By Prof. Victor Ukaogo
The APC fundraising meeting held last Saturday, the 23rd of April has thrown up several possibilities in the build up to 2023. First, a united APC and a gubernatorial victory in Abia state is not impossible, two which is linked to the first is that the event showed a critical commitment by key stakeholders in the state to wrestle power from political misfits.
And thirdly and very importantly, the event provided a major insight into who the new State APC chairman(Dr K. O Ononogbu) is; the event unraveled and unbundled the depth of his intellect, capacity, capability and by implication, his ability to steer and navigate the ship of the party to electoral safety.
Many are most optimistic on the bright fortunes of the party and convincing reasons abound.
When many thought the party was factionalized, the fundraising event witnessed the appearance, representation and deep donation by prominent Abia political heavyweights of APC family. The Amazon of Abia politics, deputy chief whip of the the Federal House of Representatives and the magical political prophetess of our time Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha was present, the calm Umuahia born political negotiator, Chief Sam Onuigbo was also present, while the ‘Bende Tribal Chief’, Bende electoral warlord and the Oracle of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ben Kalu was equally represented. Also the two APC House of Assembly members namely Hon. Mike Ukoha of Arochukwu and Hon. Chijioke Chukwu of Bende North State constituency were not left out even as the latter was represented.
Also not left out was Chief Henry Ikoh, a former gubernatorial aspirant in the state and Dr. Blessing Nwagba, formerly of Aba Central state constituency did not disappoint. Equally present at the occasion were the national welfare officer of the party, Barr. Sir F. N. Nwosu, Lt-Gen Azubuike Ihejirika (Rtd) who was represented by Navy Commander Ochiabuto Igbokwe (Rtd) as well as Major-Gen Charles Okoro (Rtd) among others. The electoral optimism was further amplified not just by their presence or the deep-pocket donation made by them but by the seeming synegization of their political philosophy hitherto considered to be in disarray.
By far the greatest revelation of the fundraising event was the state party chairman, Dr Kingsley Ononogbu considered incorrectly by many as a new arrival. And since a book cannot be judged by its cover, it stands reason on the head to be too simplistic to refer to him as a political neophyte having in their estimation not held any political position before now. He is rather a human resource bulldozer and from all available indicators, he has harnessed and is still harnessing incredible human resource endowment in the state, an evidence of which was laid bare in the fundraising meeting.
Dr Ononogbu, a highly rated technocrat and boardroom politician, schooled and well- versed in the high intrigues of the finance room is a round peg in a round hole. A shrewd negotiator such as the chairman cannot be nothing but a gladiator and trojan of immeasurable talent, depth and content.
This can be gleaned from the success of this fundraising that attracted a nine figure value and still counting. It is to the credit of the chairman that the current vibe in the party is noticeable. With incredible reach and connections, the chairman driven by passion, zeal and zest is settled now to drive and give the party needed direction as he is doing now. He has been likened in hushed tones to a bulldozer but the event threw him up as a silent bulldozer and bridge builder across diverse divides.
Utilizing his banking reach interlaced with his deep intellect; made even more seamless and easy with his interpersonal skills, he has deployed his attitudinal charm spiced up by unimaginable humility to garner support and followership to the party.
Since the end of the fundraising, not a few people have commented and are still commenting on the emerging or evolving philosophy of giving in a party setting. In our clime, it is largely unpopular and unfanciful to give to a party but a changing narrative is emerging that even non politicians with no political affiliation donated to the party at the event. Men of God, easily lampooned and considered a ready punching-bag happily donated in cash to the party because of the established integrity of the chairman.
Dr. Ononogbu is a peacemaker and his steps and actions since his inauguration has not departed from this path. Many remain optimistic of his passion if not obsession to have a united family. This quest for a united family is perhaps Ononogbu’s secret card and magic wand to these early successes.
Since sitting down wishing makes no man great, needless to caution all members and stakeholders of APC to ensure that professed intentions are not at variance with expressed actions.