes and developments in the structure and internal leadership of APGA.
The poor institutional frameworks, personally driven political directions and loss of openness in the activities of its leaders have further badly affected the image of the party and the confidence Igbos hold for and regarding the party.
APGA was once a political party other parties, tribes and media outlets sought after when they want to know the opinions of Igbo people on any national, public, societal or governmental matters.
APGA used to speak on behalf of Ndi-Igbo because it was formed by Igbo leaders with the idea and notion that Igbo people needed a political party to champion their yearnings and interests on the regional and national political and governmental peripheries of governance in Nigeria.
Today, it is almost certain to say that APGA has lost the foundations of its formation. The conspicuous distance of Igbo people from APGA has rather made this too evident. The unfortunate loss of public trust, coercive application of APGA leaders’ wishes, leaders’ self-centered selection of candidates and defections to other parties by aggrieved members have contributed to why APGA finds its footing shaky even among Igbo people in Igbo lands.
However, succinctly put, the above mentioned institutional problems within APGA have gravely contributed to the strengths and political presence of other political parties in Igbo lands, political parties that now stand as threats to the electability of APGA candidates in various election levels in the South Eastern parts of Nigeria.
The realities in South East are unbecoming and I am disturbed about seeing Igbo people reliving another four years of inadequate growth and developments in their environments because of poor choices of candidates, selfish satisfaction of few in leadership positions in APGA and total tarnishment of APGA’s identity in South East.
Particularly, Aba South Constituency has suffered a lot, especially for those who flag the APGA brand. The poor representation of Aba South Constituency at the Abia State House of Assembly and the amount of defection of candidates after victory give me far more worries.
The current leadership of APGA, especially those in Aba-South constituency should be awakened to make decisions and Candidates’ selections that are best for the people. Leaders of APGA in Aba-South constituency and Abia, including those at the national levels, should not see selection of candidates as business opportunities to maximise personal benefits.
Candidates should be chosen based on their commitments to the party, contributions to the wards and party activities at the local levels, inclusion in their immediate constituency, history with their location, affiliation to the APGA, certainty of remaining in APGA after victory, academic and professional accomplishments.
Nevertheless, my fear is that the APGA leaders in Aba-South constituency are uninterested in making sure a solid APGA candidate, one who bears APGA at heart, represents the people of Aba-South at the Abia State House of Assembly in 2019. A few of these APGA Ward leaders are considering the highest bidders and planning to unconstitutionally sideline more qualified candidates on the basis of birthplace.
Dear APGA leaders, do not allow what happened in the past in Abia State in last elections to repeat itself. Don’t let your personal interests cost you credible candidates who will win elections and stay in your party. Don’t sell your holds and lose your base to foreign parties who do not mean well for Igbo people. Choose wisely and make sure everyone is given a fair opportunity to contest without any favouritism or cronyism in the selection processes.
Lastly, I wish you all the bests of regards and hope that you leaders are properly and needfully urged not to repeat past mistakes in denying the people of Aba-South and Abia State true representatives and representation, especially in the selection of candidates for next year’s elections.
God Bless Aba-South Constituency!
God Bless Abia State!!
God Bless Ndi-Igbo!!!
Stephen Chidiebere Ikebude