Why Chidi Ajaegbu dumped APC for APGA

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    By Ndubuise Emeka

    …May rejoin PDP before 2019

    Political ‘jumpology’ has become a norm for political neophytes like Mr. Chidi Ajaegbu, the former ICAN President.

    Less than a year after joining the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Abia State born stockbroker turned politician, who was a lackey of former Governor of Abia State, Senator T.A Orji, on whose back he (Ajaegbu) wanted to ride on to political prominence, today dumped the APC and joined the Alex Otti faction of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).

    Ajaegbu joined APC in March 2017, after all his selfish efforts to dominate the Ikpeazu led PDP government failed.

    While leaving PDP for APC, Ajaegbu said that he decided to leave PDP because the structure of the party in the state did not allow for transparency, credible democracy and was not an all-inclusive government.

    His words: “Essentially, I left PDP because my expectations were not met and as far as I am concerned, the aspirations of the Ngwa nation have not been met by the current
    administration and the reasons being given for the inability of the present government in meeting the expectations of the people are not tenable with me. I believe we could do a lot of things differently.

    “The structure of the party in the state doesn’t allow for credible democracy, meaning that it is not all inclusive. If it is not all inclusive, are now delivering our electoral promises to the people of the state? So, we need to find an alternative towards actualizing the aspirations of the average Ngwa man and of course, our brothers up North (people of Old Bende).”

    “I am going to reinforce the party and the essence of being in this party is to strengthen the opposition. To get APC in
    government in the state in 2019, we will start now to reflect on what PDP government is doing wrong and how to change them.”

    Those were Ajaegbu’s words when he left the PDP for the APC in March 2017. 

    Of a truth, Ajaegbu’s selfish expectations where not met, as it was learnt that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu refused all his selfish demands.

    It will be recalled that at the dying days of Ajaegbu’s reckless regime as the president of Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN), and following his lost goodwill in ICAN and among stock business community, owing to his highhandedness and domineering posture, he returned to the then Abia State Governor, Chief T A Orji, who he pleaded with to organize a reception for him as the 50th ICAN President. Orji reportedly told him that he can’t fund such reception, but offered him that if he (Ajaegbu) can fund it, that he (Orji) will play along as if it was a state funded event.

    Ajaegbu, after agreeing with Orji, funded his reception as 50th ICAN President with ICAN funds, an action that caused serious rift between him and ICAN stakeholders. 

    Knowing that his game was up in the stock business, and following his unimpressive presidency at ICAN, Ajaegbu made up his mind to go into politics, hence he lobbied Orji to make him Abia State Governor in 2015, but when Orji told him that Abia Governorship for 2015 was going to Abia South Senatorial zone, and not Abia Central where Ajaegbu hails from, he lobbied to be allowed to run for House of Representatives for Obingwa/Ugwunagbo/Osisioma Federal Constituency, but Orji also told him that he had promised Chief Emma Adaelu that his son, Solomon, who was a commissioner in the Orji cabinet then, will run for the House of Representatives.

    Ajaegbu became frustrated, knowing that the Abia central Senatorial slot was not available as Orji, the out-going Governor, was already endorsed by Abia central stakeholders, including political leaders and traditional rulers from Osisioma Ngwa LGA, where Ajaegbu hails from, for the senate seat. 

    However, Orji advised Ajaegbu to join the campaign for election of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu as Governor, stressing that as a new entrant into politics, he must learn the business (politics).

    It was at that point that Ajaegbu joined the Okezuo Abia 2015 Campaign for Dr Okezie Ikpeazu who was already the candidate of the PDP.

    Before then, Dr Ikpeazu had formed a Campaign Think Tank in Lagos, made up of technocrats, with Mr. Emeka Onwuka as head. The Ikpeazu Think Tank has the likes of Mr. Okechukwu Enelama, who is today Minister for Trade and Investment, Mr. Nonso Ogbulamiri, among others as members.

    When Ajaegbu approached Dr Ikpeazu and declared his support, Ikpeazu introduced him to the Onwuka led Think Tank.

    After the election, Ajaegbu, in his usual domineering and highhanded posturing, approached Governor Ikpeazu, asking him (Governor) to allow him (Ajaegbu) to nominate his Commissioner for Finance, the Accountant General of the State and the Chairman of the Board of Internal Revenue of the state. 

    When he realized that Governor Ikpeazu was not ready to grant his selfish political request, instead the Governor appointed him a member of Governing Council of the Abia State University Uturu, which he accepted, he approached the Governor again, requesting to be given the sole contract of revenue collection in the state and he was told that the state can’t give such a contract to one person. At this point, his frustration heightened and he declared a Cold War with Governor Ikpeazu.

    He resorted to blackmail, telling those who cared to listen to him that Governor Ikpeazu was not in charge of the state, that it was the former Governor, Senator Orji that is in charge with members of his family. His only reason being that the Governor refused granting his selfish demands.

    He vowed to work against the 2019 re-election plans of Governor Ikpeazu and also declared to run for Abia Central Senatorial election against Senator Orji.

    This 2019 ambition pushed him into leaving the PDP, which he joined after his tenure as the president of ICAN, and joined the APC mid 2017. 

    When he realized that the APC in Abia State did see him as a force to reckon with in Osisioma, he jumped ship again and have been hobnobbing with the withering Otti faction of APGA, which he has formerly joined as a member. 

    Responding to the news of Ajaegbu’s decampment to APGA, an APC chieftain who pleaded for anonymity said: “Is Chidi Ajaegbu a politician? He is not. He does not have any electoral value of any type, in fact he was a liability to us in APC. When he told us he was joining us from PDP last year, someone said he will not last one year in our party, that prediction has come to pass. He has no electoral value and nobody should bother about him. We wish him well in his brief stay in APGA because we know he will dump APGA for another party before 2019. He thinks politics is stockbroking”

    Ajaegbu hopes to run for Abia Central Senatorial seat in 2019 on the APGA platform. Alex Otti and Aham Nweke are rumored to be interested in same seat with the former believed to be only posturing towards running for Abia Governorship again after his desperate defeat by Ikpeazu in 2015.

    However, there is disquiet among Ajaegbu’s allies, with already manifest division among them that led to Ajaegbu’ joining APGA alone. While some are of the view that Ajaegbu should have remained in APC, others want him to go back to PDP, as according to them, there is no hope for them in APGA. They want him to take advantage of Solomon Adaelu’s exit from PDP to relaunch his ambition for House of Representatives on the PDP platform, which they feel is a viable option.

    They told him that bearing in mind that he (Ajaegbu) does not have any strong political base, that he needs to return to PDP and declare interest to replace Solomon Adaelu in the House of Representatives.

    Will the desperate political neophyte jump again?