Press Release on the Occasion of Chidi O. Ajaegbu’s Exit from APGA.
Good day, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, I wish to first of all welcome you to my home. I also thank you for attending this press conference, despite the short notice.
I joined partisan politics several years ago, and as you are all aware, I am not a career politician. I am a professional accountant and a successful one at that, having reached the pinnacle of my profession through my election as the Golden Jubilee President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in 2014.
I have never considered contesting for any political post until I was confronted by the unacceptable and heartbreaking happenings in Abia State. This is what prompted me to run for office.
I joined politics with the sole intention of challenging the corrupt status quo which has led to the collapse of infrastructure, the non-payment of salaries to workers and stipends to pensioners, the appointment of mediocre individuals (new honourables) into very sensitive leadership positions, as well as the poverty that has overtaken our God’s own State. This state of affairs is indeed an unsustainable model.
I joined politics because I wanted to be one of the progressives who would position my beloved State to be able to compete with the best States in the Federation.
Unfortunately, over time in APGA, I have come to the realization that the party has been hijacked by some disgruntled elements who are enemies of progress. Consequently, the party became visionless and mercantilistic in all forms. The people’s agenda that had hitherto attracted me to APGA was expunged from the party’s psyche.
We must admit frankly and unequivocally that with the PDP in Abia State since 1999, the standard of living has become unacceptably low and declining fast, with penury visibly written on the faces of the masses. The insecurity of lives and property has made Abia State very unconducive for business and unlivable for people.
As Governor Okezie Ikpeazu commences his illegitimately attained second term, just like his predecessors T.A Orji and Orji Uzor Kalu’s illegitimate mandates, Yes illegitimate; because you can’t be oppressing a people on one hand and claim that they are voting for you on the other. It is illogical and unconscionable, and clearly shows total lack of cognitive human empathy.
I urge him to confront these untoward developments, because we need and deserve better living in Abia State. The declining standard of living and misery index in Abia State in my view is reversible and I am certain that we CAN achieve this as a State. If the pretense of service displayed by those in leadership positions in the state will give way to purposefulness at all levels of governance, we can work out progress. The claim of exogenous influences for non-performance is redundant at this juncture, because Dr Okezie Ikpeazu is the Executive governor of Abia State, pure and simple.
It was Albert Einstein who once said, “it is insanity to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result”.
Abians are not sufficiently angry. Until we are angry enough, this comedy called the PDP administration in Abia State will continue to take Abians for a ride; exploiting our resources and devaluing our businesses and lives.
I have heard that a certain aide to Governor Okezie, identified as Erondu Junior, is going about threatening the people who are speaking out against the rot in Abia State. Let it be known that I unequivocally align myself with the legitimate agitations of the individuals and groups clamouring for the payment of salaries when they are due, the payment of pensions when due, fixing Aba with quality road networks and more, as demanded by the Aba women in their recent demonstrations in Aba and also by the young activist, Ogochukwu Ogbonna.
If you owe salaries and pensions for years, and you are superintending over a collapsed infrastructure, how can you claim that this same people gave you their votes, for you to continue to starve them? It is an illegitimate mandate.
I wish to bring to the notice of the general public that before the general elections, there were allegations that some members of my party were involved in actions inimical to the progress of the party and its candidates. I was initially skeptical about the insinuations, however; events occurring after the elections have proven those allegations to be true.
How else can you explain the abysmal performance of the party at the polls if not for this obvious sellout? How else can you explain that a party which had 11 seats in the state assembly in 2015 now struggles to retain just 2 (two) in 2019? In what other way can one explain that senators and state lawmakers in Anambra State lost elections to opposition parties in Anambra State where APGA is the ruling party?
Before the elections, I expressed my dissatisfaction with the leadership of Victor Oye. Party forms were given to the highest bidders and internal democracy was thrown to the dogs. This, of course, greatly affected the fortunes of the party at the polls.
I had hoped that after the abysmal performance of APGA in 2019, the leadership of my party will usher in a new set of leaders to position the party for 2023 general elections. I made it clear that if the party leadership under Victor Oye was not shown the door, I would leave the party. I have waited this long because I did not want my exit to be misconstrued.
In our Abia State, Chikwe Udensi and one Ahamdi Nweke were strengthened by
this Victor Oye to destabilize the party and ensure that our party went into that
election weakened, thus playing out the script of their PDP masters in the state.
Unfortunately, Victor Oye and his cohorts perpetuated themselves in office through a highly controversial convention; a situation I can no longer condone or accept. I have decided that I will not embark on another fruitless journey with this APGA.
It is indeed embarrassing that every time I declare my membership in APGA to people, the question I am always asked is which faction? Rather than coming together to prepare for 2023 general elections, what we see is internal wranglings by party members, with factions laying claims to one form of legitimacy or the other.
The factions are clear indications that there were and still are enemies within, working against the interest of the party, possibly working for other parties as was evident during the last primaries and the actual election. The situation in my party has made it impossible for me to fulfill the purpose for which I joined the party and politics in general; that is the pursuit of the people’s agenda.
In view of the fore-goings, I am constrained to resign my membership of APGA with immediate effect. I no longer belong to any party, and I am quitting partisan politics in Abia State and Nigeria for now, but we will continue the pursuit of our age-long people agenda through our Foundation and Widows cooperative Initiatives.
I wish all members of my former party the very best.
Long Live Abia State
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Mr. Chidi Onyeukwu Ajaegbu
APGA Senatorial Candidate- 2019 general election
Abia Central Senatorial District