By Uche Amunike
The widow of the late Warlord and leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, has explained why she decided not to attend the campaign flag off of the party on Saturday.
Mrs Bianca Ojukwu’s absence was conspicuous and both party supporters and indeed, indigenes of the state wondered why she stayed away, especially since there was a reconciliation meeting between her and the party by a committee that was led by the former National Chairman, Senator Victor Umeh.
While explaining the reason for her absence, the former beauty queen expressed her pain at the removal of her late husband’s image from the party’s uniform, describing it as an affront and ill-treatment to the memory of her husband by the current APGA leadership.
She described as ironical, the fact that her late husband’s pictures we are resuscitated to be used in the campaigns for the upcoming election in Anambra state and likened that act by Governor Willie Obiano as that of someone going back to his own vomit.
She called it the height of opportunism and hypocrisy as according to her, Governor Willie Obiano once referred to her husband as a dead man who was no longer relevant in the party.
Mrs Ojukwu reiterated that she will not give Governor Obiano and the party leadership the pleasure of continuously trampling on the legacy of her late husband, whom she said, put his heart and soul into the party.
She maintained that her late husband should not be like a light switch that is turned on for the party campaign and turned off immediately the election is won.
Mrs Ojukwu, who was the former Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, expressed deep-seated anger at the decision of the APGA leadership to remove the image of her husband on the APGA uniform and all other insignia of APGA.
She condemned the act of Governor Willie Obiano removing her husband’s image and actually replacing it with his own image, stating that Obiano did it in order to drive home a statement he once made, that he would no longer tie the fate and fortunes of APGA to the memory of a dead man. She believes that statement referred pointedly to her late husband.
She decried that the efforts made to find a way forward, when the Senator Victor Umeh-led Peace and Reconciliation Committee visited her in Enugu some weeks ago meant nothing to the governor and the party leadership as they seem to have discarded the report of that peace move.
She however hoped that the party would produce the next governor of the state, regardless of their present travails and described the party as one that is currently made up of a field of sorrow for aggrieved aspirants, grassroot party members and party stakeholders.
Recall that during the reconciliation meeting in Enugu, Senator Victor Umeh mentioned that the essence of the meeting was to reconcile Bianca ahead of the Anambra Gubernatorial election and invoked the spirit of Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu to give them guidance and fatherly blessings as they embarked on the journey ahead.
He described Bianca as someone who contributed immensely to the growth of the party even as far back as when her husband was the leader of the party.
Among the points raised was the need for all members to be carried along in spite of disagreements in the party and an assurance that the ideals on which the party was built will be protected, while describing the visit as a turning point in the party’s journey to the gubernatorial election.
In response, Bianca expressed disappointment that previous efforts made to appease aggrieved members of the party failed as the first and second reconciliation committees never saw the light of day. She however encouraged the peace move, back then, as she said she looked forward to putting aside the bad experiences she had.