Emeka Ojukwu, the son of Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, on Wednesday in Abuja, gives reason why he dumped the party founded by his late father for the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to him, he decided to join the APC to ensure that the South-East region occupied its rightful place in the national governance, adding that the region should be in Nigeria’s political decision making process.
He stated this after he was formally welcomed into the APC by Chief John Odigie Oyegun, the National Chairman of the party.
“I decided to lead by example. I have been talking about this for a while and I decided it was time to take the step forward.
“It is a challenge, there are some people that will not be happy about that, but you have to be bold, take a step, and let people understand where you are coming from.
“People have to understand why you are doing what you are doing, APC have been seen in our part of the country as the ‘other’.
“And I believe we are now showing that the APC is a party that can contend equally with any other party in the South-East and do just as well,” he said.
He also said that his defection to the APC was a pointer that the Igbo people were part of the party.
Also speaking about his father and the party he founded, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), he said; “we shouldn’t take our history and our past to be shackles that hold us in one place”, adding that history should be a stepping stone and building block for moving forward.
He noted that when his father returned from exile, he rejected the option of joining an ethnic based party, but decided to join the centre for a reason.
“You need to be at the table where decisions are being made, if you are not there, you will always get the short end of the stick; you will be marginalised.
“That is the message I want to help to propagate, this is a much bigger party than the one I came from. So I put myself at your service to help us achieve our dreams.
“For me, anyway that I can help to push this message forward, I am ready,” he stressed.
The APC Chairman said that Ojukwu’s entry into the APC would be a major asset in its ongoing drive to mainstream the South-East into national governance.
“I thank you for choosing the APC, a family that is practical in its political orientation.”
Oyegun noted that the APC performance in the last Anambra State Governorship election is an indication that the party is making progress.
“I truly welcome you, there is no question at all that your name is an asset, what you stand for is an asset.
“We hope that in the next few months you will be much more closely integrated within the party structure at national level and in the South-East,” he said.