Former Governor of Anambra State Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, on Monday 23rd February joined the All Progressive Congress, APC. The Ex-Governor who disclosed his withdrawal from the PDP at a press conference held in Abuja also stated he had already informed the executive committee of his ward in Umuaku of Ihiala local council of Anambra State of his exit from the PDP.
According to Mbadinuju he said, he was left with no option order than to dump the PDP, owing to the unjust treatment he was meted on over the years, by his former Party, the PDP.
At the Press Conference Mbadinuju who was flanked by two stalwarts of the APC, former Governor of Abia State, Chief Ogbonaya Onu and former Information Minister, Prince Tony Momoh, said he is in total support for the emergence of Gen. Buhari’s candidacy, as added; “I first got to know Gen. Buhari when I launched my book on ‘How I Governed Anambra State’ in 2012. Through a mutual friend, I simply sent him an invitation letter to attend the ceremony, and behold, Buhari attended the ceremony at his expense. In fact, he drove from Kaduna to Abuja and sat at the ante-room even before many arrived the venue. That created a positive impression of him in my mind. It shows a trait of excellent leadership quality in the man.”
Read the Full Details of The Press Conference Below;
THE DIE IS CAST
BEING A TEXT OF WORLD PRESS CONFERENCE DELIVERED BY Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju (Odera), LLB, Ph.D., Cornell, NY, Former Governor Anambra State, On 23 Feb-2015.
Gentlemen of the Press, Good Day.
I have called this World Press Conference to inform members of the public that I have last week written to the PDP executive committee of my Ward, Umuaku Ward of Ihiala LGA of Anambra State withdrawing my membership of the Party and conversely registered with the All Progressive Congress (APC). It is a painful but necessary action that I had to take. It is painful because, as a founding member of the PDP in 1998 who toiled hard to ensure that it gained acceptance of the majority of our people, I had very high hopes for the party. Given my enormous contributions, I was honoured with the flag of the party as its Anambra State Gubernatorial Candidate. We can all recall how I led the party to a resounding victory at the general elections of 1999 with 96% vote. Thus, I became the first, elected PDP governor of Anambra state. In this capacity, I was thence privileged to lead the Anambra State delegation to the Jos National Convention for the nomination of the party’s first Presidential Candidate.
My role in galvanizing support for our son, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, the former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to clinch the presidential ticket was well acknowledged by all and sundry. It was a hurting experience for me personally and for all Anambrarians, and indeed for all Ndigbo, that Chief (Dr) Alex Ekwueme(Ide) did not secure the ticket at that historic convention. That loss in Jos represented the first major blow to our efforts in producing a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction. But we take solace that Chief Alex Ekwueme, being a statesman of repute, accepted defeat with equanimity. For this, all Nigerians owe him a depth of gratitude. Personally, I remain politically grateful to him and to all the members and stakeholders of the PDP in the state. That is why it is painful to withdraw one’s membership of the party that gave one such opportunity to serve and to advance one’s carrier.
But it is necessary to join the APC now because it is the right thing to do. While the APC has proven itself as a promising party of present and future, we can all see glaringly that everything good about the PDP has since vanished. The tearing of the PDP Membership Card last week by no less a person than former President Obasanjo is a symbolic attestation to this truth. In spite of the fact that as the governor of Anambra state I did my utmost best to improve the lot of our people in a spate of four years, against a tremendous but utterly needless opposition by members of the party in the state in collaboration with the presidency in Abuja, I was the only serving governor that the PDP unjustly denied its ticket for a second term. All Anambrarians will bear me witness that in 2003, three times the PDP from Abuja conducted the governorship primaries; three times I won those primaries, and three times PDP in Abuja cancelled the primaries. At the end of the day, I was denied the party ticket. I recall Mrs. Josephine Anenih, a revered PDP Woman Leader, wept openly at my Book Launch, “How I Governed Anambra State: Stewardship and Accountability “as she remembered how unfairly the party National Secretariat maltreated me then. But as a team player, I accepted it in good faith, out of sheer loyalty to the party and the country, and in the hope that things may change for the better.
This was even as one of the testifiers and member of the PDP Screening Committee disqualified me from the contest, Mrs. Josephine Anenih publicly admitted that they acted in error and apologized to the victim and asked for forgiveness. In her comments, Mrs. Anenih, who was former Minister of Women Affairs stated emphatically that I’m a good man and regretted that the decision of PDP not to allow me go for a second term was the greatest undoing of Anambra State. The then national chairman of the party, Chief Audu Ogbeh, confessed “That the Committee acted based on the information available to it, revealing that it was later observed that Mbadinuju was innocent of all the allegations and campaign of calumny against him by some political forces from the state”.
However, the PDP and the government it formed, especially at the national level, took no recognition of both my person and my status. The party behaved as if it never wronged me nor wronged the vast population of Anambrarians whose lives I have touched while superintending the state as governor. Together with our supporters we were ignored, and the government at the center operated, and still operates, as if PDP members have never existed in Anambra state. Whosoever the government patronized turned out to be dishonest, or be turned into a mediocre; thus making dishonesty and mediocrity take the center-stage of government and politics in the country. We painfully endured it for long, hoping that with leadership change things would also change. But from Obasanjo, to Yar’adua and to Jonathan nothing changed; if anything, the situation kept getting worse and worse.
