By Ginika O. Nweke
In Anambra, there have been several defections in the past few weeks from various political parties to the All Progressives Congress (APC). A closer look at the situation reveals that there are four classes of defectors. Each class has different motivations and expectations from the other. What they all share in common is that none of them is decamping to APC because they feel it is a good party that is good for Anambra and has the interest of Nigerians at heart, or that APC as a party can improve the lot of Anambrarians, and promote economic prosperity and better standards of living for Anambrarians. None of them believe any of this, rather they are all decamping for personal reasons.
Here are the 4 Classes of defectors in Anambra:
1. The Corrupt Who Are Prisoners In Waiting
A large proportion of the people decamping from other political parties to the APC have corruption cases and are being intimidated and threatened by the government to join their party or get jailed. As far as political strategies go, the All Progressives Congress (APC) under President Muhammadu Buhari has been pathetic in its drive for power. They silence political opponents, threaten, blackmail, and intimidate them all to have them defect to the ruling party. As soon as said politicians join the ruling party, their corruption cases with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) magically disappear.
APC and President Muhammadu Buhari are extremely corrupt and have damaged the fabric of decency in Nigeria. Many people decamping to APC in Anambra are victims of President Muhammadu Buhari’s reign of intimidation and fear. Take for instance Senator Stella Oduah, she is facing corruption and money laundering cases that are wearing her out because she was being intimidated and victimised by President Muhammadu Buhari and his APC goons. She decided to take the magic pill and decamp to APC to quiet the noises and calm the troubled waters. She is now a puppy of APC willing to do their bidding, including turning Anambra into a Fulani enclave where innocent men and women are killed, and their villages taken by Fulani terrorists.
Some other politicians who are members of the Anambra State house of assembly who were elected on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) who recently decamped to APC did so because they are corrupt and were being threatened and blackmailed by APC goons to either join the APC or be jailed. They include Hon. Timothy Ifedioramma representing Njikoka 1, Hon Cater D. N. Umeoduagu representing Aguata 1, Hon Lawrence Ezeudu representing Dumekofia, Hon Arthur Chiekwu representing Idemili North, and Hon Edward Ibuzo representing Onitsha North. These lawmakers are hoping to avoid harassment and intimidation by EFCC because they believe they have financial misappropriation cases and in some instances, money laundering cases hanging over their heads and they are pre-emptively hoping to avoid the harassment and intimidation from APC goons, and in the process avoid accountability and prosecution by EFCC.
All Anambrarians and all Anambra voters need to ask themselves if these are the sort of people that should be allowed power. The answer is NO. Handing over Anambra state to sellouts who are prepared to do the bidding of the Fulani expansion agenda is suicidal for Anambrarians.
2. The Sore Losers
This class of defectors did so because they lost their primaries in other political parties or they were disqualified outright by their parties. Since they do not have good sportsmanship and do not understand that in politics you do not serve your agenda, and in a democracy, you serve the people and allow the people to choose their leaders, they felt the best option was to decamp to the ruling party.
One of such people is Hon. Nonso Okafor representing Nnewi North. He was a governorship aspirant under the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) before the party disqualified him. He felt betrayed by the party when he was disqualified from contesting and decided to throw a tantrum and break all his toys in the pram. Then he gave a long-winded incoherent statement to explain his defection. A percentage of defectors belong to this sore loser camp, and they are hoping that since the ruling party is so corrupt and criminal, they will be given crumbs in some form.
3. The Broke and Money Hungry
Mr. Andy Ubah, the Anambra gubernatorial candidate under the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform has gotten a lot of broke politicians to decamp from their parties to APC by giving some of them money, and because he is now broke himself, he has been making promises to give each one hundreds of millions of Naira if he wins. A large number of defectors did so based on a promise of receiving huge sums of money. Mr. Uba has promised some people N500 million and some others N300 million. Hon. Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu falls under this category. She has been promised hundreds of millions by Mr. Uba and that is why she decamped from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to APC. Hon. Douglas Egbuna also a former member of the PDP defected to APC because Mr. Andy Ubah promised him hundreds of millions of Naira if he wins the governorship election on November 6.
All of this is already a putrid affair because it becomes clear that none of these people are defecting because of principles or political ideology. It also makes apparent the issue that Mr. Andy Uba is planning to raid the Anambra treasury to settle people and pay debts should he win the election. If he wins no doubt, he will raid the treasury for his personal use but there is no guaranty he will pay the people he is giving promissory notes to decamp to APC. Decades of his track record show that he does not pay his debts or meet his financial obligations.
4. The Coat Tail Riders
Another class of defectors in Anambra are those who are decamping because they feel that Mr. Andy Uba is a master rigger. They are basing their assumption on the rigging Mr. Andy Ubah unleased when he ran and became governor for 17 days back in 2007. They assume he will use the same apparatus to rig and win, and so they are hedging their bets by defecting from other political parties to Mr. Andy Ubah’s party, the APC. They are not strategic, they are pathetic.
The problem with their assumption is that things are different now. First of all, Mr. Andy Ubah is broke and cannot inject money into his campaign the way money was injected into his campaign back then. Secondly, it has been 14 years since then and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) now has better processes to ensure free and fair elections, and to ensure that the votes of Anambrarians will count come November 6. The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the electronic transmission of election results are some of the innovations and initiatives that now ensure that Mr. Andy Uba’s rigging of 14 years ago is a thing of the past that will never happen in Anambra again.
Ginika O. Nweke is a legal practitioner and public affairs commentator. She writes from Enugu