Okorie: Obasanjo confessed Ojukwu's presidential ambition was security risk

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Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, was actually the unseen hand that created the current parlous situation of the South East, in which its people appear to have lost every reckoning in Nigeria’s political calculation.

It was a case of killing a blossoming plant from the root, founder of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Chekwas Okorie, indicated, in a detailed account of a plot decked in political intrigues and hidden agenda, based on primordial sentiments.

Okorie, in a paper on the renaissance of Ndigbo, gave details of how the ex-President, plotted the crisis that erupted in the party, which he said was formed to rouse the Igbo sleeping giant, because of the morbid fear of former Biafran leader, the late Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.      

Recounting how the timidity of Ndigbo, led to many shunning the party at inception, he said Ojukwu was eventually approached to take up the mantle by becoming the presidential candidate of the party.


Hear him: “It was Justice Eze Ozobu that advised that we should make the same offer to Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, whom I had been closely associated with as my leader for over 20 years since he returned from exile in 1982. I requested Justice Eze Ozobu to present Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu to the party leadership at a private ceremony in Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s residence for reasons that space will not permit me here to narrate. “That presentation was done on 24th December, 2002, in the presence of people who are still alive but whose names shall be mentioned in a book that is still work-in-progress. On 26th December 2002, two days after Justice Ozobu’s presentation of Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu to the Party, I addressed a World Press Conference at the Zodiac Hotel, Enugu where I proposed Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu as APGA Presidential Candidate.

“His candidature was ratified at a well-attended National Convention of the Party at the Old Parade Ground Abuja on 10th of January, 2003, where I handed over to him the Presidential flag of the Party. That event signaled the match for Igbo political resurgence. Majority of Igbo people all over Nigeria, especially those in the South East voted overwhelmingly for Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu as Presidential Candidate and other candidates who contested that General Election on the platform of APGA.

“The young Party lacked the financial resources to protect its votes and the candidates also lacked the resources to defend their mandates except Mr. Peter Obi of Anambra State who had the support of the people of Anambra State and the resources to defend his mandate at the Election Petition Tribunal and ultimately prevailed to become the first elected Governor on the platform of APGA.

“Unknown to us, the presidency under President Olusegun Obasanjo was uncomfortable with the emergence of Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu as our Presidential candidate. APGA was viewed as a national security risk, based on the morbid fear that if Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu gained political foothold in Nigeria, he would re-enact the effort to lead his people to secede from Nigeria, a second time. This accounted for the undue attention paid to APGA to ensure that the Party’s candidates were denied their victory through massive rigging.

“It was in April 2003, after the election that the then President Olusegun Obasanjo told me pointedly in his official residence in the Presidential Villa that I committed a “Political Sin”by presenting Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu as presidential candidate. The conversation lasted for hours and we touched on so many other issues that are not proper to be disclosed on a presentation of this nature.

“The Presidency was determined to decimate APGA and in no time they established a weak-link within the Party’s leadership which they used to launch their attack on the Party on the 15th of December, 2004, via a Press Conference at NUJ Press Centre, Abuja in which spurious and unsubstantiated allegations were spewed against me. Before this Press Conference that signaled the unfortunate balkanisation of APGA, the perpetrators of this act had craftily placed a wedge between me and our erstwhile Presidential candidate with whom I had associated for over 20 years. The dispute that ensued lasted for more than 8 years, resulting in over 20 litigations that saw us approach the Supreme Court 3 times without resolving the issue of the authentic leadership of the Party.

“Some of the litigations were still pending at the lower Courts when we decided to let go and regroup to float another political party with the same vision, orientation and more radical and revolutionary agenda. This initiative led to the formation of the United Progressive Party (UPP), which was registered on 2nd October 2012.”




Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on August, 23 2016

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