MAURICE OKAFOR in Enugu writes that Mr Osita Okechukwu, the Director General, Voice of Nigeria [VON DG], is obviously a strong ally of President Muhammadu, right from the onset of the Fourth Republic politics, when he was the governorship candidate of CPC in Enugu state while President Buhari was the presidential candidate of CPC. Okeke is currently fighting a political battle of his life. He did not contest the Enugu West senatorial district election on the platform of APC which he partook in it’s primaries.
The VON DG is in a serious battle to absolve himself perfectly from the Friday, March 1, allegations of anti-party activities which culminated into his suspension alongside Governors Rochas Okoroacha of Imo state, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state and the minister of Niger Delta affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani by APC NEC led by Comrade Adams Oshiomole. An issue which may also lead to their expulsion if the NEC of the party, accepts the idea as have been suggested by Comrade Oshiomole led APC NWC..
A statement regarding to their suspension by the APC spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu after the APC NWC meeting last Friday reads, “The party reviewed the serial anti-party activities of the concerned individuals before and during the last Presidential and National Assembly elections in their respective states and resolved to enforce party discipline in line with our constitution’.
“The NWC noted how the suspended members have continued to campaign openly for other parties and candidates that are unknown to our great party, even while they have constituted themselves as opposition to APC candidates in their respective states.
“Importantly, the NWC is closely monitoring the activities of our members across the country, and particularly, in the states these suspended members belong to. We wish to reiterate that any member of our party who takes any action solely or in line with the directives of the suspended members to undermine our party’s candidates in the coming governorship and House of Assembly elections would face disciplinary actions’.
But how Mr Osita Okechukwu got involved in the mess alongside elected Governors of Imo and Osun states is still a mystery to him. In his swift reaction through a press statement copied to ‘THE AUTHORITY’, the VON DG said he should not be blamed over the perceived low performance of the party in Enugu state, as the party leadership at the national level decided to hoist unpopular candidates on the state.
Part of his press statement reads, ‘Accordingly, one should not be blamed for the triumph of Bigotry in Enugu State and South East in general’.
‘Our Comrade Chairman should not blame me for hoisting some unpopular National Assembly candidates for the APC in our zone. For am at loss how one contributed to the failure of his darling candidate, Mrs Juliet Ibekaku Nwagu in Egede, her home town and Udi local government her primary local council in the five that make up the senatorial district’.
THE AUTHORITY recalled that the VON DG was at loggerheads with Comrade Adams Oshiomole led APC National Working Committee[NWC] over the conduct of Enugu West senatorial primaries of the party,claiming he scored the highest number of votes going by data collected from the 81 electoral wards in the zone,more than Barr Mrs Juliet Ibekaku, whom they alleged to have come third in the primaries.but was given the Enugu West APC senatorial ticket.
Even as the VON DG’s complaints did not receive any positive attention or redress,he remained with the party,gingering the political pressure group known as Buhari Support Organization[BSO],Enugu state chapter and also the ‘Buhari/Zikist Movement[BZM] which is his own brain child. Quite unlike Chief Gbazueagu Nweke Gbazuaegu who left the party based on the alleged irregularities over the conduct of Enugu West APC senatorial primaries.
An insider in the Enugu state chapter of APC,who spoke to the ‘THE AUTHORITY’ on anonymity, described the announcement of suspension of Mr Osita Okechukwu from APC as a big shock to most members of the party in Enugu state. He wondered why Comrade Oshiomole led APC NWC should pass such judgement on Mr Okechukwu,who is always bent on ideas and strategies of how to propel the acceptance of President Buhari in Enugu state and the entire South East.
According to him,the VON DG was not involved in the struggle for the party leadership in Enugu state chapter of APC, between Dr Ben Nwoye and Deacon Okey Ogbodo,which divided the party into two factions and contributed to the poor performance of the party in the Presidential/National assembly elections, held on Saturday,February 23.