Why I decided to join APC ... Uzodinma - IMO BUSINESS AND SERVICES DIRECTORY

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Friday, 11 May 2018

Why I decided to join APC ... Uzodinma

There was mixed reactions recently when senator representing Imo West, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). While his supporters hailed the moOkorocha, accused him of joining the party through the back door.
In this interview, Uzodimma, who is the Chairman of Southern Senators Forum and Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariffs, spoke on his defection, the position of South East in political equation and 2019 presidency.
Are you planning to return to the Senate or you will contest the governorship of your state?
In answering your question, let me draw your attention to the classic saying that while politicians think of the next election, statesmen think of the next generation. So in this case, I have chosen to think first of the next generation before thinking of the next election. My immediate concern now is how to promote National Unity and ensure in particular that the South-east where I come from is, for all intents and purposes, connected to the national political gridve, Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, accused him of joining the party through the back door.If you look carefully, you will notice that some political forces are at play right now in the nation. Some people from the South-east are being sentimental and politics is not about sentiment but reality. In my view, the political reality on ground today is that some unseen hands are either wittingly or unwittingly taking actions and inactions that if not checked could confine the South-east further to the fringes of the national platform. There is an urgent need to address this squarely and let our people see the need to look beyond our noses and become part of the national build up for 2019.We do not need to complain again after the elections. This is what I am working on now. After taking care of this then one can begin to talk of the elective office I shall be seeking.
What exactly do you mean by national build up and why are you afraid the South-east will be sidelined?
You see, let us be frank, in 2015 the South-east voted massively for PDP. Perhaps, we had good reasons to do so. But the truth is that our calculation failed us. At the end, the South-east was among the two geopolitical zones that did not read the mood of the nation properly, in terms of the political alliances at play. After the election was won and lost we started complaining of marginalisation.
Now another election is around the corner and if you look carefully you will discover that the alliances of 2015 are still intact. The election of a Nigerian president has always been a product of alliances, not sentiment. So can we really afford another miscalculation and be the complainant again in 2019. I think the South-east should put on her thinking cap and take the right political steps for 2019. This is what I am working on right now with like minds.
But some people say you joined APC because you want to be governor of Imo State. Is that correct?
That is laughable. If being governor of Imo State is my only worry, I can actually achieve that from any party platform. I could have joined APGA or any other party. I can assure you that my support base in Imo State is quite formidable and I can use that to pursue a governorship ambition. But there is more at stake than just being Imo governor. I will not want to be a governor of Imo State while the South-east is not adequately accommodated at the Federal level. So I think the immediate task now is to reverse the relative exclusion of the South-east from the Federal Government. An assurance of that is my priority and that is what I am working on right now.
But you could still have achieved that in PDP. Some people say you and your group are just bad losers that you would not have left the party if you had won at the Supreme Court?
Well that is the kind of things you hear in politics. First of all, if anybody told you we can still achieve whatever in the present PDP, that person must be a joker. The PDP on ground today is a shadow of itself. It has shrunk into a regional party and that was not the dream of the founding fathers of the party. I was a foundation member of the party so I should know better. How can you protect the interest of the South-east in a regional party? It does not make any political sense to me.
In any event, my group you say some people refer to as bad losers I assure you were the most patriotic group in the PDP while they were still members. After the Supreme Court judgment, we stayed on and pushed for accommodation of everybody to ensure a real family reunion of sorts. That was why we hung on up to and into the national convention, hoping that it was the opportunity we needed to re-jig the party. But what happened at the convention was appalling. Rather than open the doors for everybody, those who saw the Supreme Court victory as personal victory, shut the doors against the vast majority of PDP members and produced a regional party from the convention. At this point, it became clear to me that the PDP had lost it and can no longer champion real national issues. So as patriots we had to look for better alternatives so we are not bad losers rather it is those who saw the Supreme Court victory as their personal victory that you can call bad winners. They have destroyed the party. When you win in a battle and you are not magnanimous in victory then you become parochial and even paranoid, so the winner can actually turn his victory into a loss through ignorable actions. That was what happened to the PDP

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