The Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State, Joe Igbokwe, on Tuesday advised Igbo politicians to take the path of honour by helping the Peoples Democratic Party to build a formidable opposition rather than defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress because of their business interest.
Igbokwe said by doing this, the world would take them seriously.
The APC chieftain, in an article entitled, ‘Can the Igbo play opposition for the next 10 years’, published on Sahara Reporters,said the Igbo would not die if they are not in the APC or part of the government.
“After all, the Yoruba have been in the opposition for a long time—since the 1960s, and they have not perished. Let the Igbo work with other PDP leaders across Nigeria to start strategising to reposition, rebrand, and rebuild the PDP. This is the way to political rebirth and redemption. If you have bushes to clear, you have to sharpen your cutlass very well,” he said.
Igbokwe noted that it was shameful that many Igbo politicians, who claimed they were right to have voted for former President Goodluck Jonathan at the last poll, were regretting their decision and looking for ways to join the APC.
He said shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari defeated Jonathan on March 28, panic gripped Igbo politicians, businessmen, women and the traders.
He said, “I remember a night in the house of a very successful Igbo trader in Ikoyi shortly after the presidential election, when it became obvious that President Buhari had carried the day. They gathered to contribute money to support the APC. Even those who travelled home for the Easter holiday donated money from the East just to belong. I felt ashamed that my people couldn’t defend their honour and integrity even in the time of trouble.
“After the 2015 election, when the Igbo lost their resources by putting all their eggs in one basket, many Igbo leaders claimed that the Igbo made the right political choices given the circumstances on the ground then. Yes, the Igbo have said they voted right, but in action and in deed, they have been busy looking for ways to sneak into the APC.
“On Saturday, July 25, 2015, a group that worked against the APC in Lagos called Igbo United Political Forum organised a programme to honor Governor Rochas Okorocha. Behind the smokescreen was an attempt to sneak through the back door to the APC, having missed the front door on March 28 and April 11, 2015. The organisers reaped what they sowed, as all the APC leaders they invited stayed away.
“They licked their wounds and went home to cry. Time and space will not permit me to recall various moves our people have made to find their way to the APC. Those who are still very angry about the colossal loss have pitched their tent with the Biafra mantra. When we lose out in national politics as a result of myopic and timid political thinking and calculation, the next move is to resort to ethnic politics. Nobody is deceived.”