By Toby Chuks

The comment made against Senator Victor Umeh (Ohamadike) by Ben Obi alias Igwe APGA also called Mbuze Agulu over the exit of Umeh from APGA to the Labour Party has drawn the attention of political analysts who are well conversant with the politics of APGA and who know the massive contribution Ohamadike has made for the progress and survival of APGA. 

Yes, Umeh a former National Chairman of APGA indeed had a good political pact with the late Biafra warlord and the founding leader of APGA, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to drive Igbo political interest in Nigeria under APGA, but Umeh wouldn’t fold his hand and abandon Igbo political interest if APGA doesn’t consider him good enough as a candidate to champion the Igbo political interest in Nigeria.

Obviously, Igbo political interest is not tied with APGA alone, it can be pursued and realized through another political party. Umeh wanted to go to the Senate under APGA to champion the Igbo political agenda in Nigeria but APGA denied him the chance to do so and thus, he left APGA and embraced the Labour Party to pursue Igbo political agenda and that is not a crime in any way. 

Surely, Ojukwu won’t be offended seeing Umeh driving the Igbo cause in the Senate under Labour Party, Ojukwu will rather feel offended by those who denied Ohamadike the chance to champion the Igbo cause in the Senate under APGA. APGA is not the only vehicle that can take Ohamadike to Abuja to work for Ndigbo in the Senate Chamber of the National Assembly.

Analyst, Dr. Ejike Nwangwu believes that Ohamadike wouldn’t have sat down like mumu with his legs crossed inside a vehicle that was not ready to take him to his destination. Umeh wouldn’t have sat down to languish in a company where his services were no longer needed. 

A well-gifted Igbo man like Umeh with high potential to go places and with age and strength on his side cannot afford to be on a platform that doesn’t recognize his gifts and his potential nor is willing to help him realize and unleash his potential. Umeh wouldn’t have died for APGA while APGA is not worth it.

Another analyst, Prince Natt Osegbo posited that the ex-National Chairman did not leave APGA instead APGA left him. And that’s exactly the situation because denying Umeh the ticket to contest election under APGA is a clear indication that he is no longer required in the party. Going by what happened in the Senatorial primary election of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) held on May 28, 2022, to elect the candidate that will stand for APGA in the Anambra Central Senatorial election, one does not need a prophet to tell him or her that the services of Umeh are no longer needed in APGA. 

Imagine that foreign currency was pulled by highly placed people to make sure that Umeh lost the APGA ticket for Senatorial election to Dozie Nwankwo.

Before the election, Umeh was the toast of the people as notable stakeholders of APGA and Igbo leaders across the board both in Nigeria and in Diaspora have at separate points endorsed him for Senate on the ground that he is most capable to give Anambra Central in particular and Ndigbo, in general, a quality representation in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly. It was the same Ben Obi alias, (Igwe APGA) who is blackmailing Umeh now that led some stakeholders in Anambra Central to endorse Umeh for Senate in a ceremony held at Oma Event Center in Awka, the Anambra State capital.

Suffice it to say that Ben Obi’s acrimonious outburst against Umeh during which he cast assertion and vituperation against his former ally and best friend on television is incorrect and misleading. 

First is that Umeh is not the only notable politician that has moved from one party to another. Big-time politicians like President Muhammadu Buhari had moved from one party to another. In 2011 Buhari moved from All Nigerians People’s Party (ANPP) to Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). We all know that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has severally moved from one party to another.

Again, former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu moved from Alliance for Democracy (AD) to Action Congress (AC) Many ex Governors like Bukola Saraki, Orji Uzor Kalu, Rabiu Kwankwanso, Rotimi Amechi, Magatakarda Wammako, Ibrahim Shekarau and Rochas Okorocha among others have at one point and another moved from one party to another. 

The number of ex and serving Senators, ex and serving members of House of Representatives and ex and serving State House of Assembly members that have moved from one party to another are uncomfortable in recent times. So, the issue of movement from one party to another by politicians in Nigeria is a normal thing and Umeh is no exception.

Second, it is wrong for anybody to accuse Umeh of using APGA to enrich his pocket while Umeh as National Chairman of APGA sold his property to fund APGA and ensured that the party didn’t die in his hands. 

Ben Obi is an eyewitness to the bewildering litigation fight Umeh faced in many Courts, including cases that were decided at the Supreme Court as National Chairman of APGA. Ben Obi is in a better position to testify how Umeh sold his property to raise money to pay lawyers who handled a myriad of litigation that characterized his tenure as National Chairman of APGA.

Third, it is also wrong and laughable for Igwe APGA to say that Ohamadike did not do anything during his 17 months sojourn to the 8th Senate. Igwe APGA was an eyewitness to what Umeh did in Anambra Central during his time in the Senate. 

He witnessed the disbursement of tricycles popularly known as Keke and other equipment to empower youth and women, including cash to Constituents. He was witness to what Umeh did on the floor of the Senate that earned him the Award of Best Motion of the year from the State House correspondents. Igwe APGA are in a better position to confirm that Ohamadike attracted a dividend of democracy worth over N1.3billion during his sojourn to the Senate within 17 months. How on this earth could anybody say that a Senator who attracted a dividend of democracy of such an amount did not do well?

The point that Umeh vowed before Ojukwu not to leave APGA but later left is not Umeh’s fault. Those who ganged up against Umeh to deny him the ticket of APGA for Senate election are to carry the blame for Umeh’s exit because they are the ones that betrayed Ojukwu as they know that Ojukwu has a strong pack with Umeh for the progress of APGA. 

Those who stood in opposition against Umeh’s interest in APGA should have known that Umeh was among those that Ojukwu entrusted APGA in their hands. Umeh wouldn’t have vowed never to leave APGA if Ojukwu didn’t inspire him to keep pushing APGA all the days of his life. Those who didn’t consider Umeh good enough to run for Senate betrayed Ojukwu’s inspiration on APGA which Umeh is carrying.

The failure of Umeh’s detractors to recognize that Ojukwu gave Umeh the power and might to drive Igbo political interest under APGA is an insult to Ojukwu; they just have to apologize to Ojukwu and ask him for forgiveness. 

Umeh is carrying the political fire given to him by Ojukwu, and it is clear to observe that he exited APGA and moved to the Labour Party to ensure that the political fire handed over to him by Ojukwu didn’t die. And it won’t die in Jesus’ name.

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