...insists Mbadinuju’s curses put Anambra PDP into perpetual crisis
Chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party in Anambra State led by Prince Ken Emeakayi, yesterday, Sunday, February 19th, 2017, gathered at the Barnhill Resort and Park Hotels, Awka, for a Special State Conference towards reclaiming the Anambra Government House among other issues. A Chieftain of the party, Chief Hon. Emmanuel Nkwocha from Enugwu-Ukwu, Njikoka LGA of Anambra State, took time to address a team from The AUTHORITY Newspapers led by ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU and SOLOMON MOKWUGWO at his country home on the demise of PDP in the state. He attributed the incessant crises in the party, to curses placed on the state’s chapter of the party by the former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju.
Nkwocha said that the party offended the former governor by not giving him a return ticket in 2003 as promised by the then National Chairman of the party, Chief Audu Ogbe, even though all PDP governors across the federation were given tickets for second term.
According to him, “There was an agreement that all the PDP governors in the country would be returned in the 2003 general elections in order to give boost to the then President Olusegun Obasanjo’s second term bid.
“When the time came, all the PDP governors were given return ticket except Mbadinuju. So, in order for him to actualize his second term ambition, he joined the Alliance for Democracy (AD), while Dr. Chris Ngige was given the PDP ticket.
“My argument was that the national chairman made a categorical statement; so, why should the party’s caucus single out only one governor for removal for alleged non-performance? I told them that if about 3 or 4 governors were denied the ticket for non- performance, it would have made sense, but a situation where only one governor was denied return ticket; it became a clear case of injustice. That was exactly where the crisis in Anambra PDP started.
“When Mbadinuju was pushed out through orchestrated electoral fraud and manoeuvre, and Ngige was installed as governor, Mbadinuju told PDP that as long as he lives, all those that had hands in his removal, including the party itself, would never witness peace. That was when factions and crisis started in the PDP to the extent that during the last general elections, PDP had three factions.
“When the PDP could no more organize its members and its affairs effectively as one family, the party started witnessing divisions that finally pave way for APGA to come in”.
Nkwocha, who was Anambra’s former Commissioner for Information and Culture, and Ide II of Enugu-Ukwu and Umunri, said that today, due to the many factions in the state’s chapter of the party, PDP members have resorted to candidature, as they no more give loyalty to their party by supporting PDP candidates, but support candidates of other political parties where they have interest.
“Today, during elections in Anambra, PDP members and agents of the party would collect money from candidates of other political parties and betray their party. That was how PDP in the state goofed and APGA took over government”, he said, adding that “since then, Peter Obi ruled Anambra State for eight years, then, Obiano entered and is still in office under APGA platform till date; and there is no hope in view that PDP would regain the lost glory.
“Today, PDP members in Anambra State take their membership of the party for granted because of incessant crisis in the party. During elections, they give their loyalties and supports to opposition parties that are highest bidders. For example, I am a card-carrying member of the PDP, but I played prominent role in Enugwu-Ukwu Ward I in Njikoka LGA of Anambra State when Ngige was contesting for Senate under ACN.
“PDP leaders and members in Anambra State, out of greed and avarice, destroyed the party with impunity right from Obasanjo’s regime till date; and Mbadinuju has been vindicated because he told them that they owed him apology, and as long as PDP did not apologize to him, the party will never see the light again in Anambra”, he said.
Chief Hon. Emma Nkwocha who is also a Sports administrator and FIFA licensed agent, called on the Federal Government and Sports Ministry in particular, to revitalize the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YOUSFON), in order to re-awaken the Nigerian soccer and sports in general.
Nkwocha, one time Chief Executive of Rangers International, Enugu, said that YOUSFON creates a forum where sports men and women are breed from the cradle to become supper athletes; adding that the first major feat Nigeria achieved in football in 1985, was accomplished with the aid of YOUSFON.
“I will advise the Federal Government under President Mohammadu Buhari and, in particular, the Hon. Minister for Sports in Nigeria to revitalize the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YOUSFON). Without this YOUSFON, the ministry will continue to beat about the bush; and sports in general will continue to suffer because, it is from this body that the country gets talents for the national team.
“We have done it before, and we can still do it again. This YOUSFON was instrumental to the victory of Nigeria in the China 1985 World Cup – the first World Cup Nigeria won.
“I remember with nostalgia that Mohammadu Buhari was the Head of State of Nigeria when Nigeria won that cup. When we applied for fund from the presidency, Mr. President told us that there was no fund. But, as God would have it, we won the cup; and the president with his vice, Tunde Idiagbon, received us at the Lagos Airport on arrival. I was the leader of that delegation.
“Former governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo killed YOUSFON when he was Hon Minister for Sports. The earlier Nigeria realizes what it is losing by not revitalizing YOUSFON, the better”.
The sports administrator also called for the engagement of a foreign Technical Adviser for the Nigerian national team with a view to advancing the course of football in Nigeria; stating that what could be achieved in football through a foreign technical coach cannot be achieved through indigenous coach.