By Christian ABURIME
History was made again as the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the third largest political party in Nigeria, flagged off its presidential and governorship campaigns in grand style
The flag off has been described in various quarters by political pundits as unprecedented and mother of all political rallies. This is hinged on the fact that the flag off witnessed an unprecedented massive turn out of crowds and party faithfuls
Never in the history of the state has Anambra people witnessed such massive unprecedented crowds just for a political rally
Tales of the event still reverberates across the City of Awka, and the entire state and beyond as it became the talk of the town
This entire process of the massive rally started very early in the day with the entire state wearing a new look, adorned with the APGA colours, uniform suit-up in different styles, APGA slogans and insignia. Even the tricycle operators, commonly called “keke riders” were not left out as most of them trooped out en masse with the APGA flags, flying high in the air and saying one thing alone: “Anambra is APGA and APGA is Anambra” and ‘the liberation of Nigeria in the future lies within the ambit of APGA”.
From Nasarawa to Delta to Benue, to Zamfara to Plateau and most states of the Nigerian federation, candidates for the various elective positions such as the National Assembly, State House of Assembly, Governorship, Presidential etc all converged at Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka for the “roll call”.
Prominent members of the party, including the National Leader of the party who is also the Governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo; the Board of Trustees Chairman of the Party, Chief Willie Obiano; National Chairman of the Party, Ozonkpu Victor Oye; Wife of the former National Leader of the party, Iyom Bianca Ojukwu; Members of the National Working Committee of the Party, Director General National Campaign, Alhaji Abubakar Adamu, National and State legislators were in attendance.
The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Professor Peter Umeadi was also in attendance at the campaign flag-off.
The large crowd of people with various groups holding posters and banners endorsing their diverse APGA candidates in various states pervaded the place, giving the party a pure national outlook.
Soludo was welcomed to the venue by a tumultuous crowd chanting his praises and even as he rose to speak, he was overwhelmed by the thunderous shout from the huge crowd.
The Governor said that APGA being a true progressive party has come to stay.
He added that the party will continue to deliver on its ideology of Progressivism in all facets of human development and beckoned on Nigerians to support the party.
He used the occasion to call for the immediate release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the detained IPOB leader, pleading to stand surety for him if the Federal Government cannot release him unconditionally as directed by the courts
Ozonkpu Victor Oye, who presided over the flag-off ceremony which featured the hand over of flags to all the flag bearers, stated that the party has grown and will continue to witness growth in incremental proportion, such that due to the deliverables of the party, part of which are being delivered by Governor Soludo, the APGA will outlive everyone.
The National Board of Trustees Chairman of the party and former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano emphasized that APGA has been synonymous with victory all these years and victory in 2023 is certainly not in doubt with everybody’s support.
Iyom Bianca Ojukwu, on her part, described APGA as home and a heritage, adding that the party is development-oriented
The Presidential candidate of the Party, Professor Peter Umeadi recalled how he traversed the entire country, seeking support to implement his manifesto which he described as “doable”, reiterating his belief in a greater Nigeria under APGA, if elected.
While Suraj Owolabi spoke on behalf of the House of Assembly candidates, Ibrahim Alihu Nuhu spoke on behalf of House of Reps Candidates and Dozie Nwankwo spoke on behalf of Senatorial Candidates.
Their statements resonates with one message; which is that with the PVCs in hand, the desired change can be activated with the people’s vote for the good of all.
The event climaxed with presentation of flags to candidates and performances by the Anambra-born music and movie maestros, Chinyere Udoma, Slow Dogg as well as Yul Edochie.