BY JOHNSON ADINDU#
The quick response by the National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance APGA Victor Oye to the letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Muhammadu Buhari has led to mixed reactions and interpretations.
It has also raised some questions as well. One wonders what political calculations the party might be making to enhance its electoral chances before the general elections in the South East where it has a strong support base but still labour to secure electoral victory.
Oye had lashed out at Obasanjo saying he is not the proper person to tell Buhari whether to seek re- election or not in 2019. His response was so swift and came like a speed of light swelling speculations why APGA, a political party inclined to the aspiration of Igbos had to be the first political party to tackle Obasanjo for telling Buhari not to contest.
Not even Buhari’s political party, the All Progressive Congress responded to Obasanjo’s letter with the tone and speed Oye’s APGA did. Therefore, the reaction of APGA to Obasanjo’s letter lend credence to reports in the media that APGA may have struck a political deal somewhere ahead of the 2019 election to aid Buhari’s come back in 2019 in exchange for several political gains as demonstrated in the Anambra election.
Such alleged deal according to reports may have come before the Anambra State governorship election won by Governor Willie Obiano who was the APGA governorship candidate in the election. Obiano’s victory and the manner all governorship aspirants of other political parties in the contest dropped their grievances against him after the elections really raised eyebrows.
Barely few hours strong allegations of electoral malpractices at the election were leveled against APGA and its governorship candidate by the contestants, they suddenly recounted them in a manner that raised suspicions of compromise.
Buhari’s defence by APGA is not out of place. What is yet to be discerned is the underlying political considerations and factors coming from a party that has a record of not fielding presidential candidates and known to have backed incumbent presidents especially during elections. It is interesting to note that the last time APGA presented a presidential candidate in a presidential poll was in 2003 when the founder of the party, Late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu vied for the presidency. Since then, it has adopted a culture of supporting presidential candidates of ruling political parties alone.
As the 2019 election draws near, it may not be farther from the truth that APGA may root for Buhari’s re –election in the South East in expectation that its candidates, especially the governorship candidates, will have a smooth sail in the elections in the region. If this speculation turns out to be so, then what is the fate of the All Progressive Congress APC in the South East who have openly declared their support for the President’s re election in 2019 in exchange for Igbo Presidency in 2023?
Or will there a strategic partnership between the two parties for the purpose of re electing Buhari for the presidency and adopt a to your tenth oh Isreal for other elective positions?
However it is important to recall that the performance of the APC and President Buhari in the 2015 elections may be another propelling factor for any of such strategic alliance to avoid a repeat of the abysmal outing of the President in the 2015 polls where Buhari polled less than 200,000 votes to Jonathan’s over 2 million votes.
President Buhari has never hidden his displeasure on the number of votes he got in the South East in 2015 which he has shown in his skewed appointments that favour more of his kinsmen. He had however reassured the region of his support by appointing four Igbo sons as senior ministers compared to the North West which have more junior ministers in his cabinet.
As the political arena gets set for another round of politicking, it will be interesting to watch the political alignment of APGA viz- a viz its suspected new found political romance that has triggered serious political curiosity. There is an adage that says ” nothing is hidden under the sun for too long”