Still, to show good faith, I stayed in the party and once slept for 8 days during the 2011 campaign together with my team in Bayelsa and some South South States to assist President Jonathan win the election He won. In addition, between 2011 and 2015, I went to press and granted about 60 interviews to point out the lapses in the party and the government, and to support the administration. President Jonathan is now completing his six (6) years in office, and in these years I sent him about 10 memos on vital issues of governance, but not once did the President give me an opportunity to see him nor responded to any of my memos. It is unfortunate that the PDP government, wittingly or unwittingly, heaped serious problems on the ordinary people of Nigeria as looting, greed and avarice became the order of the day, and injustice perverted the entire facets of our national life. For example, is it not shear injustice that an “A” governor of my standing, as graded by President Obasanjo, and “gold cup” achiever for Anambra State on security in which Anambra came 1st of all the 36 States. Still I was left out of the scheme of things in all the PDP-led government programmes. We thus created the problems ourselves and God may not forgive us until we start doing things right. I believe Boko Haram is part of God’s judgment upon our country. The insurgency will not abate until we embrace justice in the land or Sodom and Gomorrah may soon be a child’s play if care is not taken. And it is for this reason that we know now that injustice begat corruption no matter how we paint it.
But things are not just bad at the governmental level, even at the party level the story has still been the same. The various party national leaderships have failed to administer party affairs to reconcile, restructure and reform the party apparatus in the state notwithstanding the vast majority of
Anambra people being PDP supporters, and committed to working with the party’s national leadership to rebuild the party and entrench democracy and good governance in the state. It is on record that I tried all within my powers, along with a number of well-meaning PDP members in the state, to achieve this noble objective through the entrenchment of internal and participatory democracy. But all our efforts were rebuffed as people of questionable character were allowed free hands to do with the party according to their whims and caprices. Ethics and values were thrown to the dogs. PDP became an unjust and unfair political party; with no truth in its mouth, no compassion in its heart, no sincerity in its purpose and its actions always intrinsically self-serving and deceitful. Most honest members became disillusioned and disappointed with this turn of events.
It was this poor state of affairs that prompted the PDP National Chairman who recently made it clear he would no longer live in a system of “use and dump” syndrome which smacks of indiscipline, injustice and corruption.
What more can anyone say?
Obviously, things cannot continue like that, lest society collapses. It is therefore the responsibility, nay the duty, of all God-fearing citizens and men of good standing in our country to do something so as to get us out of the present nationalquackmare. As the famous philosopher, Edmund Burke once said, “evil thrives when good men do nothing”. I believe whatEdmund Burke said and therefore we cannot continue to sit by and do nothing when all around us things are falling apart. This, we must not accept; and in order to give Anambra state and our country a new lease of life and a sense of direction, I have decided as follows:
1. Withdraw my membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP);
2. Register my membership into the All Progressives Congress (APC);
3. Giving my unflinching support to the candidacy of Gen. MohammaduBuhari for the office of President, Federal Republic of Nigeria;
4. Giving my total support to all APC Candidates in Anambra State and across the entire country;
5. And calling on all well-meaning people of Anambra State and of the country to cast their votes only for the APC in the forthcoming general elections.
It is of vital importance at this juncture that I first got to know Gen. Buhari when I launched my book on, How I Governed Anambra State and this was in 2012. Through a mutual friend, I simply sent him an invitation letter to attend the ceremony, and behold, Buhari attended the ceremony at his expense. In fact, he drove from Kaduna to Abuja and sat at the ante-room even before many arrived the venue. That created a positive impression of him in my mind. It shows a trait of excellent leadership quality in the man. And now, having forced by injustice to leave the PDP, I thought the best place to be is where Buhari is. So, before I took this present step, I had the privilege to meet and inform him. I had a short but in-depth discussion with him one-on-one, and I can confidently say that Buhari is a great man. The things going for Gen. his humility and accessibility to people, punctuality to time and responsiveness to issues. He demonstrated these to me personally. And with these qualities, at least I am confident that I would no longer apply for about 10 memos to the Presidency and still fail to get even one response. Buhari is the kind of leader Nigeria needs today.
As for membership in my new party, I assure those who laboured hard to form the party that I will do all that is possible to help move forward. I salute your foresight, your courage and your perseverance, and I pledge to cooperate with all to ensure victory of the APC in the forth-coming elections.
Finally, in the spirit of a new beginning, I am calling on all those in the PDP and other political parties who, for one reason or the other, are not satisfied with the affairs of things either in their parties or in the country to come over and register with the APC as it is the party to belong. The broom will continue to sweep clean, and we must all be determined to do the sweeping together.
May God bless the APC, bless Anambra State, and bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Thank you all for your kind attention.
Dr. ChinwokeMbadinuju (Odera)