Joe Igbokwe, publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Lagos State, has advised Igbo politicians to remain in the People’s Democratic Party to build a formidable opposition rather than defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).Igbokwe said that this is the only thing that would make the world to take them serious.
Igbokwe said in his paper titled ‘Can the Igbo Play Opposition for the Next 10 Years,’ that the Igbo would not die if they are not in the APC or part of the government. “After all, the Yoruba have been in the opposition for a long time—since the 1960s, and they have not perished. Let the Igbo work with other PDP leaders across Nigeria to start strategising to reposition, rebrand, and rebuild the PDP. This is the way to political rebirth and redemption. If you have bushes to clear, you have to sharpen your cutlass very well,” he said.
Igbokwe noted that it was shameful that many Igbo politicians, who claimed they were right to have voted for former President Goodluck Jonathan at the last poll, were regretting their decision and looking for ways to join the APC.
He said shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari defeated Jonathan on March 28, panic gripped Igbo politicians, businessmen, women and the traders. “I remember a night in the house of a very successful Igbo trader in Ikoyi shortly after the presidential election, when it became obvious that President Buhari had carried the day. They gathered to contribute money to support the APC. Even those who travelled home for the Easter holiday donated money from the East just to belong. I felt ashamed that my people couldn’t defend their honour and integrity even in the time of trouble.”
Igbokwe said that the recent hosting of Rochas Okorocha in Lagos by a section of Igbo leaders was a sign that they want to defect to the APC. “On Saturday, July 25, 2015, a group that worked against the APC in Lagos called Igbo United Political Forum organised a programme to honor Governor Rochas Okorocha. Behind the smokescreen was an attempt to sneak through the back door to the APC, having missed the front door on March 28 and April 11, 2015. The organisers reaped what they sowed, as all the APC leaders they invited stayed away.”
By Dike Onwuamaeze